We met Jialai, the Dean's Assistant, and headed over to our apartment. It is near the university, spacious, with good climate control. Very important in 100+ degree heat and 60% humidity. We had initial problems with internet and phones, so we felt very disconnected at the beginning. We couldn't tell people we'd made it. We couldn't contact Jialai. The apartment also needed items that we couldn't look up where to buy or how to get there. And when you don't speak the language you can't just go out on the street and ask questions. We found a little grocery store that had pillows, a bed covering, and food for the morning. We ended up sleeping on the bed covering and used Kate's scarves for sheets. Urban camping.
We went to bed at about 8pm. I woke up at 5am - did the same this morning - and continued to fight with the internet. We were able to snag a free network at the shopping plaza the night before so we could send some emails but still couldn't effectively communicate. Our neighbor and my colleague Xiaoting Ma, the clarinet professor, came over in the afternoon and was able to speak to the landlord on our behalf and the internet problem was fixed. We felt a lot better after that. It is nice to go on a technology hiatus every once in a while, but when you really need it, to not have it gives you a feeling of helplessness.
Anyway, the morning before the glory of the internet reached our apartment, we decided to take a walk around our new neighborhood. We walked down to the university and checked out the library. We walked all the way to the lake and sat next to it for a while. Beautiful. All sounds great were it not for the heat. We struggled a bit on the way back but got water and food and were fine. We spent the afternoon and early evening with Annie, the professor of musicology. She took us to a HUGE grocery/department store - similar to walmart but about 3 times bigger. We purchased sheets, a comforter, kitchen items, food, and other little things we needed. We went to dinner after and had a great time. We came home exhausted, web chatted with our parents, and quickly went to bed.
I'm up at 5am again. I'm going into school today for registration which will activate my bank account, give me email access, ID card, etc. This weekend we are going to get a cab and go to The Bookworm. A ex-pat hangout spot, lending library, and restaurant that serves western style food. We'll continue to settle our apartment and explore our surroundings. I'll get back on track with my Top 50 Tuesday posts. Thanks for reading. If you have questions or just want to say hi, post a comment.