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It was bound to happen sooner rather than later. At first it was choc O bloc paralysis now it’s peristalsis a go go! Great heavens on earth! I’m not use to this. Still, better now than later given my recent news of transferring Now to the city where I will teach, inadvertently sparing ones bowls from being backed up by another 12hour drive from Tianjin to Songyuan. It looks like the manager is a spontaneous one. The short notice came around 9pm Thursday that we would begin the drive at 5:30am the following morning.

Well I had attempted to make a stand against this jet lag. The headache, drowsiness and appetite (though very mild) in all the wrong places and inconvenient times is getting to me. So, wake up 2am which has become usual in jet lag status. Send emails until 5am then rest for a bit nodding off towards 7am. Rise again around 9am with an even more banging headache compounded by the non stop running AC then go back to sleep cos it hurts too much.

Final call by 1pm and this time I’m putting my foot down, literally, to stand up and make the walk of evolution from ape to woman approximately ten size six and half wide fitting steps between the bed and en-suite bathroom door. I’ve done it. But ouch goes the first load. Along with the swollen feet it now aches head, toe and tail.

Two hours is plenty to contemplate Darwin so by 3pm with boy in tow, here’s to the our first trip alone out in town. Have I mentioned that it is BAKING, even with the constant cloudy foggy blanket in the sky the sun scorches through. No one told me about this. Well it was mentioned but rather politely that the air might be a little heavy. Hmmmmm. Ok! I haven’t seen a blue sky since we arrived.

Nevertheless, Walking down the road is empowering. I feel great despite all mentioned above. I hold my boy’s hand with sheer delight as proud-to-be-his-mum pedals the pumps of my heart. I look at him. He’s so tall. He has grown in so many ways since three days ago when he put on his poker face to board a flight that has preoccupied his mind for the best part of six months. He bounces speaking at the very top of his voice and I feel like a lion with peacock feathers. Boastful even. I love what I have. And just as I attempt to hush the child, the lead penny drops when he gives it to me one more time “can we have McDonalds today? I saw it on this road when we were driving”

Wow! There you go! Hunter gathers who just crossed rivers, seas, mountains and a few volcanos, not to mention risking being shot out of the air by goodness knows who so we can go pick up a burger and large fries. My how times have changed. Yes, we also passed Subway on the way there. Given that I can barely say hello and goodbye in the language of my host country, can it be forgiven that I made a few grunting noises and pointed the picture of a portion of fries to which the assistant (Chinese assistant ) responded “big?” My eyebrows raised in a fixed stare followed by delinquent nod. It’s time to get studying on the Ni hao I’d say!

It’s interesting to learn that even the Chinese who generally tend to be overly trusting of American brands, have recently acquired knowledge that their western idols have been serving years old stale meat via the mega chain. Apparently it made the news but my source was much more enriching as I listened in keenly on a conversation in the back seat of a taxi. Whatever dudes! Think what you like, the news is censored anyway. I can feel it in my bones, that while the challenges to come will be inherently tough, my entire being buzzes with imminent confirmed knowledge that I’m going to love this place.