After a 28 hour train journey, I finally made it to Chengdu! My group took the longest to reach our placement, with many travelling to the South taking just 20 hours. I have no idea how we took so long! We left Beijing on the Sunday and arrived the next day at 4pm, where our school advisors picked us up from the train station. The scene actually reminded me of the film ‘Empire of the Sun’ where the little boy (Christian Bale) was reunited with his Mum and Dad at the end of the film. All of us interns wandering around the crowd of people looking for our advisors. I didn’t even have time to say goodbye to any of the other interns because we were whisked away, all of us starting a new life in a different part of Chengdu!
So a little about my placement; well it is HUGE. It is called ‘Chengdu Aeronautic Vocational and Technical College’ where they study aviation, flight stewarding, aviation engineering, marketing, among more. There are about 12,000 students studying here, and it has 2 supermarkets, hairdressers, a big stadium, 2 canteens and shops for stationary, electronics and the like. It’s only a couple of years old, and they are building a new building at the moment. They even have a plane replica where the flight attendants train. Our apartment even has an actual plane sitting outside it! Not sure of the exact kind but it looks like a fighter plane? It is about an hour out of Chengdu city, which is quite close by China standards.
Our apartment is actually lovely too. Brand new fridge, washing machine and flat screen tv. (Although there are no English stations) There are two separate bedrooms with double beds and a bathroom. Apparently we are staying in the ‘teachers dorm’. I feel so privileged!
I also tasted the famous ‘Hot Pot’. My advisor called Sally brought us to the most famous Hot Pot restaurant in Chengdu apparently. The restaurant was gorgeous. The food however was a bit strange! Cow stomach, barely cooked pork and some kind of small ink fish was what we were faced with. I actually ate the fish which I was surprised about, but I left the cow stomach. I was delighted to see potatoes arrive, but the slices were still kind of raw…They even eat potatoes differently!
Today we had to meet with a couple of our assistant teachers where they told us I would be teaching a class to flight stewardesses. This is Grade 1, so First year students. Not sure what other classes I will be teaching yet.
Also, the weather here is terrible… actually feel like I’m back in Ireland. Cloudy, raining and cold. But I don’t really mind it. I’m used to it back home, and I’ve packed more for cool weather than for hot. Also been reading about Chengdu in the past and I’ve expected bad weather as well. At the moment though, Ireland is going through another heat-wave which I’m missing!
Not everything’s so rosy though;
My hard drive isn’t working. I’m gutted. I literally am gutted. All of my films, tv series and pictures were on that. I even had my CV on it! Me and Charlotte (my roommate) were happy as Larry watching the Walking Dead last night on it, when I needed to charge my laptop. When I plugged it in again, nothing happened. The icon won’t even appear on the Control Panel. I’m more annoyed because we have nothing to do now at night, and apparently my classes don’t start until the week after next. I’m going to be pretty bored!
Internet; the internet is pretty crappy here in the apartment. My phone only works when I’m stuck to a window, whereas my laptop won’t even connect.
Computer; My charger is being dodgy. I’m sure it’s the battery but I really don’t want my computer to break. It’s vital for lesson planning!
These are all technological problems which I’m not surprised about at all. I’m really bad with technology; everything seems to happen with my electronics. Hopefully I will get it all to work. I HOPE.
Oh I also found a spider in my room which jumped away… yes actually JUMPED. Not happy with that! And I have a cold to top it off!