Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Random Thoughts- Week #2

  • I think my body is putting up it's own little resistance against China. Nothing major, just some allergic reactions to bug bites and now I'm getting a small cold. It's not a big deal, just irritating. I want to be here. I am enjoying myself. And I want my body to get in line.
  • I've mastered using a taxi here. We have this neat little book that has a bunch of places with the addresses in Chinese characters. All I have to do is hail a cab, jump in and point to the right page. It's amazing. Well, except for my apartment buildings. For some reason, the drivers never seem to know where my complex is. I have to give them directions in Chinese. Oh yes, it's pretty impressive. :)
  • I've made my first furniture purchase (a trunk and a vanity), I've gone grocery shopping all by myself, I've eaten my first street food (fried slices of potatoes, like potato chips on a stick), I've actually done so much shopping and gone so many places on my own that I've been asked to take other people out and about to show them.
  • I have an airconditioner in my bedroom. It's the love of my life. I have wi-fi in my apt and it's an amazing thing. Second only to the a/c in my bedroom.
  • My school is super technologically advanced.We have an intranet where we can access the master calendar, our email, all documents put on there by other teachers, work requests forms, we can even order lunch on there. It's the best thing I've ever seen. The school tries to be completely paperless. In fact, the students have to email most of their assignments. Unless you're a teacher, you have no idea how cool that idea is.
  • Oh, and there's this other thing, it's a website created for the purpose of catching plagerism. I've heard of these websites but I've never seen them in action. I will have an account and all of my students will have to turn their assignments in to me through that website. The website then tells me if it was on time or not and how much of the paper percentage-wise is plagerized. It accesses thousands upon thousands of websites to compare the writing. Truly incredible. I can't wait to use it.
  • My bedroom's coming along. I'm almost done painting. I just have one more coat on one more wall. I think it's going to be really neat. I'm not going to show you though until it's completely done and that may not be until I can go to IKEA in Beijing. And that won't be until October.
  • So, besides my 6 MUN (a class I'm teaching) trips, I have several other trips to go on...the student's have a fall trip- 1 night long, a spring trip- a whole week long, I have a school wide conference in Beijing that's a week long and then I might be going to a teacher's conference in Manila. Traveling here just isn't a big deal. I mean, the sports teams fly all over the country during their seasons. There are choir trips and drama trips, it's insane. I am so daggone excited. I know, you're probably asking, "So, when do you actually teach?" That is a great question. I'll let you know as soon as I find out.
  • My roommate and I are complete opposites in personalities. Couldn't be any more opposite if we tried. And yet, we both love books and reading, we have a lot of the same movies and music and we tend to like the same foods. Funny how that works.
  • So, apparently modesty doesn't seem to be a real issue here. I've seen many men walking down by the ocean in their whitey-tighties. In fact, I saw a man this morning getting dressed in his car. He's sitting there in his undies, door wide open, looking for his pants. And I've seen many a child yank up their skirt, pull down the undies and use the bathroom right on the curb. That's why most Asians don't wear shoes in their houses or change into house shoes as soon as they walk in the door. Who knows what they're bringing inside with them.
  • I have more pictures to post but I'm trying to do it weekly so I'm going to gather a few more and then post them all at the same time. I literally walk around with my hand on my camera at all times. You just never know what you're going to see and how quickly the moment can pass.
  • Feel free to leave a comment. Comments make me happy and feel loved. Even if you have nothing to say. :)


marcy said...

I love reading your blog Jen. It is easy to picture everything you talk about, and fun to see how you are adjusting. I love your reactions to things. Having been born and raised in another country(Brazil) I can so relate to much of what you are living! You are doing amazingly well, and I can see that God has truly called you to do what you are doing! I am praying for you and for all the opportunites you will have there. your joy is obvious and so is your heart! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Jen, this is great reading adventure and it is even more great to enjoy it with you. I'm so thrilled you are adapting well and taking it all in. There is nothing better in life than traveling and having the experience with different cultures. Enjoy your time. China is one of the places I have not been, herewith I was almost everywhere in my profession working onboard cruise lines. This makes it interesting for me and another destination to be done. I will keep visiting your blog and thanks for sharing. May God bless you and have a wonderful time. Lizzy

Anonymous said...

Jen it sounds like you are adjusting very well! I am so excited for you, and how cool is it that you have an IKEA store at your fingertips!!! I want to know more about that website that you were talking about, I would have NEVER made it through school!! HAHA!!
I love you and I look forward to all your posts and pics!

Carol said...

I love reading about your life in China! It sounds like you could be a travel guide! I love the technology at your school We have the same here--I am not sure about the plagerism yet--hopefull, we do. That system is an English teacher's dream! I still like a paper copy handed to me though. I hope you feel better and keep us informed!!

Jen said...

Love you guys! Thanks for reading and your support.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting stuff. I'm enjoying reading about all the details of life there.

Remember, don't let the immodesty there rub off on you. I don't want you to come back home and have to be watched every moment to make sure you have your clothes on!!

I hate to sign my name to this one.

Yo Momma

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen - So fun reading about your trip! I just got a chance to catch up on all your posts, and it sounds like you're having quite the adventure :)

Have fun!