Current Crush: Dog Rain Gear

I don’t know about you, but our little pup hates rainy days. Xiao only stands a few inches off the ground and even the shallowest of puddles can be daunting for him. It is the most pitiful thing you have ever seen. And I end up feeling like a terrible dog mom.

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So I’ve been a little obsessed with finding Xiao the most fabulous rain gear to up his rainy day game! I mean, come on, you feel better when you are out in that pink trench coat or purple wellies, …admit it!

I’m torn though, so many options… (well, 3)

Rubber Ducky Rain Coat – This is one sweet little rain coat in a large range of sizes. I like the single strap around the chest so it doesn’t get in the way of “business”. Not to mention the coat comes all the way down his sides, not just covering his back and head. Currently $10.17 on Amazon.

BaxterBoo Reversible Nor’Easter Jacket– I love this one for the practicality of it. It is reversible with a lightweight waterproof shell on one side and the other side is a warm plaid fleece. It also has a light reflecting strip for late night potty walks. Currently $29.97 at Baxterboo.

L.L. Bean Trail Rain Jacket– L.L. Bean has been making quality outdoor gear for humans for  over 100 years. I trust them to make a quality garment for my dog. This one is lightweight, for your dogs comfort, and has an opening to add the harness/leash. Currently 29.95 at L.L. Bean.

 

Which do you think?

 

Wenzhou Will Be Forever With You

When we moved to Wenzhou we knew that pollution was going to be constant in our lives. We accepted this. We even felt somewhat prepared for this having lived in Hong Kong previously.

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That is seriously how bad the smog gets

Now that the Dr. and I are feeling like we are on the final stretch here in Wenzhou we are examining the good and bad of life here. And there have been good things, many good things. We have made great friends and the opportunity to live in another country and learn the language is nothing to sniffle at. But when asked if we will miss Wenzhou we always say- “Wenzhou will be with us forever…in our lungs”. People laugh- Some give a nervous laugh, because they know the truth in the statement.

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This winter, and I fear spring, the PM2.5 index is awash in “unhealthy…very unhealthy…etc” warnings. And you are breathing those particles into your lungs. Even inside your home you are hardly breathing a better quality of air. We leave the air purifier on at all times. It makes a difference, but isn’t problem correcting.

Parking: Wenzhou Style

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One of the first things you notice when you get out start exploring Wenzhou is the cars, the parking and the very lack of convention. The cars in the above photo are not in a parking lot. The are parked on a wide sidewalk on a busy street. Yes, parked on the sidewalk.

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This seems to happen regardless of whether there is room on the sidewalk and with little regard for someone being able to use the sidewalk for activities like walking, strolling or jogging. Those crazy cats get to use the road, along with the drivers!

Cheers!

Settling in to life in Wenzhou China…everything went wrong

It hasn’t been easy. I don’t just mean a stranger in a strange land- not easy. I mean, holy canolie what else is going to fall apart!

We hit a bump straight off the plane in Wenzhou. As you walk into the arrivals hall and proceed to have your passports & visas checked there are little devices that detect your body temperature. I generally understand the need for this after the whole MERS and Ebola outbreaks. I was very understanding until I spent 16 hours on a plane and about 19  hours in the Hong Kong airport on the longest layover. I was pulled aside to be checked for a fever and the clerk in very broken English indicated I had failed at life. He deemed me to have a fever.

I did not have a fever by most accounts, 99.1 F. I had to go to a little room and have my temperature taken two different ways;  both indicated just the slightest elevation in temp. I repeated  more times than I can remember that no, I don’t have a headache, no I don’t have a stomach ache, I AM TIRED, VERY VERY TIRED.

We managed to get though that chaos and out the doors to the taxi stand where the miniature cars just barely managed to contain my husband and I, with our 8 bags. Naturally we were charged more for the taxi driver getting to watch my husband load all our luggage while he and his friends smirked and laughed.

After all of that we were dropped off at the guard house of our apartment complex, having paid about 3 times more than we should. The same place the husband lived at last year, just a different floor this time. We were told, and assured, that we only had to give the guard our apartment number and he would hand over the keys.

Alas, this didn’t happen. He barely understood what we needed and kept telling us to go away and come back tomorrow. That’s right, as we stood on the street with 8 suitcases we were told there was no room at the inn and to try our luck tomorrow. Finally a maintenance worker managed to get us in the apartment for the night, still no keys.

Wenzhou – Kean University has some huge issues they need to overcome in regards to bringing faculty in and helping get them set up. What we experienced was all around neglectful and showed no signs of a thoughtful plan. I am beginning to understand the running joke and unofficial motto of WKU.

The Long Goodbye

The Dr. and I have begun the long journey to Wenzhou, China.  We left Tennessee yesterday and it was the hardest goodbye yet. Why? We left the dog. Xiao Chi didn’t have a successful surgery in July so he is going back for completion while we are in China. Hopefully by January he will be headed to China with us. I don’t mind telling you that I was crying and saying I missed him even before we left.

I'll sleep, you pack...
I’ll sleep, you pack…

We managed to get as far as Chicago last night. It was actually a great trip as fas as travel karma goes. The check in was smooth, and we had a lot of bags! The flight was quick with 0 delays. And then our cab got us to my sister-in-laws pretty quickly for Chicago traffic. Then travel karma kicked in. We sat on their stoup with 6 suitcase waiting for someone to let us in since we had been forgotten about. Sigh… It only started to rain in the last 10 minutes we were out there.

Now we have a day and a half to kill in Chicago before the 16 hour flight to Hong Kong (And no, that isn’t the last flight, that is just a 17 hour layover). What to do, what to do?

You miss me?
You miss me?

Skype the dog, that’s what I do.

Cheers,

JH

Pushed Out

I’ve told my Boss that I plan on heading out with my Dr.H at the beginning of September. I have not officially handed in a notice though, so we are both in a limbo. I had hoped we could hire someone before I left so that I could help as much as possible to get them in the swing of things. It isn’t brain surgery, but it takes some getting used to.

Luckily one of my co-workers has turned out to be a really good friend as well. She lets me vent the crazies to her almost daily. Whether it is passport drama (ahem, on the phone with passport services for 30 minutes before speaking to a real human) or starting to feel like the boss would rather I just leave now.

That’s how I feel though. I think Attorney A can’t get in the mindset of I’m here but with a end time, but still longer than two weeks. It isn’t easy for anyone, but some handle it better than others.

His a photo of cuteness for you…

My little ball of cuteness
My little ball of cuteness