We can’t believe that we’ve been living in China for a whole three months. It has been a whirlwind of a time with many ups and downs and we wanted to share our thoughts of what the past 90 days have been like. This is Rose’s view, and you can read Adam’s view about his experience so far.
What has been the biggest highlight of the last three months?
The highlight of the past three months hasn’t been one exact moment (though our weekend in Xi’an was pretty amazing), but more like a series of small victories in living everyday life in China. Being able to order in a restaurant, take the bus, or having small conversations with people on the street without having a total anxiety attack all come to mind. This is especially rewarding after a pretty rough first couple of weeks, and I feel like if we can navigate the culture shock in China, living most other places in the world should be relatively easy.
Also, I’ve been really enjoying writing on this blog, so starting View From This Spot has definitely been a highlight.
What has been the lowlight?
The job has been disappointing in so many ways. We were promised the opportunity to teach drama and direct some small shows, but because our visas were delayed, those opportunities went away (at least that’s what our employer has said), so the work we are doing with kids is much less rewarding. That, mixed with an awful schedule, very little time off together, and a now strained relationship with our employer makes the day-to-day grind difficult.
What didn’t you expect?
I didn’t expect the food to be so good. It’s so different from Western-style Chinese food, like we eat in Canada, but I LOVE it. It’s spicy, salty, and generally delicious. Some of my favourite dishes have been spicy green beans, steamed buns with meat, grilled spicy octopus, and cold noodles. Plus we’ve eaten all sorts of weird intestines, butterfly larva, and jelly fish (we think), almost all of which I’ve enjoyed. Delicious!
I also didn’t expect to be talking to friends from home so much. I was prepared to send a few messages back and forth, but it’s been awesome jumping on Skype with some familiar faces, and not just our moms! So if you’ve been in touch with us at all in the last three months, thanks so much. It really means a lot.
What do you expect in the next three months?
We’ve been promised that things at work should improve in September, so I’m trying to be optimistic that the job situation will become less frustrating. But what I’m most looking forward to is our travel plans in the next three months. Not only is my mom coming to visit Dalian, but we have trips booked to Beijing and Hong Kong. It will be amazing to get a break from work, see more of China and most of all to visit with family. I truly can not wait!
It’s comforting to know that the hardest part is over, and that there are some awesome things to look forward to in the next three months. I’m expecting more amazing food and sites, and I’m sure another few strange and uncomfortable situations before we’re done here. But hey, that’s China!