Friday, August 27, 2010

adding to Adam's post...

I'm subbing for the teacher whom I observed earlier this week, and it's a lot of fun! Practice for next Wednesday, when I will teach my classes for the 1st time. There is a 3 hour break in the middle of the day, when the kids eat lunch and nap (it's necessary when you're 3 and in school from 8:00 - 5:00!), so I wanted to quickly add to Adam's post about things we take for granted.

4. COLD WATER. If you order water at a restaurant and actually receive water instead of spoons or beer, it is generally boiled and in a kettle. Not so refreshing when you're eating hot or salty food! The reason is to basically prove that the water is ok for drinking, but it definitely takes some getting used to. Adam and I have begun bringing our own full water bottles to dinner after spending much of the time feeling thirsty.

5. Being able to ask for what you need. Although eating at a restaurant isn't the easiest thing to do, Adam has a card that says "I'm allergic to shrimp" in Chinese and he always hands it to someone immediately. Then we can generally look at pictures and figure out what to eat. But doing this at stores is another situation. The first time we were at Carrafour, we were looking for toilet paper and couldn't find it anywhere. After checking out, we finally pointed to it in someone else's cart, and a man said 2 (good thing we studied our numbers!) Adam stayed with the cart while I went back to aisle 2, only to find electronics. I walked around on my own for a while, but that place is huge, and I couldn't get anyone to understand me. I finally resorted to showing what I in squatting and making an "ssssssss" sound. Awkward. Still nobody understood. This has happened several times, but Adam thought to bring paper and a pen with us the next time, so we drew out a surge protector and someone found it for us. Much improved experience, though still a challenge.

6. Buying groceries. At home, we can read the label and know what we're getting, and know that it is what we want. Not the case in China. Aside from the grocery store being a zoo, it's hard to figure out what you want. When Adam and I went to buy eggs, they had tons of sizes and labels and varieties. To make sure we were getting chicken eggs instead of ostrich or something, we looked for the box with the chicken picture on it. This goes for fruits and veggies too--we know what we're getting, which is a plus, but then we need to figure the sanitation thing. Some people have said it's fine to wash your fruit in the water, other say definitely don't, and others say not to eat the skin or some produce at all because of the pesticides. (PS: I just ate my first apple, skin intact, so we'll see how that fares later this afternoon...). I guess we'll eventually figure it out for ourselves, but it's not as easy as just going into Harris Teeter or D'ags.

I have 1 hour before the small class, so I'm going to try to finish Mockingjay. More on teaching to come!

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