Monday, 25 August 2008

The Long Awaited First Post!

So, here I am sitting at the gate for my flight. I was super excited because I saw a sign saying there was WiFi here. Turns out you have to pay for it. D’oh! Well, while I have my laptop on and wasting battery, I figured I might as well write a journal entry to post later. Things will probably get crazy once I arrive in China Land, so this is the time to be productively bored.

Last night’s last minute “Say Goodbye To Stephanie” open house was fun. It was good to see some loved ones before leaving, and it distracted me from the fact that I was leaving my home very soon. Thank you especially to Emanuela for the champagne, which I shared with my parents before cleaning my room. And to Emily for the first of the three notes you gave me. I spent the rest of the night cleaning my room and getting any last minute stuff I wanted to pack. This morning I did the actual packing. It was quite easy after I had pulled out everything I wanted. There was a bit of finagling to get the weight right, but I had everything I needed and most of the things I wanted.

The ‘rents and I went out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants for lunch. We got sushi and miso soup and deliciousness. Mom decided on the restaurant since I couldn’t think straight, and afterwards I was glad she picked the place she did. YUM. Then we wandered around Bushnell Park. Mom and I rode the Carousel (I picked a horse that was making a ridiculous face). Then the three of us fed some birds and fish. We walked back to the train station and they waited with me until the shuttle arrived.

The ride was somewhat interesting. The guy sitting next to me was much too absorbed in himself and found anyway to bring the conversation around to show off how many places in the world he has been to. The two women sitting in front of me were very nice. Once they found out where I was going and why, I got asked a lot of questions, which ended up turning into a big discussion about education and quality teachers. The four of us also feared for our lives as the driver very nearly rear ended just about everyone on the road.

Check in for my flight didn’t start until four hours before the flight leaves (1:45 AM), and I arrived at JFK a little over six hours before my flight leaves. I sat by my very heavy luggage and read, did some Sudoku, ate some trail mix I had packed, and tried to understand the various Chinese conversations happening around me.

I was all freaked out about a million different things while I was waiting. For example, I had packed my bags and weighed them carefully, but I kept getting different weights (I’m only allowed 2 suitcases each 50lbs). So I packed until I the weights averaged 50lbs each and figured if it came to it, I would take stuff out. I was also worried because I had packed tiny craft scissors and my knitting needles so that I could knit on the plane. There has been no hitch. They took my luggage without pause and I made it through the security check with the only delay being that I had forgotten to take my laptop OUT of the bag before putting it through the x-ray machine.

I bought a big bag of cheezits and a soda to go with my bag of trail mix to hold me over until dinner on the plane. Cost me over SIX DOLLARS. Craziness. Then I exchanged the rest of my American money for Chinese money. I got ripped off, but I’d rather have the money now then wander around in China until I found a place to get it.

I e-mailed the school about the details of my flight. Once I land, get my bags, go through customs, etc, I need to take a cab to the school. There I will be met by woman who gets the foreign teachers all settled. I’ll put my stuff in the apartment, then go to a police station to register as a resident.

(Interesting note, a guy about my age just walked past carrying an envelope VERY similar to the one I received my contracts in. Perhaps he is going to China for the same reason I am . J )

They also said that they will hopefully be sending a technician to my apartment to get the internet set up. That’s good news.

Well, that’s about it for the semi-interesting news. I think I am going to play around on my computer for a bit more, then go back to my book. It is now around 11pm. I still have over two hours until my flight starts boarding. I should do some stretches or something…

Love and hugs,


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