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Published: September 29th 2018
NiHao! Greetings to you all from here in Beijing 😊
I literally just wrote more than 700 words but the internet failed and I lost all of it. Save your work kids. So that’s my internet situation. Yay. Thankfully though that’s really the only thing to complain about
The flight was really smooth. Long and pretty sleepless, but smooth and my suitcase arrived perfectly so that was great. I was met at the airport by a member of Aupairia (the agency) staff and taken to their office before eventually getting to a hotel for the night. All the Aupairia staff are so lovely and friendly. Wanting to help out everywhere and their door is always open to go and have lunch with them - a lot of au pairs do! I was totally exhausted, so it was amazing that they organised food to be sent to my hotel room. Also meant I didn’t have to go out and fail at trying to actually buy something!
I met my host family the next day after some quick briefing. In short, they’re a brilliant family. Bella and Butter (yep that’s what he wants to be called) are so relaxed and
make a lot of effort to use what very little English they have. Thankfully WeChat (basically Chinese Whatsapp) automatically translates things, so that’s been really helpful already. I went with them to pick up Tyler and Robbie from school that day. Something I’d been worrying about was whether I’d get on well with them because obviously, that’s going to be a massive part of my time here. Incredibly, Robbie came straight out, grabbed my hand and started talking to me as if he’d known me for years, and even Tyler who I’d been told was much quieter talked a lot on the way home! I’ve spent more time with Robbie so far as Tyler has had lots of extracurricular activities, but they both seem really talkative and have SO much energy, which is really great. Their English is definitely not perfect, but they can communicate pretty well. The house is also amazing - really big (fitting I guess as Beijing is HUGE) - and I have a really nice room and bathroom.
There’s another au pair - Dom - who lives literally on the same compound as I do. This is his second time doing this and his Mandarin
is really quite good, so he’s been a lifesaver showing me how to catch the bus and use the subway to get around, as well as giving so much brilliant advice about living here. I met a bunch of the other au pairs today too, and they’re all really nice - from all over the world too. A few arrived just before me and are also staying 6 months so it’ll be good to have some people sticking around as lots are here only for 3 months. I haven’t met everyone yet, but I think there are around 20 of us, and I’ve gathered that people meet up regularly for meals and things which sounds great. My kids are at school from 7:40ish until just before 4, and some other people are free until 5 so there’s a lot of time to hang out and explore. We also have 2 language/culture classes together a week which is a great chance to meet up.
I’m finding (Chinese) people have a hard time pronouncing Simeon, although the kids have pretty much got it, so for the parents, I’m something that sounds a lot more like Sammy! Not that that’s the biggest issue in the world.
So yeah. Internet situation is sketchy - things like FB work a lot of the time but not always, so the only surefire way to get to me is WeChat which you can download if you’re desperate. I’m also 7 hours ahead of the UK, so maybe keep that in mind too!
There is really so so much to be thankful for! So many prayers have been answered and there has been such provision it’s truly amazing. The first night was definitely a scary one, but I can say that now having met people and been around a bit the prospect of being here for 6 months is a lot less scary.
Things coming up - the whole of next week is a national holiday for everyone in China, and my family is actually off to Mongolia. Understandably it’s way too late to buy me a ticket and so I’ll be staying here in Beijing by myself next week! A little bit daunting, but should also be a great chance to get out and explore some more and spend time with the other au pairs. Hopefully, I can find somewhere good to source food! Prayer for that and a continued good relationship with the whole family would be much appreciated, as well as some good sleep because I'm really going to need it.
So yeah. Amazing provision so far. So much to be thankful for. Congrats on making it to the end - sorry this was so long. Just so much to say! There are some photos of my room and the calligraphy class attached too so do check those out!
Catch up soon 😊
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