People Say I Don’t Like China; I Love China

If you understand the title reference, I’m pretty proud. If not, I’m pretty sure most of my blog titles while in China are going to be directly from DJ Trump’s mouth because I think its peak humor, so you should watch the link I have in my “When Jesus Takes the Wheel” post.

The longest nonstop flight I’ve ever taken was ten hours: Frankfurt to Denver on my way home from Russia. This flight was sixteen hours! Dallas to Hong Kong! We were fed three meals and the strangest thing by far was the plastic, tinfoil topped water cup. Like bagged milk is whatever, but Canada what the fetch?

I was briefly completely content with going down in the Pacific Ocean (arctic?) but then the seat next to me was unoccupied and so I reconsidered my will to live and now I’m in China so re-evaluation might be on the agenda.

Just kidding, I’m diggin it. China isn’t really as wild as I thought it would be and thankfully our house has toilets, not squatters, so #blessed. But is is beautiful! It is SO green and the buildings are so cool. Some are really similar to western architecture, but some are just really unique. I flew into Hong Kong and was really surprised when it was cloudy and rainy outside at 78 degrees. That’s not something I’ve ever experienced 😂 I was really excited to be off the plane and really excited to be in Hong Kong (!!!!!) so I took a picture with my visa and instagrammed it and the ONLY PERSON with the nerve to tell me that it was my Russian visa that I took a picture with was my Russian host mom. So all you other people who liked that photo? Fake.

Anyway I was embarrassed for a solid three hours after she told me that and then I posted a pic with my Chinese visa to make up for it and now weird people are following me like should I probably not have posted an official document like that on the internet? Maybe? Hm natural selection probably should’ve weeded me out by now.

Anyway, the rain in the Guangdong Province, specifically Zhongshan (where we are), is inSANE. So the flights in were delayed/cancelled and I got into the airport at 10pm (only an hour after I was supposed to), waited until one of my girls got in, waited until a bunch of other teachers for other schools got in, and then took a bus ride (that Nina (our coordinator) SAID would be two hours (it was 4) to our apartment and settled in/waited for the others to come. Most the group got stranded in Beijing because of a cancelled flight. I was a little bummed because I brought a hot pink poster board to make a welcome sign for them and then I didn’t even get to make it. Also not bummed because I definitely got the room with the good WiFi. (pic from our balcony)

We live in a house with 25 Chinese teachers, but we never really have to see them because we’re on the third floor and they are all on the first two floors. We have two rooms (three of us in one room, four in the other) (bunk bed life, holla) and each room has a bathroom. The air conditioning is arguably the best thing about the rooms… my word it’s hot and muggy here.

So some things that have happened so far:

The bus ride home was so crazy because we kept having to turn around when roads were too flooded to drive down. Also, at one point, the bus driver just casually stopped in the middle of the road, put the bus in park, and got up to kill the bee that was buzzing around in there. What a guy. (Pls do not be triggered by the man killing the bee. He was just trying to help Nina who was scurred. I’m not sure which type of bee it was but hopefully it has a rich posterity.)

We also passed four people on a motorcycle so wow. To be that small.

We went to get lunch at this noodle place and it was basically Pho. Pretty good. I got the kind with chicken and as it turns out, I am the chicken, because it had bones and skin on it and so I stayed away and only ate the noodles. I can tell you I do not plan on being adventurous with the foods I try here. Sorry to disappoint.

Today we went to lunch at this really awesome place! There were a ton of paper lanterns all over the trees in the parking lot and hanging from the roof.

They had this glass rotating platform on top of the table and they just put everything on there and then you just order a bunch of food to share and then rotate it around instead of passing the food. First of all: genius. Second of all: delicious. There was rice, noodles, this porridge stuff that had a super strange texture but tasted like chicken noodle soup, four different kinds of rolls with different things stuffed in them, dumplings, pork, rice paper. Oh and for breakfast we had rolls stuffed with creamed red beans and it was sweet and weird but mostly pretty dang good. I am really loving the Chinese bread. Huge fan.

We went to see our school and it is gorgeous! Except they just sprayed for roaches so there are a bunch of dead ones around. Better dead than alive?

It’s mainly open to the outdoors except for the classrooms and offices. Each room has a name and then says “is managed by _name_” and on the office that is mine (I have an office whoa) it says “is managed by Rachel.” So Rachel thought she was pretty cool because “Rachel” was like “in charge” of my office so I said “I’m pretty sure that means that’s the person who cleans it and fixes stuff in it” and she disagreed so I asked Nina and guess who was right?? I’m pretty sure Rachel doesn’t wanna “manage” my office anymore.

We then had a meeting where Nina showed us a PowerPoint that some other ILP China English school made and it was riddled with errors (like “notice your coordinator if…” instead of “notify”) and so I told her I had an English degree (getting at: I would love to help edit it) and she *very* sarcastically exclaimed “wow,” complete with her hand to her chest and a shocked expression. Savage, Nina. I’ll just let the next groups laugh at this presentation.

This was the favorite slide. It meant to say “when you are here, we are sad when it is messy,” but you can see what it looked like…

(Note: Nina is actually so fun and sweet and hilarious and I wouldn’t change a thing about her.)

It is 6:57pm as I write this from our balcony and it is already dark. That’s the consequence of China spanning 5 time zones and accepting only one of them. On this line of longitude in Australia, I’m pretty sure it’s like 10pm.

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Hi I just checked and in Perth it is the same time. How??? Ugh.

So sometimes it can be hard traveling but I’m learning to find pros for every con.

Con: the air smells funny here

Pro: there is air to breathe

Con: the WiFi doesn’t work super well

Pro: more time to be here, now, not worrying about what’s going on elsewhere

Con: it’s raining a lot

Pro: more ~~moisture~~ to thank the good lord for.

Here are some airport engrish translations that are pretty good:

So this isn’t actually engrish so much as I’m an idiot and forgot stowage is a word so I’m reading it as “storage” with a lisp.

hm yeah so like I’d really like to use an enabled toilet if we could arrange that… just a preference

Automated people mover. I thought that meant the treadmill walking things but now I’m looking at that picture and uh. Is it a train? So many automated things move people, yknow? Also not even I know the word for that treadmill walking thing so maybe I’m the idiot here because automated people mover is pretty good?

And idk what’s in the caring corner but it seems a little weird to put in an airport? But idk I think I could probably use one right now. And I definitely could’ve used one after traveling for like 30 hours.

I should’ve hit that place up.

Anyway. I’m in China!!!!!! Freakin yikes my dudes.

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