Saturday, July 26, 2008

Living in Luxury

Living in campus university apartments for staff and teachers, is a step up from living outside with the frogs, stars, mosquitoes, and scorpions of Africa. My host family is pretty well-off. The father is a retired Chinese language teacher. He was the vice-president of a university.

Our apartment is on the fifth floor, the top floor and is a huge living space. There are two floors with the top floor having an outdoor patio with a lot of plants and where the washing machine is kept. There are 4 bedrooms, 2 sitting rooms, a small kitchen, and 3 small rooms plus two bathrooms. I still have a squat toilet though. It is a nice one. It flushes.

The living room probably will indicate to you just how luxurious my life is at the moment. Notice the pears on the table. My family always has fruit sitting out for me. We never use the tall air conditioner.

My bedroom is lovely. I have a hard bed which reminds me of sleeping on the rope cot in Africa, a taste of home. Back in the states I didn’t have time to get used to the soft beds. I have a nice desk where I spend most of my evenings learning Chinese or working on lesson plans. During practice school, I will be teaching English for 7 days on the theme of Summer. My teaching partner and I came up with the theme.
My bedroom has a clothes rack and I have the bottom cabinets of a bookshelf to put my clothes. There is a lovely big window which brings in a cooling breeze. The one bad thing about my room are the mosquitoes. I thought by moving to China I would escape from those tiny insects. I do have water though, so I don’t have to worry about staph which basically ruined my skin. My room has a guess what, air conditioner. I don’t find China to be too hot so I never use it. My host family noticed and gave me a fan which is nice. The fan is all that I need.

Life is good. I have no complaints. My biggest challenge is learning Chinese.

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