Lisa McClure's China Diary

January 20, 1999

Lara and I have only two more weeks of work and daycare here in Colorado before we'll pack up the last remaining bits of our possessions and drive them down to my folks' home in Arizona. I am desperately trying to keep track of all the things I need to do and get them done in a semi-orderly fashion, but I feel so scatter brained that it's not been easy to keep everything straight.

Yesterday, I felt an adrenalin buzz rushing through my body all day long, and I can still feel it today. Yesterday, I managed (I think!) to finally satisfy the IRS with my 1998 return. I filed electronically this year, but they still require that I sign and mail in paperwork. Maybe I'll get lucky and get my refund before we leave town. A friend also changed some Chinese money with me, enough so I definitely won't have to worry about renting a luggage cart at the airport when we arrive. This morning, I found the U.S. Embassy's web address in China, and got Lara and me registered on-line.

I also discovered M-bags the other day. It turns out that books and magazines can be mailed (in a bag provided by the post office) to a single address to China for only 79 cents per pound. So, I'm going to bundle up a bunch of our books this morning and send off a bag to ourselves in China. I'll let you all know whether they arrive safely or not.

I haven't been able to sell the car yet. It's a great car, and priced very low, but I guess the economy is strong enough here in Denver that folks would prefer to buy new cars from the dealer. Anyway, I'm going to talk my brother into driving it down to Arizona for us. My folks will keep it for us while we're away in China.

I guess you can tell that right now we're in a frenzy of lists and packing and tying up loose ends. We're only taking the amount of luggage that we're entitled to for our airline baggage allowance, and it's been tough trying to decide what's really essential to our well-being and comfort and what's not. On almost a daily basis, I'll mentally remove one item or add another. Until I actually start packing, I won't really know exactly how much is going to fit into our two large duffel bags, one book box, and one small suitcase. I hope that there will be room for the DeskJet Printer!

I'm planning to carry my laptop, scanner, cameras, and computer peripherals in a wonderful backpack my mother gave me for Christmas last year. It's specially designed to carry a laptop computer, but looks like an ordinary daypack. I expect I'll have close to 40 pounds of gear in it will be my carrying my dearest possessions. (not counting Lara!)

I think Lara's starting to look forward to our move as well. We talk about it every night right before we go to bed. She's never been as pleased about learning to speak Chinese as I am, and frequently speaks of missing her Grandma, Grandpoppy, and Uncle Larry, but I think that she'll make lots of friends and have a good time in China. Anyway, I certainly hope so. As for myself, I really think it'll be the adventure of a lifetime and I can't wait to get started.

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