Hopping on the plane I think it finally clicked that this was a major change in our lives. We are making a huge change by moving to such a foreign country that we know nothing about, not even the language. We arrived at Dulles airport and boarded the plane to Detroit. When we arrived in Detroit there was snow on the ground and we had to transfer planes by shuttle. When we got to the gate for Beijing all of the Asians looked at us like, “Are you sure you’re at the right gate?” We had to prepare ourselves mentally for this 16 hour flight; sitting for hours, being restless, eating airplane food and hoping we make it safely to our destination. There was ice on the ground and we had to take off! After hours of watching multiple movies, sleeping on and off, tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable spot, traveling into the future watching the sky go from light to dark then light again, we finally arrived in China. All of our emotions are going erratic. We are happy, excited but nervous too.
It was freezing in Beijing and everyone spoke Chinese, we made it! We saw the pollution, how extremely cold it was, how everyone looked similar and how everyone smokes like a chimney. We stuck out like crazy. We got a glimpse and then we headed off to Dalian in a smaller sized plane. We were fed oversized crutons. At this point, we heard not a lick of English. We had to hope we were on the right plane. After an hour and a half, we arrived to Dalian and it was freezing cold and windy! Our school met us at the airport and welcomed us to Dalian with signs, gifts and all! We rode in 3 risky taxis and went to our risky hotel that looked abandoned. We got to the hotel room and it was so dark there were barely any lights in the room. The hotel gave us an electric kettle to heat up water for noodles. The school gave us dinner (some noodles and fruit juice). We just wanted to eat and sleep. We stayed up for a while. The jet lag was crazy. We tried the tap water after boiling it, and that was our first lesson, only drink bottled water.(sn: The tap water is like ocean water blehh) At the hotel some Chinese person kept banging our wall saying “we were too loud” (we think) in Chinese, we were sleep! She kept coming back speaking Chinese and we are like what? It’s not us! We got phone calls with no reply it was weird. We couldn’t wait to find an apartment.
The next day we went apartment hunting. We found the one and signed the lease. We moved in the third day and tried to settle and the next day we finally could rest. The apartment came with a bed but it was like sleeping on the floor, they don’t lay on soft beds, they’re uncomfortable for Chinese people. The next day we had to work on Yan’s birthday. It was Thanksgiving and we had to tell what Thanksgiving was about in every class (pilgrims and all)…say what? It was fun, they ate like the Americans, they ate lots of food (actually they ate lots of candy, cakes and sweets)…We then got service on our phones and internet at our apartment which was a hassle and a whole other story in itself . Our lives were finally getting comfortable because we could connect with home.
Then, on our off-day we were pulled to go get a health check, that was really weird. We had to be checked for diseases in order to get our new visa and stay in China. We gave blood to see if we had diseases, they checked our eye sight and we were sent to this room with a sliding door. You walk in and you’re the only one in this all white room. They spoke to us in Chinese we didn’t know what they said so they just moved our bodies and stripped our clothes and did x-rays. The next room they slapped water on our wrists and ankles and put these clips on them. We didn’t know Chinese! What are they doing? Seemed like they were trying to electrocute us. They even did an ultrasound on us in a room with a curtain very little privacy they just pull your clothes off. That was weird! We had a urine test and for women you couldn’t wipe(no toilet paper), you had to use the squatter and there was no soap! I had to give them this cup with dirty hands, I was so grossed out. Check out video below.
Yanni told me when he was in the room getting his ultrasound, the Chinese doctor started freaking out. She called in our Chinese contact from our job and told her she couldn’t find his gall bladder. He had to tell her he had a Cholecystectomy which means it was removed, so if she did see it that would be a miracle. She then laughed and told our Chinese contact she thought her eyes were failing her. Long story short it was another weird and risky looking adventure, but what can you do? What happened on your last adventure? Tell us about it in the comments below.