Saturday, February 27, 2010

'kay I'm here

Well that was...difficult.

Here's the rundown:

11:00 PM PST - take bus to middle of nowhere LAX to board plane
11:40 PM PST - depart on plane
7:45 AM China time (3:45 PM PST) - ~16 hours later - finally off the plane, breeze through customs etc (yeah it was really quick) - it took a long time because we hit a ton of headwinds I guess (~130-145 mph) and I watched our ground-speed drop from ~525 mph to ~399 mph...ugh.



Ignore the frosty window but pay attention to the color of the sun from the pollution; reminds me of fire season in LA...

8:30 AM - ~40 minute bus ride from the airport to downtown (really interesting expressway through the city that had this incredibly well maintained garden, I'd say, throughout the center median for the first part out of the airport).

You can kind of see it in the center of the picture.

Additionally, there were 2 other teachers that turned out to be on the same plane as me...who knew? One is 22 and from Toronto, the other is 21 and from Ohio (I might have gotten the ages switched up). Anyway, after taking a terrifying (and fun!) brief taxi ride to the office (the company is basically a staffing agency for ESL teachers), we ended up there for a loooong time. I was originally told that training was going to be all next week, but I guess they want us teaching starting Monday, so they are cramming the training into these three days (Friday-Sunday). I suppose that's a good thing, since we do not get paid for training anyway. However, I was still rather surprised to have to basically work immediately upon arrival...

It also just plain sucked that I couldn't get online so I could update everyone back home...I basically had to wait the whole day for that.

Some general observations:
  • The internet at this hotel is awful. I had a hard time loading up Gmail and it's overall just spotty...BUT at least I have it! I'll take what I can get.
  • There are McDonalds everywhere. I mean, everywhere. Yes, there are KFC and Pizza Hut, too, but you can't find one on almost every city block!
  • The pollution is about as bad as you've heard; I'm interested to see what they can do before next October with the Asian Games coming to Guangzhou.
  • Drivers are insane. The "cars before pedestrians" rule definitely applies.

Anyway, more to come.


1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you submitted to PostSecret!

    (Sorry for the link- I can't figure out how to do it in a comment.)