Rewind…..Farewell China

After dotting our ‘I’s’ and crossing our ‘T’s’ in China, time flew by so we would like to rewind, recap and thank our friends for our final weeks.  The Chinese kindness and hospitality we received in our final days from our students was unexpected.  Their generosity was much appreciated and at times overwhelming.  After our final day of teaching we went bowling with fellow teachers and local students as we wanted a more laid back social setting.  For many of our students it was their first time bowling and it was great to get them out of their comfort zones.  Thanks to Jenny and Sharon for organizing everything!   A special thanks to friends who stayed out for Shanghai Brewery and late, late night street food…..good memories.

Saying goodbye to Heather after she shared one last Mala Tang and Coco lunch with us was a sad departure.  She also brought us into a hair salon to translate for us to get final haircuts.  Thanks Heather, we appreciated all the help you gave us and we cherish your friendship!

New discovery during our final days, what China Post doesn’t allow you to ship through the mail: anything with a battery and knives.  Our neatly packed boxes, taped three times too many, ended up being ripped open and gone through item by item.  To our surprise, we were unable to ship our laptop, electric toothbrushes, and Zane’s beloved (and expensive) kitchen knives.  In hindsight, we wouldn’t have brought these items so you can add this to the lessons learned.   Our laptop actually died the night before so Zane dismantled the whole thing and destroyed the hard drive.   His knives though, this is a different story.  Sharon, one of my students, is moving to the US in 2 weeks for university and is going to bring the knives with her on the plane and then ship them to our address when she gets there.  Cross your fingers on this one!

Sharon then helped us close our bank accounts and treated us to an amazing, traditional Shanghainese dinner.  Many new dishes were tried since she ordered enough food for a whole family and there were only 3 of us!  Thanks for all your help, the tea, food and your company.  Good Luck in America!

Ambrose, another student, and his girlfriend took us to Qibao one more time to see it with a local.  We felt like royalty as they treated us to everything from pigs feet and beer, quail eggs, traditional desserts and even bargained for us in the shops for gifts to sent home.  An excruciatingly hot day it was but the thoughtfulness made up for it.

Our friend from South Africa, Dex, took over our lease on our apartment, which made the transition of moving quite smooth and a bonus of extra travel money as we got our deposit money back.  Dex is a fellow world traveler and we aspire to go the places he has been.  Some of the best conversations were had with this dude during our time in China and we anticipate our paths to cross again some day.

Our British and South African couple friends, Alex and Laura, shared excellent food and conversation with us with an expensive Mexican food night, late night corner store chats, an unexpected British happy hour and our final dinner at another great Shanghainese restaurant.  Thanks for training me my first day at EF, borrowing us your tools, inheriting our leave behinds and all the laughs in between.

Our experience in China was a challenge at times but we wouldn’t trade the relationships with the people we met for anything.  Ching, ching to you all!   Here are the pictures from all the farewell parties and our final days.

An update from the Philippines will follow shortly.

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