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They arrived! We just got e.mail confirmation AND I Skyped with Mom briefly on my phone while I was at the park! It was 1am and they looked fresh as daisies, so we'll see how well they adjust to the time change! Here are the first e.mail observations from Dad:
Believe it or not, Roslyn and I survived a 15 1/2 hour flight from Los Angeles to Guangzhou and then a 2 1/2 flight to Jinan. Guangzhou's airport is a modem and a huge airport much like the Frankfurt, Germany airport. The Jinan airport is likewise very nice. Had an interesting breakfast on both flights. The first one was some kind of porridge that was very tasty with onions and spices and easy to eat made of rice. The second one was noodles and chicken, more Vietnamese style than definitely not bland. Roslyn's noodles were more like Thai food with a definite seasoning that Roslyn quickly swapped breakfast entrees with me. And I gladly ate it. She had a rice milk which to me was more like soy milk with a breakfast cereal wheat puff taste. It appears that Chinese food is not boring or tasteless at all. So wishes us luck in branching out to new foods as we eat out.
Our apartment and neighborhood and the availability of food markets, shopping, etc. seems to be like Eastern Europe circa 2001. We have air conditioning only in our bedroom. Internet connectivity is OK especially with the upload speed being over 1 Mega bite per second as is the download speed.
Did you know that Jinan is larger than every USA city except New York and Los Angeles?
Classes start September 3rd and will soon learn what classes each of us will be teaching. So much of this week in China will be focused mostly on our class preparations and just surviving the transition to China. We do have recommendations for local restaurants in the area and places to shop, including Tesco. The food selections are very interesting. We could have purchased a whole rabbit tonight. We saw some funky fruits and vegetables. Finding an ATM machine that takes my American Express Prepaid card will be my next priority so I can reduce ATM and currency conversion fees. And we will mainly walk or taking the bus. Roslyn is partial to taxis.
We will be taking photos of our apartment with living room,, bedroom, study for two workstations, wash machine and a nice bathroom. Next need to view the nearby neighborhood and hopefully our classrooms in the next few days. So they will be posted for your viewing pleasure.
Roslyn and I slept most of the 14 1/2 hour plane ride so we are well rested for having flown all night. Our clocks between USA and China are as follows right not. They don't appear to have daylight times so when our standard times go into effect, we should be one-hour closer to each other? Denver 8:10 p.m. Sunday evening = China: 10:10 a.m. next day, Monday morning. To best compare times between Jinan and your locality go to http://www.worldtimebuddy.com/ (my favorite thus far): In their search box, type in Jinan, China and you now have four cities visually displayed in a rather visual no-nonsense format.
Weather in Guangzhou airport was 82 degrees Fahrenheit at 5:45 a.m. so summer will be here for awhile. But in Jinan at 10:30 a.m., it is a slightly humid 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Our apartment is on the first floor which will make it easier not having to climb stairs with food and computer equipment. W have 20 minute walk to our classrooms.
Naturally, Roslyn and I are anxious to learn how challenging it will be to adapt to the learning and teaching accommodations before us. The sight-seeing will be great. We will be riding camels and see the Terracota Warriors in Western China in October. Hopefully, Beijing with the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China over Thanksgiving vacation. Then hopefully in January, we may be able to join Saroj in Delphi to see the Taj Malhal and Mt. Everest in Nepal with him being our tour guide. And attend the Hong Kong China Teachers conference at the end of January for the three days then another tour to see the Guilin part of China.
Tomorrow, we will start taking some photos. Old downtown Jinan rocked on Monday evening with musicians everywhere what with tons of shoppers and promenaders and people practicing ballroom dancing in the park and much more.
Till next time,