Day 198: Boring day 4/29/2016

Wally

This day was such a chore!

Sydney

Woke up and did some grocery shopping for Matt coming tomorrow and Wally and I hung out until he had to go and send money home. I only taught 3 classes all day since they were all no shows which was nice since I had stuff to do around the house. We went grocery shopping and Chinese people are rude they are constantly putting their stuff right where mine is and even though I am paying they are handing their money to pay at the same time. Wait your turn!!!!! Ugh, you will get your groceries no one is going to steal them if you do not pay right away! FUCK! I did some yoga, chores and watched Charmed. Nothing exciting. Wally came home and we hung out and went to bed. Matt comes tomorrow and we have Yellow Claw tomorrow night!! YAY!! We have a huge group going so I am excited.

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Day 197: Stupid mentoring 4/28/2016

Wally

 

Really nothing worth talking about today. Matt’s gunna be here soon!

Sydney 

We talked to my mom for a little and for my dad to plan Paris. It was nice to talk since we won’t talk to them for prob 2 weeks since Matt will be here. We finished watching Star Wars and then I had to head into work early. I walked to work and it is starting to get really warm outside. The walk was nice and I was hustling. It usually takes me 35 minutes to walk there and it took me only 25 minutes today. The new guy sitting next to me is super chill and fun. I really like that he is next to me. The guy I was mentoring was dumb as a doornail and it was a long ass day. His name is Alex and he is from South Africa. He is “engaged” as he told me he has never actually asked his girlfriend he just gave her a promise ring 3 years ago when they were going through a rough patch. I was very confused but whatever to each his own. I told him that if he wanted to just sit and go through everything quickly he could leave early but he wanted to go slow and take his 2 hour break so we both had to stay all day. Jenn and I had dinner together and are getting excited for Yellow Claw on Saturday and we found out this other awesome guy Aden is going to come out as well. We have a very good group going. My classes were ok and Alex observed me for a few classes so I actually had to pay attention to my students. I did have one student whose name was Snow and her son’s name was Little Sunday. I asked why she named her son that and she said that her and her husband only have Sunday’s off together during the week and it is a happy time so they wanted to name their son after something happy. It was such a cute story and the name has so much meaning. I really enjoyed teaching her. Wally met me at work and we walked home together. It is always nice to walk together. We stopped when we had a really good view of the bund and just tried to appreciate where we were and soak up the moment together. All in all the mentoring was boring but meeting Derek the cool new guy was fun and talking to Jenn was great. Oh, and I lost some of my pizza when my elbow hit the box and it fell on the floor.

Day 196: Errands 4/27/2016

Wally

Woke up this morning and I left to get a haircut, pay a bill and a bit of grocery shopping while Sydney got waxed. Nothing all that special to report. It’s pretty cool though that at the beginning of our journey here even the most mundane things got reported on because of the novelty of having to do it in China, but we’ve become acclimated enough where it doesn’t matter. Came home had lunch I ended up going to the noodle lady again. Syd tried out what I’ve been getting and she seemed to really enjoy it. We left for the cheap market to get some last minute things and Syd’s haggle game was on point today! She did not fuck around with the people and they didn’t bother fighting her too much on the prices. There was an inconvenience with a watch we had bought there, but I’ll let Syd explain that. On our way home we picked up Cheeto Puffs for dinner because they were on sale and we drank some Coke with Malibu. We classy like that.

Sydney

My waxing appointment was great and I love my lady. I wish getting stuff done back home was this cheap. $60 USD for my eyebrows, Brazilian, and full legs! AMAZEBALLS!!! We worked a lot on our itinerary for the trip back home and we have almost everything bought and paid for. We are now working on London. It is so exciting but I am also trying to enjoy the last few weeks we have here. My haggle game was on point I got 2 watches, 1 Tiffany necklace, 1 pair of Tiffany earrings, 2 decorative bracelets, 1 Tiffany bracelet, 1 Victoria Beckham purse, 1 superdry backpack/carry-on, 1 pair of in ear Beats, 1 pair of Ray Ban aviators for $157 USD. If I had paid what they wanted it would have been $750 USD. Don’t fuck with the master. I am SSSSSOOOOOOOO going to miss this. The watch broke when I went to take 2 links out and we had to go back but they replaced it no problem and they gave me an even better deal on the sunglasses then when I had asked for a price last time. Once all that was taken care of we picked up are fancy dinner and came home. Need to finish getting the house ready for Matt in a couple of days and unfortunately I have to go into the office all day tomorrow.

Side note – When Wally and I were walking around Tianzifang yesterday we say an all you can eat sushi place and we were really excited to try it but the menu was in Chinese and Wally kept asking if they have a picture menu or one in English and the guy kept saying it’s all right there. Wally said about 3 times that he cannot read Chinese. A good example would be if a Kansas city farm boy came into a restaurant speaking perfect English then saying he cannot read. It was so frustrating and that would have been so delicious. You would think that being in such an expat area that you would at least have pictures so people could see what they were getting.

Another thing, when Wally and I were walking to the metro this woman was speaking in Chinese saying look a Chinese person with a foreigner. WTF?!?! Why does it matter if a Chinese person is with a foreigner. I miss home…

While on our walk to the metro something got in my eye and it hurt so bad. I started crying and as Wally put it “I was thrashing around like a wounded animal.” I still do not know what happened and it looked like I was stoned in 1 eye because I kept rubbing it and putting eyedrops in until it finally went away or came out. I am not sure all of a sudden it just stopped hurting.

Today, when we came home from the cheap market I went to take links out of the watch the store we went to did not have any English speaking people, we went next door and the woman spoke English and took us to different stores to help take the links out. She closed her store to help us and walk us around until she found someone that could do it. It was so nice and refreshing to have friendly Chinese people. Also, we were walking home and this chick decides to walk right in front of us and I am about to cuss her out when she apologizes in English. I stopped in my tracks and did not get upset anymore. The rest of the night was chill we ate our Cheeto Puffs and watched Star Wars. Perfect weekend and 2 more days until a 2 week vacation. 🙂

Day 195: Chocolate Factory Tour 4/26/2016

Wally

Woke up early today so that the Ayi could clean our house. Once she finished we headed over to Zotter’s, chocolate factory. When we arrived we saw that the place was pretty well decorated and had plenty of English speaking staff. We had expected the tour to show us the whole process of how the chocolate was processed and packaged, but instead it was mostly a tasting tour. Not really complaining though. I tried SOOOOO MUCH chocolate. I’ve found that I’m very fond of Almond chocolate cause I kept gravitating towards those flavors. Towards the end of the tour we were at a drinking chocolate bar and there we met other people in an earlier tour. It was a family from Florida and we struck up a conversation. I’m not sure how it got brought up, but Harry Potter came up and Syd just started going off about the cafe we’re going to and the exhibit that was here and seeing the sets in London. The kids were in love with her, especially the daughter. She kept asking Syd where’d she’d been before and gasped and gawked after each place. It was really cute, the little girl definitely already has the travel bug and she’ll be going places.

After the chocolate factory we had to get something else in our system otherwise we’d just keel over from all the sugar. We stopped by this old train car that was converted into a restaurant. There we had fries and met other expats. Our conversation with them was over our travels and future plans. It was pretty cool because most of them were in their 40s and they were jealous of us! They kept saying travel when you’re young and that we’re going to see and do more than they have. I know I keep hearing people say that you should travel while you’re young, especially those in already in their later chapters of life. It really brings into perspective what we’re doing. Doing what we’ve done these past 6 months has really opened my eyes to what life should be and is. Life is just a collection of experiences and that all the material things in the world cannot make up for the memories that traveling gives you. I know that we may not be set in our careers or that we may not be following the conventional path that most take once out of college, but this unconventional life that Syd and I lead has brought us closer and enriched our lives beyond what I could have ever imagined for myself. Sorry for the mini rant there. It’s just I know that Syd and I often stress and question our choices because we know when we get back that we’ll have to struggle for a bit to re-establish ourselves and start settling down, but in the end, big picture, we’re going to be alright.

Sorry enough about that! We went to check out the Harry Potter cafe, 9 3/4, here in Shanghai. We had hoped that it would be similar to the Friends cafe that we went to. Overall it was a bit disappointing, the ambiance of the place was that of a chill cafe, but the problem was unless you paid attention to the decorations you wouldn’t know it was a themed cafe. Also the menu items weren’t that fun either, they only had a small section labeled potions. We ordered their Butter Beer expecting it to be a sweet caramel concoction, but their version was to mix cider and beer together with some whip cream on top. It was fucking disgusting… We were a bit bummed that it didn’t live up to our expectations and ended our coffee date early. We walked around Tianzifang for a bit and found a cool bar that we’ll be taking Matt to once he gets here. FREEFLOW drinks for $23 usd. YES PLEASE!

Since our Harry Potter date didn’t go as we had hoped we stopped by fancy Pizza Hut for dinner and had a nice meal. Afterwards we came home and did our shit and called it a night.

Sydney

Woke up early because the ayi is coming to clean the house. I cannot wait to be home and when I have a housekeeper she actually does a good job cleaning the house and I feel that I do not have to clean after her. First, as I have stated in the past they do not use cleaning supplies just a rag and a bucket of cold water. Second, she knocked over my retainer and left it on her dirty, dusty rag until I saw it and grabbed it. Finally, no matter what she does Wally and I will still have to sweep tonight when we get home. Whatever at least she cleans the toilet. I talked to my dad for awhile because some stuff came up and it was irritating and I needed to vent to my dad. Once everything got cleared up and we made some jokes Wally and I headed out to our adventure.

The Zotter Chocolate Theater is a little out of town and takes about an hour from our house and there is a decent walk when you get off the metro to it. The walk there was ghetto!! SO much shit on the ground and not just stuff type shit, actual shit. Ya know, like always normal China things. We got our tickets and they gave us a discount in the little cafeteria so we got a coffee and a slice of cake. The coffee was better then the cake. Everything is made from their chocolate and ingredients. Next, we head into the theater and we watch a 20 minute movie on the family’s story and stuff. It was really interesting and I really enjoyed myself. Once we left they took us on a tour and we tried SSSSOOOOOO many types of chocolates. It was tasty!!! Man, did I have a sugar high. There was some weird flavors and normal ones of course. I still like milk chocolate. Towards the end we got to try their different drink flavors and the milk cocoa tasted like hot chocolate. I drank about 3 cups of it! They give you warm milk and then they put the chocolate bar in the milk and you let it melt. SSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDD! It was such a fun adventure but man I am so amped up. We went to a little food stand and got some french fries to try and get some salt since I was on such a sugar high. We met some cool dudes that were also from California. This place was an outdoor outlet mall so we walked around and took in the sites then headed to our next stop.

The next stop was going to be the Friends Cafe but we found out that there was a Harry Potter Cafe so we had to go there, obviously. It ended up being at the beginning of the French Concession walk from my book. It was not as cool as the Friends Cafe. We tried the butterbeer but it was just apple cider, beer, and whip cream on top. It was not good. I was really disappointed. The place just had some Harry Potter memorabilia and it was called Cafe 9 3/4. It was still cool to go and I am glad we went. From now on though we will go to the Friends Cafe. After the cafe we walked around Tianzafang and found some cool places to take Matt. Crazy that he will be here in 4 days. We wanted to end our night with a date so we went to fancy Pizza Hut and had some food then came home. It started raining again on our walk home but luckily we were inside before it came down harder.

Today was a perfect Tuesday (our Saturday).

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Day 194: Wally is just going to bitch 4/25/2016

Wally

Man… My Mondays suuuuuuck now… I got a new class so that means I teach for 3 hours straight and my lessons are SUPER basic. IT’S A DOG! IT’S A CAT! IT’S A BIRD! You get the idea… So I amuse myself in class by fucking around with the kids. My youngest class consists of 3 year olds and I’d tap one on the shoulder and it’s clearly me, but when the kid turns around I start looking for the what had poked him and he’ll look in the direction I’m looking. I’m just glad I don’t have many Monday’s left. I do know how I’m going to fuck with my students on my last class with them. As they’re leaving I’m going to speak to them in Chinese it’ll blow their fucking minds!

Sydney

My day was boring nothing to exciting. My classes were chill and I am glad I worked from home today. I did some laundry and chores around the house. Wally and I worked out and did some yoga. It is nice to be feeling up to working out more and more.

Day 193: Missing Coachella 4/24/2016

Wally

Nothing special about my day, but I do have a tidbit of gossip. Bryan, former teacher at EF, had to leave for Hong Kong today because his work visa here expired. Upon quitting EF you get 30 days to get your shit together and leave the country. He applied for other jobs and what not, but those didn’t pan out in time. He has to leave China today because otherwise he’ll be heavily fined when he ultimately does leave. So here’s the kicker, Gideon had to loan Bryan money so that he could fly to Hong Kong and stay there while he gets his shit together. Bryan literally bought a ticket today and left for Hong Kong. This dude has NO plan in life and didn’t even have enough saved up to get back home. What the fuck…. I couldn’t live life like that it’s ridiculous.

Sydney

My classes were alright. I worked from home and just watched tv between my classes. It has been fun watching Charmed all day and just relaxing. I Skyped my mom for a little but that is about it. Tomorrow is our Friday and Matt will be here Saturday so some pretty exciting things coming up.

Day 192: We forgot about breakfast burritos!!! 4/23/2016

Wally

Syd and I woke up and headed to work, but we were in such a zone that we had forgotten about our weekly tradition of getting our breakfast burritos… My morning was kept busy by the parent teacher meetings and it’s even more boring than it sounds because I would just say a couple of things about a student in english and my PA would translate and go into a sales pitch about how their kid needs to stay with EF in order to improve upon the areas I just mentioned. There was a moment when my PA and I were waiting for a parent to show up where the PA started to ask me a few questions. She knows that I’ll be leaving soon and asked if it was because I didn’t like teaching. I ended up being very blunt with her and said,”No, teaching is a passion of mine and is one of the few jobs in this world that will give me a sense of purpose. What we do here isn’t teaching. What we do here is simply selling a product and drilling pointless vocabulary into the kids.” To my surprise she was very empathetic towards me and explained that she can tell that I’m a talented teacher and that I’m not being fully utilized within this company. She went on to explain it was just the structure of this company is built in such a way that student retention is more important than the education itself. I was a bit taken aback by what she had to say because I always viewed her as being a bit ditsy, but I suppose it’s just been the language barrier that’s been holding her back.

Other than than work was work. I did have fun watching everyone’s snaps about Coachella and it allowed me to live vicariously through them, but as I looked around my surroundings and I see a sea of yellow children, my idiotic coworkers and the shitty cold wet weather outside I can’t help but to feel a bit sad…

I got in trouble with the police on my walk home today. I essentially jay walked, but I played stupid and kept talking in english while I listened to them tear into another guy next to me because they asked him where he’s from and he told him he’s Shanghainese. There was a bit of a misunderstanding between Syd and I because when she got home she was PISSED at me… Apparently I had said that I’d wait for her by the subway so that we could walk home together. I have no recollection of ever saying that, so maybe I worded something funny and it got misconstrued.

Sydney

I took the metro to work instead of walking since it was raining. I got to work and Skyped with my mom a little bit. I watched some shows on my tablet and hung out until my classes started. We had a meeting with another team lead today since ours is still in the states. It was with Brandon, he is a dick! He told us that we needed to all start coming into the office more and work from the office not from home. Fuck you, I still get my shit done why do you care that I work from home. I do have to go in next Thursday and work all day until 10 which sucks but at least it is only 1 day and then Matt comes Saturday and our vacation starts. The meeting was pointless but Jenn bought beers and we drank at work and talked. The rest of my classes were pretty boring and I had a lot of no shows so I did not have to teach as much.

Yes, there was a misunderstanding and I was PISSED because I was waiting for Wally and he was already at home even though we were supposed to walk together. Whatever, we are both home now. Time to work out and relax and maybe have a movie Saturdate. Hope everyone is having fun at Coachella!!!

Day 191: Friday, Friday gunna get down on Friday 4/22/2016

Wally

Nothing new I just hate my job and in one month we’ll be done with this shit hole company. We had a meeting today about our Demos. At our demos we have an opportunity to get students to sign up for our school. Most of the kids that participate have never been in an english environment before and are coming in with 0 english skills. They’ll usually range from 3-5 years of age and are extremely shy. At our meeting they’re trying to give us a plethora of different strategies to employ within these demos each being unnecessarily more complicated than the last. Now this isn’t just a normal meeting where they tell you where it would be good to implement said strategies at certain points. NOPE!!! Instead they treat this like an actual fucking demo and have teachers acting like 3 year old participants. I sat there for an hour and listened to all the different ways we can “teach” these children on how to say dog, cat, fish and bird… Fuck this company and everything it stands for.

Sydney

Nothing special for me today. We worked out and I worked from home. We have Astrill working on the computer thanks to Wally and I watched tv during my breaks wishing I was at Coachella with everyone. Welp, at least I get to try over 200 different types of chocolate on Tuesday! That seems like a fair trade off right? I have to keep telling myself that it is. There were a lot of tech problems and one of my classes was cancelled so I was able to shower and crawl into bed and work my last class from bed which was nice.

When Wally was all cleaned up and in bed we just sat and talked for a while about the future. I am excited to see what will come next and what will happen when we are home. No matter what we have each other and I am the luckiest girl to have such an amazing and loving husband. Also, I am about to bitch slap a girl at Wally’s school if she hits on him one more time! Back off my man!

Day 190: Back to work 4/21/2016

Wally

Today was a sad day…. As I’m typing this I know my friends are out in Coachella right now probably just pulling up to the line waiting to get their cars checked by security. As we go to bed I know they’ll be setting up camp for the day and getting to know their neighbors and surroundings. I’m so incredibly sad and jealous of them all. Please party twice as hard for Syd and I won’t be there. I just need to keep telling myself that I’ll be there next year and that next week Matt will be here. Oh and I’m on an adventure of a life time with my amazing wife can’t lose sight of that!

Sydney

Woke up to Skype my aunt and uncle and it was nice to talk to them and hear about what they have been up too. I am so excited to see them and get to their house in AZ. We talked to them for a while and tried to talk to my mom but she had to go. Wally and I went to the American marts to check the sales and went grocery shopping. Matt will be here in a week and we have to get the house ready. I am actually starting to feel like a person again today so that is good. I do have to go into the office for a meeting which I am pretty pissed about but I am going to take the metro instead of walking so I do not overexert myself. We did some chores and Wally tried to get his external harddrive to read on the laptop and he restarted the computer….well when it started back up Astrill had shut off and now it will not start again; so we don’t have internet again!! YAY!!! I laughed and just thought of course China. I should never get as excited as I was since the internet will always leave us. Wally is trying to figure it out and my fingers are crossed so tightly that I get Netflix, our blog, and our google docs back tomorrow.

Wally and I left for work at the same time and were able to ride the metro together until our transfers. I got into work and Skyped my dad for a little. He offered some suggestions on how I can get better but unfortunately those options are not available in China. I wish I was at home so I could get healthy. The talk with my dad was nice and I will be seeing him soon enough in Paris. My mom tried to call me but I answered and then it hung up. Oh well, I will talk to her tomorrow.

I had a meeting today to go over paperwork on my quitting next month. Brandon was such a dick about everything and I am so irritated that I even had to go in to have this talk. It could have easily been done over email. My first class was not created so the meeting happened earlier than expected and then I headed home to teach the rest of the day.

I got home safe and sound and taught the rest of the day. Still no internet or Astrill on Wally’s computer. UGH!!!! Side note – Wally bought the Yellow Claw tickets for April 30th!! We are raging the night Matt gets into China. So excited!!! I have never seen them and it should be really fun.

Some interesting just China things that happened today:

  1. I was walking to the metro and there were dirty, used pads on the ground. Nowhere near a trashcan. They were actually in front a salon and restaurant. FUCKING GROSS!
  2. There was a girl walking in front of me whose shirt read, “Keep the calmed and be wine.” WTF! Ya, so because it had some English on it Chinese people will where it. Also, shirts that just say Basil on it are really popular.
  3. Anytime you see police in china they do not have guns, but when they do it means that there is money somewhere close BUT all the cops look like dorks! The stereotypical accountant Asians from movies but they are carrying guns. It is very strange. No offense to any Asian accountants, you all know the movie stereotype I am talking about.
  4. Usually anytime I see special needs kids they are homeless or being treated like shit in the streets. Today, I was in the metro and there were a group of special needs kids and they were grouped up in uniforms and had a teacher with them and it looked like a school event. They were being walked to a building the people with them were helping them, handing out snacks, and all around being nice. This is normal to see back home but this is the first time in China I have seen a special needs school group.

Anyways rest of my classes were easy and when Wally came home we cleaned up and headed to bed.

Day 189: Another day of rest 4/20/2016

Wally

Today was another day spent just resting, I finally kicked the bug and Syd is coming around the corner. We just kept up with our House Hunter marathon and lounged around all day. I did end up polishing off half a bottle of wine and Sydney had to take care of my drunk ass. She’s so amazing!!! I don’t understand why people like to drink, I always go from buzzed to SMASHED… Damn my low tolerance…

Sydney

Stayed in bed all day and watched tv. I Skyped my Aunt for a little and we just chatted the 2 of us. I think I am starting to fight this thing off. Also, Wally is a whiny bitch when he is drunk. When I woke him up from his nap all I heard was my stomach hurts, my head hurts… UGH!!! Such a baby!!! I love him but man he is not allowed to drink EVER!!!!! It was pouring rain and I went and picked him up some buns to soak up the alcohol and get him to sober up before we headed to bed. Back on the grind tomorrow and hopefully feeling more like myself.