I’m Getting There…

As I lift my pumpkin seeds with chopsticks, I reflect on my first 46 hours in Shanghai…

I’m in Veggie Gather, The all Vegetarian joint that fooled a 17 year vegan. I was traumatized as I ate dinner here last night seeing late in the meal that small chunks of pork were mixed in with my tofu. 

I abandoned the rest of my entree. And I never waste food at a restaurant so, embarrassed, I rushed away.  

Now, my server–the only one here who speaks English–tells me the place is completely Vegetarian! (caps for V forced on me by autocorrect) The “meat” was just that…”meat”!



I’m so excited to live down the way from a veg place. My new neighborhood is Hongmei Road–a bustling district full of cafes, shops & restaurants.  Rolls Royces & Maseratis roll through past golf villas, while apartments just around the bend resemble crumbling prison cell blocks. 

I’m still in a nice little hotel now with other teachers new to Soong Ching Ling School. But I’ll soon be in my own apartment…

Our hotel entrance
 

My first full day here, I, with ample & gracious guidance from Soong Ching Ling support staff:

–got a China Mobile phone number & 2GB monthly plan (only after getting my picture taken while holding up my passport photo)

–opened a bank account at Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, after getting photo taken and receiving a little calculator device to bring home to create new passwords with in the future

–found an apartment with the assistance of a frazzled realtor & her friend, rushing around for days  finding places for new teachers. Although possessing a terrifying looking stairwell filled with darkness, broken concrete steps and a big pile of trash, the apartment itself is much larger than expected, has fresh paint and new doors and a bed, table and chairs. 

My future apartment building is next to this popular entertainment district.

I’m practicing Mandarin a lot and watching Chinese music performances  regularly on TV. I ran early yesterday–afraid this is how it’s usually going to have to be– and received a free gym pass today to OriGym, probably the nicest looking gym I’ve seen. 
Pressing ahead!

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