Saturday, September 5, 2009

My New Home

"Returning from seeing a friend off at the shore, one feels as far away as the horizon."
-Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi

My move is finally complete. I left behind my friends in Shanghai for a completely new life here in Quanzhou. It was hard to say goodbye, but I was ready for the change. Though I've only been here a week, it seems like I'm where I am supposed to be. I taught my first few classes(!), which were incredibly intimidating but also really enjoyable. Creating syllabi, correcting papers, teaching writing skills, and reviewing grammar: it's all kind of fun for me. I only have 10 classroom hours per week, so I also have plenty of time to work on my Chinese. I've found a Chinese tutor, and I'm so excited to start seeing some improvements!

Huaqiao university has quite a beautiful campus, of which I've included some pictures here:

This is the view from my window of campus and the surrounding area. The place where I am is set into the hills - rather picturesque, no?

One of many tree-lined streets. The buildings here tend to be rather block-like and uninspired, but there are lots of trees and gardens to make up for it.

The rather impressive entrance to the school. Note the blue skies!

There are lots of palm trees to remind me that I'm living in a tropical area, as if the heat and humidity weren't enough. I'm told that it will cool down in the beginning of October. Agh!

The following pictures probably fall into the category, "things in which only a mother would be interested." I've posted some pictures of my apartment, which, by the way, is HUGE. I have a study which I've pretty much abandoned, as I just don't need that much room. Overall though, it's a nice apartment, if rather spartan. The only downside? It's on the 6th floor, and there isn't an elevator.

Here's the entrance. I love the coat rack! My bookshelf needs a lot more books though.

My living room furniture is made of hardwood, which is lovely, but not very comfortable.

My cute little kitchen table. I'm currently using a scarf as a tablecloth until I have the money to buy a real tablecloth. It's not like I'm going to need a scarf anytime soon anyway. ;)

My kitchen! No oven, but a perfectly serviceable stove and microwave. They even provided me with a rice cooker and a wok!

My (already messy) desk. I put a map of Carrboro up above it, in case I get homesick. The desk used to be in my study, but there was plenty of space in my bedroom.

Lastly, my bed. Hard as a rock, of course, but I'm already used to it. In the background is a second desk, which I'm using as a vanity of sorts. It's also covered by one of my scarves right now...

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