Last night was the first time that I woke up and truly did not know where I was. I was having great dreams too but it was a tad freaky to have no idea what I was looking at. I finally got oriented and feel quickly back to sleep.
I don’t have too much to report as I have been working like mad. It’s pretty much been 10 to 11 hour days just trying to get acquainted with all of the new school materials and procedures. However, my class is wonderful – I have 15 students. Fifteen. In some ways, it’s as if I am new to teaching – this is a whole new world. Did I mention that there are two teaching assistants for grade 5 as well as ELD help that comes into the classroom, a technology person who also visits the classroom weekly with lessons, prep time, and the fact that you can have pretty much anything delivered here, including coffee? Yeah, I am working like a dog but hey, at least I have someone to help me with copies and laminating so I am not complaining! Below are a couple of photos of my new school.
Another interesting fact about China that they don’t advertise in the brochures is that China kind of stinks. I mean that literally. At times, enough to knock you off your center. Since I have moved here, I have been introduced to a plethora of new smells that I didn’t know existed on this planet. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like this all of the time, but walk down the street and your sinuses will probably be cleared by the time you purchase your DVDs (I already have a favorite guy I go to). Also, the plumbing here is notoriously bad. The pipes in most of the kitchens and bathrooms are straight up and down – the buildings don’t have that S curved pipe – so there is this weird odor that pretty much takes over your apartment if you don’t cover it up. Apparently it’s worse during this time of the year because of the heat, so please say a vanilla or rose flavored prayer that this is true. Also, there are many people cooking things in alleys and along walkways. That’s the real culprit right there. I have no idea what is going on with that and I can pretty safely say that this is an area I won’t be investigating any time soon.
But China in it’s own weird way, works. I say things like the smell is bad and that the taxi drivers are crazy (certifiable) but it’s all part of life here. You walk out of your place and you are in it, like it or not. China is right in your face. Hey, I can always have a mocha delivered to my front door. Not too bad.