Day 1: Orientation 10/15/2014



Today was definitely interesting. So we wake up get dressed and head on downstairs to the lobby to meet up with all the other teachers. They’re an interesting bunch to say the least, however the one thing we all have in common is a sense of adventure. One woman, Rupal, is a lawyer but chose to teach abroad in order to take a break from work and another man, Paul, is from Detroit and chose to come to teach in China because it beats working minimum wage at the mall he was at. A couple of other notable mentions were two guys that were in the Peace Corp. One served in the outskirts of Mongolia where he had to chip away at ice for 20 min in order to get a cup of hot tea and the other served Sri Leone where he couldn’t take enough clothes off to escape the heat. So, needless to say there are a lot of fascinating characters here.

After our brief meet and greet we were shuffled over to the EF, English First, head quarters, which by the way is very modern and gorgeous it definitely gives you a sense of legitimacy for the organization, where we were given A LOT of information. We signed some contracts and were given basic information.

Afterwards we were shown the subway and its amazing food court. The sights, the smells and the commotion of the food court was all a bit overwhelming. Sydney and I wandered around looking for something to eat, luckily for me these shops weren’t too far out of the norm. I ordered some stir fry that was made to order from a plethora of ingredients that I was able to choose out of their assembly line. Think Subway but for stir fry. The girl working the counter was hitting on me asking me for my email and wechat. I had to politely turn her down as I am married to the most wonderful woman ever.

Following lunch we rode the subway in order to take in the sights of Shanghai by going down Nan Jing Road. The storefronts are a mix of things you’d see on 3rd Street Promenade and Rodeo Drive. You could tell that at night the streets would be glowing from all the neon signs from the storefronts. It is insane the amount of people are were walking around the place on a Thursday afternoon. We were also shown the famous waterfront, the cover photo up top.

After our little adventure we sat through some basic teacher workshop class and were dismissed to go back towards our hotel. Unfortunately, we got a bit lost, but we did ultimately find our way back. However, during the walk back I did notice that Sydney and I did get a lot of looks from passerby’s. I understand that we’re an interracial couple and that it is rare, especially in China, to see an Asian male with a Caucasian wife, but it’s still unsettling the type of looks that we were getting. We’re definitely not in Southern California anymore.


Well, today was orientation and it was interesting. Met a lot of new people even though most will not be in Shanghai. We have our apartment orientation tomorrow; and Wally and I are determined to find a place this weekend so we can get out of this crappy hotel. The people that we did meet that are staying in Shanghai are nice and seem really cool. It is weird to think we have just completed our first day of work. Seeing the Pearl Tower was amazing!! Being able to see the sights that are constantly in movies and shows is my favorite. I have been having phone issues and connecting problems but luckily I have Wally to always try and fix it. We did a lot of walking today and figured out the metro, we did get lost but it just means we were able to see more of the city.

Wally and I get stared at a lot and it makes me a little uncomfortable but I am trying to not let it get to me. I am so incredibly excited for the tomorrow and to see where my office will be. Today, we signed the contract and our lives away for the next year. It was a lot of information but we will have time to read through everything this weekend. We will receive our Permanent Residence Visa in about 5-6 weeks; it makes me a little uncomfortable to not have my passport and to trust someone else to get everything done but they do this all the time so I am going to have to trust them. Tomorrow for the first time in 2 months Wally and I will have to separate and not be on fun-employment and hanging out together. Time to get to bed and try and not be jet-lagged tomorrow. Good night world and until we meet again XO. πŸ™‚



  1. Loranna · October 15, 2015

    I am so glad your first day was so exciting. Don’t worry about the stares…people were just admiring what a beautiful couple you two are together!! Love you both and I think this blog is going to be my favorite thing about your adventure!!! Sleep well and call this weekend πŸ™‚


  2. Tim Roach · October 15, 2015

    Very cool. You will be able to tell your grandkids about this.


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