Wednesday, August 26th, 2009...7:35 am

26 Aug 2009 – going into the city

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So I had orientation this morning.  John, the IT supervisor, was sent over to pick me up from my apartment.  He showed me how to take the bus from my apartment and into the city.  I only live two stops from the office where I had orientation today.  It also only costs 1 yuan to ride it (the exchange rate is about 1RMB to 0.14 dollars).  I found out that crossing streets can be dangerous.  There aren’t many crosswalk lights, so people just kind of go at will, and drivers do not do a very good job of yielding.  Such is the life here, gotta be on your toes.

Orientation did not last long, so after mingling with the other teachers, some of us went to the supermarket just to grab something (many of us did not eat that morning nor the night before).  I got yogurt, bananas, two big bottles of water and a bottle of orange juice for under 20 RMBs.  Then, John and April took some of us to get a cell phone.  They helped us shop around for some good deals.  We all just got a simple one, cost 430 RMB’s for the phone and sim card (about 60-65 US dollars-pretty sweet, huh?).  If you want to know the number (and my address) just send me an email and I’ll let you know, but I’d be hesitant about calling international.  It’ll be expensive for the both of us.

After that, John had to take me to the Police Station to get my resident permit.  This took awhile to do (as did getting the phone), which John said was a usual thing here.  Not sure why yet, but he said one needs to develop patience to live here, and I agree.

I rode the bus a lot today, and I’m only familiar with going to the places I went.  Not sure what else is around.  It also rained a lot, which reminded me of the Philippines.  At the end of the day, John came back to my apartment to fix my internet, so now I can get online at home.  I’m very fortunate to have people willing to take us around helping us do the little things here.  Without them, my life would be a mess right now and I would be on the next flight home.  But it looks like the teachers here are surrounded by good people in the program, so I’ll be fine.

I hope I can tell you more about the city tomorrow.

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