Where has the time gone? I can’t even remember the date the last time I posted!
What’s new here in Hefei? Well I’ve been here over 3 months now and we’re literally just coming up to the Chinese New Year festival. I’m winding down at work and despite having two days left before I break up for the holiday, I have absolutely nothing left to do – the easy life. As we speak the game, Age of Empires is downloading so I might keep my inner nerd occupied for a few hours at least.
Christmas came and went in the blink of an eye. We celebrated in true western style on Christmas Eve, with a house party followed by a night clubbing. Although Christmas Day was extremely subdued. Partly due to extreme hangovers but also the fact 99% of the population were simply going about their own business!
A week later, and it was NYE! A great night, but not quite the same as last year in Sydney unfortunately! We went to a popular western bar, and celebrated the countdown with our friends from near and far – and to be honest that’s pretty much all I can remember!
January brought a change in our office. Caleb left to go back home to Australia, being replaced by two new American teachers John and Paul. My timetable has been stable for a few months now and I feel I’m building a good rapport with all my students, who I can see making amazing progress, while I’m learning more and more every day – and still absolutely loving the job.
We had a big event in the EF calendar during the middle of January. The Annual Conference was a good excuse to dress up smart and drink a lot for us foreigners. Was a really enjoyable day spent with local and foreign staff where many speeches were made, awards presented and some good/different/quirky performances were made by the staff.
January was cold! I’d been fairly comfortable with the climate up until then but the cold weather soon came. We had a little snow and then it seemed to warm up a little, but unfortunately at the end of the month we had the coldest week of the year. It felt Arctic! Bad news followed for mine and Stevens apartment too. Because of the temperature, an outside tap had froze and burst while we were at work, flooding our whole apartment! My laptop was on the floor and as a result became a swimming pool float. Ruined. The water actually came out of our door, and down the elevator shaft destroying one of the lifts. Shit! The whole block was wet, and during the night froze.
Fortunately EF put us up in a hotel for the night, before helping us to find somewhere else to stay for a few weeks while our flat is repaired. I’ve no idea how long it’ll be, but the whole floor needs redoing.
I’m so excited for the weekend as 8 of us foreign EF teachers are heading off to Seoul, South Korea for 5 nights! Another country to check off the list, but will be really strange going on holiday and then coming back to my ‘normal’ Chinese life. I’ll definitely take as many photos as I can, and try to update the blog soon after I get back.
By the sounds of it, if you aren’t Chinese or married into a Chinese family then the New Year celebrations can be pretty diluted, especially if you’re in a non-international city such as Hefei. Everyone tends to head home to their families, and eats and eats and eats! But having no Chinese family and just a few foreign counterparts; we decided the best idea was to jet off somewhere!
I will be sure to post again once I’m back for Seoul. Sure it’ll be a great trip, with great people.