Feeling A Tremor

Myself, my fiancé and his Mum and Dad decided that we’d go to the cinema and watch the new film ‘Black Panther’. (Great film!) So we arrived, bought our tickets and we were in a supermarket buying some drinks to take in with us. As we were paying, I suddenly felt a swaying sensation. I thought I was becoming dizzy or something, but as I looked around I realised that the whole supermarket was swaying side to side. It wasn’t moving so much as to make us fall or have any of the products there fall, but it was noticeable. I look at my fiancés Mum and she too looks scared.

Suddenly the cashier starts shouting in Spanish and everybody starts to rush towards the exit. I was afraid in case the earthquake would get worse! It was  a relief to get outside with everyone else! In September there was a very bad one in Mexico city and it affected the town where we are now, so I’m sure everybody was scared! They know how bad earthquakes can be!

So that was my first real experience of an earthquake. I think it was around 7 on the Richter Scale in Mexico city, so we only felt a little of that! We’ve had tremors in Chengdu, but they would be very very slight, and sometimes I didn’t even know that an earthquake happened until I heard about it from other people.

But yeah, everyone here has been shook up from the last bad earthquake that happened, so I’m sure it’s even scarier for them!

We had to wait outside for about 20 and then everyone was allowed back inside. We weren’t sure if the cinema would stay play the films, but thankfully we could watch it!

Aisling.

Advertisements

Cuernavaca, Mexico

My fiancé is originally from Cancun, where he spent most of his life there. Then he moved to Cuernavaca which is south of Mexico city where he went to University. As much as Cancun is very popular with tourists and having gorgeous beaches and weather, whenever I ask him where is the worst place he has visited in Mexico, he always states Cancun. He says that the place has changed a lot since he left and he just doesn’t want to live there anymore.

His Mum and Dad now live in Cuernavaca and it’s known for it’s good weather and that many people from Mexico city come here to get out of the hustle and bustle for a while. Many have second homes in Cuernavaca to come to during holidays. Here are some pictures I took from the centre of the city; I love the architecture and it’s so colourful!

In the centre there are many stalls and you can buy different types of Mexican food, like corn on the cob with mayonnaise and chili powder on it; I know it sounds weird, and I didn’t really like it when I tried it, but apparently it’s very popular here in Mexico! Also you can buy lot of different fruit drinks, made when you order! We tried a pina colada: pineapple, coconut and cinnamon, and it was so nice! I’ll definitely be getting it again!

IMG_E9964

Here is one of the little shop like places to buy your fruit juices. You can get a small cup or a big one. The big one is huge and I would struggle to finish one by myself!

IMG_E9965

 

IMG_9967

The city is also quite popular with foreigners wanting to learn Spanish, so there are quite a few private languages companies here. Although they are VERY expensive I might add!

Cuernavaca is about 1 hour drive from Mexico city, so it’s a good place to live if you want to travel to the capital.

So yes I really like the city and I can’t wait to stay a bit longer once I leave China!

Aisling

What’s that noise?

What’s that noise?

I was relaxing with my fiancé one day and I notice a couple of loud POPS coming from far away in the distance. I was thinking to myself ‘What are those loud noises??? It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, surely it can’t be fireworks…… it’s far too early for that…. what could it be….

….oh….. maybe it’s gunshots….?!?!’

I am in Mexico after all, where the narcos and cartels are rife. I began thinking ‘Oh god I hope there are no shootings happening, it definitely is an unsafe place if shootings are happening in a tourist city in the middle of the day!’

So I ask my fiancé what the loud noises are. He simply says that they are fireworks.

FIREWORKS??? Why at this time? How the hell can they see them in the sky during the day time?

So I ask him and he explains that many people here celebrate different saints and what not, so these fall on different days and they celebrate them during the day time!

Ohhh…. now I get it. My head was thinking all sorts! I must say it’s a bit weird celebrating with fireworks during the day, but I’d much rather harmless celebrations then the other option!

So now when I hear those loud POPS I needed worry! It’s a religious celebration!

Aisling

Hola México!

Hola México!

After an unexpected change of plans, we have made the decision to go to Mexico for our holidays, escaping the polluted Chengdu air for a while. The weather is great, the people are friendly, I can proudly say that with regards to body weight, I’m NORMAL, and I don’t have to have Chinese people look at me and think that I’m fat. IT’S GREAT! I’m very self-conscious about my body in China, so it’s nice not having to worry about it now.

It’s going to be a struggle to go back to China, but I know it’s only going to be for a few months. It’s hard to imagine at times! My fiancés aunty told us that we were invited to own of her friends wedding here in Mexico in November, and although it was very nice of her to invite us, in my head I was thinking ‘Thanks, but we won’t be here, we’ll be in China”…. But then later I realised ‘Oh actually we won’t be in China! And we’ll most likely be in Mexico this November after all, so yeah, we could actually go!’

It was strange to realise that we’re coming to the end of our time in China. I left when I was 23, and I’m now going to be 28 soon, so I feel I’ve grown up a lot and became my own person in a way. I feel It was good to leave home and sort of ‘grow up’ in a way. So my Chinese adventure is nearly over, but I’ll be starting a new one soon.

At the moment, I can’t find myself living in Mexico because I’m on ‘holiday mode’. Plus it’s very different to both Ireland and China. I’ve gotten used to China and it’s culture, so I’ll have to learn how to live in Mexico soon!

But I must say that the Mexican people are very friendly, so I know that when I start to learn Spanish and start speaking, it will be much easier to communicate to people here than in China.  Chinese people aren’t as open as Mexican people.

I think my family will love Mexico too. I’ve heard too many times that they would prefer to go to Mexico than China…. so I will actually scream if they don’t visit me here! No one visited me in China!

Aisling.

Two Mexicans in China

We have been busy lately, with my boyfriends Mum and Dad coming to visit; bringing with them plenty of Mexican food, nuts and my favourite spicy watermelon lolly pops. Oh and a very good quality Tequila with them!

So far they have really been enjoying their time here; walking around the area of our community, going to Walmart and Carrefour, and having a wander in and around Chengdu.

While we were not working, we brought them to a few famous places… we definitely had to bring them for some Chinese tea in a tea house, so they can experience the relaxed nature of Chengdu people.

High on the list was of course food! So far, they have both really enjoyed everything that Chengdu has to offer; hot pot, rabbit, different varieties of dishes… all they really liked.

This Monday we will take them to Kunming, a city that is south of Sichuan province. Here we will spend 5 days where will we have a look at the city, then we will go to Dali, a supposedly quite attractive ancient town. Although I have heard it is very touristy, but that’s no surprise in China!

They still need to go and see the famous pandas, and there are a few more places where we would like to bring them if we have time. Coming back from Kunming, we will have another few days in Chengdu to go to more places.

Because the weather here is becoming colder and colder, that of course brings more smog. Thankfully there have been 2/3 days where the weather hasn’t been that bad. But I suppose they have been warned about the smog so they knew what they would expect!

There are some things that they have been surprised about; such as people appearing more rude than in Mexico. But they have also been surprised about our life in Chengdu and I think they figured out why we have been living here the past few years and what has kept us here.

So all in all, I think their holiday has been going well so far!

再见!

爱玲

Tackling Spanish

Tackling Spanish

For the past 1.5 years my head has been tortured with learning Chinese… now I’m not saying I don’t enjoy learning it, of course I do… just sometimes you need a break from all those thousands of characters once in a while!

Since meeting my boyfriend and visiting Mexico and his family, I’ve become more and more interested in learning Spanish. In Secondary school and Uni I chose to study French instead of Spanish, so I’ve literally had to start from the basics with Spanish. haha now that my French has completely disappeared, (not that there was much in the first place) I don’t think I’ll have any trouble mixing the two languages up!

I’ve started using an application called Anki, where it makes flashcards and what not for you… I’ve been using it for my Chinese also, but to be honest it’s very hard to use,for me anyway, it’s a bit too technical! I’ve ended up having to delete my whole Spanish deck of words and download it again, as I messed with the cards and didn’t know how to rectify it. So it does take some time to get used to and know how to use it properly.

In comparison to Chinese… I must say I remember the vocab much easier in Spanish. No characters to learn, no tones… just a straight up spanish word and thats it!

My pronunciation needs work on though, as I still pronounce letters like in English.. oh and the ‘r’ sound still annoys me.

And because my head is also in ‘Chinese mode’, whenever I see a Spanish phrase like ‘Does he want a t-shirt?’ and I need to think a second for the answer, instinctively the Chinese translation of it will enter my head.

But I have to say, when comparing the two languages.. I really do appreciate some things about Chinese. The grammar isn’t as tricky as say English or Spanish. There are no conjugations or gender specific words. The language is also a bit more concise.

What I also enjoy about Chinese are how words are literally translated:

fridge = ice box (bing  xiang/冰箱)

computer = electric brain (dian nao/ 电脑)

yogurt = sour milk (suan nai/酸奶)

And don’t get me started on the literal translations of animals!

dolphin = sea piglet (hai tun/海豚)

kangaroo= bag mouse (dai shu/ 袋鼠)

giraffe= long neck deer ( chang jing lu/ 长颈鹿)

These are just a few of the interesting translations!

I think every person studying Chinese gets a laugh when they find out the translation of different things in Chinese!

But anyway, back to Spanish!

As I’ve only been studying for about a week now, I know I’ve only barely touched the surface of this language. When I start to learn the grammar properly and the conjugations is when I might begin to tear my hair out!

Having had a week off from Uni, I’ve been studying more Spanish recently, so I’ll have to try and stick with it when Monday comes.

It’s nice though to be able to switch with the two languages…. I can have a break with Chinese but not feel bad, because I’ll be learning Spanish… I won’t feel lazy because I’m still technically learning!

So I suppose Chinese and Spanish has their own merits and why I like them!

再见

爱玲

Figuring Out The Future (And Becoming Scared)

Myself and my boyfriend have been thinking more and more about the future lately. When we should leave China, what to do after, maybe do a course on something, moving to Mexico (so I can learn Spanish)…. and the more and more I think about it, the more I realise how comfortable I am here in China.

But I know I can’t spend my life here… unless I want to teach ‘He is big, she is small’ for the rest of my life.

It’s scary though… I’ve been reading more and more about Ireland and it’s rent crisis: rent in Ireland has increased every month… for 50 months straight.

There is just no way I can afford to rent in Ireland. At the moment I can’t see how I can get my life going…. rent is too expensive for me… I can’t afford a car…. never mind paying for it’s insurance.

I should have already started setting up a pension… plus god knows what the situation is when I return to Ireland and can’t get a job…If I can apply for the government to give me a supplement or is that all to do with tax…. with which I haven’t contributed to for over 3 years.

I’m just so unprepared for everything.

I’ve read that the top paying salaries in Ireland are engineering,accounting, law and being a chief director…. and I have absolutely no interest in those types of jobs whatsoever. So that’s me out of earning a great salary.

Plus I would like to have kids one day….ideally when I’m 30. So only 4 more years left!

I feel like whatever we do we wont have options; In Mexico my boyfriend will find it difficult to find a job, and if he does, it will be low paying.

For me, I’m back again teaching English… just this time in a different country.

However in Ireland, where my boyfriend would like to live one day… everything is just too expensive, plus where will we live if we can’t afford to rent?

I’m scared for the future because I’m not prepared. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to live my life when I can’t afford to.

We both need to do some serious thinking and try and begin to sort out both of our lives.

再见

爱玲