We've begun week 3 in our school in Fuyang, China. Things are going well! I'm teaching 4th and 5th graders; and they are such great fun. Life is starting to get easier; we're learning where to shop, where to eat, where to go for a pretty walk (or cheap foot massage!). As we learn more about the city, life gets better. We have a lot of time to relax, watch tv, walk around the city, talk with family and friends, etc. The weather is starting to get warmer. The mornings and evenings are still chilly, but afternoons are quite warm. I'm already afraid of this summer! No AC in the classrooms, and it gets VERY hot and humid! The humidity is terrible even when it's cold. Papers in our apartment are always damp. Towels don't really dry. The bed always feels... dewy. But for the most part, it's pretty comfortable. We have a comfortable bed, and we're getting a couch today. We have a big tv, and a phone. Our kitchen is nice, clean, and efficient. Our shower gets nice and hot; so far, very few bugs. Life is good!
Diet? Well... I lost a lot of weight the first week and a half; then I've kind of stopped. Why? Because I've discovered the chocolate isle at the supermarket, and the ice cream bars at the store next door. I've gotta stop. The food in the cafeteria is free for us 3 meals a day, 5 days a week; but it's made me sick a couple times. I'm afraid to eat it! I do anyway, for breakfast and lunch; but dinner is usually at a restaurant or home-cooked (a lot of eggs and ham, or bokchoy and bacon, or pork steaks and potatoes!). I'm confident that I'll lose a decent amount of weight yet, but it's going slower. I've gotta lay off that Dove chocolate and those delicious ice cream bars!
Life in China is so different from what I expected. I thought I was prepared; but nothing prepares you for this. Everywhere we go, we are stared at. Camera phones always seem to seek us out; and we're asked for our autographs! Babies here don't usually wear diapers; they have a slit in their pants, and they just squat. I'm not sure whether they are "trained" not to do it in certain places; I haven't seen any accidents. But who knows! The meat area of the market has live eels, turtles, frogs, fish... along with smoked and cured eels, turtles, frogs, fish... and there are plucked chickens and ducks, jellyfish, and squid. The chickens are a lot leaner than in the US... probably because they aren't genetically altered like ours are! I've stuck to beef and pork; it looks more familiar. Or packaged bacon and ham.
I've found cheese! There are only a couple kinds; blocks of monterey jack cheese (not too good), singles of american cheese, and spreadable "breakfast cheese". I'm not sure what this is... but it's good on a baguette!
I'm drinking a lot of tea. We have to boil our water before drinking it; and I'm a procrastinator. So I don't keep some in the fridge for when I need it. And I don't like drinking plain old hot water; so we have a water boiler, and I just drink tea all day long. Yum yum!