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Published: August 25th 2010
Ni Hao! So I've arrived safely and completely jetlagged in Benxi. The weather here is a bit cooler than it was in Reno, but it also feels slightly humid, making me more sleepy than I would be...I think. I'm still adjusting to the crazy time change, but I think I'll be ok after one more night of sleep. I also don't think my brain has fully processed the fact that I am in CHINA. So here are just a few things I noted on the plane/way here:
-When we lined up to board the plane from LA to Beijing, there was a group of little girls being ushered in. They were in some Art organization visiting the US. I got really excited just thinking about teaching little kids like that.
-About an hour before landing in Beijing, the stewardess walked down the aisles selling packs of cigarettes. Just slighlty ironic since the no smoking signs were lit and there is a compartment on the seat arms labeled ashtray. Am I missing something? No one lit up, as far as I know, but I'm ready for anything.
-I'm intrigued with Chinese newspapers. One of my seatmates on the plane read a whole Chinese newspaper and then picked up the LA Times. I want to be able to do that someday. Later, he gave me his card and said to call him if I was ever in the Chengdu area and needed someone to show us around. People here are very nice and willing to help. It's all about relationships.
-I'm not the only foreigner here. But maybe just the only Mexican.
Yesterday, my new boss's wife took me and one of the other new teachers out to for lunch. First, she showed us around the city for a bit, took us to see the school and our offices and then took us to a little place where she said they had the best dumplings. She was totally right. We also had an eggplant salad dish that was so good, I might start cooking eggplant. We also had a beer simply labeled Harbin. In China, when you "cheers," apparently you are to chug your drink. I guess it translates to "bottoms up" or something. Just two small cups of that and a girl might get a little dizzy.
During our short walk around a supermarket that reminded me of a mall, but not...I bought toothpaste for 75 cents and "armpit perfume" (otherwise known as deoderant) for less than $2. We also got this really great loaf of sweet bread for $1.50. I can't get over it.
After a short nap, we headed to the school to watch an experienced teacher in action. It was really good to watch. He was exuberant and animated. The kids were really good, well mannered, and disciplined. I'm really impressed.
Blue skies today! Sporadically, but good enough for our extended tour of the city. Hopefully I can make it through another day of crazy traffic on foot and then make it back to the school to observe other teachers.
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