It’s that time of year again. New Year’s is the biggest holiday on the Japanese calendar, and as it approaches Japanese TV is full of “talent” (celebrities with no actual, recognizable talent) reflecting on the year that has passed.
And it’s been an awful one for everyone in eastern Honshu.
So I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the things I am thankful for thus far in 2011:
-I’m thankful we didn’t die in the earthquake on March 11. For two or three minutes there, I wasn’t so sure.
-I’m thankful my son was home with the flu that day. So many children ended up spending the night at school and daycare because their parents were unable to come home from work. Not to mention the parents who never came, or the children who never made it home from school. (more…)
Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I live in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the UAE, but whenever anyone hears me say “Abu Dhabi,” the association is immediately Dubai, the “big city” to the north of us. (Yes, Abu Dhabi is where the second “Sex in the City” movie was supposedly set…but it was filmed in Morocco!)
No, I’m not from here. I grew up in Illinois, went to college in Boston and lived there for a few years, and moved to Manhattan in 1988 to get my doctorate. I intended to live in New York only until I finished my degree…but I never left! So I think now I’m officially a “New Yorker” who moved to Abu Dhabi in 2011. My husband and I teach at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, which is a four-year college that just started last fall (2010), so it’s a brand-new project and very exciting.
What language(s) do you speak?
I speak English. And faux-French (which is to say French with such a bad accent and such poor grammar that my French brother-in-law almost winces every time I open my mouth). My kids are learning Arabic (more…)
Photo of the author and her father at the Great Wall of China in November.
I landed in China after a thirteen hour non-stop flight from Chicago, feeling elated, excited, tired and uncertain about what to expect. I had been to Asia before with a visit last year to India and Nepal and trip to Japan years ago.
I’ve found these countries fascinating, yet, for some reason, I was unsure what my expectations would be of China. I had heard a lot about it both, good and bad. It was time for me to experience it for myself.
I knew there would be tons of amazing history and culture to see. Not many other places in the world can boast about having a 5,000 year-old civilization. Yet, I also read it would be crowded, polluted, controlled, different, and, perhaps, confusing, given the huge paradox between the old and the new.
As I got off the plane and entered Beijing’s new Terminal 3, one of the largest terminals in the world that was completed just before the 2008 Olympics, my eyes widened. It was so huge, so modern, and so clean. It caught me by surprise. (more…)
I am, by nature, a champion sleeper. And when I say champion, I really mean it.
If given the opportunity, I can enjoy some epic, luxurious, long sleep. Or at least I could. I stopped sleeping approximately at the beginning of my second trimester of pregnancy, and I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since.
While I was pregnant, I just couldn’t get comfortable at night. Lying on one side just wasn’t for me, and besides, the babe would start his nightly high-kicks routine as soon as I settled into bed. By my final weeks of pregnancy, I was sleeping about 2 solid hours a night, with 5-6 hours of tossing and turning.
And moms, if you can believe this, I kept telling myself: “I’ll get some sleep once the baby comes. Sure, it will be interrupted, but it will at least be real sleep”. Oh how foolish the first-time mom can be. In hindsight, I can remember the few mothers of small children I said this to who simply smiled and nodded in response. I mistook their kind desire to not burst my bubble as reassurance that my delusions were true.
We are now 5 ½ months into my son’s life on the outside, and while I, of course, cannot imagine my life without him, nor would I ever want to, I am still struggling to make peace with the whole sleep deprivation thing. I mean, what becomes of a champion who cannot hone their skills?
As I was discussing this with my husband, I realized that the emotions I’ve been experiencing about sleep and lack of sleep are quite similar to the emotions associated with grief, and so I present to you: The Five Stages of Sleep Deprivation. (more…)
We start this week in South Korea with new writer Ms. V. Remember when you were able to get a full night’s sleep? Nope, neither can Ms. V! She takes us on her journey from sleep champion to sleep deprived.
On Tuesday, we travel back to the United States. We will be in Minnesota with Nicole at Third Eye Mom, who is doing a human rights post on censorship in China.
On Wednesday, we are off globe-trotting again. We will go to Japan, where Melanie Oda reflects on the upcoming New Year and what 2011 has held for her and her family. It has been an eventful year for sure.
On Thursday, we will be back in the United States, this time in Texas. Diana at Hormonal Imbalances talks about how she is introducing her young daughter to an activity that she herself loves – and how her daughter seems to be interested!
And on Friday, we will be in Washington with Tara B. You know how, as kids, our parents said things to us that we vowed we would never say to our kids? In this post, Tara tells us how that has worked out for her!
We have another new writer, from a new corner of the world! Come read about Deborah from United Arab Emirates in Tuesday’s writer interview!
On Saturday, check out the Saturday Sidebar with Eva Fannon, where the World Moms give their thoughts on an important topic, and chime in with your answers to the week’s question!
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