Friday, August 28, 2015

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

 Tuesday morning I woke up, got ready and drove to the airport where I said goodbye and went through security etc, and said my final goodbyes. I then boarded a plane to San Francisco where on top of my layover, we were further delayed because of the need to find a new aircraft. From there I flew fourteen hours to Hong Kong. They were the longest fourteen hours of my life.

 The plane was so squishy and uncomfortable. I made the mistake of eating one airplane meal and it was a bad made literally everyone who ate it became nauseous. I also could not find a comfortable position to sleep.

 When we arrived in Hong Kong we went to the ferry terminal and had to wait until the 9:45 ferry to mainland China. At that point, the floor of the airport was so comfortable. After about an hour and a half of waiting we finally boarded the ferry. It smelled so fishy.

 The ferry ride was approximately thirty minutes but I am not really sure because one minute I was looking out the window at the night sky and dark water and the next thing I knew we were docking.

 We then got our luggage which thankfully all of mine was there, and then we went through customs. Customs was a complete joke. They basically looked at our entry form and our passport, stamped it, and had us x-ray our bags and leave. Considering it was about 10:00 at night I think they just wanted to go home.

 We then waited a few minutes for our charter buses to come to take us all to our individual schools. For my school in Guzhen we were on the bus for about an hour and a half before we finally arrived at 2:30 am local time of Thursday. Our coordinator Bella met us by the bus and took us up to our apartment and told us we have fruit and bread for breakfast and that she would see us in the morning.

 So, we figured out rooming assignments and got ready for bed. Most of the girls just got into their pajamas and brushed their teeth and went to bed. I am far too high matinence so of course I unpacked my sheets, mattress pad, and set it all up. I then braved the toilet/shower and decided that I will not get a truly decent shower for the next four months so I'm going to have to just deal with that. Too bad I'm so obsessed with feeling clean.

 After showering, I then proceeded to cry and hate the fact that I was in China instead of in my own bed. I really miss my bed. Here my "bed" is basically a box spring with almost zero padding. So, I'm really glad I brought the foam pad even though it really doesn't do much it's still better than nothing. Also really glad that I brought my own sheets because I felt so comfortable.

 I only slept four hours before everyone woke up. I cried a lot, especially when I thought about Skyping my parents. So I didn't Skype them. We mostly stayed in the apartment until lunch time when Bella came to pick us up and show us to the school.

 The food was pretty good. We had rice (duh), lotus root (apparently super nutritional) and jalapeƱo peppers. I didn't eat that much of it because I felt sick and was so tired. Everyone at the school was very friendly.

 For dinner we went out to a Chinese restaurant with Bella and had fried noodles and rice. We all shared our plates and had maybe 10 bites of anything before we all felt full. So we went home and talked for a little while longer and then went to bed. I slept much better but still not good considering that my pillow is not much more than glorified quilt batting.

 This morning we all woke up between 4:00 and 6:00, and started our day. Which we probably shouldn't have because we are all ready to go to bed and it's barely 7:00 PM!

 After lunch we went over to the supermarket to buy things like shampoo, soap and things for the apartment. The supermarket was inside of this mall. We found some pillows for 18.8 yauen which is about $3.00 so of course I bought one. Ironically it matches my sheets and my towels. I also got this cute little cup with a happy frog on it.

 Later today we decorated our classroom which was really fun and got me excited for teaching. Apparently I can draw a really good talent!

 I have really come to like China-what I've seen of it that is. Walking to the supermarket we passed this really pretty park with a lily pond in the center and I want to run there every day.

So, even though I really didn't want to be here when I first got here, I really am falling in love with it.

Monday, August 17, 2015

 Hello! This is apparently what they call a blog. Seems like a strange place to pen ones thoughts but here goes.
 In a weeks time, I will be on a plane with a bunch of other girls who are all headed on the same adventure. Destination: The Mysterious East aka China.
 Though it seems at times that I was shanghaied into this (puns fully intended here) by one of my dear friends Rachel (she bugged me about it multiple times without peaking my interest and then one night she brought it up and a fire was lit inside me) this was my choice. I wanted adventure. I would do anything to get it.
 So, I started going through the application process for ILP. It went surprisingly smooth considering my late application. Everything fell into place. I was able to get accepted quickly, my passport was processed and I was able to get into the same group as my friend/captor for the same semester.

 God likes making things work when it's what He wants you to be doing.
 To say I am completely prepared for this great adventure would be an utter lie. I am not prepared for this at all. Sure I may have most of the items I need and I have most of my ducks in a row (still missing a few so if you see them please send them back, I miss my ducks) but I am not fully ready. How could I be? It is something completely new to me and though I can prepare in lots of ways I know I will still be that tacky American tourist who has her chin on the floor and her eyes looking like they are bulging out of her head. Despite having the same feeling as that dream when you're naked in a public place, I am really excited for the next four months.
 It will be an experience that will serve many purposes. I will be changed in many unknown ways, I will have fantastic memories with great people and scenery, and I will forever have something way better than you to talk about if I wanted to.
 So, "No shilly shallying, no dilly dallying, I'm off to China NOW!"