Thursday, July 3, 2014

Doing without

Our other 18 boxes have been stuck in Chinese customs all week. Evidently they weren't satisfied with the lists of what was inside (to be fair, the shipping company in the US had priced them rather low) and wanted more details. So, we spent 6-7 hours of Saturday making a very detailed list, with fair values of what each thing was worth. Not how we wanted to spend our Saturday, but with it being exactly a month since we moved in, we're more than ready to get the things we planned to use in the apartment.

We got it sent in, only to find that they needed the list of everything translated into Chinese. Yeah. What?? God has been very gracious in providing a wonderfully kind co-worker of Ryan's, who worked on translating a lot of it, and then Ryan finished using Google translate.

What seemed like it was an easy, "may as well bring this stuff since Ryan's company will reimburse us for shipping expenses" has turned into kind of a massive headache. But, the 18th list is sent in this morning, and we're hoping to get the boxes soon.

So, since our life is about to get a lot more "filled in" with things, I thought I'd make a list of things I've learned while doing without. You really can make do!

  • Chopsticks made good rolling pins, at least for homemade tortillas. They also make great stirrers for soups and batters, and if you're trying to get a curly noodle out of a boiling pot to test the done-ness while holding your baby in one arm, tada! They work great. :)
  • Without measuring cups or spoons? A small 8 oz glass works as a cup, and you get really good at estimating 1/3, 1/2, etc. A plastic spoon works as a Tablespoon and baby spoons work great as teaspoons!
  • Speaking of spoons, 4 plastic forks can last for a month with continuous washing. Plastic spoons don't fare so well - after two weeks they gave way. ;) But who said baby spoons were just for babies? ;)
  • Wanting to bake? A small pot you'd usually use on the stove, but is all metal, can be used to make pot pie, casseroles, and more!
  • No oven? We were there for two weeks and discovered that banana bread batter makes the most AMAZING pancakes. We're not going back.
  • Want whipped cream but have no blending device? Put heavy cream in a tupperware-type container and shake away! It didn't take as long as I thought it would!
Living with little has been refreshing, though. Less to clean and put back in its place. Less to get in the way. But I am ready for our shelves to have some books and to have family pictures in their place and a few more outfits to choose from and real silverware and... it will be great. :)

But we are amazed at the provision of God. We rented an apartment with a very kind landlady who has lent us sheets, pillows, towels, and let us use the few dishes and wonderful sharp knives that were in the cupboards. I don't know what we would have done without it.

And another amazing provision? I found a second hand shop!! Contrary to assumption, things over here really aren't cheaper than in the US, especially when you're used to thrift store prices. has me feeling like I've struck gold. Since it's 1 1/2 hours away from us, we will have to set up an appointment to go and rent a truck to bring stuff home. But with pictures of everything online, we can browse what we want before we arrive. Better yet? It's in the same exact area as the like-minded fellowship we were put in contact with, so we'll likely be going to that area every Sunday.

God provides.

1 comment:

  1. So wonderful to hear. God's providence is amazing and sometimes surprising!