Farewell for now Suzhou; I’ll be back!

It has been exactly 41 days since we left Suzhou, China. One of the reasons that I have not made a post since then is because I knew it would be my last from our China adventure. After two years one gets used to many things that were initially very strange to us. An example is drinking hot water during lunch or dinner. I find myself asking in restaurants for a glass of hot water with a slice of lemon in it (lemon is my addition). Drinking hot water or green tea is a common practice for Chinese nationals that we found strange as we were used to having cold drinks with our meals. Well, if you think about it, a hot drink makes good sense since is helps move greasy residues or fat content of the food being ingested. It also has helped me improve my digestion, so while I do have a cold drink here and there, if I eat I am defaulting to hot water and lemon.

We also miss the many great friends we made (in and out of work), many of the tasty and somewhat strange vegetables we just cannot get in the US and the various teas that just do not taste the same at home. One example – I tried to buy jasmine tea in the store and ended up with a weak and almost tasteless brew I just did not drink. However, my wife found an Asian store that had Chinese Jasmine tea and she bought me a container. Ah! it was great, she paid quite a bit for it, but it is definitely worth it to me.

Picture taken during a farewell party – the Suzhou team, I worked with the past two years. Great team! Will miss them dearly.

As per our plan, I retired right after returning from my China assignment. Thirty four years with the same great company where I had a very fulfilling career was hard to let go, but the time was right for me to retire. To add to all the changes in our lives, we decided to relocate to Greenville, South Carolina. “Why there?” is the question we keep on hearing from everyone we tell about our move. Well, we find Greenville to have a great mix of what we would like to experience during our retirement phase. Excellent weather with very little snow if any; yes it gets hot, but not Miami like heat. The area is visually stunning, we are an hour away from the Blue Ridge mountains, there are excellent cycling routes and hiking trails and we are liking Southern hospitality. Greenville center is beautiful and has a huge choice of restaurants and activities year around. The city is the home of  The Greenville Drive, a minor league Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and a member of the South Atlantic League. Their Fluor Stadium resembles a shrunken Fenway Park (green monster wall and all). We saw our first game last night and the Drive won by scoring all of their 5 runs in the 8th inning.

A view of the Green Monster wall. Ok, not quite the same as the one in Fenway Park, but it will do for us. Free parking, $10 first row seats right behind first base, $2.50 hot dogs and out the park driving home within 8 minutes after the game ended. Try doing that in Boston.

 

A bit sad, maybe he just does not like baseball, but all this little one did all game was play with his dad’s iPhone.

 

Franklin Morales, a Red Sox pitcher doing some rehab with the Greenville Drives team. He pitched very well, no hits in the three inning he completed.

 

Morales’ windup… fastest pitch I saw was 94 mph one. I have been away for too long, do not really know him at all. Will see how he does this year with the Red Sox.

There are many other reasons we chose Greenville, to hear more of them and what we are up to I hope you visit my Retirement Blog (in development right now – will share the link in this blog as soon as I go live with it). We thank all those who visited, enjoyed the information and also those who left comments on our China blog; your support really made a difference in keeping this blog going. Be assured that we will keep the new blog updated with many activities and trips we have planned. We invite you to join us in our new adventure; stay tuned for the new link coming soon (I will post the new link in this blog, so if you are subscribed to this blog you will get an alert email automatically).

One last peek at Suzhou – for a nice video of Suzhou please click on the link below. There is an advertisement at the beginning and it does start in Chinese, for a small portion in English move the timeline to the 2:35 minute mark. A bit long, but gives you good highlights of Suzhou

For link click HERE

Until the next post!

 

Jessie LiApril 22, 2013 - 9:17 AM

Good memory for me!
Remember all the days with you. Hope to know your new life after the retirement.

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