Starting our exciting life in Beijing as Expats- Can't wait....
Sunday, July 29, 2012
We finally arrived at 4am after a very long flight and day - over 20 hours on and off the plane, got to sit on the tarmac at Shanghai for over 3 hours - no beer or food just one drink of water. We were told that the weather in Beijing was too bad to land -after the floods this was a bit of a worry!! But finally we got here and then we had to make our way through the airport - easy you think...not so much in Beijing - even at 4am people looking to "help" you into the hotel, a message to always be careful is always good to listen to, especially when you go into a totally different culture.
Our apartment is a small 2 bedroom set out, I wanted 2 bathrooms at first, we only got one, but now I am not unhappy because I can't be bothered to clean it anyway. We have a balcony, which is really only a hallway to the kitchen and laundry, the washing machine is all in Chinese so it is a matter of putting in the clothes and pushing buttons and then hoping for the best!
Thls is just the other view of the room, it does show the table and TV so I thought that I would include it, to be honest it looks bigger in this photo than in really in real life. The kitchen is very unemployed at the moment - it may be something that changes when the temperature drops. Also in the balcony we have laundry drying rack on the ceiling - so good as the clothes are out of the way and do dry quite quickly!! The laundry is a great size - I guess if I wanted to spread out stuff it could so in there!! But trying so hard not to collect too much stuff!!! Only 1 cupboard of stuff in the kitchen so that is not too bad?? We have managed to spread ourselves out into the two rooms - clothes in one and bed in the other...that is not too bad. Clothes are very cheap but I don't want to buy too many as there is nowhere for them to go - also the butt is very big and I would rather not dress it up - I think in winter I will need to have some more jumpers. At the start I needed some more summer clothes - so I spent all of $2 on some tops, unfortunately one needs ironing but I guess nothing is perfect.
Well then we stared out first day here and it was really "foggy" which is Chinese speak for smog!! I was worried about just how bad the air was - we could look directly at the sun!! This is wrong!! But we woke up the second day the sky was blue the sun was shining.......and it was a beautiful day!
We were so relieved and spent the day outside enjoying the weather. It was a great weekend - we went to Metro and got the important soft mattress cover, oh yes, wine and glasses as well so we are now all set. We found the supermarket and it had pretty much every we needed, especially given we had no intention of cooking anytime soon. So now we had plates, glasses and most importantly wine!! Luckily the beer is super cheap!! As in only .38c per can so it is great, buying by the slab at a time and it is so hot that we are going through it very quickly!!
Overall the first few days where fascinating, we learned how to cross roads - that is an essential skill here that has nothing to do with red or green lights! Learned just how dirty the air can get and then just how clean it can be the next day.
Our first Chinese words were to order beer - again essential in this heat!! We also learned how to eat a meal with 10 people watching and pointing!
The is the local canal - I think that it is man made and generally pretty gross, this was only 2 weeks after the floods and it was very empty, so it must have been very full and emptied very quickly, This is just by UHN which is a large apartment complex that many other teachers live in.
Overall it was an excellent start to the experience!