Thursday, July 27, 2017

China to an End?

My time here is almost complete. It is coming to a close in just a couple short weeks. I fully intend to make the most of my remaining days. I am so sad to be leaving soon.

Teaching has been so great. It's quite exhausting though because I am still the only foreign teacher. This means I have to teach every class whereas the natives switch off and only do like two or three a week. For the last few weeks, we've been rotating between three classesteaching about Mexico, introducing the word "spider", and teaching about what sinks and what floats. I think it's going to be a minute before I want to make a burrito, do the Macarena, sing the "Incy Wincy Spider", or drop anything in water to see if it floats/sinks again. Saturdays and Sundays are the worst of it. Since school hasn't officially been started, we still are doing classes to peek the interest of students and their parents. Therefore, Saturdays and Sundays are our "selling" days, doing five classes both days. By the last class, I am so done with the day. Sometimes, we even do the same lesson for all five classes.... As much as I do love my time, I wish that I was able to be here when we actually have the school established. However, I know that that wouldn't even be possible if not for me. It's because of the excitement and enthusiasm from me and the other native teachers that breeds any results. Without that energy, parents and students alike would not want to register. So I guess I'm doing a good work!

For those who haven't experienced what life is like in China, let me give you a brief idea. The rice is sticky so that you can use your chopsticks. Forks don't really exist and spoons are only used for soup. People always wear face masks outside because of the unhealthy air quality. Car horns are constantly being honked. Pedestrians absolutely do NOT have the right of way. Get used to walking straight through traffic and cars not stopping for you. They pack like sardines (lines, elevators, you name it). The elevator "close door" button actually works and people always push it; you never wait for the door to close by itself. The base of trees are painted so that it would intoxicate the bugs so as not to have them climb and destroy the trees. To drink cold water is unusual. You know the texture of tissues? That's what is used for toilet paper, napkins, and tissues. Everyone smokes no matter where you are. I'm not sure if dentists/orthodontists are a thing here. In stores, the cart's wheels go all directions, which is very nice. All of the women's shoes have a slight heel/raise to them so they appear taller. When leaving a restaurant, regardless of the formality or informality, you leave your food/trash on the table. They have umbrella bags when you enter the mall for you to put your wet umbrella in. Tags are on the outside of clothes. All of this is just the surface of differences between here in China and back home in America.

This coming weekend, I will be traveling with my coworker, Coco, and her family to Qingdao. It is on the coast and we will be enjoying the beach for our days off. I am more than looking forward to the open air. At least, I hope it will be open and blue. We'll see. The next week, I will be taking an independent trip up to Beijing. Yes, you read that right. Independent. I will travel on my own via bus, stay in a hotel, and go on tours. I plan to visit The Great Wall (there is a hiking tour which I am stoked for), The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Temple of Heaven. I wish that some of my coworkers could go with me, but they can't get the days off work. So I'll be on my own, but I know it'll still be great! Upon getting back to Zibo from Beijing, I then will fly to Hong Kong for a few days to go to the Hong Kong LDS Temple, Ocean Park, Victoria Peak, Tian Tan Buddha (the Buddha statue), Frontierland/Adventureland (just like at Disneyland), and hopefully visit some of the temples. I'm really excited to fully embrace becoming a true tourist for these last two weeks.

My next and final post will be about these travels and adventures! So, stay tuned! (Also, sorry for the lack of pictures this time, but be prepared for loads more in a couple weeks!)

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