Arrival

太热了(Tài rèle). It’s too hot. Perhaps not as hot as the time we arrived in Canada and moved from the nice, air-conditioned airport terminal into the oppressive heat outside, but still. It’s very hot here. And I have arrived.

The flight itself was uneventful and was a mixture of sleeping fitfully and watch-glancing. For some reason, my entertainment system never seems to work properly on flights, and the headphones had zero sound coming out of them. Still, I wasn’t really that bothered considering the system itself was difficult to use to select any form of entertainment, so I just avoided the whole thing entirely really.

My flight actually was supposed to arrive at 4pm local time, but came in 45 minutes early. The airport itself seemed vast; on departing the plane we boarded a bus which took us about 10 minutes to get to the terminal building. We then went through immigration pretty quickly and had to board a monorail to the main terminal building. On arrival there (about a 5 minute ride, if that), I then had to go to baggage reclaim (of course, my bag was one of the last to come out), before going through the exit, and seeing all the signs for different people to be collected. I found my fellow teacher, from the school, who had come to collect me, and we got the car back to the school (the school employ a series of drivers). I then got taken to the school and met with Kate, the Chinese member of staff responsible for foreign teachers.

On arriving at the school, and at my room, I unpacked, and then got invited out for a meal with the three other teachers already here (who were here last year) – I’m the first of the new group of teachers to arrive.

Good points: At the airport in China, I asked a member of staff, in Mandarin, if they spoke English. They replied, in English, a little (I was asking where the baggage reclaim was). Also the location of the school is very close to the metro station (literally, across the road), and to Renmin University of China (again, across the road). I will probably go shopping this afternoon to see if I can get some fruit and other essentials.

Bad points: It’s a little hot here, and everything is a little alien at first. It’s difficult, being hot, not being able to drink the tap water, but I ordered a bottle of water for the water fountain in my room which was outside my door this morning. And the smog today.

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