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Published: April 8th 2018
I have finally decided that because lately, well for the past two years eight months, has been such a whirlwind of adventures and hilarious moments of the ups and downs, it was time I shared them on a blog because then years later if I'm not sitting alone at home with 28 cats and actually have managed to find a guy, settle down and have kids, then I have a place they can read about my time in China.
So where to start? Well let's start with how I actually got here. This is the most common question I get asked when they hear about China; "why China!?". Well, just like Ash chooses his Pokemon, China basically said, "I choose you Maria!". I was all set to go to the UK. I had my primary degree and had interviews all lined up and was just deciding on which area I should go to within the UK. Needing a break from all the thinking, I decided to do the usual Facebook procrastination thing we are all guilty of when we can't be bothered anymore and found myself just scrolling through my newsfeed. Next minute in the ads section on Facebook, something caught my eye. I am Disney obsessed and this particular ad said something around the lines of would you like to teach English with Disney? Um, is the pope Catholic!? Hell to the yes. But only problem was, it was a random ad I found on Facebook which I didn't trust. I decided to be sensible and Google Disney English and found the legitimate website and starting exploring. What did I find? Teach English through DISNEY in CHINA! Um do I really need to even think about this? Don't know much about China except they speak Chinese but I'm sure it's great and it's something different I'm sure so ok I'll apply. I had 24 hours to decide. Next minute, I'm telling my parents I'm off to Suzhou, China for one year. (Please note the "one" year there....)
So fast forward to landing in China. Coming with no expectations was one of the best and most interesting experiences ever. First I landed in Beijing. Already, I was struggling. In NZ, we drive on the left side of the road. I hopped in my taxi organised by company into the front seat, on the right side, as I usually do when suddenly there's this Chinese fellow just speaking very fast Chinese at me looking super confused.... I was sitting in the driver's seat. Not the best start but to be fair, it was about 4am NZ time and I had just flown Christchurch - Sydney - Hong Kong - Beijing. Oh side note, nothing is ever just straightforward when it's come to China which makes it all part of the fun.
I then had week in Beijing completing this super easy TEFL course. This is was the beginning of when I started realising the privilege of being a foreigner in China and how much of nana I am. We were being served free alcohol in insane clubs until 5am (when I just had to go home, I could not keep up! I think I managed to stay until 2-3am then had to depart).
After this is when my life truly began because I was then on a plane to Shanghai to go to Suzhou, my new home for the next year... or three as we soon find out.
This is just essentially an intro to the beginning to my life in China. I want to give a bit of a background before I start giving daily insights to my life but do stay tuned for more because it's a pretty fascinating, hilarious life living in China.
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