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Published: August 13th 2008
Well, we are well and truly exhausted today! We saw some more flats this morning, the first one was on the 33rd floor and was great. William insisted he wanted to live on the roof, even though the flat was on the top floor anyway! It has 3 bedrooms and was really well presented, with amazing views. It was a bit scary though but had a huge indoor swimming pool, gym and aerobics room. We then dropped Sophie and William off for their playdate with Emily and Nathan, which was so helpful. We had to go for our medical examination for our residency permit, which would have been a nightmare with them. It was quite amusing in hindsight, although it feels a bit like you are on an assembly line. Thanks to Suzanne giving us a heads up on what to expect or we would have been quite worried indeed! We had to have a chest x-ray, ultrasound on the ribs area, ekg, blood test (eek, we both felt a bit icky after that, no lying down and complaining of deep veins for us!), a general exam and the most random eye exam ever! We find out in about a week
if we have passed, should be ok though!
After we left the medical, we went to meet my new Principal, Roger, at his home. We had met him briefly at the school before our medical and had a quick look around. It looks really good and there is still some building work going on which will make the Learning Resource Centre absolutely huge. The school has great facilities and has just created a huge area for teachers to work in together, along with having your own classroom. As I will be teaching Grade 5 (year 6), I will be on the top floor, only 4th floor though, but no lift!! So we went to see Roger at home, with his wife Kristi who works at the Secondary School. They were really welcoming and I had proper tea and Ian had proper black strong coffee. We had not been allowed to have anything more than clear water all day and it was 3.30pm by this point. The biscuits we had were yummy and they were so helpful with loads of stuff we were unsure of. We had a good discussion about where to live, but unfortunately it looks like the
places we have been looking at so far are going to be too far away from school. It is really hard to decide where to live in such a huge city. We have been looking in an area which would be close to the centre and our new friends and lots of western type amenities, but the school is about 20 mins further out and doesn’t have such great amenities. However, it appears more important that me and the children don’t have far to travel, especially when the rain and snow start to come!
Roger was able to help us with a new estate agent and we are meeting them tomorrow to look around some new places. Roger and Kristi were kind enough to drive back to collect the children and show us a load of useful places along the way. We totally grilled them for information and are very grateful for all that they helped us with. We are going to school tomorrow to take Sophie to look around and are also going to see William’s Kindergarten.
As I was trying to get to sleep last night, I thought about a load of interesting bits of information I
would impart over my blog, so here goes! Firstly, the toilets! What can I say ......they are like latrines! It is basically a hole in the ground that you have to squat and aim into. You have to take loo paper with you everywhere you go and then put it in a bin instead of down the loo. Plus, they totally stink! When you go to wash your hands, there is no soap either, so if anyone ever comes out to visit us, please bring some of that antibac hand stuff that Nanny always has in her handbag!
I was also thinking about the food......seeing as we are having enough trouble even finding something to eat that we will all like, the calorie thing goes right out the window. We were discussing this with Roger and Kristi today, and they were saying how you just have to watch you cholesterol as it is all fried in oil and there is no “low fat” or “diet” anything, even drinks! We have been mainly drinking water, but luckily it only costs about 10p per bottle, even at the most popular tourist sites!
Finally, there are no seatbelts! We got into
the school minibus type thing and tried to put them on at the airport and there are none! In taxis, there are none in the back and Ian tries to put one on in the front, but it is very unheard of. The way they drive over here, you would think you would need them, but apparently not. It is even more manic than Naples driving, for those of you who have experienced it as they just change lanes or pull out without even caring if there is another car in the way! Beeping is used loads, but has apparently been quelled somewhat for the olympic period...let's hope it continues! On which note, we haven't seen much spitting really....heard a good few people about to spit but they seem to have a towel for it instead!
Anyway, off to bed now......enjoy!
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