Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shanghai Nights meet West Lake Days

Wowie, Wowie, Wee WU!

What a weekend! Friday Night was a mixer for the school, as new staff we were told it was a hotel in Shanghai please dress "smart casual" as in the board is coming so look good.

Little did we know the party was in one of the fanciest hotels in town and that the guests would be decked out in skin-tight tube topping high heeled refinery! Upon walking in one could barley squeeze past the people crowding the hoers de overs and dessert bar. The place was pumping bad 90's music and laser lights like it was going out of style....Oh wait... it DID go out of style!
Anyways, after feeling terribly awkward and unprepared by the sheer "Shanghainess" of it all..... and not really meeting many of the other folks that taught in our system. The night ended well, with Hangzhou teachers gettin down on the dance floor. Sadly, there are no pics of this I am sorry to say. Just this.... The second tallest building in the world.

But oh.....those west lake days....
For my birthday my boyfriend Ste-phen painted me a picture of a Chicago sunrise, ( it is quite good!) so while in China I could be reminded of him and embrace a little piece of home in this strange place, the second part to the gift was for me to take a picture of a Chinese sunset so he could hang it in his room and have a little bit of China with him. Yes, I know what your thinking...... I am a lucky lady! :).. So..... point of the story, ever since i have been in China life has been a bit crazy... meat facials, floor poooping, giant bugs, new job, 14 hour time difference, eXtreme heat!!!, crazy SHanghai parties...... So it has taken me a while to work on the Chinese sunrise... BUT!!!! Sunday afternoon during the 101 degree heat I took myself down to the west lake which is around 20 minutes from my apartment and took some shots for Stephen... After all was said and done i was soaked through to the bone and had taken 233 shots of one of the most beautiful sunsets that I have ever seen... Here are a few for you to enjoy.

and this was my favorite to come out of the batch.... These two lovely boats just swaying in the water.. I think I have 100 shots of just them :)
If you happen to be on a world wide quest for the most breathtaking sunsets, I suggest that you stop here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fung...Us Among...Us

Dearest Bloggy Blogger,

Wow I really like writing to you, I have no clue if any of my devoted friends, family, or past students will find the interest to slop through my carrying on and bad grammar..... but it feels good to talk about things, and I know later in life when I am sitting in my bathtub after a night on the town spent listening to jazz music and getting burritos with Step-hen, I will be excited to re-live my memories.... So if not for you...then it's for me.

So... This week has been a bit easier, the old school crew has come back and there are some very neat katz in the crowd and some typical teachers that would be at any school. I do feel like overall it will be a positive environment to work in.

Soooooo here is my big story this week.... My pals... Maranda, Josie (they are both teachers and live in my building, they are also awesome) and I have really been wanting to get pedicures we have been walking a lot and our feet are quite rough! So ... we have trying all over, and you know what. Pedicures... are not easy to find in China least here... If you want your face bleached, there are probably 10 places within the three block radius of my building....but pedicure....not so much. So try and fail, and... try again AND!!! fail.
Finally Last night we were able to find a spot and between us hackong Chinese and many a wild gesture, we were able to get the point across that we were looking for pedicures. They said "GREAT"- and thats when I was reminded...oh yeah...this is China... not the US. Lets just say it was the most interesting pedicure experience I have ever had..... aside from sharing some toe fungus with my friends, looking at a glamour shout of a boy baby wearing a cooking gown with his tid bits hanging out, trying to save a frog from sudden death, and receiving the coolest toes and goat flip flops, it was your normal job.

This picture is an ode to the ladies who worked hard for us to make us beautiful!
and to my toes for being good sports. Cheers and talk with you soon


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dinner near the Tea Fields!

School took us out to dinner tonight near the tea fields which are about 20 mins from where I live... BEAUTIFUL.... it was pretty gloomy so more shots to come

pps. This Soybean Drink in a bag is DELICIOUS!

Monday, August 16, 2010

C H I N A ... Take two

Thank you to all who have emailed me so far! it is really nice to come home and see that I have things to read. I am a week and a half in and the realization that I got rid of all of my stuff, sold my car, quit my job, left my family and friends, and boyfriend behind is starting to hit me.

Life can be tough, i am picking up some basic chinese phrases but, it is still hard to get around, buy things, find things, and figure out the buses.

School is a bit overwhelming and I am teaching a million subjects in music, and maybe ESL......yes I told them my masters paper was revised like 9 times. they are reconsidering the ESL hopefully letting me teach some kind of band instead.

red date yogurt…. Is really good but weird..but delicious!

a lot of Chinese food smells and often makes me want to vomit.. almost EVERYTHING has meat in it..... I went out to eat with my friends last week and they ordered some strange meat dish.... well it was simmering when they brought it to the table and they put it right in front of me and opened it while it was sizzling and steaming.... I instantly received a meat i almost yacked on the table.... we are still laughing about it.

Chinese massages are cheap and feel amazing… plus they bring you tea and fruit, yeay massage! I got a 90 min massage for like 16 american dollars... thats pretty sweet.

There is pizza hut... Its not very good but HEY!!!! ITS PIZZAAAAAAA!!!!

Did I mention it is really hot and it feels like you are always swimming in your own sweat… really really hot... I think I was like 6 pounds over this summer in chicago... happy to report within one week that is GONE......

There are beetles the size of my hand…yuck, I have seen two so far. ...really the size of my hand.....
I climb four flights of stairs for my apartment and 3 double flights for my classroom. And sweat….a lot… did I mention it is hot…

Friday Night school took us out to a beautiful dinner on the lake which is what the picture above is from, there were some interesting dishes..... but I must say they knew how to do them quite artfully!

I was walking home from the grocery store today and a little girl dropped trough and peed right on the side walk at like 11 in the am. I was like 10 feet away.... hummmmm......

I have been looking to buy some lotion......but it is all whitening....a little afraid to put that on, I am pretty sure I'm already white..........

Otherwise, still healthy and hanging in there. The food thing has been hard. Today I bought as many vegetables as i could carry (figuring my vaccinations have set in) and more I found some pasta sauce and made a Veg Feast!!! yeay for that. I also bought a lamp which was totally exciting..... its weird how priorities change!

I do have some good buddies in my building who are making the transition a lot easier... but man... who knew moving to the other side of the world would be a little tough. so again, all emails are welcome even if they are stupid because that keeps me laughing... Ps I promise not all emails will be to everyone I will do individual as well! Just had a lot this week.

hearts to you all!

First Reactions.....yikes!

I am sorry it took so long. my internet would not hook up, so I had to wait and to wait!..... Lets make a date!
I have sooo many things to tell you already! I am making a log of all of the craziness that comes with China.. First I noticed that China really has regular city stuff here has been my life so far......

airplane- good flight no delays- met a really nice chinese lady named Susan, we talked most of the time, and I watched Kickass which was really funny and bloody.

upon arrive there were two guys holding welcome signs for me, the secretary from the Shanghai school was also there. They brought me subway, orange juice and sent me on my way to Hangzhou-

While driving I found lots of men peeing on the road in broad daylight.. Lots of men also are not wearing shirts.

It is HOT! it kinda feels like your swimming, but your not because there is still enough oxygen to breath, but if you wave your arms and kick you might get through the air faster.

So today is Saturday and it is about 4:30pm Mac says 2:38 am for you!

Today I woke up at 6 and went for a walk, where I sweat off a good 2 pounds...- side note- my apartment is HUGE! I have a large bedroom with a gigantic bed that is hard ...but GIGANTIC! with a balcony. I have a little side room with a desk and a bathroom attached to my room. I have a good sized living room with a couch TV table and chairs. I have another bathroom that also has a mini washer and dryer.... a small but feasible kitchen, and a guest bedroom with another tiny balcony..all of the floors are wood, and the air conditioning is COLD!! YES! when I got here they gave my 1000 dollars in chinese money, and they left toothpaste, dish soap, some fruit, bread, PB and J and cornflakes.. They know how to take care of a sista!

So I went for a hot walk.... I noticed there was a Spa about a block away sweeet! Came back after an hour cause I smelled! and was super swassy!- still no internet :(

so I left a note on the downstairs door if anyone went out that I would like to go. There are two couples who live in the same building as I do and they came up and we went to town.
Hangzhou is MUCH more beautiful then I thought. there is regular city which is kinda busy and a hair dirty but most of the city is green nestled in the hills and gorgeous... All I kept thinking is man..... everyone has to see this!

we went shopping and school gave me a sim card with money on it so I bought a really cheap phone to use if I need it. after that we went to eat. and between my friends eating intestines or testicles and using chopsticks for everything, I did not get much down.... Did I mention I am going to be skinny.......yikes!

after that we walked through town more and doooooo do dooooooooooo! i found a WINE SHOP!!! where I prompt bought a bottle of French Merlot.... thank god for wine.

SO after several Swassy hours and a gross lunch, where i most ate a little rice... I get back to my place and find that our tech guy has set me up on the net!!


yeay! ready for contact with the motherland!

) we are heading out in a few hours for dinner and to go to the wet market, which should be interesting!

ps. did I mention you poo on the floor...... not in the apartments but out at other places... the bathrooms have tiny doors, no tissue paper, and things for you to hover and poo on..... wow..... that will take some getting used to...

pps. everyone in Hangzhou speaks Chinese..... who would have thought?!

ppps.. I have a huge apartment......all should come visit....there is much to be seen

pppps. people do wear china hats while working outside......oh! and they DO carry umbrellas to shade the sun....

ok.... more in this later! sorry a LOT to take in.

Zia Jian!

ppppps. I still smell so I am taking a shower, and going to eat a pb and J!
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