I’ve officially been living in China for one week! After a rough and overwhelming first few days, I’m beginning to settle in and enjoy Nanjing.
I arrived in Nanjing at 5am Friday after two days of flights, delays, and security issues. After barely getting any sleep for two days I was sent to set up my Chinese banking, Chinese SIM card, and have my medical exam. I ended up not having a working phone for four days because it wasn’t unlocked properly (thank you AT&T). Because bad luck happens in threes, my bank card also didn’t work and my suitcase broke. Thankfully all is well now!
For the first couple days I was very overwhelmed and pretty numb to developing feelings for China. Before coming here I was fully aware that English isn’t the native language but I was still shocked the first time I tried communicating and had no idea how to. Communicating has definitely been a struggle but I’ve already learned a few words to help ease the pain. The next step is trying to figure out how to read Chinese characters, because not knowing what you’re eating is pretty frightening. Everyone has been so kind and helpful even if they can’t understand me.
So far I am loving Nanjing and I can’t wait to continue exploring this city. First of all the metro here is by far the best I’ve seen. It is so clean and even though the signs are all in Chinese, it is extremely easy to navigate. I’ve been taking it everywhere! Mopeds and motorbikes are also very popular here. My realtor doesn’t have a car so I’ve been seeing a lot of the city from the back of a motorbike, which is quite scary. It’s also worth mentioning that my realtors name is Bamboo and he loves giving life advice and using the word ‘technically’. Nanjing is a great mix of old and modern China. There are times when I forget I’m even living in China, besides the no English thing. You can see classic oriental styled buildings and modern buildings on the very same block. Nanjing is also home to a few international universities so I’ve already met tons of people from different parts of the world. Even though there a bunch of other expats living in this city I still get stared at every where I go. Someone even came to take a selfie with me while I was eating dinner! That is definitely something I’ve never experienced before and it’ll take some getting used to.
Up next: my first week of training at Disney English and finding an apartment!