! Once the forms are all ready - I have to put my signature to them, but personnel have included my middle name in all the contracts, so I have to sign all names in full. I’ve never signed my middle name before, it’s really hard!, like writing with your Left hand (assuming your Right handed). After all the signatures were done, I have to… this is ridiculous, print over my signature with my finger prints. Like a signature isn’t proof enough! This is such a long winded process. I’m glad I’m not organising it else I’d have given up long before now. Wednesday morning sees a 7:00 a.m. appointment at the hospital for my obligatory medical tests - to prove, I don’t know really, that I’m in good enough health to work here. God I feel like livestock. The tests were incredibly laborious and unnecessary. I had to have an x-ray - but they didn’t tell me to take off my necklace or security swipe… so the x-ray will show me with a pocket watch and 3 keys in my chest?! Once I’ve finally been tested to pieces - I am told I have to attend an interview at the police station. I’ve been briefed by personnel that the local authorities are very interested in my application, mainly due to this being my first graduate job - and I’m working for a company in the back of beyond in China! So, I have some set questions to study, it’s like an exam really, but with the police?! I’m quite scared about this, it’s a very odd situation to be in
On another note - the English Language and Culture lessons on Monday were beautifully disastrous! The first, at lunch time, went quite well. The girls were allot more advanced than I’d anticipated. So, by the evening I got cocky and changed the in-class exercise from the one at lunch… bad idea. There were four set questions they had to ask their partner, and then role play to the class. 3/ 4 of the questions were so painfully misunderstood that I had to change tack to gain a classroom of 12, very confused faces. Blimey. They got it second time around though, and did really well. I’m so envious that these girls can speak 3 languages - it’s incredible. Wednesday’s set of lessons will be slightly more painful after a horribly early start at the hospital - although Laoshi Waterfield has learnt her lesson, and WILL stick to Monday’s lesson plan now! The lunch time class was amazing - it went so well, Wednesday night’s not-so-well. But then it would be sod’s law to end the weeks classes with a bad group! So, I’m on 6 lessons a week as it stands. It’s a bit grim, as with timings - I have 30 minutes to get to the canteen, eat my dinner, freshen up and get back to the office to set up the room… although it’s so convenient for the workers I guess I can take one for the team if it helps.
The end of the week brings the 5-day National holiday
. I have decided to stay at the dorms and cook for myself instead of going to Shenzhen - I figure I don’t really want to be fed-up for 6days by the directors helper. When I reassure personnel that I cooked for myself for 4 years in University, they are really shocked and call me “Brave”… I’m not even kidding. I don’t see it as being an issue though, I do however see being cut off without internet as an issue. It was suggested that I buy a wireless dongle - but I can’t really see the point for a few days. So, I am in-touch with the world, and have the whole site to myself… oh if it weren’t for the security camera’s I’d cook in my PJ’s and slide down the banisters! Instead I get some photos in of my surroundings - namely the gecko (?) that I thought I saw the other night whilst making tea - and now I know I’m not crazy… and the canteen where I eat everyday. A man came up to me in the canteen on Tuesday night and offered me a DVD player for my room… okay, so this was a really weird situation, and he really caught me off guard with a mouthful of cabbage. So I probably wasn’t as thankful as I should have been! After dinner, he came up to my room to connect everything up. The girl from personnel dropped by with some of that lovely jellied-ball-tea from ‘Teabucks’ and told me he was in fact the factory manager! Jeeeees, where are my manners. I just thought he was another of the site’s million engineers. The difficulty here, is that everyone knows who I am as I’m pretty easy to spot, and they’re not too great at introductions… so I just go with the flow - yeah a guy comes up to me in the canteen and presents me with a DVD player - that’s standard behaviour!?!! Silly girl. Apparently they’re all worried about me, so keep suggesting ways to keep me entertained… how about you let me out? Just putting it out there…
This week had a really wonderful start in the form of my long anticipated Degree certificate arriving from the UK on Monday morning! I only had chance to glance at it before handing it over to personnel, who in turn will be giving it to the Chinese government to complete the process of applying for my ‘Workers permit’. It felt a bit like being a surrogate mother, I just wanted to hold it and look at my four years worth of work, instead it was cruelly taken from me!! On Tuesday, the ball really gets rolling. Personnel are on the phone to me nearly all the working hours… they have to translate my certificate - and we really hit a wall when they have to translate ‘Sandwich degree in Clothing Design and Technology’… I should have seen that one coming!!! I managed, just about, to explain that it wasn’t an edible sandwich - but a metaphor for the industrial placement year being ‘sandwiched’ between study-years… that was SO hard - thanks for that MMU