Thursday, May 29, 2014

Yes June!

I could not have said it better. This blogger sums up June for expats...

Why Expats Hate June

And expat teachers... It's bitter-sweet. Hate the good-byes, but so thankful it's finally summer! Cheers to June... for all its craziness, sadness, happiness and excitement!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thankful it's a small world!

The thing about living abroad is that you make a lot of friends. And somehow you seem to run into people again even when you don't expect it. Even after 10 years! That's what happened this weekend... 

When I was 22, I graduated university and headed off to China to seek adventure and my first teaching job. This weekend, one of my friends from that adventure arrived in Budapest. In 2002 I moved back to America from China, then Kenya and Hungary. While Fan Fan got married to an American friend, lived in China, then America and now has two beautiful daughters. Our lives have definitely changed since we first met in 2001!

This weekend we enjoyed catching up, hearing stories and hanging out again. Last time we saw each other was 2004 when I took a trip back to China. We traveled to Tibet together then, and now I'm showing her the sites in Budapest. As Fan Fan said to me today, "Who would have thought it back then."

Then: 2004
Look at that awful hair Kim!
Trip to Tibet

Now: 2014

The world is a very small place. All the places I've lived have enabled me to meet amazing people from all over the world, but somehow there are these moments where we bump into each other again. And each time that happens I learn again... People have many changes in their lives, but we really never change who we are. Friends remain friends and can pick up right where they left off.

Fan Fan, it has been so much fun! I'm thankful it's a small world!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Good-bye City Life

In February, when we went home in the dark. When it took 45 minutes to get to work. When the city was dead. We decided to move to the village. Now it is May. The city is alive with the warm weather. The sun goes down at 8. And our car gets us to work in 20 minutes. But we're still moving away from the city to a small village of 7000 people.

I will miss the vibrance and laid-back-ness of the city.
I will miss Indian take-out. Chinese. Mexican. Restaurants and cafes.
I will miss walking downstairs to get an ingredient I need right then.
I will miss public transportation at midnight, dropping me off right at my front door.
I will miss many things about the city.

I'm looking forward to fresh air, trees, peace and quiet.
I can't wait to hop on my bike and go wherever the trail leads from my front door.
I will like the 10 minute commute (by bike).
I can't wait to have a small community of friends that hangs out just because.
I look forward to filling my bike basket with veggies and fruits from the weekend market.
I think I will like the village.

We move in June to a little village. It will be different, but good because change always brings new adventures. Looking forward to a new adventure in a little Hungarian village. (And the city is still only 20 minutes drive away.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Year, Another Ending

There is one month left of school. Friends are starting to prepare to move to new countries. I'm filling out recommendation forms for students transferring to schools in Shanghai and Geneva. Work is stressful. Kids still come to school with smiles. Warm weather is finally emerging. We're all counting the days. It is the end of another year, a teacher's year.

This time of year is sweet and sour. A lot of good-byes are in the works. Kids get over emotional and react unexpectedly. Adults are on edge and thrilled all at the same time. My husband puts up with my stress. Everyone is tired.

At the same time, summer is coming and the hope of rest is in sight. After all the end of the year assessments. After writing reports. After helping children cope with good-byes and leaving. After field trips and sports days. After moving from a flat to a house. Summer will be here and so will the end of another great year.