This Week’s Rollercoaster: From Drama to Big Commitments

This past week and a half has been filled with some really high highs and some super low lows.


I just blogged about the typical highs and lows that an expat in Shanghai experiences, at least some of what I have in the past two years.


I’ve finally adjusted to living here. It has taken quite a while, but I’m finally happy here. 2017 in Shanghai has been pretty good to me. I’m already sad to think about leaving in 2018. *spoilers*


So if you’ve read any of my recent posts you might be thinking, “Wait, Tara, I thought you were officially leaving Shanghai and doing something else with your life?”


Well, after my friend Nicole visited for nearly two months, I became super sad about leaving. I showed her all the things I love about Shanghai and realized how much I really do love this place. I decided I was ready to leave. New plan: study Chinese full time as a student in Shanghai.


I went into the “HR” of my workplace and asked for some documents to get my student visa. They were shocked to find out I was planning to stay in Shanghai, so they offered me the only open position they had left. I will still be working for the same school next year, except I will be at a different campus.


AND I get to live off campus in a real life apartment, in the city I might add!


We signed our lease on Sunday! This was quite possibly the highest high. But let me list them all for you.




+ Signed a lease for an absolutely gorgeous apartment right in the center of some of the best places in Shanghai and just a short walk from the metro. Will definitely have to post about it once we are settled in!


+ Signed my contract for work next year, making paying for this fancy apartment much more affordable. (And not to worry, I’ll still be learning Chinese, just part-time instead!)


+ Had my favorite salad for dinner today!


+ Got ahead on my grading, comments, and reports.


+ Went to an Alice in Wonderland themed bar with Lisa from Adventures of a Dream Catcher.


+ Saw Benjamin Francis Leftwich perform over the weekend after discovering him only a few months ago on Spotify. It was an amazing show!




+ The dress for my friend’s wedding that I had made and was supposed to pick up on Sunday was not finished. I’ve only ever yelled at one other adult in my life, and I’ve never once made a public scene. When the lady told me she hadn’t finished my dress, I was upset. It’s really inconvenient for me to head to that part of Shanghai, and this dress if for a wedding. Odds are they’ll need to adjust it again once I try it on, and then I’ll have to return for a fourth time now.


First I was just unhappy. As I said, I don’t get angry easily.


BUT THEN, this woman had the audacity to tell me that it was MY FAULT. That she said, “Maybe it would be ready by Sunday,” and that I didn’t read the date on the receipt properly. Now, just so we are clear, there was an illegible date scribbled on the receipt and she had told me Sunday. Not only did she tell me it was my fault, she then proceeded to insult me by telling me I don’t know how to read numbers. Then I got angry and yelled like I’ve never yelled at anyone.


They tried to insist that Chinese people write all numbers the same as the rest of us, except for the number 9, and that I just don’t know how to read Chinese numbers. I was infuriated.


What a load of crap.


That’s just a blatant lie. I’ve lived here and worked here with Chinese people and Chinese students for two years. I’ve never heard anything so absurd. UGH.


+ I went to get my favorite salad two different times last week and they didn’t have it. The definition of heartbreak.


+ I got in a slight disagreement with my mother about my plans for next year, she’s someone who has never understood my desire to live abroad. I felt rather attacked, but ended up talking myself down because after all, it is ultimately my life and my decision. And truly, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love my family or miss them dearly. That doesn’t make me a bad person.


+ Work decided to tack on some extra work to the end of the school year, as if we didn’t have enough work to do at this point.


+ I found out I can’t go back to the States until mid-July due to the visa process. It’s not a huge deal but means less time with family, and possibly having to change my original travel plans.


+ Came home from work to find that the water had been shut off without warning, something that happens frequently in our apartment building.


+ I almost thought I couldn’t go to the Benjamin Francis Leftwich concert, but luckily that one ended up working out. Just had to change a few plans.


+ Rainy season in Shanghai seems to have finally arrived. All the downpours and humidity. Joy.


But honestly, the highs have absolutely outweighed the lows by a million times. I ultimately had a super killer weekend, and I am so excited to begin this new chapter of my Shanghai life.

1 Comment

Category: Expat Life

One Response to This Week’s Rollercoaster: From Drama to Big Commitments

  1. Lisa says:

    That weekend was seriously soooo fun! I’m glad I could finally discover a new artist and going to Wonderland was…well, wonderful. And of course it’s awesome that you will be staying in Shanghai for a third year! 🙂