So, I've been in Shanghai for three months now. In my experience, this is about when the whole, "ooh-I'm-living-in-a-foreign-land-kinda-like-on-vacation" period ends, and the reality sets in. In other words: the honeymoon's over.
But actually, I'm not sure I even feel that honeymoon period anymore. Maybe I'm just jaded, but picking up and moving to Shanghai hasn't been that exciting. Like any place where the majority don't speak your mother tongue, there are challenges, and like any international school, there are quirks, but on the whole it is, as they say here in Asia, "Same-same, but different." Same s-h-you-know-what, different toilet (in this case, one over which you squat, and which no longer comes with a hose attachment). I mean, Shanghai is basically a big city, and no matter where you go, big cities operate about the same way. It is modern and fairly clean, has subways and buses, and all sorts of foreign foods and shopping. It's not hard to adjust, under the circumstances, and I've gotten pretty used to communication gaps and being stared at, and the culture shock has quietly eased during my last two adventures.
In fact, if anything, I feel like I'm hitting my stride right now. I've gotten used to the pressure and angle the school uses when they jerk me around, and because this is my second PYP school, I can anticipate some of the things they're going to ask me to do. I'm getting over that awkward period you go through with new friends, and things are normalizing with old friends. I've found a good dance teacher. So maybe the honeymoon's over, but I'm sure the honeymoon gets boring eventually, and the mark of a good life is being happy to be home, and I guess I am.