We made it safe to Shanghai after our 11-hour flight and smooth trip through customs. This city is so huge! There are lots of lights, new sounds and new smells. Our school puts us up at a hotel for the first 2 weeks, which is small but comfortable. We get an English-speaking world news channel and HBO! We have been watching some old funny movies as it is a comfort and feels like home.
We have been enjoying lot of great food so far…..noodles, dumplings and super cheap beer! A large boomer of beer at the corner store is only $0.80! We are getting real good with the chopsticks, Zane says he wants to be so good at chopsticks that he can soon drink water with them!
The first day of orientation included signing our teaching contract, learning about EF history, meeting many new people, opening a bank account, taking a Chinese lesson on ordering food, an excellent Chinese lunch, meeting with rental agents, and then traveling to our schools by metro to meet our teaching teams. It was overwhelming, exhausting but a great day. The company (EF) is much larger then we thought, as it is has 400 offices all over the world.
Then came 2 days of apartment hunting. The way it works here is we work with a rental agent who shows us apartments then negotiates with landlord if we like a place. We worked with 4 different agents and saw 10 apartments. Of course we ended up with the first one we saw! It was an intense process especially when we signed a lease and handed over 3 months rent with our agent and landlord yelling at each in Chinese with us not knowing what was going on. Then we went to the apartment with our agents and landlords to do a walk through. A circuit went out while we were in the apartment for almost 10 mins. It was us and 4 Chinese guys walking around in the dark trying to figure what the hell was happening. We all laughed and made it through together even with the language barrier.
Our place is only a 10-minute walk to Katie’s school and Zane will have to take the metro about 25 minutes. Zane’s school is next to the famous landmark the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Katie’s school is near Metro city to give an orientation to where we will be working.
Our 2nd day of orientation consisted of learning about intercultural communication. There is definitely going to be some challenges as the Chinese communication much different than us Westerns. We will expand more on this later. Pictures of our apartment will come soon as well.
Hope everyone is well. Miss you!