I think I have only mentioned it in passing, but my sister's husband's sister and husband (and two children) are also here living in Shanghai. They are the Canfields (Amy, Buster, Caleb and Emmy) and they are good people. They have almost immediately taken us in as family, even though blood and pretty much any legal system would differ.
Last night they had us over for dinner. It was quite lovely and an especially nice thing after a week full of culture shock, and annoyances.
They very recently adopted a wonderful little Chinese girl named Emma. She is sweet and beautiful and carried an amazingly voluminous banshee squeak, which I think she found last night for the first time. We were all gathered around after the meal and Emma started to laugh, which made us all laugh, then came this loud, high-pitched wail that surprised us all. It was like no other sound on earth. Of course we all laughed some more which only solidified into her mind that this sound was a good thing.
Sorry Canfields, I think you'll be hearing that sound again.
Today we had to go get our residential permits. It was actually quite painless. The company does a really great job of handling most of the red tape for us and then bussing us all together for the times we have to sign something or get our picture taken.
I keep thinking about our time in France and how we had to figure everything out ourselves and how painful that all was.