The perks of being an Au-pair
January 1, 2017resisroadLeave a commentEdit “The perks of being an Au-pair”
This is my first post for 2017 and of course I want to tell you all about my trip to Thailand and Singapore with my host family.
The moment we arrived in our apartment on the beautiful island of Phuket it was clear that this vacation was to be unlike any I had ever done or would ever be able to afford to do.
The most striking feature of our double-story apartment was a swimming pool with a view of the sea. My room had a TV with Austrian radio channels and a small box for sweets refilled every day. I could drink coffee every morning while reading the news on Facebook without worrying about VPN and bad connections (things you really start to appreciate after 3 months in China). My favorite time of the day of course was breakfast, where a seemingly endless buffet offered you everything from cheese and yogurt (don’t know how I survived without it), fresh fruit, Chinese noodles and sweets.
Although my environment was so inviting for relaxation, I was always on the move running after my three kids- a friend who joined us had a three year old son as well. However, it is much easier to look after happy kids who can do anything they want on their vacation than trying to motivate them to study. We did many outings to zoos, elephant shows and even a fish market. After a day of hide and seek, “monster and chicken” and swimming I still fell into my bed and admired all the full-time parents for their patience.
Christmas met us in Singapore, a vibrating culture pot where the fascinating office buildings exist next to traditional food and souvenir markets. Our hotel room had a view of the skyline and I will never forget the buffet we had for dinner, so big it had separate rooms for salad, mains and sweets. My Christmas highlight was a children’s choir singing “Oh holy night” in front of the big Christmas tree in the lobby. But except for that everything felt more like a summer vacation, not only because of the 37 degrees plus outside. We went to see Tigers and Zebras at a night safari went to a huge theme park that would definitely fit on every kid’s list for Santa and went ice-skating in the famous Marina mall.
Taking the big wheel and once again enjoying view of the Singapore skyline, I can barely believe that 2016 should end like this. I would never have imagined being on such a fantastic trip and sharing dinner (and I mean SHARE by Chinese standards meaning all the food and even what is already on your plate is communistically shared) with a family I only got to know in September and I now feel really part of.
However, taking the plane back to foggy,-10 degrees cold Beijing I have to admit that I am not totally unhappy about leaving China in about 60 days. Don’t get me wrong, I love “my Beijing” and I have fallen in love with so many amazing details, but you also learn that there are a lot of things that you leave behind- even if fireworks and a new year’s waltz is not the most important thing in the world, you will still miss it when you don’t have it.
Mentioning that, I hope you all arrived safely in 2017 and will continue to follow my adventures.
PS: Feel welcome to post any further questions you might have about China my time here- I would love to answer them in my next post.
The perks of being an Au-pair