Saturday, March 28, 2009

March Update

Another month has somehow passed me by! I have almost been here in China for five months now. I am almost half way through my one-year contract! I love China so much that I have already pretty much decided that I am going to stay here for at least a total of two years! Have there been many things to adjust to? Yes, of course. Am I still adjusting? Yes, everyday. But am I growing leaps and bounds? Yes.

This blog is meant to review my last 2 months of experiences living day to day in Guangzhou, China. In the last 2 months I have been robbed for the second time, joined the gym, completed my 3-month probation at work, and celebrated my 25th birthday!

First, we will start with the story about me being robbed. Truly in the end it was kind of my fault for being too careless. Anyhoo…I was wearing a backpack because I was walking to the gym. I stopped at a little store to buy a bottle of water on my way. I think what happened is that someone saw me put my wallet away and then followed me waiting for the right opportunity. I was walking along listening to my MP3 player when all of the sudden I felt something hit the back of my ankle. I turned around, looked, and saw my wallet lying on the ground. I immediately picked it up and looked around, but of course saw nothing out of the ordinary. Fortunately, all they took was my cash. (About $60 US dollars worth.) This combined with my first incident at my work equals to about $150 US dollars worth. I truly feel extremely blessed that in both cases all they took was just my cash and nothing else. I am trying to keep a positive outlook on it and saying, “Since being in China I have donated $150 US dollars to the needy people of Guangzhou!”

As stated above, I have decided to join the gym here in Guangzhou. I had been debating about joining for a while then one day decided to go and try it out for a day with a co-worker. I liked it so much that I joined the next day! With my job here I really have a lot of free time. I am able to go to the gym, eat lunch at a nearby restaurant, get a manicure, and then go work a few hours in the evening. How many people can say they have a job like this? Yes, on Saturday and Sunday I am working from 8:30am to 7:00pm, but Monday through Friday are quite easy going. I love my lifestyle here!

Below is a picture from when I went to the zoo with my friends. I was able to feed a baby tiger!

What has also made my time here better and better each day, has been the ability to speak more and more Chinese. I take twice weekly one hour Chinese lessons offered by my company, have a language exchange between a local Chinese friend where I teach her Spanish and she teachers me Chinese once a week, and also use my Chinese as often as I can! Quite a few people have said to me, “Wow! Your Chinese is very good!” I am not sure about it being good, but I am fairly pleased at how much I am able to communicate. By now I am to navigate around the city in a taxi, order food, and bargain shop all in Chinese. It is really quite fun! Oh! And, I have a Chinese name, “Wan Qing Qing” (丸青青). This means, “to be young forever”. The local teachers at my school gave me this name.

Speaking of my school, I felt very loved this past Thursday on my 25th birthday. One of my co-workers bought me a cake and all of my co-workers sang “Happy Birthday” to me. Then, that evening a bunch of my co-workers and other friends in Guangzhou met up for dinner and salsa dancing. I have so many great friends here in Guangzhou! I am very blessed!

The longer I live here the better I am at knowing my way around the city. The other night I tried to take a bus home. I asked my Chinese friend what bus number to take and she told me. After geting on the bus and having it turn in the wrong direction, I knew that it was not the right bus. I did not panic, but simply got off at the first available moment. When I got off I felt as though the area was familar. I quickly realized that I was in the same spot that I walked around my very first night in Guangzhou trying to find food. It was fun for me to remember that night and remember how scared I was. It was also fun to see how much I have grown since then. I found the noodle house I ate at that first night and decided to take a picture of it.

As I am typing this, my mom and I are at The Holiday Inn in Hong Kong on Victoria Harbor. My mom arrived late Sunday evening into Guangzhou. I made her a sign that said, “Welcome to China Mom!” Her and I are spending three days in Hong Kong, then flying up to Beijing for 4 days, flying back down to Hong Kong, and then taking a train back to Guangzhou. I will be posting a blog all about her visit here after she returns back to California. It is so nice to share in this experience with her.

Well… time to go venture out in Hong Kong

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