By far the most difficult thing about living abroad is being away my from family. I can deal with the normal day to day difficulties of not being able to read labels in the grocery stores, the woes of hailing the difficult to find cab on a Friday night, or the adventure even answering the phone can be. But sometimes, you notice that you’re fifteen hours difference from the people you want to call, and that’s one long plane ride. This distance can be the most noticeable during the holidays, because that’s when you’re used to spending time with everyone. I’ve tried every year to make an effort to bring some of home with me, and sometimes the easiest way to do that is with a big Christmas tree! Mine has ornaments from home, ranging from ones I made as a kid to ones I’ve bought on my travels. The important part is that it has lights, and now makes my living room look like it’s actually lived in.
Now that all of my shipments have arrived, my apartment can be a home again. No, not all the boxes are unpacked, but I’ve made some parts presentable. Look at this table, just waiting for you all to stop by and visit so I can impress you with my glorious new (to me) serve-ware and dishes:
One advantage to Beijing being seasonal is that it actually feels like Christmas is coming this year. In Lima around this time I was looking out at the gorgeous and sunny beach view I had from my apartment. That’s certainly not complaint-worthy, but it is a little hard to get into the winter wonderland spirit when it’s 85 degrees outside. Now, instead of seeing the surfers enjoy their waves, I walk along this Christmas season trying to avoid the ice on the walkways and making sure I have gloves with me before I leave the house. Although I’m sure this cold weather will get a bit tiresome by February, for now I am content to throw on my layers to go outside, because it means I can justify a nice warm cup of hot chocolate when I get home! ‘Tis the season, and how cold can it really get if my apartment floors are heated?