Arriving in Jiaxing
Trip Start Aug 10, 2011
4Trip End Jul 01, 2012
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The train was a pretty good ride really, it was during the day so I was able to watch as we left the built up area of Beijing disappear into green farmland and countless canals and lakes, of course with the random cities appear out of nowhere!
Jiaxing is a pretty small city as China goes, it only has between 3-4 million people! Its really clean and quite quiet so is definitely a nice place to live. According to my mentor Jiaxing is considered one of the 'most comfortable places to live in China', and from what I can remember, this is because it has very little traffic because the roads are wide
So when we arrived here, we were each met by our mentors from our school, carefully chosen by the school to look after the foreign teacher! OR the only person in the school, including the English teachers, that could speak any English what so ever. So I was taken back to apartment (bedsit), dumped my stuff and rushed back out to get a Chinese SIM card. And for a very brief look round the school that I'd be working at (as I am living at Jiaxing Gao Ji Zhong Xue, a senior school, but working at Xiuzhou Modern Experimental School, a junior school, about 15mins bike ride away). Then after this I was pretty much left to do my own thing.
The next couple of days I just had a little look round my area, obviously made my place look homely. My school bought me a bike, although I can't really work out whether it is a kids bike or just a Chinese one (they do like to do things differently), but I was too polite to say anything of course
The day after this little experience however, I had my "welcome to China medical check", which if you don't have you can't get your visa/residents permit. Now this was an interesting and very thorough check! I had my sight tested (the letters looked something like this EMW3 and you had to point which way was open); my ears, nose and throat looked at/in; my stomach prodded; my glands? felt around my neck and my spine prodded; height and weight measured; my blood taken and tested (didn't enjoy that one at all); a chest x-ray; an ECG; an ultrasound and a pee test! (The last wasn't that easy however seeing as I was told to be nil by mouth which I just assumed meant liquids too!) And all this was in clear view of every body else also having the test, so it became a lets ALL stare at the white person doing exactly the same as us, but it is obviously 100x more interesting! Anyway at least I know I am healthy!