In the week since I left the U.S., I feel as though I have experienced enough things to fill up a month. I've started learning Chinese (fun, yet challenging), I've eaten some amazing food, met some even more amazing people, been a good neighbor, and started planning out my school year.
Chinese lessons have been really fun. So far we've learnt simple phrases and sentences like, "Wo qu Baishan xuexiao. Wo yao ban ge ping guo." I am going to Baishan school. I want eight apples. Nothing too impressive yet, but still rather fun. We've been focusing a lot on the tones. It's a challenge to constantly think about the tone of your speech. I thought that part would be easier. I'm sure it will be one day.
The food here is just wonderful. So far the hot pot from my first night has been my favorite, but we've also had Korean barbecue, chuare (beef, lamb, or squid on a stick. I had all three), lots of jiaoci (dumplings), and noodles. I'm excited to keep trying new things!
The teachers at the school are so great. I already feel as though I'm in a fantastic community, and I'm really looking forward to getting to know these people more. Also, they have some great insights and stories about living in China.
Like State Farm Insurance, I have been a good neighbor. A coworker lives two flights below Zack and me, and she's currently cat-sitting for a family on vacation in Thailand. Last night the cat got out and so we spent 45 minutes trying to corral this dumb cat to a place where we could actually catch it. We laid traps, tried being sweet, bribed it with food, but nothing worked. Eventually we just gave up and hoped that it would be in a more catchable mood today (It was. It has now been caught).
And finally this week I've started planning out my school year. I know now what classes I'll be teaching: one class each of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math, and one class of 6th grade social studies (ancient history through the Middle Ages). I'm pretty excited about it. There's a lot of prep time available for me, even though some of that will be used up with Chinese lessons. I'm looking forward to this school year.
OK, well, I have to admit that I may or may not have created a misleading title to make you more interested in this post. Don't be mad.