Frequently Asked Questions about our new life in Beijing
By melinchina on Sep 07, 2005
We are in Beijing! I can hardly believe this is our new life. Here's an FAQ:
Q: What is your house like?
A: It's beautiful, I have to say. Nicer than our house in California. It actually belongs to my husband's parents (they are from Beijing originally) but they're letting us stay there for a couple of years. It's on the top floor of a 26-floor building, and our unit has 2 levels. The downstairs has a kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom and bath. Upstairs has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The whole unit has beautiful hardwood floors and a very tasteful decor. My father-in-law decorated the place so I figured I'd hate it but it's actually wonderful! Who would have thought....
Q: How are the kids?
A: They're adjusting really well, probably because they're so young (ages 2 and 4). They go to a bilingual Chinese preschool, and 'bilingual' in this case means there's a teacher in each classroom who understands English. But most of the curriculum is done in Chinese and the kids speak Chinese to each other. It's good for my kids because they're exposed to Chinese every day and one day soon I'm sure they'll start speaking it, but if they want to say something in English there's someone there who can understand them. That sets my mind at ease while I'm at work every day.
Q: What is work like?
A: It's good. The Sun office here in Beijing is beautiful, very modern even compared to the Menlo Park campus. And an added bonus - all the lights work! (During the energy crunch in the summer of 2003 we started turning off all non-critical lighting at Bay Area Sun campuses and for some reason we never started turning them back on. It used to drive me nuts to walk through dark hallways in the middle of the day. It felt like a funeral home sometimes.)
The people at the office here are totally nice and have all been very helpful to me. Everyone in the office speaks very good English and all meetings I've been to so far were conducted in English. Just like in Menlo Park, I feel like I'm among a group of very smart people.
I have 3 main responsibilities here. I'm the lead program manager for a small but growing team. I'm chief of staff for the OPG (Operating Platforms Group, basically the Solaris group) director here, and I'm program managing a project team that produces the Hardware Compatibility Test Suite.
Q: Are you learning Chinese?
A: Not yet, not really. I depend on my husband way too much when we go out.
Q: What do you dislike about Beijing?
A: Just the air pollution. Otherwise it's a very convenient, easy place to live. So far at least. Maybe I'm still in the honeymoon phase.
Q: Do they have Target, Mervyn's or Costco in Bejing?
A: No, no and no! What's a girl do to?!
Q: How is Xin's (my husband's) business doing?
A: He's still busy getting an office set up in the guest bedroom at our house. Please stay tuned. Since Xin is from Beijing and he's essentially coming home, this move has been pretty easy for him.
Q: When are you going to send pictures?
A: Soon! I promise!