Saturday, May 29, 2010

Touchdown!

7:14 PM
0

I have safely arrived in China! I realize many of you have been kept in the dark until now; some web sites are rather tricky to access (such as this one), but Bart does have internet (which is where I am right now). So far it has been a real whirlwind, so I'll try to keep things clear and concise!

LA was great, Jon, Dave and I got to take a bus tour of Hollywood, and we got to see Michael Emerson (Ben Linus) among other actors, and a replica Dharma van at the LOST finale!

Sadly, I had to duck out halfway through the showing to catch my 1am flight. But I slept through the first half of the flight, so it only felt like a 6 hour deal. I had a 7 hour layover in Taipei, Taiwan, so I hopped on a bus to check out the city, inclucing Taipei 101! (pictures pending...I haven't figured that one out yet) Taiwan seems like an Asian version of the US, it's very clean and modern-looking.

A few hours later I arrived in Guangzhou, and Faye (an AIESECer from the GZ area) and her friend Susan met me at the airport to help get me situated. We took a bus down the smoggy GZ highway, past tons of beautiful palm trees and other tropical plants, old & new highrise apartments, to the Bart school where I'm teaching. The first 4 days here I was put up in a hotel, and now I'm staying with the owners/founders of Bart (the Huangs), for about a month, after which I will move into the apartment with the two other summer AIESEC teachers (Julien from Canada and Trevor from Missouri, they're both pretty awesome).

The city is amazing and crazy at the same time. Cars, mopeds, bicycles, and people on foot all mashed together at the intersections (red lights are only really a suggestion)..."head on a swivel," as Julien says. Along every inch of the sidewalk are little shops, restaurants, and street food vendors. The city doesn't really smell as bad as I anticipated, except for these little river-things that smell like sewage (but even those have gone through a tenfold improvement over the last few months, according to one of the other teachers here). The city is changing fast to look good for the upcoming Asia Games this fall. English is useful at "official" places (airports, schools, etc.) but otherwise has limited use; it's time to bust out the Chinese! Though I am nowhere near fluent, it's really good practice, and, with pointing, I've usually been able to get the message through.

Okay, I'll keep you guys posted on more details....my Skype name is "Dsquaredmoonunit2" if you'd like to chat (it's 13 hours later here in GZ), and my email is disseldan@gmail.com .

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