September 2002: A month after our wedding, Mr Tai-Tai and I left the UK for a year of travelling. Spent a lot of it in Asia and were both well and truly smitten.
August 2003: Back home. Bought a flat, then a house, did it up, got some jobs, got some dogs and had a rather brilliant few years living a thoroughly DINKY (dual income, no kids) life in London with our fab friends. Wine, food, holidays, lovely friends, pubs, more wine, more pubs, etc.
Fast forward to…
February 2008: Went on holiday to India, stopping in Dubai on the way back home. Saw lots of expats living it up in the sun. Planted a seed of an idea.
March 2009: House rented out, on a plane to our new life in Hong Kong with nothing more than our suitcases. Petrified and worried we’ve made a terrible mistake.
March – August 2009: HATE Hong Kong.Miss my lovely friends and family terribly. Now sure we’ve made a terrible mistake.
June 2009: Realise that 18 years as a strict vegetarian is seriously cramping my Chinese food style. Go for my ever first steak. Mr Tai-Tai nearly faints with joy.
September 2009: Fall absolutely passionately in love with the city. Great friends, wine, pubs, food, holidays, more wine, etc. LOVE Hong Kong!
April 2010: Start to fancy myself as a bit of a writer. Amazingly, some people agree and actually pay me for writing freelance stuff.
October 2010: Bloody hell! I’m pregnant! Celebrate with cake (no wine.)
November 2010: How do we fancy relocating to Shanghai? Easy, no worries! It’ll be like HK, only a bit bigger, surely… ?
January 2011: Once again on a plane to start a new expat life, this time to Shanghai, with a little more baggage.
February 2011: Not used to all this cold weather any more but meeting loads of great people. However this city is MENTAL. Hugely pregnant; no wine.
June 2011: Baby Tai-Tai is born in Shanghai. He is late, loud and has no shame about bodily functions. Very much a Shanghainese baby.
June-September 2011: Newborn baby + 40 degree summers + no Chinese language – Road safety + Copious spitting = extreme stress for a new mother. Hoping to fall in love with Shanghai very soon. Still no wine.
September 2011 – Ongoing: This city is still MENTAL. I may be heading there myself, however have found positives, including more fab friends, wine and xiaolongbao (soup dumplings)
May 2012: On the move again to…
June 2012: … Normandy! (Eh?) But wait! We’re off again back to…
November 2012: Hong Kong! It’s good to be home.