After many half-hearted attempts at blogging in the past, I’ve decided to give it another go. Sure, I could have taken up an old blog, last updated sometime circa 2004, but that somehow didn’t seem appropriate. It wouldn’t feel “right” placing this new life next to the old one. No, a fresh beginning seems the best for a fresh start.
To update those friends, new and old, who don’t know what I’ve been up to lately, here’s a quick rundown.
Last May (yes, a whole year ago), after returning from a much-needed trip to Laos, I started seeing the man who is now my husband. Wang Yao was, at the time, a guitarist and singer, working days at a local musical instrument shop, and performing nightly at a lounge club aimed at the trendy new Chinese upper-middle class (the menu featuring an astouding number of coffee drinks with names like The Black Nebula, as well as about 40 flavors of bubble tea. And, of course, Budweiser). We met when I went to see a friend perform drums at the same lounge club — my friend was accompanying Wang Yao, who, as it turns out, I’d actually met once, two years earlier, under similar circumstances. After our reintroduction, our romance progressed steadily, and within a month we were a serious item. By the end of four months, we’d processed our marriage paperwork, and at the end of 2006, 2 days after Christmas, we held a wedding celebration in his hometown of Zhushan (110 kilometers from Kunming), attended by my parents, who flew in from America, a dear American friend who acted as my bridesmaid, and many of mine and Wang Yao’s mutual friends from all-over Kunming. Although far from the fairy-tale wedding that most American girls seem to imagine for themselves, my wedding was a perfect blend of Chinese and American traditions, and I could not have been more happy with the results.
Fast forward five months later, and Wang Yao and I are expecting our first child, due on October 17th. Although our relationship has progressed quickly over the course of a year, we are absolutely committed to each other and to building a family together. Last July I became an investor in a startup foreign language center in Kunming (Pathways International Education Center), and Wang Yao is now helping me to run it. He still performs in clubs from time to time, but for now our main project is our school and our family. Being from two different cultures obviously presents some challenges for us, and we tackle those head on, as they come. And of course, even though I’ve lived in China for almost four years now, this country still manages to surprise me, these days in all new ways as a wife and soon-to-be mother, rather than a single woman. So, I look forward to sharing my observations with all of you, and hope to learn a little something myself by putting it all down in writing.