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My First Week In China

From the moment I took a step out of my apartment, I was jovially overwhelmed by my new environment. It was quickly figured that China’s architecture is built for efficiency and practicality which enhanced its beauty. Obviously, it didn’t help with the navigation because I didn’t know a bit of Chinese but it was still fun to look at and explore. That’s actually how I spent my second and third days in China.

The first day was all about getting me settled in. I was guided by Vina as she took me to the police station to get my resident card. Honestly, she was way too excited than I was and I was pretty damn excited. Later, she took me to get my data plan which including phone and internet. That sounded practical to me and easy to understand. One bill for two components. Easy enough for me. It was also where I made my first - or rather second - friend.

Mileesha met me at the phone company and we instantly hit it off. Vina took us both out for tea and gave us a brief layout of the area before we explored it ourselves. And that alone was so much fun.

We took the next few days checking out various food spots, tea shops, making sure we could find our usual location and, after a long day, a nice dinner at a new restaurant. It was amazing and it helped us understand very quickly that just because it cost more doesn’t mean it will taste better. We found ourselves enjoying the food for a small mom-and-pop store than a fancy restaurant. Even to this day, I still frequent these establishments. Cheap and delicious. China, indeed, knows how to cook. Really well, I might add. Every shop has its signature niche.

Then, I got a call from my colleague, Serena, to visit my new workplace and that was funny in it of itself. She contacted me through WeChat and I, initially, didn’t respond because I didn’t know her. Old habits, I guess. But, I was able to find the school which is actually an academic center. It’s something that China has a lot of as I’ve come to find out. I mean, seriously, I’ve seen more centers than I’ve seen school at this point of my story.

Anyway, I was given the grand tour of the center and, then, guided to the subway. She taught me how the subway system works and where I needed to go for my training. It was easy enough for me being from Philadelphia. That city has a lot of subways and trains. Trolleys, too. Nonetheless, Serena gave me the location of where I needed to go for training and clear instructions followed by excitement of my arrival.

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