So I lied in my previous post saying this one would be up the same night. The intention was there, the internet was not.
So here you’re getting it now.
While I was busy teaching for my friend, 6 Australian girls came from their university to teach English in Anshan public schools. I of course, got excited that more people were here so I quickly introduced myself and offered to be available to help them when necessary as they didn’t speak a word of Chinese and were hitting a wave of culture shock, similar to mine when I first arrived.
They were super awesome and I learned things about Australian culture, like they call their rednecks, “westies” and they love to mispronounce American company names like Adidas: adiDAS instead of aDIdas.
Those crazy cats.
All of them except for Timika went to Beijing, so I tried to be available so she wasn’t just sitting around the dorm all day. After work, we went with Monica to Pizza Hut and then walked around the city center where we found fireworks and lanterns. She hadn’t lit one before so she took advantage of the situation.
It was pretty hilarious though, almost sitcom material. Her lantern wouldn’t open up enough to trap adequate hot air to take off. Because of this, as the fire got bigger, it started to heat up one side of the lantern and even burnt a hole through it. The boy who was selling the fireworks helped us seal it up with tape and it finally was able to take off. The seal wasn’t perfect though so the lantern didn’t get far before coming back to Earth but Timika didn’t mind so much because it meant she was able to pick it up to take it home.
The same weekend was Kacper’s birthday and many from the dorms participated in the celebration that took place at Anshan’s famous Lishishan, a battle memorial. Every night there are many street food vendors there and music so it’s a good place to meet.
I had to work in the morning so I didn’t party too hard and I didn’t go to the night club after with everyone else. Bummer. At least Timika was able to go and have a good time.
When the other girls returned we would make outings to go shopping, eat, or just hang out in the dorm or around campus. One day I wanted to try out a new pair of roller blades that I bought about a week or two prior and some of the girls joined me on foot, or grabbed a bicycle from the bike rental place on campus. Timika doesn’t know how to ride a bike so it was interesting to say the least.
They all left about 3 weeks after arriving and I was bummed to see them go. It was nice to have some other native English speakers around if only because sometimes I get a little left out when everyone around me is speaking, Russian, Korean, Polish, Kazakh, or Kyrgyz.. even Chinese if it’s the local dialect and not Mandarin, or advanced and fast Mandarin that I can’t follow. Yes they’re not North Americans, so there are some differences, but when put into the perspective of being foreigners in China, we are the same.
Also I had a great time showing them around and they made it clear they appreciated the help and such. It was nice to feel useful and appreciated! Who wouldn’t love that?
The best part is, I know when I go to Australia to visit, whenever that is, I will have friends there to see. That’s the great part about being the token American this year, the same is said for Poland, Ukraine, or Sweden.. I know at least one person from each place that I would love to see again and I damn there plan to!
PS: Here are some random photos I took near a package pick-up location. (one of many)
As you can see, it’s not the same fancy stuff I’m used to back home. I’m used to this now, as this is the kind of place my air filters come to when I order them, but I felt this interesting to show you.