Things have started to settle down in Nanjing.
My 7 day holiday began Wednesday and I’ve finally had time to clean the new apartment. In case I haven’t mentioned it, cockroaches, unclosable windows and doors, and a shower/laundry drain that didn’t drain forced me out of my first 6th story apartment. To be honest, it was the best thing that could have happened because now I have a nicely remodeled place. The new digs come with an actual tub, a backyard, screened in patio, and an office (plus furnishings). It is also cheaper than the previous apartment.
Pictures will follow eventually, don’t worry.
Sidenote: I’ve met two of the most amazing women. I work with one and met the other during Beijing orientation. I have no idea was forces in the universe brought the three of us together, but we’re thick as thieves.
I suppose I haven’t talked about my job much. My official title is International College Counselor; I edit student essays and resumes in order to improve their western college applications. Plus, Steph and I travel to work with them one on one and assess their college readiness. The job has been enjoyable thus far.
One day at a time, that is how i’m taking things. I still miss my friends and family in the states, but not as much as my first trip to China. Fun fact: I’ll be celebrating my birthday in China for the second time.
Here’s to the ones we love <3
The First 3 Days Summary My arrival in Beijing was less than ideal. My bus from the train station to the hotel took over an hour, and it took 45 minutes to find the hotel because it was hidden on the backside of a shopping mall. The nice part was meeting up with Isaac for dinner and drinks after I settled in to my room. We met attended Rollins College together, but met during our semester studying abroad in Shanghai. He has been teaching in Beijing for a year and a half, which means he’s my go to for all things Beijing. I spent the next two days commuting an hour both ways to the Foreign Experts Building where I have to attend orientation until Monday (the 22nd). After a long talk with my Nanjing contact, I was able to switch to something closer. Now I sleep in before walking 10min to orientation. The Rest of the Week Breakdown: Day 1 & 2: The first day I was a half hour late because the directions were the worst and no one had a phone number for me to call with questions. That night, after getting back to the hotel super late, I was treated to dinner and conversation with a hotel staff member. Day two had me arguing with Ameson about my lodgings in between lessons all day until finally they made new reservations at a place closer to the Foreign Experts Building. Day 3: I woke up very early, checked out, and (after exiting the bus a stop too early) dragged my luggage into Orientation with me. Lunchtime provided just enough time to find and check in at an apartment over a mall. This place was fantastic! It was a ten minute walk from orientation, came with a washer, and had a homey feel. Plus, it wasn’t expensive. Day 4: I believe I located coffee at KFC. I will be sure to double check tomorrow morning. Lunch was nice. A few of us sat down together around the corner. With a friend’s help I ordered fried rice. Nom. The toughest party of today was exchanging my train ticket. My original ticket was for the 6pm train, but class ends at 5pm. There simply wouldnt be enough time to catch the train. After talking with another member of AYC I decided to ride a later train home with her. Bit changing the ticket meant hopping on the subway then waiting in line followed by arguing with a lady at the window. I did end up making with change with some assistance from a bystander. When I finally returned home I grabbed a beer and shao cao before passing out.
Day 5: TGIF because orientation was tiring. I met up with Isaac again, after getting lost on the subway for an hour. We explored a hutong and ate more shao cao. Landon, a new friend from orientation, joined us at Helen’s. Saturday and Sunday and Monday blended together. I spent time with Isaac both nights, but also hung out with friends from orientation. We saw a Beatles cover band, played Presidents, and laughed a lot. I ate a nice Cantonese dinner with Isaac, Raymond, and Jack. Plenty of time was spent in the Beijing Hutongs until it was time to leave Monday. After the final exam for this TEFL course, we all sat down to eat bao, drink Tsingdao, and play cards. The really fun part was running to catch the train with Candice. Her bladder was bursting at the seams, we couldn’t find a restroom, and our train was boarding. It was so stressful all I could do was laugh, cackle really, in the middle of the station. I’m sure I looked insane. We did manage to locate a bathroom and caught our train back home to Nanjing in the knick of time. And I’ve been asked to do full time instead of part time which is why it has taken the better part of a week to post for you. Any questions? Ask away viewers.
My first day on my own was a busy one. I woke up early to clean the apartment and pack for Beijing. Upon entering the kitchen at 5am, cockroaches skittered around in the ceiling and cabinets. They were big, fast, and juicy too. I sprayed Raid everywhere, but I’m sure there’s more. At least they aren’t any where else in the apartment. After that debacle, I left for the office (smelling of Raid).
At the office, I finalized plans for Beijing and met more co-workers. The rest of the afternoon I ran around locating a set of empty travel size containers for my shampoo, conditioner, & soap. But before that I went on an expedition to find a converter; when I return to Nanjing that 35rmb waste will be returned to seller.
Around noon I rushed home, finished packing, swept up more dead bugs, and jumped in my company car for a ride to the train station.
I have to say traveling alone is freeing, but nerve-wracking. Until now I’ve had assistance navigating China. This evening I will attempt finding my hotel by following a paper half covered in Chinese characters. I’ve been kicked out of the nest; it is time for Baby Bird to fly.
Here’s to a nice weekend of relaxation in Beijing.
Busy days are the best: you get a lot done and time flies.
Today’s accomplishments include photos, bedding, unpacking, opening a new bank account, and obtaining a local number.
I finally ate baozi. Delicious. Better than I remember. My apartment is very nice. I have it all to myself for the moment, this little two-one.
The only problem so far is a sore throat.
I’ve been going non stop since 10am Wednesday, September 10th. There may have been an hour of sleep somewhere in the wee hours of Thursday morning, but that’s an overestimate. I stayed up for hours talking with Alex before he drove me to the airport and kissed me goodbye. I think I miss him, my cat, and Dad the most.
June 30th. I’m in China until June.
The flight from Detroit to Beijing was decent, though I wish I’d slept more. Delta provided a wonderful selection of on flight movies. I chose Godzilla, Rise of the Guardians, X Men Days of Future Past, Divergent, and How to Train Your Dragon 2.
The Beijing Airport has been tiring. I wasn’t allowed through security until 5pm; I’ve been waiting since 2:30 for my 7:50 flight.
I wasted time reading fan fic, posting on instagram (thecadencerose), and watching The Leftovers. To top the day off, my flight was an hour off schedule. Plus, I kept fall falling asleep in the lobby.
At 11pm, I finally arrived in Nanjing. Steph met me with the company car. She deposited me at The Green Tree for the night where I showered and passed out. Best shower of my life.
Take a look at messages from my friends and family wishing me well:
Sitting alone poolside, it occurs to me that I should note the moments
I’ve collected before my departure.
There are only a few , but I’ve learned the good times can be hardest to remember. I don’t want to forget laughing my ads off with Doug and Sheridan at Meridian. The fantasy football draft while playing Mario Kart with my best friend, Jfer. The night in the hot tub with Kurtis, Ashley, and Claude when a drunk fell and bruised my hip while looking for a fight. The good times with those who matter shouldn’t be forgotten.
Whether or not I write it, I know I will never forget walking around the park and swaying to “i don’t dance” with someone I love; the fountain lights were beautiful and I was okay for the first time in too long.
These are the moments I’ve collected. They’ll get me through the next 10 month’s ups and downs.
After 10 months of searching I’ve finally been offered a job abroad. As of this September I will be working in Nanjing, China. I’m thrilled! Bonus: I have several friends placed throughout mainland China and can’t wait to reconnect with them over the next year. Double Bonus: my job entails traveling from city to city.
As soon as my visa arrives I hit the ground running.
Here goes nothing.