The first week went by and I can summarize my state of mind as: “all over the place”. I have definitely gotten all that I was expecting, but knowing what to expect and living what you where expecting are two different things.
Following people around, without completely knowing what is going on, was very much part of the first week as I went to different places to get my paperwork sorted out, so that the school can apply for my working permit.
Finding an apartment was quick and, of course, also involved me following people around; a Chinese agent, that did not speak English, and the TA who translated for me.
The standards of building maintenance are definitely very different than any country I have rented apartments in before, which I expected, but again knowing and living, not the same. So, with hesitation, I entered the not so pretty looking buildings hoping that when the apartment door was opened, I would find something normal (normal for me). Luckily it happened (at least once); although the building is not nice, the apartment itself is really well maintained and clean. And the landlord has been very helpful.
In regards to work, I was straight in a classroom by Monday and worked every day until Friday when I had my first day of training. Although the teaching aspect has been fun so far, I have to say that after a year of traveling and not working, a full time schedule week was tough. What a surprise! who knew that traveling was much more fun and relaxing than working…
The week ended with a visit from Bill, walking for hours around town, trying out a few eating spots, going up Fubo hill for a nice view of the city, finding a pretty fun looking arcade, an anticlimactic visit to the mall and watching movies.
Hopefully the emotional ups and downs will start to fade as I get used to living here and get some grasp of the language. Let the adventures begin!