My new baby.

I’ve fallen in love with my new baby; aka the Kindle Paperwhite. After much deliberation and looking at customer reviews, I decided to buy it, well actually, my boyfriend got it for me so I should really be bowing down to him.

I actually didn’t know that you can get books for free. . . we don’t live in a world that’s free so I presumed I would have to buy them! Firstly there is Amazon which I created an account with, they have free books to buy then and there. The book then appears on the Kindle literally 5 seconds later. Then there are some which are like 50p. (doesn’t deal in euro). You can also sample a book and see whether you might like it before you buy. There are also some websites that offer free books, although I notice many of them are rather old ( some were written in the early 1900’s.)

At this moment I have 22 books. I have quite a lot of classics on it, such as Emma, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice. For the more recent ones you would have to buy them, but Emma and the likes are ‘classics’ so I’d like to read them and see what they’re like.  A lot of them are books I never heard of but once the reviews are positive then I’d be happy to buy them (for free)!

I can’t wait to get back into reading. For 4 years studying took up most of my time so I didn’t get to read as much as I used to.  I’m definite this will get me back into reading, and it is so light it really is perfect for travelling and even for reading in bed with the lights off! I was a bit hesitant when they first came out on the market, thinking ‘Nothing would replace the reading experience like an actual book’ but I actually was pleasantly surprised by it.  I would recommend this to anyone who is travelling or who loves to read, the books are a lot  cheaper than paperback, and it is perfect for travelling or going on holidays with. It also holds something like 1100 books so you’ll never be short of something to read!

Just waiting for my case to arrive from Ebay now…. and only 23 days until China! Time is flying by!

Aisling.

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Slowly but surely.

Slowly but surely I am getting through my list of jobs/things to do. Literally just bought my travel insurance, my dilemma being whether to buy insurance for a year. I have no idea what I’ll be doing after the internship, but I know for a fact Ireland will be the exact same way as I left it, meaning STILL no jobs. So I said to myself, I may as well get it for a year, at least then if I decide to stay then I’ll have it. Its good knowing that I’m covered for any mishaps that might happen me, for a whole year!

Also made an appointment for my eye sight. Lately my eyes have been very sore so I decided to check if I need new lenses. Fortunately my eyes didn’t change, so I’m guessing it was the sun doing the damage. I’m pretty sure after this week of glorious weather my eyes are over-sensitive to the sun. 😦

The visa’s should be arriving early August too, so that’s a trip up to Dublin, twice. Hopefully it won’t be late and rushing to get it.

Also heard that during our orientation week we will be heading to Harbin for a couple of days as well which hopefully will be great. We are checking into Beijing for 2/3 days, then travelling North to Harbin for 5 days, then back to Beijing. I’m sure the journeys will soon grate on me but I’m excited that I’ll be able to see a bit more of China.

Still debating over whether to get a Kindle though, those journeys would be rather boring without a couple of books.. I don’t plan on bringing many over so I might invest in a Kindle.

Aisling.

It’s Kicking In!

I think yesterday was when I felt a little overwhelmed about my packing situation. I visited my friend last night who left for Portugal this morning for a month, bringing my ‘I’m sorry your Leaving’ card and a personalised (by me) journal for her. I made myself supervisor whilst she packed, but boy did I get a wake-up call. My suitcase is nowhere near as big, yet I have to fit 5/6 months worth of stuff in my own.

What makes it worse, I don’t know what part of China I’ll be located in. North will be freezing in winter and South will be a lot milder. This means I don’t know what kind of clothes to bring with me, heavy or light? I know I can buy things over there, but I honestly feel like I’m moving to an alien planet, and they will have nothing remotely like what we have in Western society. But I’m assured from previous interns they do in fact have the majority of things we have here.

I’ve also pulled out the old large suitcase I haven’t seen in years and I’m airing it out. The thing hasn’t seen the outside world in ages so its gathered a terrible musty odour, I don’t fancy opening it up in China with my clothes smelling, although the smog I hear should mask it a bit.

My carry-on/work/weekends away bag has eventually been ordered. I’ve decided to get a Jansport bag, one that will fit my monstrous laptop and will carry my work things and some clothes. I’m trying hard to get something major done every week whilst buying some clothes and necessities.

5 weeks tomorrow and I’ll be on my way, time flies when your busy… I just hope it slows down a bit so I can get the rest of my things sorted.

Aisling.

Finally.

Finally.

I’ve finally started my vaccinations. And unlike the photo, I was NOT smiling. I will be broke after my 4 injections, so I keep saying to myself ‘I’d rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them’. I’m getting Rabies and just a booster of Hep A ( need a booster after a year for Hep A).

Next objective; sort this stupid laptop out. Everything you could think of, this laptop does; crashes, dies, freezes, suddenly updates for hours, and is always struggling with lack of air circulation due to the fan.
Shit will hit the fan (excuse the pun) if it decides to break when I’m away.

I Have Films!

Something constructive actually happened this week. I now have a lovely ‘My Passport’ red external hard drive. Thanks to my boyfriend and his dad, they organised to get loads of recent/old films onto it. From Black Swan to 21 Jump Street, I have them! There are some films I never heard of, to old classics like Back to the Future. I’ve watched a couple already, ones that I’ve always wanted to see but never had the chance, or was too lazy to go see them in the cinema. I also have some TV series, like The Big Bang Theory, Love/Hate ( its a very popular Irish series, everyone is raving about it so I’d like to get into it), The Walking Dead and An Idiot Abroad. 

My vaccinations however didn’t go to plan… due to cost and confusion of what vaccinations I need, I’m going to sort that out next week instead. I’m pretty sure I just need a booster of one. ( I hope) I still have a couple of weeks to go, but I’d rather just get them out of the way rather than worrying about it a week before I go. My trip to Tanzania ended up that way, in that I got my last Hep B injection the DAY BEFORE I actually left. Saying that, it was purely my own fault… so this time round I’m going to keep up to date with everything!

I’m still undecided on this question though: suitcase or backpack? I’m really torn. I would love to bring my backpack. Although I loved it and felt like a real ‘backpacker’, it was a bloody nuisance with packing. I’d literally have to take everything out of it to get something from the bottom, or rummage through it and hopefully grab the thing I was looking for. Actually putting it on me was a task in itself too. But, I still loved it.

I’m veering towards a suitcase for a number of reasons though. Its handier for packing, I can see what’s in it, I can wear a bag on my back (for my laptop) and I assume it will fit more things in it than a backpack. It is also more secure, whereas I cant put any expensive items in my backpack because I cant lock it.

The company that I am going with state that a backpack would be better to bring because of the travelling. I would love to travel after the internship, maybe visit the countries like Thailand and Vietnam, but that’s still a long way off yet.

So If anyone has some suggestions about what’s best for travelling with, I’d be grateful!

Aisling.

July Already????

Hello 1st of July, I have been waiting to see you for…oh about 5 months now. I have only one month left until August… meaning one FULL month left at home until I go. When I got my acceptance letter last March, all I could think was ‘I have to wait 5 whole months now!’ Now I’m finally nearing lift-off.

So what have I actually done in 5 months? Not a lot.

1. I bought a Grammer book specifically designed for study over those couple of months, learning my adjectives, my superlatives, my gerunds and what not. . . that in fact did NOT happen. I know I’m going to regret that later on.

2. I bought a couple of clothes for going away. (by couple I mean 1 pair of trousers, a dress and 3 t-shirts)

3. I booked my accommodation prior to our Orientation called the Happy Dragon Hostel in Beijing.   

4. I contemplated calling the Doctors for Vacs. I’m really not keen on paying money to have someone stick needles in me.

5. Made and remade my famous stir-fry until I’m literally sick of the stuff. I know I go on a lot about my cooking but I’m a terrible cook so I’m delighted that I try. I’m so sick of noodles and chicken. . but my chop-stick skills have improved a lot from it.

6. Eyeing up Kindles with Envy.

I promised to myself July is my busy month, no I actually do have a lot to do. So this week: Vaccinations. Worst is, the vaccinations I got last year expired, who knew they expire?… in a year?? … so now I have to get them all again.. the joys!

 

Aisling.