1. Work: Work is interested in keeping me on and I love it even though I need to work for a living and not for fun. So I need a real job with a real salary. Also, I need more kid-care kind of help to do the global thing well. I need an au pair or partner or someone like that. (Watch this space for my sun-and-moon-and-stars personal assistant ad. I've written it and had it translated but haven't posted it yet because I'm still not sure.)
2. School: LiLi's school is still imperfect and too far away but coming from glowing parent-teacher conference comments last week I'm feeling more charitable toward the sweet, smiling yet brutal Chinese teachers. Also, our school in San Francisco is imperfect too. I'm planning to apply to a couple of privates in SF and tour some other schools in Beijing so at least I will have a bigger view.
3. Home: our apartment is a 3 br/3 ba and full of furniture we own so selling it or storing it is no small thing. Someone from ministorage came to give me an estimate on Saturday and it's not cheap to store here, even getting rid of a couple of the larger items. There's all that life stuff that would be time-consuming and expensive to replace: dishes, coffee maker, wine bottle opener. So if we're coming back, maybe in 10 months, or two years, we oughta dump it all. If we're coming back in two months, we oughta keep it.
4. Health (um, air): We can see all our docs and dentists etc when we go back and not have to set those things up in China. But the air. Bad. Bad. Bad. So bad that many of the air cleaning plants at home and all of them at work have died. Dead air cleaning plants. Bad.
5. Life ease. Okay so having: an Ayi who can shop, cook, clean, do laundry, meet the school bus; a homework helper 4 days a week; a chef teacher; a heiche (black car) driver; a cheap closeby massage place and buddy to go with; a pool downstairs; a dry cleaning service in house; great restaurants and a new Thursdays jazz supper club; enough language to get around, all of that might, just might, make up for the fact that every chore, every single day, every single time we step out the door, is challenging and exhausting.