I would have updated ages ago! But unfortunately I’m in a hotel where the wifi is terrible and I’ve also had a very busy week!
So the flight from Manchester to Dubai was fine. Lots of films to keep me entertained including a whole channel dedicated to Harry Potter. When I got to Dubai however, the 8 hour wait was awful. No wifi and nothing to do. I found another teacher Andrew in Manchester Airport so we found each other again in Dubai airport. About 3 hours later we found Jacob. We circled the terminal about 5 times until deciding to settle under a phone box next to our gate. Here we attempted to sleep with no success for about 5 hours.
The plane from Dubai to Beijing was a night flight. Again, I barely got a good sleep. I nodded off numerous times, but the aches in my knees and ankles kept me awake. Being located in the centre of an aisle row with 2 sleeping Chinese men either side of me meant I could only stretch my legs when I went to the toilet (after prodding the Chinese men to wake up). I was very happy to arrive in Beijing.
We found the TEIC people meeting us, as well as around 20 other teachers. I tell you know, the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel was terrifying. Me and Mark (another teacher) blankly looked at each other when there were no seatbelts, and we feared for our lives as cars ignored red lights and speed cameras. People walk into the middle of the road at the last minute and the driver would speed up till they moved out of the way.
Roads and food are the two difficult things to get use to over here, as well as taboo topics such as the three Ts which I’ll explain if you ask me privately because I’m too scared to say online in case the Chinese mafia come after me. Breakfast is just another meal here, so the hotel serves spicy noodles, cold cabbage, dumplings amongst various other non breakfast things. No coffee or british tea. I haven’t had a normal cup of tea since I’ve left England. It takes a whole for your stomach to adjust, but I still crave just a cold milky bowl of cereal in the morning rather than rice. I had belly ache and a headache for the first 3 days. 36 degree heat even at night doesn’t help either….