We moved house over the weekend. We’d lived in the same house for three years and on the same street for seven, but it made more sense for us to move to another part of Shanghai after the kids recently changed schools and my wife changed jobs.
Also, we’d already exhausted the neighborhood of people who would lend us money.
Also, our relationship had recently soured with the ghost living in our attic when he forgot to feed our fish while we were on Christmas vacation.
Also, the beautiful neighbor whose bathroom faced my office window installed better blinds.
Also, none of our neighbors saw the humor in my practical joke when I filled a mannequin with cement, climbed the fence of the community pool at night, and dropped it into the deep end. Actually, it’s hard to say whether they did or didn’t see the humor in the practical joke but they definitely didn’t see any humor in a lifeguard drowning during the rescue.
As we finished packing and got ready to leave, we were surprised at how emotional our 8-year-old The Fonz became as the house grew progressively emptier. He began to cry but tried to hide it by laughing. “This house is empty (s0b) and I am weirded out (laugh). I’m laughing and crying at the same time (sob). I don’t know what’s coming out of me (sob).”
As we got into the taxi to trail the moving van to our new home, he cried as he looked out the window and said goodbye to the only neighborhood he’d known.
“Goodbye house.” (Sob.)
“Goodbye, TVs I sometimes see a part of when I go walking by.” (Sob.)
“Goodbye, street.” (Sob.)
“Goodbye, bank.” (Sob.)
“Goodbye, stores I’ve never been to.” (Sob.)
“Goodbye, signs I’ve never read.” (Sob.)
“Goodbye, Bella Donna International Natural Breast Care.”
That one made us all laugh as he read the corner sign for the Chinese clinic offering natural breast enhancement.
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