First Steps towards Shanghai!

So finally we are embarking on our journey to Shanghai. However, it looks like the path to a Z visa stamping will continue to be problematic. I got notification that the visa papers I have from Chinese govt have expired now (since their validity has been reduced from 3 months to a month because of Olympics). This means we need to apply for the invitation letter once again, which in turn means more delays (Olympics again!). Anyway, since we are proceeding to India for a month-long vacation, it doesn’t impact us immediately.

Wrapping up our stay in Seattle was tough, both physically as well as emotionally. We decided to give our household stuff to our friends rather than trying to put up a garage sale (which I think is mostly a poor return of time investment). Our backup plan was to donate our stuff to Goodwill. This made some of the logistics of wrapping up easier. Selling the car proved to be the trickiest, and I was surprised by the lack of response on my advertisement, I always though used Honda Accord will be picked up in a jiffy. Maybe this is a statement about economic condition, or my poor timing of move.

Last few days were dinner, lunch and drinks with friends and colleagues. Every such engagement became an emotional affair, some of them replete with farewell gifts and speeches. What made this more emotional for me was the fact that I didn’t realize a stint of 18 months could generate so much of bonding and emotions. It was great to see that we will be missed, but I knew I will miss all of them too.

Last 2 days after the movers packed our stuff and converted our apartment into a football field, it was crazy time.. going to back-to-back lunches and dinners, squeezing in cleaning and packing, and overall craziness of leaving a place. Monday morning was our flight day, and it was greatly helped (and perhaps made possible) with support from one of our closest friends here. They spent last 2.5 hours helping us clean-up the last minute glitches, balancing the weights in our check-in baggages, and overall making the last-minute efforts that much easier. Thank you Mahesh and Sumita!

Flight to India was largely uneventful, Asiana Airlines was great in accommodating our more-than-allowed carry-on luggage. However, the same can’t be said of the food or overall hospitality provided, they could have been better.

Most importantly, we are in Delhi now, waiting for our visa papers, all set to meet our family and friends before we leave for Shanghai. And a month of unemployed life for me!

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