Sunday, August 4, 2013

Good evening from Shanghai, China! Pretty low key weekend, which is a positive thing at times! Friday our school took us to a nice restaurant and really showed us a good time. Afterwards, only about four teachers took the bus home. The rest of us went out for a night in the French Concession. One of my favorite aspects of Chinese dining is that usually only one person orders for the whole group. All of the food is then put on a lazy Susan, and you only need to pluck the desired morsel up with your chopsticks (sometimes easier said than done). Whenever we go out with school administrators, they take care of it all. That means I do not have to make any decisions, and I love it! We went to a popular expat bar after dinner, and ended up on a rooftop bar that was possibly a little too ritzy for me. I was unable to order myself a simple beer, and the vice principal of the middle school saw and came to show me how it was done. He would not even let me pay! They are very nice people.

This weekend was much slower paced. We have not been good about keeping food in the apartment yet, as everything is so different (and of course all in Chinese) and we do not have pans, either. We went to a bakery for a light breakfast, and while Angela waited for the internet guy, I went with a friend to a nearby grocery store to learn where it was located. For dinner, a bunch of us new teachers found a very close restaurant much like the one we went to on Friday night, but much less expensive! We ordered a lot between 9 of us, and ended up paying about 70 RMB total. Divide that by 6, and that is your dollar equivalent. Afterwards, we were invited to the apartment of one of the new teachers where we sat and talked. I went to bed very early for a Saturday night! Today we went shopping once in a cab for a few necessities, and then decided to walk to Carrefour, a popular shopping mart, and got a few more. Slowly but surely our apartment is feeling a little less like a completely empty hotel room! Tomorrow we go back to school, but I do not mind. I struggle with so much free time more than I did back in Iowa, since I don’t know what to do with myself! I enjoyed being around all the other new teachers, and when I am busy all day, some down time after school feels alright. One more week of in services, and then the students will come! All for now,

      -Jason

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