Day 7: Micro Lessons 10/21

Wally

So we show up at EF head quarters to start our day of lesson planning with a couple of other teachers. We spent a few hours planning a lesson around having a class of at least 10 students banking on having discussions between students and a lot more student engagement. Unfortunately we ended up with just 2. One, Mark was super into the lesson and put fourth a lot of effort. The other, David, couldn’t care less. This made the activities we had planned difficult to conduct. In all my time teaching I’ve never had such a tense lesson. There were plenty of awkward silences and cringe worthy moments especially because our trainer, Jennifer sat in on us. It was difficult to understand David and it was apparent that he was getting frustrated with us. The activities we planned were too simple for the students we had. We finished our lesson 20 min early and this bitch Jennifer was like nuh uh you have 20 more minutes. WTF you want me to do?!?! Want do you expect me to pull out my ass that can last 20 min?!?! Fuck it! Their going to write me a short essay using the vocabulary we learned today. But guess what? Fucking David doesn’t follow the direction and any suggestions we made continued to frustrate him. The other teacher I was working with was trying to kill time by asking him a million questions that had nothing to do with the lesson any more, but if it wasn’t for that we would not have made the last 20 min. I want to dig a hole and fucking bury myself in it.

Following the BS micro lesson all of us teachers headed over to a bar on Nanjing Road called 3 Windows. It’s an American style dive bar and it’s fucking awesome. For just a brief moment you forget that you’re in Shanghai and you’re transported back to the states. The food isn’t all that great but you take what you can get out here. We sat around chatted and bitched about how shitty our training was and over the instructor.

After about an hour or so at the bar one of the teachers mentioned that there was a language exchange going on at a coffee shop just a few blocks over so we made our way to it. It was very fun and interesting to say the least. Interacting with actual Shanghainese was super cool and it opened a window into their life. We conversed with this woman named Helen and she was very interested in my relationship with Sydney and if there were any cultural clashes. When I explained to her that Americans do not have to honor and or respect their family’s wishes if they don’t want to she was pretty shocked. I was able to practice my mandarin with all the other locals. As I spoke in mandarin they spoke to me in English and we’d occasionally break to our native tongue in order to get our point across. It was an awesome experience and is definitely something that I’d like to try again.

Sydney

Today started like any other, went downstairs to have some breakfast and hang out with some of the other teachers. It was nice to relax for a little bit then we all met up to head to the center for training. We were given instructions for about a half an hour and sent to our groups to work on our micro lesson. Well I am the only one at the online center so I was by myself at the computers. I only had about an hour and a half to prepare then we started, luckily my friend Karine was my student for the day so it made it a little easier. When we first started there were some technical difficulties and it took about 15 minutes to actually get set up. I taught my lesson and it was about gender differences between men and women. That is so hard to teach, also you could step on people’s toes. Even the instructor said that it was not the best lesson to teach and next time she won’t have someone try and teach it. My feedback was good and all I need to do is in the beginning ask a few more personal questions of my students, where are you from? How are you? etc. I observed one lesson then sat around for about 3 hours, it was so boring. After class we went to a bar and some some drinks and dinner with some of our other students teachers. It was fun and it was an American bar so it was nice to be home for a minute. One of the other teachers was going to a language lesson and some more of us tagged along. It was fun and we met some pretty cool people. Like Wally said Helen was very interested in the cultural differences between me and Wally since we are married. It was a really fun night and relaxing. Took a taxi back to the hotel and now on to another day. Thursday we will be separating and going to different schools. I am so nervous but after today it should be better.

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Day 6: Medical Check and More Orientation 10/20/2015

Wally

So we couldn’t eat anything last night and breakfast for the medical check. I was effing starving by the time we got to the hospital. I gotta tell ya getting your physical in China is efficient as fuck! We have a number and they shuffle us from room to room. In between exams you’d see the other teachers sitting around for another room. Each room does one specific thing eye exam, blood pressure, ect. It was amazing they got through 9 of us in under an hour. It was actually pretty fun.

I HATE our trainer, Jennifer, she’s extremely incompetent and doesn’t practice what she preaches. She specifically says not to interrupt students when they are speaking because it discourages them and can throw them off and that it is more important to correct then later on. However, when I was giving my presentation she interrupted me and completely threw me off. Furthermore, because Sydney is the only online teacher in our group the Jennifer doesn’t have all the information for her and instead of having Sydney do things that are relevant to her she has her do other bullshit work. When Sydney asks her to show her how to use the program she says oh well you could have been doing that this whole time. Sydney’s response was I didn’t know I could and Jennifer says well you didn’t ask. Fuck her. These lessons have been completely useless to us and I just want to get to my own school and on my own schedule.

Sydney

Like Wally said we did not eat anything the night before or in the morning, we were so hungry. They took us to the hospital and even though they were efficient the place was gross and I was not totally comfortable there. They asked have you had surgeries and I said yes and saying you had endometriosis burned from your uterine wall and calcium deposits removed from your eyes does not translate that well and after about 15 minutes she finally understood me. Then I had to give blood, anyone that knows me knows that it is the worst thing in the world, I close my eyes and can’t wait until it is over. One of the other teachers was in there as well and told me when she was done so I would open my eyes. He is cool and I am sad he will not also be in Shanghai. Anyways, after the medical check the driver dropped us at the closest metro and it was right by the zoo (hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will be able to get over there, I want to know if a China zoo is the same as back home). The group all went down into the metro and where we needed to change lines we went up to the street to get something to eat. Karine, Wally and I had some ramen. The rest of the group went somewhere else and we split up. Then we headed to where we were supposed to have training for the day. We came to a mall and had some ice cream, it was amazing (the flavor was the butter cookies you get in a tin around Christmas). We went to the third floor and then realized we were in the wrong building. We walked outside and saw the EF sign and started to make our way towards it and then we ran into the rest of the group and found out we would have went to the wrong school so we all headed to the correct school and hung out until class time. Class was so boring and because I am the only online teacher I am stuck trying to present to the class stuff I can’t really do as I need a computer. Jennifer our instructor is the worst and I want to die in class! It is awful, Wally explained what she did to me in terms of training. Either way we were all stoked to be out of there and heading home for the day. Once we got back we called Wally’s uncle to pick us up and head to the apartment we loaded up everything upstairs and waited for the cable guy, I wanted to put things away but everything is dirty and the housekeeper does not come until Friday night when we are totally moved in. Well I was so tired I passed out on the bed and Wally was taking care of everything with his uncle. Finally he woke me up and his uncle took us back to the hotel and I fell asleep again. Once we got to the hotel we showered and went to bed. I Skyped Erin and talked for just a minute but I was exhausted. Slept and now on to another day.

Day 5: First Official Monday Training 10/19/2015

Wally

So today was fairly uneventful. We had some more orientation stuff to do today and it was all just bullshit. The person running the thing was extremely unorganized and a horrible all around teacher. Her directions were always unclear and left everyone confused. Whatever, just gotta shit through the bullshit.

Had lunch with some of the teachers and got closer with some of them, bonding over our love of Dragon Ball Z.

After work we did some shopping I needed some brown khakis for work and didn’t bring any with me. So, we went to H&M and picked some up. The pair I found was a bit tight around the legs, but I’ll take what I can get especially out here. We rode the subway back with Janette, another teacher, she’s extremely pleasant. A woman in her 50’s who decided to do this after getting laid off of work in London because of budget cuts. She’s very down to earth and just fun to be around. Her British colloquialisms are just fun.

We got an early day tomorrow. The Chinese government gets to judge whether or not my body is deemed good enough to work here.

Sydney

Monday, Monday, Monday…today started out like any other and we had some breakfast. It was filling and did the job. We chatted with one of the other teachers and then all met up to head to the center for training together. We first went to the wrong center but luckily the correct one was right across the street. Only half the group was there as they were doing the medical check and will learn what we learned in the morning tomorrow. I made a friend Karine and we were goofing off in class and talking and Wally got mad. The teacher kept looking at us and we kept giggling. I guess some things never change. She is awesome, 25, her birthday is April 19th and she is an Aries. We both talk a lot of shit and hate the same people in our class. It is fun!! Anyways we played games and the woman that is leading the class is the worst, she is 49 (she told us her age) and looks about 70, also her husband is about 3 feet wide all around, he has to walk sideways out a door to get out. It is insane. Today was so boring and completely unnecessary!!! I sat there for almost an hour doing almost nothing. We had class form 10-6 and the day seemed to drag on. All of us had lunch as a group and it was pretty good and so cheap. After we went to a delicious ice cream shop that tasted like Creamistry (they do the same thing it just has a different name). After class Wally, Janet (another teacher) and I went to H&M to do a bit of shopping. Wally needed khakis and I found a pimp ass trench coat!!!! I can’t wait for it to rain and I can wear it. Then all 3 of us took the metro home and went to our respective rooms. We have the medical check tomorrow so we will not be eating dinner or breakfast. It is going to be a long day since we last ate at 1:30 and can’t eat again until 12 tomorrow. Hope everyone back home has been enjoying the blog because Wally and I are having fun writing everything. XO

Day 4: Getting a phone number/finalizing our apartment 10/18/2015

Wally

For the most part today was fairly uneventful. We spent most of the morning chilling and relaxing. Around 11:30 I split up with Sydney to go with some of the other teachers to get our Shanghai telephone numbers. We took a cab and met up with one of the teacher’s, Josh, friend. Let’s call him Bob because I don’t remember his actual name. Bob has been living in China for the last 5-6 years and his Chinese is better than mine. It was pretty cool watching him navigate the city and communicate with people with such ease. Josh had gotten his phone stolen from him the night before, his own damn fault he was dick in the dirt drunk, so we went shopping for a phone for him at a mall. That took quite some time because Bob was haggling down the price with the person over the counter. Once Josh got his phone they decided that they wanted to get some lunch, I had already eaten was just along for the ride. Anyways, we go to this place called Yang’s Dumplings it’s a chain restaurant and it looked amazing I’m definitely going to take Sydney there one day.

Following, lunch we go to China Mobile and to get our numbers. Everything in China is run like an extremely efficient DMV. We showed up got a number and just waited for our numbers we were 242 and they were at 193 but luckily some dope dropped with number, 209, so we didn’t wait TOO long. The way to get a number/cell plan in China is interesting. Once we get to the counter there was a machine that generates numbers for you and when that is complete the guy over the counter fills out some forms you pay him the amount you want and you’re done. That’s it. There’s no real contract, basically everyone is on a month to month plan and all you need to do is put some more money into your account for what you want to use. So, unfortunately because we have American phones we won’t be able to use them under a China plan, which isn’t the end of the world because on WIFI we’re good, but we do have these shitty old school Nokia when we’re in between places.

When I finally finished up with phones and met up with Sydney it was getting pretty late. We hit up my Uncle and he came and picked us up to finalize our apartment lease. It was interesting to say the least, to have to sit though a lease negotiation and to only understand MAYBE every other word was a bit nerve wracking. Sydney and I were literally signing documents without knowing what they were saying trusting what was essentially a stranger, my uncle which I only met for the first time 2 days ago, but I know he has our best interest in mind. I saw him scour over the contract making sure there were no mistakes. At one point he even took out a pen and just modified it in front of the agents and they allowed it!!! Fucking Chinese people are crazy. Once we have the apartment I’ll take pictures and try to figure out how to upload them on here. Can’t wait to make that place our own, they have an IKEA here so we get to do it on the cheap!!!

Sydney

Woke up and headed down to the “Asian Continental Breakfast” it was good and we chatted with some of the other teachers. We came back up and hung out until everyone was ready to go get the phones set up for China calling and texting. When we got downstairs there was too many of us and we would have had to take 2 cabs so I stayed behind and Wally went and took care of everything. I thought he would only be gone for a couple of hours and it turned into 4 hours. So, as time went on I watched Netflix, Skyped with Melissa ❤ which was so much fun and we tried to plan her stay out here, hopefully she can make it in February; I also was able to get through all the paperwork and books that they gave us and have a little better understanding of what is expected and my job description. Once Wally got back we contacted his uncle to come and get us so we could go do the apartment signing. Anyone who has signed a lease for an apartment knows that they go through everything, you sign, read a few sections and then get the keys; well I will take getting an apartment back home any day. All I did was sit there while Wally tried to translate as quickly as he could but was still getting a little lost. They finally put the contract in front of us and I am trusting that Wally’s uncle did what he could and got us the best deal. Literally everything was in Chinese and everyone was speaking Mandarin but come to find out later that there are English speaking people in the office! Dude, the fuck! Then send someone who speaks English in to help us and translate a little better and faster then Wally. I appreciate and love Wally so much more for handling what he could and trying to help me understand. We went and saw the apartment again and received the keys. Where we are living is farther from the city but close to our jobs. I would much rather commute to go out then commute to work. Once we were finished and his uncle took us back to the hotel we walked to the McDonald’s next to the hotel and got dinner. We were tired, mentally drained and wanted something familiar without having to try and figure out a menu. I had a double cheeseburger (had no idea it came with 2 patties, I thought it was just a cheeseburger), fries, and a coke. Wally had a  double fish fillet (again, had no idea it came with 2 fish patties), fries and a coke. Then we got 2 McFlurries and it turned out to be green tea ice cream with Oreo pieces!!! I was so sad, all I wanted was a normal McFlurry but the cool thing was all of that was less the $15! Damn, Shanghai is cheap! It is insane that everyone warned us it would be expensive and all this but is so freaking cheap; especially the cost of living. Our 2 bedroom apt is only about $1,000 a month. Anyways, after dinner and dessert we walked back showered and passed out. Wally and I are trying to figure everything out and doing are best being in a foreign city. I am not in love with Shanghai like I have been with other cities but we have each other. No matter what, it will always be Wally and I vs the problem not Wally vs. me! We will figure out, all the hurdles and obstacles that come our way and will get through anything. I have the best husband in the world!!! Now onto another day and another adventure.

Day 3: Apartment Hunting 10/17/2015

Wally

So today was the first day we went apartment hunting. I stayed up till 10 pm last night hitting up as many realtors as possible even then we only got one that was willing to work with us and could show us a place. Now I understand that we are in a foreign country and that my expectations shouldn’t be set on American standards. Well the listing we were looking at literally had all the amenities we wanted, however when we showed up we had the rug pulled out from under us. We were looking for a 1-2 bedroom apartment. The 2 bedroom apartment was such a tiny little space. When I walked in I felt completely claustrophobic, if i sneezed too hard I could probably bang my head against the back wall. I’ve seen walk in closests bigger than the second bedroom and the bathroom is just big enough for one person to do their business. There was no elevator like the listing promised and this apartment is on the 6th floor. There was no gym/pool because there’s a gym is down the street for 300 RMB ($50) a person per month. Those were the cons, but the pros is that EVERYTHING was brand spanking new, a cleaning lady was included, internet was included and the rent was actually cheaper than the listing we saw. The master bedroom was VERY spacious, but UGHARARVIAWOERFVAWIEFAWZC. I JUST WANT TO FIND A PLACE!!! Anyways the place ultimately didn’t work out because they needed a large down payment and they weren’t willing to wait until we got our cash advance from work.

*WARNING FOLLOWING MATERIAL CONTAINS VULGAR LANGUAGE YOU CAN’T JUDGE ME BECAUSE I’VE WARNED YOU*

On a side note I found one great perk about living in Shanghai.

For the most part like 99.9% of the people don’t speak a lick of English, which means I get to freely express myself. I found myself using the most colorful language possible without fear of being judged or looked down upon. I used such phrases as finger blasting assholes, cunt nuggets, and massive throbbing cock. It has been SOOOOOO much fun doing that for those of you visiting we’re going to have a BLAST.

*END OF VULGAR MATERIAL*

So if you guys don’t know, in Chinese culture blood is blood and you take care of your own. I’ve always known about this but never experienced it like I did today. My uncle, whom I’ve never met before, swung by a bit unexpectedly and took us out to meet with his family and to grab a bite. His sister lives with him along with her 2 children. My niece is a pig nosed little brat and my nephew resembles a pig both in appearance and attitude. Dinner was filled with them clanging and clamoring, and it seemed to be acceptable behavior because they were rarely reprimanded. The food it self was bomb, really traditional Shanghai food. I felt bad for Sydney as there weren’t a lot of dishes she likes, but she was a trooper and put up a front and ate a bit.

Following dinner we had a walk over to the realtor store front. Uncle just had Sydney and I sit down and that’s where I saw the magic happen. He started to hustle the agents into showing us nicer homes in the area and influenced what we say by slightly hinting about the money he makes. Once we were in the apartment he flipped the script on them and mentioned how it’s for his nephew and new wife and that their new to the city and should have money to explore and the rent is too high it is unacceptable. Either way he worked his magic and got us a pretty decent place close to where we need to be for work.

We have yet to sign the contract, but we’ll be taking care of that tomorrow. Uncle has covered the first 3 months rent and will be taking us to buy bed sheets and appliances for the kitchen. I thanked him profusely and told his we would pay him back as soon as our paychecks start to roll in and he told me don’t sweat it’s what I’m supposed to do. So yeah… Blood is blood no matter what and you got to take care of your own.

Sydney

We were unable to sleep so at about 3 A.M. we Skyped my mom, and dad. It was nice to talk to everyone and catch up a bit. So, yesterday was an interesting experience; apartment hunting is so hard and at least at home we are able to drive to all the places and make pretty good time. We can get to about 6 places in a hour if you are looking in the same area….well here you have to take the metro which is great public transportation but it took us an hour from the hotel to go look at an apartment that lied on the listing and is smaller then my dads studio apartment. My dads house is the perfect size and that is all I want. You could take a shower, take a shit and wash your hands all at the same time, in the bathroom of this apartment!!!! WTF?!?!!? Call me crazy but I would like a little room in my bathroom at least enough to sit comfortably on the toilet. The landlord was a bitch and would not let us put a deposit down on the place and then pay the rest next week when we got our advance; luckily it worked out for the best and we found a better place later in the day. Everything happens for a reason and this was definitely why I believe that. We came back to the hotel, talked to my dad again and cleaned up a bit. Then I was able to Skype Bianca and chat about her upcoming visit; poor baby is unable to fly the Hello Kitty jet but I guess it means I will have to pick up Hello Kitty treats for her before she gets here. It was nice to catch up and plan our vacation; I can’t wait for Kylie to book hers and we all can really start planning!!!!! Yay, vacation with the besties…oh and the boys ;). When we finished chatting Wally’s uncle came and picked us up and took us to his sister’s house and to dinner. We haven’t been outside past about 6 since we got here and I was in a little dress and flats, I was freezing at the restaurant and when we walked around after. I will always have a sweater on me now. Dinner was awful, the kids were running around like crazy wild beasts, such bad parenting; screaming, banging things and stuffing food down their gullets. My little Audrey and Calvin are the most well behaved kids and I always compare other peoples kids to them, so if they can be well behaved so should everyone else!! The food was very greasy and very authentic, I appreciated the free food but it was just too heavy for me. I picked enough to be satisfied and then we finished and went looking at more apartments. The first one was O.K. and I actually just broke down crying, stress, lack of sleep and so many overwhelming emotions. I feel like I just can’t do this but then Wally came and hugged and kissed me and said everything would be O.K. It is just a lot to take in and I was having a moment. When I was in Europe at least I was able to somewhat understand the language and decipher what was being said. Wally speaks it and can help but he even said that when he was talking to his uncle and was having trouble understanding everything, he finally knows I how feel all the time around his family and what it feels like since we got here. We finally found an apartment and his uncle is helping us get it set up. I am lucky that Chinese take care of each other, this will make living here so much easier. His uncle drove us back home and I fell asleep in the car. At the hotel we just showered and pasted out. Hopefully today, Sunday, we can finish setting up the apartment and start having our own place.

Day 2: First Day Seeing Our Center 10/16/2015

Wally

Everyday is pretty jam packed. We woke up this morning a complementary continental breakfast, or what a Chinese continental breakfast is. There was 2 types of fried rice and what they believed to be breakfast sausages, they were actually Taiwanese sausages. Needless to say we got our fill of food this morning.

Following breakfast we made our way to the EF headquarters where we were taken to Bank of China to open an account. They run that place like a DMV with a whole number calling system and a miserable waiting area. Luckily, it didn’t take too long to open up everyone’s accounts. After that we met back up at HQ and had a Chinese lesson on ordering food at a restaurant. It was pretty interesting seeing everyone take on the task. There were a couple of individuals that have been taking Chinese classes on the side for many years and I can honestly say they probably know more Chinese than I do. This lesson that was given to us was in preparation for the lunch they treated us to. We walked down a few blocks to a Chinese restaurant where we were given a plethora of foods to chow down on. I pigged out on some good ol’ greasy Chinese soul food and loved every second of it.

Later, I was taken to my EF School where I would be stationed for the next year. I met up with my director Danica and she showed me around the facilities and introduced me to the teachers. I can say that I am really excited to work with these individuals and the students. I can tell that a lot of them are passionate in their teaching and what they’re trying to provide for their students.

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After we finished the meet and greet I was left to navigate the subway system and make my way back to the hotel. I can say that as directionally impaired as I may be I managed to make my way back to the hotel with no problem. The Shanghai railway system really is user friendly.

Now we’re just apartment hunting wish us luck!

Sydney

Well we got up this morning and enjoyed our free breakfast in the hotel. We were then taken to the EF Headquarters; we had some training and one of the recruiters, Shane was able to answer so many of our questions. After, we went to the Bank of China and set up a bank account. We were there for a couple of hours but finally got everything set up. We learned how to look for apartments and basic food ordering in Mandarin. I am lucky to have my own private tutor, yay for marrying an Asian!! My goal is to be as fluent as possible when I return home, I want to be able to have a conversation with my in-laws and talk to my future kids. There is one girl who is so annoying!!! She acts so snobby because she has been to China before, ugh! I am not a fan and she looks stupid in the face. We had lunch at a delish Chinese food restaurant and discovered so many more dishes that I like. Hopefully, by the time we come home I will enjoy hot pot as well but we will see. Lunch was delicious and sitting and talking to the new teachers was so much fun. I went to my new office, I will be at the Online Center in Pudong on Pudong Avenue off of Metro Line 4, it is about a 10 minute walk from the metro to my building. It was kind of pointless today, my manager took me there then showed me the building and then walked me out and I came back to the hotel. I am still trying to adjust to the Shanghai time and my goal is to stay awake until at least 9 tonight and try and sleep longer then 3 A.M. My new schedule at least for the next few weeks will be 1:30 P.M. to 10:30 P.M I am not totally comfortable with the commute that late by myself but I will get used to it and carry some pepper spray just in case. Wally and I start the apartment hunt tomorrow so everyone please have your fingers crossed that we find something this weekend. Thanks! Love you all 🙂

Day 1: Orientation 10/15/2014

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Wally

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.

Sydney

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. 🙂

We Have Arrived 10/14/2015


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Wally

It’s been a loooong ass day… Due to my nerves I didn’t really sleep much the night before. We just got through a 14 hour flight. If you’re flying international it’s worth the investment to move on up to first class. They have you packed in there like sardines!

I felt so bad for Sydney. The man next to her had NO concept of personal space. Anytime he adjusted himself he’d constantly nudge, bump and hit her. He would yawn obnoxiously loud and take up way more space than was socially acceptable. At one point, I kid you not, the dude had his feet up on the seats in front of him like you would at a gynecologist’s office and he just started to picking at his feet. At another point his hands were down his pants messing around with his giblets! What the actual fuck… Other than that the flight was chill.

Once we arrived we blazed through customs. According to Sydney we went through it FAST, I’m not as worldly as her so I’ll take her word for it. We then met with our driver. I’ll tell you what Chinese people CAN drive as long as everyone else drives like assholes. This guy was weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating other motorists and hogging multiple lanes just to get ahead of others to get us to the not so glorious Holiday Inn Express Shanghai.

Whatever I’m done. I’m tired. Goodnight.

PS

The air here really is as bad as everyone says it is. I love crisp cold air but not when there’s a distinct taste of pollutants in it.

Sydney

What a crazy 48 hours it has been!!! Well we got onto the airplane and they said it would be a full flight, but we were still hoping to maybe not have anyone sit next to us and yet, the worst person sat next to Wally and I. Everyone knows I like to be clean and after Bianca told me the horrors of flying (which I kind of knew but just didn’t want to think about) I was dying the whole plane. He picked his toes, scrubbed his feet, constantly had his hand down his pants and was throwing his jacket on me like I was a coat rack. I was so thankful to be off the plane.

It was so quick and easy getting through customs and grabbing our bags. We found the person that was going to take us to the hotel and made our way there. I was getting such motion sickness in the car that I ended up falling asleep until right before we pulled up to the hotel. We got all checked in and were able to shower finally and get ready for tomorrow. The room reeks of cigarette smoke and I can’t wait to have out own place with a working AC unit. Tomorrow will be a new adventure since we will be starting work and taking of the city. Friday Wally and I have to separate and go to our respective schools.

It will be weird not seeing him all day or being able to text throughout the day like we do at home but I am ready for this adventure and know that this will be one for the record books for us. Good night everyone 🙂

Last Day In The States 10/13/2015

Wally

It’s hard to imagine that this is the last day that we’ll be in the states.Everyone has been asking “Are you ready for this?” and to be perfectly honest, no. There’s no way one can truly prepare themselves for such a monumental journey. To leave behind everything and everyone you know is nerve wracking, even if it’s only for a year.

Another question that I was faced with is whether or not I’m excited for this trip. And the answer to that is a mixed bag of emotions. I know full well the significance of our decision to teach abroad and the opportunities it brings, but I can’t help but to feel a bit sad knowing that we’ll miss out on the moments back home, ones that you usually take for granted. Like getting a drink with friends, or hanging out with family, dinner tonight was fun I’ll definitely miss all of our conversations.

It’s crazy to think that a month ago Syd and I got married and now we’re going on this adventure. We like to say that this’ll definitely strengthen our marriage. We know that there will be plenty of ups and downs while we’re out there, but we’ll only have each other to depend on. If that doesn’t empower us hopefully the Stockholm syndrome will.

The days leading up to this move have been surreal. The most grounding moment was when I hugged Matt, best friend, good bye knowing that I won’t be seeing him again till spring. Anyways I’m sure it’ll get more real once I’m strapped into my seat and the plane takes off.

Sydney

Today is it, we leave in less then 24 hours and we head to the magical orient ;). I am excited, scared, nervous, ready, and not ready all at the same time. I got to have Del Taco and El Farlitos one more time!!!!! Yum yum!! IT was hard saying bye to my family but we had a great dinner and even better conversation. The next couple days are going to be a blur between flying and getting settled but I know as long as I have Wally we will be ok. I am excited for the adventures and hopefully everyone that says they will come out will come and visit. I am lucky to be able to go on this journey and share it with my favorite. A month ago I got married and now I am moving to a completely different country on the other side of the world, I think I may be a little crazy but 2015 is ending nicely!! Can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for me. XO