Uncategorized

Depression always returns

Hey guys! I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting my China updates… the internet here is so unbelievably slow. Half the time I can’t even load Instagram or even my browser. I’m missing all the Instagram posts and barely keep in touch with people.

I have maxed out my hard drive and can’t upload photos via my phone because it takes too long and I don’t want to half-ass post about China.

One thing I do want to write about very briefly is how much I’m struggling here. I’m not even denying how difficult I’m finding it.

This city is so weird. It’s so small but the noise is non-stop. There’s nowhere to relax, nowhere to hide. It’s full on. There’s hardly anything to do here. One bar, one wine shop, two small malls which get boring after a few visits. Everyone points or stares or takes photos of me. Because I’m white. This place is beyond backwards.

I’m miserable.

All my depression signs are seeping back into my life.

I can’t eat. I don’t care about what I do eat. I’m not exercising. I’m angry and bitter ALL THE TIME. I cry at night. I cry randomly during the day. I’m so negative about every little thing. I’m utterly disappointed in myself for choosing to move here. It couldn’t be a bigger mistake. Why did I leave my lovely job back home? I hate being here.

I knew when I kept telling myself I’d beaten depression that it wasn’t true. I knew it would end up coming back to me somehow.

Now what the hell do I do? How can I beat it again?

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Uncategorized

Giving up

Guys.

I’ve been here 14 days now and I’ve had enough.

I haven’t slept more than 4 or 5 hours a night, and the last 4 nights I’ve only had about 3 hours.

I am absolutely exhausted.

The noise level in every single metre of this city is ridiculous.

I can’t take it any more.

I just want to go home.

Claire in China, travel

An expat’s struggle in Lianyungang, China

Hey everyone!

So, today was a real struggle, despite starting my morning with so much positive energy. It was 18oC today so pretty warm after the real cold spell they’ve had here, so I wore my gym vest and a shirt over, but everyone made comments about how I ‘wasn’t wearing enough clothes’ or pointed or whispered at me. BUGGER OFF!!!

I tried so, so hard to ignore it but it just kept happening. At least 4 times today someone took a photo of me. Are you joking? If you were in England someone would have punched you for that. Ugh.

One woman stopped right in front of me and went ‘wowwwwwwwwwwwww wai guo ren’ (foreigner) – and that ‘wow’ was a real dramatic, drawn out wow. It was ridiculous.

Some guy followed me around the park. I tested him. I kept weaving in and out and he was always right there. Also annoying. Go away already.

So after 4 hours of walking around I went back to the Taiwanese cafe for lunch, the owner was there today so the service was insanely good. I had a salad with sesame dressing (still trying to get used to that taste) and some amazing chips. But unfortunately the place was quiet and all the staff were on their phones or playing games, and it was just so noisy.

I came home and tried to sleep but the neighbours were banging out, dragging chairs etc and there was so much noise from the traffic and construction work. I was absolutely overwhelmed with frustration, stress, homesickness. I couldn’t help but cry. And I felt so sick and exhausted I cancelled on the girls dinner, and let them go without me.

After attempting sleep, and failing, I decided to walk. I walked all the way to Wanda mall, which is about 30 minutes along the river and extremely peaceful. There’s hardly anyone along that road and it’s almost free from bikes and traffic so it’s nice to just wander along without worrying about getting run over!

I decided to try out this little cafe in the bookstore and the coffee was great! And only £2.20 which is pretty good for here. There was only two of us in the entire cafe and I’d brought my Chinese study books with me, so I managed to calm down until some couple came and sat RIGHT NEXT TO ME to watch movies and slurp their drinks.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaall of my frustrations just came rushing back. They had the entire cafe free, to sit wherever they wanted, but no, they just had to sit next to me.

I wandered around the mall looking for stupid quotes / tshirts / hello kitty and sure enough I found some. But in one of the quirky shops there’s a woman who follows me every time I go in there and unfortunately she was there today. Picking up everything I did, telling me I need to go home to bed (at 9:30) and that foreigners need more sleep. She just doesn’t stop.

Thankfully, the woman in the bread shop was the nicest lady I’ve met in days! She said my accent was good and that my Chinese was really impressive and that I had a nice face. Haha. At least that was a nice ending to the day.

I took a really slow walk home, along the river again, and finally started to feel calm again. It’s been awful today. It wasn’t even a ‘bad’ day but it felt absolutely awful and all I’ve wanted to do is go home. But what’s the point? Go home to what? No job? No money? A town that’s only fun in the middle of summer? There’s no point really is there.

I think if I wasn’t here alone it might be manageable, but I don’t know. It’s definitely a challenge though.

Thankfully, and finally, my boss bought me a jar of marmite and they dropped it off this evening! So I’m currently winding down with lemon tea and a marmite sandwich as I write this.

Little things, little things.

Claire in China, Education, travel

Hitting the ground running in Lianyungang

Hey guys! I’m still alive.

I’ve been in China for 9 days now and finally feeling a little less homesick. Although everything at the moment just seems to be BEET BEET BEET in my brain. Anything that happens at work I just think, ‘oh well at BEET…’ ok, ok Claire. Just shut up now.

I’m slowly adding more to my apartment and I really like it there, except for the really ignorant neighbours who drive me crazy – keeping me awake until 2am and waking me up again at 6:30. So far, even ear plugs haven’t helped. Not sure what my next step is!

Thankfully the weather is getting warmer and I no longer need 10 layers on every morning. When the skies are blue it’s just amazing here. It’s a fairly flat city and although there are lots of buildings, there’s also huge empty spaces!

On Friday I had to go to the local hospital for a medical check, which I was dreading and also expected. Thankfully Jane (my boss’ wife) came with me and helped me fill out all of the forms etc. We weren’t there more than an hour but it was a weird process. So for those of you thinking of coming to China, this is how the medical goes…

CHINA HEALTH CHECK IN CHINA

  1. Firstly, you need a copy of your passport, your real passport and 2 passport style photos
  2. You need to fill out a form with all of your details, they scan it, re-print it and then ask you to sign it.
  3. Then you pay for your medical. Mine was around ¥380 but was covered by the school.
  4. Now you start the process.
  • Giving blood
  • Blood pressure, height and weight check
  • Eye sight test (point the way the arrow is facing lol)
  • ECG
  • Ultrasound
  • Chest X-ray

Then you’re free to go home!

Thankfully the hospital was only 30 minutes away by Taxi and then Jane took me to Starbucks for breakfast and we met our colleague there too. #foreignershangout

I managed to get a single seat in the Buddhist restaurant but unfortunately they were quite low on food! But what I had for ¥20 was still a bargain, and so delicious!

I had a little lesson in the afternoon (on Friday) which wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t happy with it. Thankfully my lesson yesterday was 10x better and my boss said I had ‘hit the ground running’ !

Which meant beers for me! I went out with some new friends to watch football, play pool and hang out at this local bar. It’s strange, quirky but the weird thing is you can smoke inside! Aaaaah. My hair smelt so gross when I got home!! But it was a great evening out despite the horrific West Ham defeat.

Then I had one more teaching demo on Sunday, which unfortunately was a bit of a flop.

I expected the children to be more engaged and lively and everything I said just went down like a lead balloon… it was awful. I had no idea how to redeem myself!

I’ve borrowed some books from my boss’ mini library and plan on reading more over the next few days. I couldn’t bring any books with me!

Then my colleague invited me to dinner, and my boss and his wife joined us too! So it was a really great evening in the end. I’m sure they think I’m a total weirdo though…

On the plus side… I’ve figured out how to use the washing machine and my clothes are all fine! Hooray!! #smallvictories

xo

Claire in China, travel

An expat’s first days in Lianyungang

Hey guys! As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s not easy to blog every single day, but I have a question for you. Would you rather I post short, daily updates OR a bigger update every 3-4 days? Please let me know!


So, it’s day 5 of being in China.

day 5 of living in this bizarre city.

A city that doesn’t have an international supermarket, but has UGG, Tommy Hilfiger and HM.

There’s only one McDonald’s, 3 Starbucks and one Sofitel hotel – that’s it as far as international goes. There’s one or two local supermarkets that have things like oreos or kellogs, but nothing major.


I’ve been trying to YouTube every day, because I find it much easier to express my emotions when I’m talking, and right now I’m pretty emotional about this major move. AND I want you all to see what I’m seeing for real. I’m trying out instagram live, but when I’m out it’s 3/4/5am in the UK so no one’s tuning in. My YouTube channel is gzxklair so if you want to check it out that would be awesome. You might hate it, you might kinda like it. Let me know?

Today’s video is here


Day Three

was induction day. It was ‘go to the police station’ and ‘get your local ID card’ day. It was looking around the school, signing papers, getting stuff done. Also the day I finally got my SIM card. I say finally like I waited years for it, but trust me, 3 days using up my UK data at £8 a day is not good on top of a £50 per month phone bill. They say it’s 4G but come on, it works worse than 2G. It’s an absolute nightmare. I’m trying not to complain because it’s costing me £10 per month for unlimited internet, when back home I pay £50-60 per month for 3-5GB a month, which is an outrageous price. ANYWAY! 

My trip to the police station was an experience in itself. My boss’ wife, who’s the manager of the school, is amazing. She’s been doing all of my paperwork, running around, sorting out issues since day one and today was no exception. We went to the police station on the back of her e-bike, which is an electric bike and looks like a cross between a scooter and a bicycle. I was terrified! I had visions of me being a typical Thailand tourist  – videoing their scooter ride on a GoPro but no, no way. I hung on for dear life.

The police station was like a court room. Everyone was waving papers all over the place, shouting at each other, people were trying to serve 4 people at once. It was absolutely insane. Thankfully we weren’t there more than 10 minutes and everything was sorted out very quickly.

After getting back to the school my boss and his wife took me to lunch at a little Buddhist restaurant only 10 minutes walk away. It’s a lovely little place and only serves vegetarian food. It was absolutely fantastic! For 16 yuan (about £1.80) you have a buffet of 20 dishes – vegetables, tofu, roasted beetroot, tea, water… it was just perfect. I keep meaning to go back but I am weary of going and sitting alone.

Then I was able to get a ‘tourist card’ which is a bit like the UK National Trust card, except this is a local version and only cost £8 for the year. It means when Spring arrives I can go to the beach or the mountains and not have to pay any entrance fees. Too bad about my horrific murderer style passport photo.

I had a few hours to myself after this and walked around the local park, unaware that there was only one exit and entrance. I walked aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way to the edge of the crossroads opposite the mall, within the park, before realising you couldn’t actually get out. Therefore, having to walk aaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllll the way back to the main entrance and around the outside. Good exercise I suppose. There’s a bridge, a beautiful lake, an exercise area, seats, flowers, plants, and security guards. I feel so lucky to have that on my doorstep and it will be wonderful once the weather is warm enough to stroll around and sit outside. I’ll be sketching and having picnics I think.

Of course I stopped by Starbucks, my daily routine, and had a little wander around and by 4pm I was back at the school with a warm loaf of chocolate bread from the bakery below the school. It tastes like heaven, I’m guessing. I had a ‘demo’ lesson with my boss, which was great fun.

Some of you might not know what a ‘demo’ lesson is, because I certainly didn’t when I first started applying for jobs out here. Essentially it’s a lesson you give to entice parents to send their children to your class / school, and to give students an idea of what classes would be like if they joined. Basically, a marketing tactic whilst still being productive. So I had to pretend to be a small child learning about the names of animals. I got high-fived and thumbs up – it was brilliant.

Then I watched a 30 minute class, in which my boss started singing ‘You are my sunshine’ with the kids and I thought I was going to cry. That song is one I used to sing to my Grandpa when I was little, and it’s also a song that they sing at BEET quite often. So double memories!

After that I came home to a freezing cold apartment, which took until last night to figure out, so that was just awful. I didn’t stay long because I went back to the Wanda mall in search of a heater, which failed, but I did over-buy on junk food – coke, crisps, chocolate, snacks etc because I was feeling sorry for myself. Hey ho!


Day four

not bad not bad… I had a day off so I decided to make the most of the morning sun, I walked down little roads and past the shopping mall in hopes of finding something new.

Unfortunately I had to go into work because the police wanted some papers signing immediately. I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t impressed as I really wanted to do my own thing, but my boss made me a coffee and we talked about ‘next steps’ for my career etc and it turned out to be an enjoyable hour.

Because it’s Ladies day on the 8th of March my boss’ wife bought me some things for the flat! How lovely is that?!

When I woke up this morning I had a request in my Instagram inbox from a girl that lives in the building next to me, saying that she was free today if I wanted to grab a coffee – so we did! I found this ‘creative quarter’ just a short walk from the flat and we went there. The coffee was okay but it was £3 for an Americano! Where on earth did they get that price from?! But it was great, it feels soooo nice to have made one friend!

It clouded over and ended up being pretty chilly, so I sat in the school office for a bit where the heating works like a dream, then went in search of another supermarket. About 20 minutes walk on the same road as my flat, past a million food stalls and strange fashion shops, is a large building with florists, toys and a supermarket. It’s not huge, it has a few imported items and you have to weigh every. single. item. of fruit and veg. It’s really annoying and there was a huge queue, but I remember having to do that in Taiwan, running off whilst my mum stood in line for ages.

I bought myself some packet noodles, broccoli and a bowl of fruit which came to £5. Much more expensive than Lidl! I’ll have to search for some markets I think.

In the evening my landlady came back with her husband to ‘fix’ the heating system. She kept changing the time throughout the day and in the end she was late! I know it’s her flat but she walked all around in her dirty shoes and was looking at everything, which I thought was so rude. The best bit was that neither of them even considered I could speak Chinese, meaning I understood every single word she was saying about me.

The system is easy to use, but not the same as what I have back in England.

The thermostat on the wall displays the temperature of the heating system, not the inside of the flat. No one told me this. And all you do is press ‘on’ and wait 20-30 minutes for the boiler to heat up, then you turn the aircon / heating on and it works. Simple, yes? Well, not if no one tells you how to use it when you move in!

So she was standing there, looking me up and down, tutting, saying things like ‘oh it’s so easy’, ‘she didn’t even try to use it’ and also, my personal favourite, ‘look at her, she’s not even wearing any clothes’. As I stand there with two tshirts, a jumper and a cardigan, tights and jeans, three pairs of socks and a scarf. Are you kidding me woman?!

Anyway, it’s fixed now and I’m most definitely using it because IT IS COLD!

The neighbours are a nightmare and kept me awake until way past 1am. It’s infuriating. I bundled my double duvet and pillows onto the sofa, set up the extra heating and raided my USB for some movies. Thankfully I had ‘The English Teacher’ and ‘Les Mis’, plus some jam sandwiches!


Day Five

I’m absolutely exhausted today. After falling asleep somewhere around 2am, and being woken up by the neighbours at 6:20 I think it’s fair to say I’ve hardly slept!! Grumpy, tired and not impressed I showered, dried my hair etc and tried to drown their noise out as much as possible.

I walked to yet another supermarket complex and this place is so much like the old Carrefour in Taiwan where you walked in an felt like you’d discovered a pot of gold. Although this place didn’t have as much imported stuff, it was still the best place I’ve been to so far. It was huge.

They sold all the usual things – clothes, stationery, face wash, towels, sports equiptment etcetc, but but but when I finally got to the checkout, there were 25 lanes, all of them full, I queued for 15 minutes and barely moved. I had a mini-strop. I put the basket down on the floor, and walked out. But guess what?  My mama used to do this on numerous occasions when we first moved to Taiwan. Talk about frustration!

For some reason my mum was awake and I was able to talk to her about this, which was definitely reassuring. I found this fascinating road which is full of hair salons, clothes shops, tea shops and strange little food stalls. It was lively at lunch time and I bet it’s heaving of an evening, so that was great to wander around there. Heading up past the mall and finally discovering a shopping quarter which is either called Walking Street or Women’s Street – I keep hearing different names. Anyway it was lovely, lots of quirky shops and restaurants, tonnes of coffee houses, but unfortunately they were all closed. Yet another place I bet is heaving now, of an evening.

There were lanterns everywhere and the buildings were stunning. Traditional houses, temples, bridges. It was so beautiful.

I kept walking, got a little lost, met my boss at a local (and very small) import store for dairy and baking products before finally heading to McDonalds. I didn’t know what to eat or where to go so I figured chips couldn’t kill me. So for £2.50 I had a large box of chips and a weird salad with an even weirder seasame dressing.

I managed to sleep, dead to the world, from 3 – 6:30 because it was finally quiet, but of course, I was woken up by my neighbours. They really are ignorant people. They haven’t stopped making noise since 6:30pm and I’m sat here with my headphones in, which I hate doing.

That about wraps up the last few days. It’s been emotional, bizarre, testing, eye-opening.

Tomorrow I go back into school for an induction, study lesson and also to teach a very short lesson tomorrow with some little ones – wish me luck guys! I’m so nervous.

xo

Claire in China, Uncategorized

48 hours in China

Mayday mayday… I’m homesick as BLEEEEEP.

I apologise for not updating yesterday, I’m using my UK SIM card for internet on my phone and it’s costing me AN ABSOLUTE FORTUNE!! Thank god I left money in my UK bank account. Wow. So far £8 per day. My entire phone bill, when I finally get a China SIM card is only going to cost £11 per month for UNLIMITED DATA and UNLIMITED HOME WIFI!!! £11 guys!!

Okay I’ll back track a little,

Thursday morning we woke up in Ringwood to a fair amount of snow. Like, more snow than we’ve had in Ringwood for about 7 years. Bournemouth had more! My sister and I layered up over our PJs and went outside to take photos before we froze to death. 2 days layer there was about 2ft of snow in Bournemouth. It’s safe to say I’m quiet envious of everyone. ,y colleagues and students went sending me photos of the snow, snowball fights, classes were cancelled. I can’t believe I missed out!

On the hand… this is what I got up to.

My first flight was cancelled so they put me on one at 8:35pm, after my parents dropped me off at 1pm. I was 3kg over on my baggage allowance and I could see the woman wanted to charge me but after about 30 seconds of contemplation she just warned me about being more careful next time. If only she knew how much I had left behind already. My hand luggage was heavy and killing my shoulders, but thankfully UK security is always really easy and well organised.

I wandered around and around terminal 3 for hours, had some food, coffee, walked some more… I won’t lie, I hate terminal 3. It’s so boring. The shops are totally overpriced and pointless. Finally 7:20 arrived and I could go to the gate. Everyone was running around like headless chickens and at least it gave me, and the guy next to me, something to laugh about.

Luckily, I sat next to two lovely ladies who were on their way to Hanoi! And I had no one sat behind me! So the flight was relatively comfortable, even though I have always struggled with flying. I can never, ever sleep. I’m never comfortable. This flight wasn’t too bad. I watched Coco (it’s ADORABLE!! You have to see it!!) and my favourite, Walk the Line (I’m still singing the soundtrack now) and Wonder (with Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson) which was a truly moving film. I think I cried at least 4 times! Plus, ordering an Indian vegetarian meal was the best decision ever – absolutely delicious!!

Unfortunately we were delayed by an hour, which meant we landed AFTER my connecting flight had taken off. There were at least 10 of us in this situation and the minute we stepped off the plane there were about 5 different ground staff helping us. Each passengers name was on a big board and we had new boarding passes issued. I still only had 30 minutes before the next flight took off so I ran through the airport, getting totally lost as I forgot you go through a transfer security check in Hong Kong and absolutely no one was helpful in directing me on WHERE THE HELL I NEEDED TO BE. I was the last one on the transfer bus and finally made it onto the plane.

That flight was also delayed by 45 minutes and they had no vegetarian food, despite offering me the choice of pre-ordering it. So I had a salad and glass of Russian orange juice, which was bright luminous orange and tasted bizarre! I’m still alive though.

Once I arrived in Shanghai, it was all quite simple and I was pleasantly surprised, thinks ‘ooh this is easy’. WRONG CLAIRE. WRONG!!!!! My bags arrived very quickly and as I looked for the exit I felt something just shy of horror. A SEA OF PEOPLE. AN OCEAN. OH MY GOD. And what were they waiting for? Yes, the exit. But why the queue? A bag scan. At the exit. So everyone was queueing up to have their bags scanned before they leave the airport. In theory this makes sense, but it is NOT PRACTICAL AT ALL. There is one X-ray machine, one thin line and about 400 people all trying to push, shove and barge their way through. Twice I had my ankles clipped by some douche with a trolley. As if that’s going to get you anywhere faster mate! Ugh.

My boss’ stepfather in law (lol) was collecting me, but he was nowhere to be seen. Nor did he accept my friend request on wechat (basically Chinese what’sapp) so I messaged my boss and his wife to see what had happened. 20 minutes later he finally showed up, it turns out he had been waiting in the car lol. Not very helpful, especially as I was hungry, tired and very cold. We took a taxi from Shanghai Pudong airport over to a hotel next to Shanghai Hongqiao airport, which took over an hour as we dropped one guy off in a different part of town. This was a culture shock, this drive. Ready for this? 1, they chain smoke IN THE CAR! Now for some people that might be normal, but I felt like my asthma was coming back after 20 years. And 2, they spit. All the time. With noise. With force. Oh my god it’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever experienced. I really, really hate spitting. I find it vile and offensive (you may remember my previous post on manners? Haha)

When I finally arrived at the hotel, the staff were rude. Their English was fine, I didn’t really need to use my Chinese but they were very short tempered and were happy to let another couple push in front of me WHILST THEY WERE CHECKING ME IN. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! No way. I don’t think so.

It took them half an hour and 3 phone calls to check me in. My boss was going to pay over the phone and they just weren’t happy with it. It was gone midnight before I finally got to my room. It was noisy. Kids were running up and down the corridor, people were shouting, etc. So I jumped in the shower, spent forever washing my hair and then ages drying it. Everyone else was making a noise so why not, right? I fell asleep around 1:30am, and had to wake up at 5:30 to get the shuttle bus to the airport.

TWO COUPLES shoved me out of the way to get on the bus. Not a single person helped me with my 4 bags. And this kid was jumping around and shouting. Talk about a painful start to the day. And at the entrance of the airport was that bloody X-ray machine!! Aaaagh it’s such a nightmare! It’s logical in theory but not at all in practice. Again, no one offered to help me, but they certainly didn’t mind shoving me or my cases out of the way!! Check in took ages and the place was like a zoo. I had to pay for excess baggage, which I knew I would. For 13kg over I only paid about £20! They charge £30 per extra kilo back home so I was ridiculously lucky. I barely had time to grab a croissant from costa before heading to the plane. Of course I was the only white person. And I had a window seat next to a rather large woman who was immediately hacking, coughing and spitting into a bag, all whilst shouting down the phone to someone. I was horrified and I think it showed on my face. The air hostess looked at me and said, ‘excuse me mam, would you like to sit at the front?’ YES I BLOODY WOULD!!!!!!!!! I could have hugged her, or cried. I did neither. But I did enjoy my flight in peace and with a little extra space.

The flight was less than an hour and weirdly, we had to have the blinds down and all of the lights off as we landed. Very bizarre. The airport was minute. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a small airport in my life. We were inside within about 30 seconds of stepping off of the plane. It was dark, dirty and very eerie I must say.

One of my colleagues came to pick me up, which was certainly appreciated, and the drive into the city reminded me so much of Phuket, except for the tropical island thing. It was run down, barren almost. People were working in fields, little huts were people’s homes. The traffic is as mental as I remember. No one follows any rules, everyone beeps continuously for absolutely no reason and you almost feel like you won’t make the drive.

We went straight to the school were I met my boss’ wife and some other colleagues, who all seem lovely and the school itself is amazing. So many lovely pictures, paintings and BOOKS!! The cutest book corner. After dropping off my heavy bags we went to Starbucks for breakfast, and later on I met my boss. I first interviewed with him 3 months ago, so we’ve spoken quite a bit since then but he is just as nice as I imagined. Very professional but a decent person, that’s already obvious.

The contract for my apartment had just been signed so he helped my take my suitcases over, and I finally got to rest. The apartment is awesome. There is so much space!!! I’m fully expecting people to come out and visit me, ok guys? I have TWO BEDROOMS!!! The only thing I find odd is the bathrooms in China, and I know Taiwan is the same, but a toilet and a shower right next to each other?? With no shower basin?? So the shower sprays aaaaaall over the toilet. It’s bizarre and I totally do not understand this! And my hearing doesn’t work at the moment, but that’s apparently because the remote batteries are dead. Even though the remote turns on. We’ll see what happens when I replace the batteries later. Haha. “This is China!”

So I tried to sleep but I was cold, hungry and didn’t yet have a kettle. Or any water. Which meant nothing to drink, eat and no hot water bottle. I had awful stomach cramps and really needed medicine and some comfort. But hey, I survived. Around 4pm Vivi, one of my colleagues, brought over some things for the flat and took me to try and get a SIM card, which didn’t work out, so I took a walk along the river and then a taxi to one of the nearby malls. It was awesome!

Wan da plaza

It’s brilliant. Loads of restaurants, some fresh fruit stalls, fruit juice, ice cream, whatever you’d want!

Plus, my favourite kind of stores. The stationery, random crap, weird phone cases types of shops. Of course everyone was staring at me or following me around, but I felt happy. I could buy things and not break the bank. Of course it’s not as cheap as it used to be when I first lived in China but it’s still much cheaper than the UK! Then went to the supermarket to buy a few essentials. Some girls asked if they could have my trolley because they didn’t have coins, I said yes,and they were adamant that they wanted to send me the 1 yuan (10p!) by the Chinese version of PayPal (more of less) and they were horrified when I said it didn’t matter. That was a funny, odd, experience. I also bought a stove kettle for £2 – hahaha! Who even uses those anymore?

The taxi home cost me £1! What a bargain hey?!

I couldn’t be bothered to cook so I had some koala crackers for dinner and made myself a hot water bottle. Out the new bedding on my bed, grabbed my hoodie and fluffy socks and jumped into bed.

10pm to 9am of sleep, with a 3am snack and quick chat to my mum.

I’m not going to lie to you guys, I cried myself to sleep last night. The homesickness hit hard just before bed. Actually whilst making my bed. It’s the only household chore I hate and my mum almost always helps me do it, this was just another reminder of how far away she is. I didn’t think homesickness would really happen, and certainly not this quickly, but it has. It’s here.

I woke up feeling it. I’ve cried at least 6 times today and it’s only 3pm.

  • I cried when my jeans got soaked in the rain.
  • I cried when they couldn’t issue me a SIM card.
  • I cried when I heard despacito playing.
  • I cried when this kid pointed at me and called me American.
  • I cried saying goodnight to my mum
  • I cried because the ‘taco’ restaurant is actually a steakhouse.
  • I cried when I couldn’t find Starbucks.
  • I cried when I instagrammed about being homesick.
  • I’m crying now as I write this.
  • I’m crying stupidly now about how much I’ve been crying.

Dear god please make my brain realise that being here is a good decision.

I keep trying to remind myself that being here, on my own, without my ex, is so much better than if he was here with me. Being here in my own is 100% the right decision for me and my future. I just hope I am strong enough to stick it out, and not run home like a little baby.

So as I sit here in Starbucks, trying to feel a little normal, I realise I’ve been writing this blog post for an hour, and during this time about 40 people have stared at me, 5 or 6 have pointed at me. I realise that things could be worse. I could be out of a job, struggling for money, trying to get people to notice me, like me, talk to me. I’m certainly not short of the first and third thing here. Everyone’s looking, everyone’s trying to talk. Tomorrow I am meeting so foreign locals for dinner and from talking to them online they seem really nice! Tuesday is football day. I have a lot to look forward to, I just hope it works out.

On a side note, I took a weird electric tuktuk taxi thing to get here, thinking it would be cheaper, the bloke charged me more than double what the taxis do and then had a fist fight with a guy and wouldn’t give me my change…. are you freaking kidding me?!?

I’ll wrap this post up now, I want to head off and find some food and craft stuff. Possibly an extra jumper and a pair of slippers, as it’s only 5°C here!

Addition:

I’m back to where I started this morning, all because no where in this city seems to have working wifi.

ALL I WANT TO DO IS TALK TO MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!

Ok so the second mall I went to was good fun, I already like it there. I managed to buy a sketchbook, FINALLY some nail files, after looking in about 7 different shops!! I got called ugly, by a woman who definitely wasn’t attractive, and then I cried some more.

I took a taxi home, thinking there was a cafe with wifi nearby. WRONG!! Then I walked to two different cafes and neither of them had wifi, so I kept walking, for 25 minutes just to use a western toilet and finally get to a Starbucks with working wifi. All I wanted to do today was talk to my mum. I can’t wait to get a working sim card so I can stay at home and talk to people.

Anyway, I’ve also decided to start a YouTube channel, please let me know if you watch it and if you have any tips! My username is gzxklair and I’ve also made a hashtag for Instagram #gzxklairinchina

Link: https://youtu.be/xkIvv22VLbk

Happy Sunday everyone and stay tuned!

xo