A Travellerspoint blog

“Today is special…”

To say the least


So I’m still staying in my room at the moment. I’ve been nervous all day, though. Caroline (the maintenance lady) didn’t contact me. She told me (yesterday) that she would tell me when the renovation is beginning, so I can get out of the room in time, knowing China she’ll probably tell me 5 min. in advance.

I met a fellow foreign teacher who lives just next to me in the hallway today, he asked me if they told me to move out as well. He’d just checked out the room he was given, just like I did yesterday. “Do YOU think you can live there?” he asked, no doubt about it-his room was as bad as mine. I laughed a little “No, absolutely not!” I was relieved that I was not the only one. He also told me that the renovation was going to take 10- 15 days. So I must have misunderstood her then. 50 days did seem like an awfully long time to build something in China. But I still reject the idea of living in such a disgusting space for “only” 10 days. Just like my neighbor said; there’s NO washing machine, TV, bedding, internet, western toilet- just a (nasty) bed. I have all of these "fancy" facilities in my current room (well, except for washing machine- but I share one so I’m OK for now) The foreign teacher (I still don’t know his name) was going to move his stuff down to his awful room after we talked. No wonder those rooms are empty… no living creature can live there! From what I can hear, I’m pretty sure he has moved out by now, it took him a few hours. But I think he’s still in his old room. I can hear his chair moving...these walls are like paper. I guess he's staying for as long as he can too. No use staying in that horrible place, if you can stay on the 7th floor= heaven /in comparison.

I’m staying in my nice room for as long as I can. I haven’t heard anything from Amanda so I don’t know if she has spoken to Caroline. I was pretty persistent about having internet in the room, but even if Caroline can fix that, it’s still not very tempting to sleep/work in there. Even for 10 days. If I only had a tent and a sleeping bag, I’d honestly just sleep outside my door (it’s out in the open, but there are walls/ceiling) This whole thing is just stupid, but I haven’t really been able to relax all day- because at any time I could get a phone call or a knock on my door saying I have to move out NOW and they will tell me that there’s no other option than that terrible place… It upsets me. I don’t want something like this to ruin my experience here. I don’t mean to sound whiny and overly demanding, but believe me when I say that’s the last thing I am. Take today for example, after lunch I always have a 1st grade class. This lesson usually starts 14.40. I strolled into the school at 14.30- basically ready to go straight to the classroom. There was teacher in the classroom. She saw me, came to the door and spoke Chinese- but her gestures made it clear that she was taking the lesson. A bit confused, I walked up to the office where I asked Sophie (English teacher who’s one of my contacts) if my lesson was being swapped. She said that the lesson started 14.30 today, because “today’ special” Too bad I didn’t know that today was special until then! Annoyed as I was, I didn't say anything- just "OK, that's fine.. see you". Apparently this happened because the children were hiking in the hills after class. I didn’t know anything- as usual. Sophie said she couldn’t reach me, which I find funny because they all have my phone number. Everyone here only think about their own affairs. So my lesson was canceled, which wasn’t too bad. I just wish they told me sooner, so I didn’t have to waste time walking over there and back again. I started planning 3rd and 4th grade classes (I have 4th grade tomorrow) I’m almost done.

I ate at the canteen for dinner, I went early because I was really hungry. I'm a true, starving teacher:/ I haven’t been to the supermarket yet. I was supposed to go yesterday. But lack of energy, and too much lesson planning got in the way. I still don’t have any food in my room. But if I’m moving anywhere I might as well wait before I go ahead and stock up on eats. I haven’t dared to really unpack my stuff again, because I never know when I’ll have to go. I feel like I can’t relax and be comfortable in the room anymore, it no longer feels like mine when I can expect being ‘kicked’ out any time now. I’m stressed, tired and hungry. Although I much rather would describe all the fun, idyllic, positive things about this trip, there’s no avoiding the inevitable bad things that comes with it. Hopefully things will get better in a few days (meaning I don’t have to stay in the awful room and I’ll have some food available)That would definitely help! Maybe I’ll have canteen breakfast tomorrow morning for the second time here...It's not super good- but it's food.

I try to look on the bright side all the time here, but sometimes the bright side is a little too naïve in my opinion. I mean, this is still a completely different country and culture than what I’m used to, it’s thrilling but also tiring at times. It would be nice to be able to explain things, without being misunderstood EVERY time, for example. That’s one of my daily challenges. I know I’ll start enjoying this fully again, when this though phase passes. Hopefully that’s soon.

This upcoming weekend I think we’ll just stay local. Go out to eat maybe. KTV too perhaps. Maybe someone comes to visit, I don’t know. I hopes so, it would be nice to see some faces I haven’t seen in awhile.

My arms/shoulders/neck’s so sore from carrying around all of my luggage everywhere yesterday. I remember when we arrived here, one month ago- my arms were sore for DAYS. I think SOMEONE needs exercise…

Please, if you read this- leave a little “hello” in the comment box below. I want to know who’s reading

- Cecilie

Posted by ChinaSarah 05:42 Archived in China Tagged buildings accommodation china shenzhen primary_school

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Hello, I've just started reading through your blog entries, they are long, but I like them.

At this point I just want to say "fight on!" ;)

by Runar

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