surviving kind of thriving
Woah y'all. This week has been wild. Honestly nothing could've prepared me for this. Sunday August 26th, I flew from Little Rock to DFW to San Fran to Hong Kong to Wuhan. The initial goodbye at Little Rock was very hard, but once I left I had the strangest sense of peace over me. Crazy stuff.
The amount of time I was in a plane was a solid 24 hour day. Luckily I was only alone on the Little Rock flight. I met with our group of teachers at Dallas/Fort Worth. Our longest straight flight was 14 hours. I thought it would be terrible, but I think I slept for longer than I thought I would. Patty (the tiniest girl on the planet) and I had a row of seats all to ourselves, and we were all over the place.
Traveling to a foreign country together really bonds you with your group. At the Hong Kong airport Patty and I felt so gross we washed our hair in the bathroom to try and look presentable-ish when meeting our school representatives at our next and final stop in Wuhan.
When we arrived at the Wuhan airport, we immediately split up and went to our universities with our helper Jiaoming. Katrina is teaching at the same university I am teaching at so we took an Uber to the university with Jiaoming. He helped us carry our things up to our apartment in the 100 degree heat (we don't have elevators and the heat is UNREAL) and then took us to the local mall to eat lunch. Our first meal was good but also challenging. We didn't want to offend him or do the wrong thing. We also weren't super sure how to eat with chopsticks.
Fun fact: if you say chopsticks here the Chinese people probably won't know what you're talking about.
After lunch we went all around the city to five different banks and phone companies trying to get bank accounts and SIM cards. No one could help us. We basically gave up. Luckily Jiaoming converted money for us. We probably walked about seven miles easy. We came back to our internet-less apartments to rest for the night. Since we didn't have chinese phones or internet yet, we had zero contact with anyone back home. That was tough.
Coming back to the apartment for the first night was very weird. It definitely didn't feel like I could make this place my home. I really was convinced I would cry eventually, but at that point I was so exhausted I was 100% numb to any emotions I could've had. I ended up sleeping on the couch the first night, because I didn't have time to wash the sheets yet.
I went to sleep around 10 p.m., and I woke up at 3 a.m. I couldn't go back to sleep so I stayed up the rest of the day hoping for better sleep the next night, but it never happens. When 2 p.m. hits I hit a wall. A very very hard wall.
Jet lag and time zone differences are still pretty difficult right now. My brain and my body still haven't adjusted. In China, we're 13 hours ahead. That really messes with ya. It's also feels weird to be eating at opposite times than you're used to.
Things are getting better and will get better.