People ask me whether it is easy to adjust to life here. Well, it is. Maybe it’s me, but if you just continue your life (but in a different place) there’s no problem. One of the main things I’m still struggling with is that I have to depend on people for so many things. Not only here in China – because when you have to arrange something you have to bring a Chinese person otherwise you can forget it – but also regarding things back home. The things I can do from here are limited, so I have to ask for help, wait, etc etc. I rather do things myself! Always been like that, since I was a little girl. So yes, these things can be very frustrating. Think it will help when my defense finally is done.
The other thing is that I still do not have my own place, so I cannot make it my home. It’s not like I have to be able to decorate the place, I can pretty much live anywhere, but it has to be mine. At the current apartment I’m just temporarily and have to share it. So it feels like I’m just visiting. I would love to get some things to make my life a bit easier here (matrass, cooking supplies etc), but I don’t know how my next place will be, how big it is, what facilities are there etc… Thankfully we’re now working on getting me registered at university, so the time that I can finally see what kind of (little) places the university has to offer off-campus is approaching. Fingers crossed I will have my own place soon.
Further, well, it is difficult that I cannot read anything, but thankfully my dear smartphone can help a little bit in that department. The people are very nice and helpful, but their English overall is terrible and the spitting habit is disgusting. For a lot of things they have a different way of doing things, but who am I to judge? They get things done. And the food, well, as you might have noticed: I like!
Making friends is not that hard here, but it’s so much easier in the international population here. The Chinese I’ve met so far keep more to themselves, while the internationals are outgoing and open for new people. So far I already hung out with a Mexican German guy, a Spanish guy and went to Old Town with an American girl. I also think that when I really become part of the dancing scene here, I will meet more of both camps. Haven’t heard back from the salsa teachers yet, but hey, I just arrived here a few weeks ago, so there’s enough time for that. Do have to go dancing again this weekend, I miss it!
I do have to work on my posing skills here. Whether I just walk around on the Bund Boulevard, sitting down eating a hotdog or wandering around the Old Town, people find me interesting enough to make pictures of, or making pictures with me! If people stared at me in Holland, I would always check whether my make-up and clothes are still in order. Here I would have to carry the mirror in my hand then, because it happens pretty often. Pretty strange. This must be a little bit like what a (sort of) celebrity experiences when walking the street.
To conclude: life is interesting here.
Registration takes longer than I hoped, so getting my own place will have to wait a bit longer. As many of you might have seen on Facebook I was pretty bummed about that, because this is about the only thing left for me to really feel at home. The professor also said that it is much easier to live with a Chinese person, because the world out there is not English friendly, so he’s not in a hurry for me getting my own place. By talking to the two girls I found out that they worry about me. Especially because my roommate told the professor about my hypo when getting back from getting my visa extended. Apparently she got spooked and worried about me, because I’m normally so strong (her words). I tried to explain that this sometimes happens and I know what to do. But that it came much faster than expected, because I haven’t slept so much (duh, we were partying the night before). I’m not sure she understood completely, but I hope she will worry a bit less now. I did reorganized my room, got rid of the stuff from the one who lived here before me (well, I found some storage places in my room that I don’t need) and put the big television in the living room. I have a much lighter room now and the only stuff I see now is mine. That helps. For now.