Tuesday, August 28, 2012

go with the flow.

The last time I updated, I said I was on my way to Shenzhen. I made it and my first thought was, "Palm trees!" Seriously, Shenzhen was the greenest city I have ever seen and the other teachers seemed to agree. There were green plants and trees everywhere.

My second thought was, "Oh my God!" because the traffic was crazy. Cars, scooters, bicycles, pedestrians, all going everywhere. I just kept thinking (and still do) that I was glad I wasn't driving. It's funny, because back home, if someone had pulled out in front of a car the way people do here, I would have grabbed the seat or armrest and hung on for dear life, but here, I just sit back and relax, like I'm used to it. (Although my eyes are probably pretty wide at times).

Anyway, made it to Shenzhen, and we were told that we'd be going to get our photos taken for our medical. "Except Amanda" a woman said, "You're going to Beijing tomorrow."

"No... I'm going to Zhuhai."

"Didn't you get the e-mail?"

Apparently, there was an issue with the school in Zhuhai and it's not able to open quite yet. For the time being (I'm hoping for the entire year), I'll be living in the teachers' residence at the Canadian International School of Beijing (CISB) and teaching at a Montessori school in Shunyi, about 45 minutes away.

And so, on Thursday, I found myself navigating the Shenzhen airport with the help of a driver who couldn't speak English. He took me to the check-in counter, argued (I think) with the employee because I had too much baggage, handed over some money, motioned for me to stay, and then ran away with my passport. I stayed calm (because really, what else could I do?) and patiently waited. 5 minutes later, he was back, passed me my passport and a boarding pass, and waved goodbye. I don't know if I've ever been more proud of myself than when I found my gate.

When I got on the plane, an announcement was made in Chinese and everyone erupted. I couldn't understand what anyone was saying and their loud voices made it difficult to hear the English announcement, but through a bit of made-up sign language and pointing at my watch, I learned that we'd been delayed by about 45 minutes. I just reclined as far as possible and took a quick nap.

I napped for most of the flight (I think that was the extent of my jet lag; I've been going to bed and waking up at decent hours) and when I woke up, I was in Beijing! One of the school's drivers met me at the airport and when I got to CISB, the principal showed me to my room and then took me to dinner.

I've had four traditional Chinese meals and two Western meals. I've found two Starbucks near my school and had my first ice cream from a Coldstone Creamery. I've taken 6 taxis (not by myself!) and I've gone shopping at a Carrefour (a giant supermarket similar to Walmart). I had a medical and met a cute English boy named Lionel while waiting in line to be weighed. I've also met a Turkish diplomat and a man from Texas who sells party supplies. I've had two Chinese beer. I've learned how to say "thank you" and "water" in Mandarin. I've made a friend, Alanna, who lives down the hall from me and will be teaching with me.

Most importantly, I'm learning to go with the flow.

P.S. For some reason, I can't upload photos, but I promise I'll post some as soon as I figure out what's wrong.


  1. oh my look at you go girl !!

    "life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" Helen Keller

    tons of love xoxo from the Gang at 29 Black Street

  2. Soo scary but exciting to be on your own, somewhere completely new!!

  3. Surprisingly, I haven't felt scared yet! Maybe a little nervous though ;)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...