I can hardly believe that the first half of the school year is complete. It’s has been extremely enjoyable but exhausting.
I have moved in, furnished the apartment, coped without any decaf tea, made new friends, learned some (really really) hard Mandarin words, found my way around a HUGE city, and tried to remember the names of nearly 700 children and staff. Phew! My poor little brain is frazzled.
Concordia is a friendly school but you work hard and the last week of term it was our annual Book Fair and while it was great to see the children hyped up about reading it was frenetically busy and the temperature in the library space soared to melting point as a result I came home every day with a headache. Did I mention that in our school either the air con is on or the heating and that is that. All centrally controlled and very hard to get any thermostat variation (although I am trying very hard)
Probably the biggest change for us has been the technology. Not only have I had to migrate from Windows to a MAC environment but China is a virtually cashless society. It makes heavy use of WeChat which is an app that does pretty much everything. It works like Facebook, What’sApp, a translation tool and your bank. There is probably more that we haven’t got our heads around yet!!! I don’t use a purse anymore but I never go anywhere without my phone!
It has been a whirlwind few months with so many new experiences.:
We have seen cute pandas close up, experienced the enormous crowds at the water towns,
Seen beautiful moon gates
Been to a wonderful wedding
And seen the iconic buildings that make up the Shanghai skyline
But most of all we have eaten! The food here does not have the same flavors as Thai cuisine but my team have taken on a self-appointed mission to introduce me to as many different foods as possible. Probably too many as despite all the walking my waistline seems to have expanded!!!
Lots of fresh vegetables and pork dishes but dumplings are my favorite
But not this!!!
All that AND I fitted in a librarian’s conference in Kuala Lumpur where it was great to catch up with all my Bangkok colleagues. We had the pleasure of a cocktail mixology class in the evening led by a former UoC student. What a small world it is.
The best part though has to be the people we have met. It has been fantastic to re-connect with our Chinese friends
I have a very supportive library team
Some very friendly new colleagues
And the children are just adorable
These are from the Teddy Bears class who spontaneously brought us some chicken and mushroom soup as a Christmas gift. Secret Santa was also very active in the final week of school which was brilliant fun. The school is so caring that it is a pleasure to work there.
A pleasure that will get easier now that I have learned so much and got to grips with how everything works here.
And Kevin? Well he has signed up to be a sub in the library if one of my team is sick. And he even has a few hours of his own working in the High School as a maker space technician, trying to ensure that the kids don’t laser cut their fingers off.
All in all
We are however ready for a rest so have broken our journey home with a 4 night holidayette in Dubai. More on that anon.