Ahh. I finally feel refreshed! This is my first night since, let’s see, June 5th, that I’ve had more than 4 hours of sleep. Jet lag, my friends, is an evil beast to conquer. Yesterday, I hit an all time low…I drank coffee! I find the stuff repulsive. I know, I know, what type of college student doesn’t drink coffee? Me! I’m hoping this nice 10 hours of sleep will finally set me on a normal sleeping schedule, because yesterday I could hardly keep my eyes open. Part of it may to do with the fact that when I got home Thursday niAhh. I finally feel refreshed! This is my first night since, let’s see, June 5th, that I’ve had more than 4 hours of sleep. Jet lag, my friends, is an evil beast to conquer. Yesterday, I hit an all time low…I drank coffee! I find the stuff repulsive. I know, I know, what type of college student doesn’t drink coffee? Me! I’m hoping this nice 10 hours of sleep will finally set me on a normal sleeping schedule, because yesterday I could hardly keep my eyes open. Part of it may to do with the fact that when I got home Thursday night I fell asleep and was woken up by my roommates yelling, “Get up, get up, it’s your first full day in China we have to celebrate!!” My droopy eyes and exhausted demeanor did not convince them that I would have been just as satisfied by sleeping on our hard as brick mattresses. I decided that I’m here to experience China and as my friend Colin O’keefe put it, “You can sleep when you’re dead, Kaitlyn.” I called up my friend Maranda, a Chinese English teacher from King’s who has impeccable English and a top-notch radar for party locations.
Maranda was an absolute lifesaver when I first arrived. She showed me how to get to work from my apartment and helped me buy all the necessary things I wasn’t able to bring from home. Anyways, she said she could join us at a nightclub called Soul Bar. This was the first time I’d been out dancing since we’ve got out of school, so you know I was having withdrawals! I immediately jumped on stage and danced my heart out. Maranda came and got me and said that they workers were going to get us a table…meaning, we had just been upgraded to kind of like a VIP status. They gave us free drinks, and by this I mean, free bottles of alcohol, along with quite the spread of dishes including: fruit bowls (I tried some dragonfruit!), chicken, and even French fries with ketchup. The bartenders kept on asking us if we wanted more drinks even though we still had half filled bottles on our table. The bartender gave Maranda her number and asked her to call if she need anything else and that they hope to see us here again soon. What a great night it turned out to be!
I’m jumping all over the place; it’s hard to keep my thoughts straight when there’s so much to tell! Before I started training, which was Thursday, Golf, a worker from HR in charge of the international interns, helped me get my SIM card and a bank account. She was so helpful! After I signed my contract and then Maranda took me to Topaz, the name of the branch that I work at. For all you shoppers out there, I work…in a shopping mall! And I don’t mean anything like the malls in Champaign or Springfield, I’m talking high quality expensive name brand shopping mall, Gucci, Mercedes, H and M, to name a few. Even with all of these incredible brands, the toilets don’t have any toilet paper. I’m thankful to say, that I did not learn that the hard way. The foreign teachers at my branch are all guys from Canada. I like to ask them “why China?” “How’d you end up here?” Some of them were drifters, just looking for adventure, and one of them came here to work as an accountant, but ended up quitting and chose to teach English instead!
My next days off are Tuesday and Wednesday. We get off two days a week, but because I’m new, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting off the weekends. I work from 1-9PM for 5 days a week. It’s quite a hefty work schedule but the students I’ve met are so eager to learn it hardly makes my job seem like “work.” Today I taught my second class! It was actually quite a difficult lesson because we were discussing controversial topics: abortion, corporal punishment, legalizing drugs, gay marriage, etc. Regarding gay marriage- the only guy in the class said that it’s okay if other people are homosexuals, but he wouldn’t be okay if any of his family or friends admitted it. I asked him what would he do if his son was gay and he said that, “well, I think something might be wrong with his mind, but maybe he will learn so good advice from the other man.” He softened his opinion when it was related to his personal life. A woman in the class said it’s okay to get married, but then she added she didn’t know anyone that was gay. I wondered if her opinion would change drastically if she knew someone close to her. I have mountains more to tell all of you, but I really want to get this post up. Expect more later 😉