Thursday, 4 September 2008

Return to China

Shaoxing Boat in canal near city square

Old part of Shaoxing

As usual I literally ran out of time! We all say the same. We try to pack so much into our lives and with a deadline (like a departure date!) it is a struggle doing all that one wants to do. I have not kept up the blog - so much I was going to do, but here I am back in China.

I left Brisbane at 11.45 pm on August 31st en route to Shanghai, with a short stopover in Singapore. My plane landed on time at Pudong/Shanghai International Airport at 1.30 pm. I had my luggage by around 2 pm and had to find KFC where I was to be met - but not until 4 pm. I found two KFC's - rather close to each other but I wondered which one I was supposed to be at. I bought a chicken burger at one and ate it, before discovering the second one, and I had just purchased an icecream and sat down when I saw some familiar faces.

The welcoming party from the College arrived. (Great, I was at the right KFC!) There were a couple of new teachers from France, and eventually another two from Scotland, and one from Korea. But it was around 5.30 pm (China time) that we left Shanghai for the hairraising trip to Shaoxing.

Along the way we stopped for a quick meal - snacks on small plates. Would have probably tasted better if they were hot!

Back on the bus to continue the trip. By now it was dark - which was probably good not to see the traffic that the bus weaving in an out. We arrived safely at some time, and quickly got my luggage into the apartment. On the first floor. (In Australia we'd call it the ground floor.)

I found some food. (Thanks Audrey) I unpacked some necessities. Made the bed, and fell in and was soon sound asleep.

It has been a couple of "lazy" days. Unpacking. Getting the apartment in order. Meeting the other teachers. A welcome meeting. Getting information about our teaching programs.
And the supermarket. The French couple and I walked up to Tesco in the evening - loaded our trolleys and returned to the college late. Still more things to get.
On Wednesday the three of us went into Shaoxing, for a look around. Strange how much has changed in two months! Of course most was familiar. We went for a walk around a park above the city square - where the photos were taken. It is a huge area, and I had not explored all the park before. Even now I know there is more to see, and I look forward to going for a ride around the canals on one of the Shaoxing boats to see more.
There are more teachers due to arrive in the next couple of days, and the students come in over the weekend so we may as well enjoy the wonderful peace while it lasts. There is barely a sound on the campus. Beautiful.

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