Feet to move, places to roam
How incredibly crazy is it that just after one flight out of any city, you can be anywhere in the world? Just last week I flew from Winnipeg to Vancouver and within 11 hours I was on the other side of the globe in Shanghai, China. I was somewhere over North Korea when I peered out of the aircraft window, pulled up the shutter and all I could see was pitch black sky carrying on and on. It was in that moment, thousands of feet off the ground when I realized, “Damn, this is actually happening and there is no turning around”. But then again, why would I ever want the plane to backtrack all the way home? Scratch that, I am home. I now live in China.
I packed my life up into three suitcases and one backpack then jetted off to what feels like a completely different planet. This is my first time in Asia and it is a mind boggling experience to witness how the other half of the world lives. The air is different, the food is different, the toilets are different and of course, the language is one that will take some time to master. I am located in a city called Zhengzhou which is where I will be teaching until June 2017. Zhengzhou is a metropolis on the Yellow River and the capital of east-central China’s Henan province. It is a quick two hour flight from Shanghai, a bullet train away from Beijing and not to far from Hong Kong. After being unexpectedly delayed in Shanghai for nearly 9 hours and stuck in the airport, I look forward to heading back to the city soon and exploring all that it has to offer. On top of it all, I am being sent to Hong Kong in October for three days and cannot wait to take advantage of this time to explore the hectic city.
As a quick introduction to my first few days moving to Asia, I will quickly list my first impressions of China. Although New York is labelled “The city that never sleeps”, China is sure enough up there also. The constant honking of cars throughout all hours of the day and night do not stop, it is easy to find food at any given time and not just take away stops, I went for a massage at 11:30 PM with no reservation and the employees did not complain, (these services are not open in Canada 24/7 and require at least a weeks booking notice), and “business days” for shipping do not exist. Everything from toasters, mattresses, microwaves, clothing, and food products can all be ordered online and arrive immediately. The people of China do not take a break and weekends are unheard of. It is definitely a change in lifestyle compared to the way North Americans live however I have only benefited from the differences. Only downside is that it has been hard to find my favored beauty products and toiletries such as tampons, my preferred brand of hair straighter, and a place that sells MAC make up. Keeping in mind, I am also in a non-tourist location where it is a bit more difficult to find Western imported brands. But this is what I wanted, to be away from my regular lifestyle and expand my knowledge on the world with a new challenge.
Hopefully I will be heading out to Beijing in the next few weeks, so that means… Great Wall of China adventure! Check back for more soon. xx