Friday, August 28, 2009
After a long flight we arrived in Shanghai. I felt very nervous going through the quarantine inspections because so many people had made a big deal about it but we made it through without a second glance. We were met by a precious person named Joy! She was holding a sign that said “Kyle and Rebecca Hooper”. When she saw us she immediately knew who we were and excitedly welcomed us to China. The car came around to pick us up and we me “the driver” (I never caught her name but this is what Joy called her.) She was about my size and insisted on taking care of putting our heavy bags into the small Jetta she drove. Joy explained that we had two hour drive to Hangzhou from Shanghai and along the way she shared a lot of information. We found out that we will be living downtown - instead of outside the city in Xiasha. We will commute to teach in Xiasha. We will be living on the old campus with the other foreign teachers. When we arrived at the apartment building we found out we were the first foreign teachers to arrive so we got to pick our apartment. They planned for us to live on the fifth floor in 502 because we are younger. So we took that apartment. I feel really safe in our new apartment - there’s an iron gate on the entrance of our building that stays locked at all times and our apartment door locks. We met Frank, the’s the waiban that lives on the first floor of our building. He has been very helpful. By the time we got our bags up 5 flights of stairs we were beat and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Joy, the driver, and Frank all wanted to take us out to eat. We tried to decline but they really wanted to take us out for our “welcome meal”. We went to eat at a noodle restaurant and I felt pretty big culture shock! Noodle-less to say I was glad to get back to the apartment!