Friday, September 12, 2008

Ni Hao!!

Okay, so I know I've been THE quintessential slacker, but come on, we've had a lot going on. Please cut me some slack?! :) Well, as most of you know, we are now living in CHINA!! We've been here a little over two weeks. I sent an email out to a few friends and family regarding our first few days here, so rather than describe it again...I'm going to take the slacker route and copy it on here. Sorry to those of you who may have already received this information. I promise there will be more/new information to come!

Well, we made it to the land of plenty. The flights went well...long, but well. Our 15 hour flight to Guangzhou was a lot of watching whatever movies they had in English and trying to sleep as well as one can with 5 inches of leg room. Rob was thrilled because they had National Treasure 2, I was particularly excited for Kung Fu Panda...I watched it twice :) So, after watching 4 movies and sleeping a few hours, we stepped off of the plan two days later at 6 AM to some serious heat and humidity, Hawaii has nothing on Guangzhou. My first toilet experience in China was on a "squat toilet" in the airport (a.k.a. a hole in the ground). One has to be a good aim, especially after 15 hour airplane knees. As we were waiting for our luggage to come out I made the, what I thought at the time comical, remark: "I'm going to laugh when our bags don't come out". Well...I'm sure you can guess what happened next. So off to the "baggage inquiry" counter we went. It was an hour after the plane landed that we made it through customs, which by that time our "buddy" that was assigned to pick us up, assuming he was there before, had gone. A taxi was 50 dollars so we thought we'd go for the adventure factor and try to figure out the bus system. That went quite well. We were able to see a lot of the city on our way through and it was only 20 RMB (about 3 dollars) per person! What a deal!! They dropped us off in the center of the city and said it would be wise to get a taxi to take us to our hotel. Rob used his mandarin skills and purchased a map through which we found out it should only take us 30 minutes to walk to our hotel. Seeing as we were in the adventure mode and that we only had our carry on bags and backpacks, off we went. An hour and a great spectacle for the Chinese later we slumped down on a corner in sweat and dispare. I asked Rob to try his skills again so he asked a guy pulling a rickshaw if he knew where our hotel was...he pointed up the street and in delight we followed his directions up the road to our hotel! After walking in and finding some of the guys in Rob's program we dropped our bags off and headed out to check out their new apartments and went on a search for our own for the rest of the day. By the end of the day I was more tired than I've ever been in my whole life and my knee was ready to explode it was so swollen. Needless to say we slept like literal rocks that night. Yesterday (Wednesday) we walked as a group to the university so everyone could register and get get things figured out. The school, and most everywhere else we've been, is great at making you jump through as many hoops as you could fathom and then dreaming up some more for you to try and wriggle your way through. (Side note, on the way to the school my one shirt I had to my name got pooped on :) ) We looked at another 20 or so apartments and found a couple that we liked but couldn't quite make up our minds, or our finances (they cost more than we were hoping and budgeting for). Today we started out going to the different agencies again to see if there was anything closer to our price range. In the end it was between a place with an absolutely, disgustingly, amazing view on the river with a dishwasher and a stove (those are unheard of accommodations here) for 4000 RMB (680 dollars after everything was included) or a place with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a good view and a normal shower, the other was lacking that for a jacuzzi (yeah, it was pretty random) for 3600 RMB + utilities (about 600). We opted for the latter for reasons of functionality. We just got back from meeting with the agent and land lady to sign the contract and paying a 3 month deposit! We now own a place in China, briefly. As I said, it is a two bed/ 2 bath place so if anyone wants to come visit us between now and February we have ample accommodations for you! Another great note, as I was writing this email our luggage arrived!! After wearing this outfit for four days I am ready to burn it. Our poor friends that had to smell us! Luckily we had a few pairs of clean underwear in our carry on luggage.
So after that long note you are updated on where we stand here in China! Can you believe we're in China! We still can't. I think it'll take a while for it all to set in.


KT said...

It sure sounds like an adventure. Glad to hear you guys are surviving. I really wish we could come visit. Good Luck. (this is actually Dave, I just left Katie signed in).

Shandra and Christian said...

Wow! What an experience. I'm glad you made it there safely. Keep the posts coming! I want to see and hear more about it.

Jeppson Clan said...

Way to kick off your China adventure. We knew you guys wouldn't disappoint. :)
We're glad you made it safely. How is Rob liking class? Have you decided what you are going to do since you can't work?
We love you both!
Matt, Jamey & boys

Molly said...

ha ha ha... you ARE such a slacker. i read that the first time, so i am going to need some more material:)

you ice that knee up girl.

so, how long are you in china for and what is in store after? hawaii again?

Becky Knowles said...

These things only happen to you guys you know. I'm glad to hear that you do have a place to live and you hopefully won't be spending TOO much time in any more police stations. We sure had fun hanging out with you guys while you were here, maybe we will see you again someday if we are really lucky! I hope your knees feel better fast-what a bummer. Love you guys!

wendy said...

hey this is mom finally figuring this out and hoping this comment really works. Good job on your blog site you guys!! I'm impressed. Can't wait to see some more pictures. This is so fun to see. Can't wait to come visit!!