I’m writing “soon to be”, but we are not moving before May/June 2015. However, time flies and in my mind I have started to make a plan. Mostly because we are going to Hangzhou in November and I want to prepare if there is anything I can do/check/bring/whatever regarding the move 6 months later.
“Moving” is not true either. We will be in Hangzhou for Mr. No-Backpackers sabbatical (in Norway the university professors have 1 “free-year” every 7th. year) and the stay will last around 14-15 months. I don’t know where we will live, but it looks like we will have an apartement close to, or at, the campus at Hangzhou Normal University.
Although we have both been to China before, it’s going to be very exciting to stay for such a long time and I must admit that I am also concerned about it. Mostly because of my health-problems. Will my stomach go bananas? Will it be possible to find low FODMAP-food and will I be able to comunicate my needs? What about all my medicines and what if I need a doctor and prescriptions? And at last, since I will not be working: Will it be difficult to get a network, something on my own, not only Mr. No-Backpackers?
Luckily it looks like the weather is better in Hangzou, than at home, in the wintertime. The cold months here in Norway is not good for my joints, tendons and body in genereal, so that is a good thing. If I get a multi-entry VISA I will go home every now and then and that will solve the problems with medicines and prescriptions. We also have Chinese friends in Hangzhou, people who have lived in Norway and speak fluently Chinese and English, so I bet we will be taken care of if anything happens with me.
All in all, I think my main-concern is that I will be lonely and without a network on my own. I have been searchin the internet and it looks like there are several Norwegian companies operating in, or around, Hangzhou/Shanghai. Because of that I assume there will be a small’ish community with Norwegians relatively close to me. I’m on the mission to investigate this topic further.
No, I don’t have a plan on using my time in China only with other expats, but I know, from when we lived in Liverpool, that it can be great to get help and ideas from other expats.
Have you, or are you, an expat? Please tell me about it in the comments!