Well, we're back and into another year in Dalian. After a long exhausting flight from Vancouver, we landed late in Beijing. Fortunately our flight to Dalian was also late, so arrived that night. Welcomed by a very grumpy taxi driver who swore a blue streak at us (according to Sam!) for having so much luggage (we even took 2 cabs), and then drove like a race car driver. I prayed non-stop, not wanting to die our first night back.
I started teaching on Monday at 8am.
On arriving we learned that our School had accepted 200 new students but hadn't hired new teachers - so we were being strongly pressured to teach extra classes. Fortunately, some stalling by us worked - they found other teachers and we don't have to teach extra classes. Although.... I do have a lot more students in my Environment and Business class this year.
We've had some of the usual blues in arriving back. Its hard to adjust to the crowded streets where cars have the right of way, the crazy bureaucratic rules, and most difficult for me, not being able to speak Chinese. ;-(
We've almost got our new home on the 9th floor unpacked and organized. Of course our dear Teng Shu Li had prepared a lot of it for us! Its quite comfy and has an extra room for visitors. It also has new things to learn about - like a hot water tank that has a timer (in Chinese) and a bathroom that really begins to smell at night. Sigh. And there are the early morning marching sounds at 6am of the local college, and at night, sometimes the Chinese music for the outdoors dance class wafts through. I really should join a class - that would certainly be a way to get to know our 'neighbours'!
Within the first few days the "Angel of (building) 32" came around to check in and make sure we knew that we would now need a new electronic key to get in the complex. (The sign is only up in Chinese!). She's also helped me cope with my allergies, which have been Really awful this month. A few days i haven't wanted to get out of bed, and I'm just feeling miserable. Between her and my other TCM doctor, I've now tried just about every type of immune-enhancing Chinese remedy there is. Acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, scrapping, blood-letting, massage, sauna, drinking astragalus tea, tea from corn silk, forgoing coffee (!) in addition to the various western drugs (which also also only work sometimes). And last night one of our student friends helped me order an air filter on taobao. Desperation. She happens to be doing her paper on air filters, so was very useful!
View from our living room on a rare clear day.
view from our kitchen.
Will say good night for now, as the allergies are exhausting me, and I need to go soak my feet in hot water!