Signing the dotted line...

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January 25th 2011
Published: January 29th 2011
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Hey kids!

Well I've picked a school, Eden English in Nanning. It's the one I had concerns about because of the share accommodation, mainly because I didn't want to be placed with some pervy weird old person. Not that that wouldn't be entertaining, but I'm sure life in China is going to be challenging enough without that added to the mix. Needless to say I'm sharing with a 25 year old female from Canada. Apart from being very relieved, I'm also very excited - I'd love to visit Canada some time, having a someone's first hand account couldn't go astray. On a completely irrelevant and non-essential side note, how great would it be if we were the same size? Hello wardrobe sharing! Lets ignore for the moment the fact that my wardrobe essentials consist of sand shoes, short shorts, and tank tops.

A quick update on the paper work side of things - I'm waiting on my visa before booking my flights. Though it is highly unlikely that I wouldn't be approved for a visa, a $1000 is a lot to blow on flights that I couldn't use. I should hear back from them a week from now. I applied via post, it was a bit hairy sending my passport off in the mail, but with the road damage from the floods and work commitments driving to Bris and back just to have it processed seemed a bit excessive. Hopefully I don't regret the decision! On that note, a huge kudos to the guy at the Newtown Post Office who was very patient with me whilst I stressed about filling the envelopes out correctly, measuring the thickness allowed per envelope etc etc. He really was great and managed not to roll his eyes or sigh during the whole exchange.

A previous concern of mine was yes, about my hair. Well my amazingly fabulous and fantastic hairdresser has figured out a way for me to do it myself. It's not quite as pretty as it was when I had the option of her fixing it for me all the time. But damn, blonder hair is better on me than black! Sending out a total kudos to her, she's gone above and beyond a typical hair dressers job description, and she's done it with a smile! I owe her big time 😊 I have actually copped a bit of flack for caring so much about my hair color, I have a fair few different responses, but I think my hair dresser summed it up the best - it's my hair, it makes me happy, so who cares! So take that all you judgmental nit wits! :P

So where am I going exactly? Nanning! It's 160 km away from Vietnam, so I see no reason why I will not cross the border and visit at some point. All I know about it so far is that it has a Walmart, is green (by Chinese standards), has pretty temperate weather year round (aka it's warm!), the main language is Mandarin, has a central population of about 2 million, dog is not a typical delicacy, is quite small compared to other cities, it's possible to go days without hearing English, and that the locals are pretty friendly. My happiness is pretty much directly proportional to the amount of sunshine I see each day, I like green warm places filled with friendly people. So it's looking good so far!

Upon recommendation from a friend I bought and recently received my Lonely Planet China Guide Book, and Lonely Planet Mandarin phrase book. I
Flood FishingFlood FishingFlood Fishing

This guy caught a fish in the water you can see in the background.
have to admit I'm a bit daunted, so far I can count, say hello, thank you, and goodbye. The tones are a bit confusing as well. Apparently it takes about 8000 words to be able to make your way around. I entered the world 3/4 deaf and survived for 10 or so years, I have a feeling this is going to be a similar experience.

In recent news, I've sold my green machine/green gremlin - more commonly know by most as a car. I'm not ashamed to admit I cried. Ok, maybe I am a little bit! Basically it was the last big thing I had left to deal with before I left, and now its gone. I have sold it to a family friend who lost her car in the floods we had here recently. She's promised to look after it well and thinks she may sell it back to me when I get back (she's going to save for a different car). I am determined to have one last road trip, and to take a few photos to say goodbye to my wonderful beast of burden.

On the subject of goodbyes, I've had a couple of big ones lately. Namely my cousin who was over from Perth, and a school friend who moved to Ireland. I was a bit teary saying goodbye to both. Can't imagine what I'll be like when I'm the one saying goodbye to everyone. Thank goodness for water proof mascara and the airport flyer (a bus I can catch from home, instead of having to say goodbye to everyone at the airport).

On a side note, I've had my second round of immunizations - cholera, rabies, Tb, typhoid, tetanus... not to mention a few others. The second round of rabies has by far been the most painful, I'm not looking forward to the last round. Well I am a bit, but only because it IS the last round. I didn't realise until recently that roughly 1/10 of the worlds population is unknowingly walking around with Tb. Crazy stuff. Also, when looking at maps of where malaria abounds it really struck home just how close we in Australia are to having malaria as a big problem - its' very prevalent just off of our coast up in PNG. I naively thought there was a shot for malaria, but there isn't - it's actually tablets. It's recommended you take them for 2 days before entering an area where malaria exists, the whole time you are there, and for a month afterwards. This is particularly useful for me to know as I'm one of those people that can be in a crowd of ten and be the only one bitten... 10 times. Not to mention I have an allergy to the numbing agent they inject so my bites get really big, really quickly. You can be sure that I'll be buying the extra strong Bushman's repellent before heading overseas. Its' really highlighted how lucky I am, all of us are, here in Australia.

A major highlight has been finding that an old school colleague has made her way to the great country of America and is currently living in Brooklyn NY. I was prodded to check out her blog by a friend who has just moved to Ireland. Fortunately she has a blog also, and a very inspirational one at that. All I can say is go girl! I will definitely be keeping tabs on that one!

Well that's it for now kids. I have my last shift at the bar tonight, and one week left at my other job and I'm officially finished up employment in Australia for this year. 2 weeks left in Aus, never thought I'd say it.

"We shall not cease from EXPLORATION, & the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started & know the place for the first time"

Over and out,
Carly xx


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