Saturday, February 9, 2008

All my fears about living in China

have never materialized! This is what was keeping me up nights about a year ago (in no particular order).

Bugs, bugs and more bugs: After learning that we'd be in Kunming, close to Vietnam (which conjured up images of jungles), I imagined sharing our humble home with the creep-y and crawl-y variety. We've only seen one bug in the apartment and much to our relief, we have screens on all the windows.

Filth, filth and more filth: Much to our surprize, China, in general, is fairly clean. Public areas are not as clean as we would like, but it's not too bad. People regularly use public wastebaskets and streets, stores and the like are constantly being swept out. There are armies of sweepers everywhere, unlike the U.S., where a machine does the job. I have found (though G. will vehemently disagree (!)) that the public spaces in China are much cleaner than those in Latin America.

The kids wouldn't adjust: And just who loves school, life in general and speaks/understands Mandarin? Now, that was a waste of a worry!

I'd hate my job: The job is wonderful! I have great students, a fantastic schedule and complete autonomy. My only "complaint" is that it isn't that much of challenge. G. is now teaching English to 5 people, involved in soccer and loves exploring the mysteries of the Chinese language, customs and culture.

Living on campus would be suffocating: Living on campus has been the best thing about being in Kunming. It's quiet, pretty, private and a 10 minute walking commute. The apartment is decent, we enjoy having the dining halls available for meals, and the kids' school is on campus. We love being part of the university community.

The language barrier will do us in: Learning Mandarin is certainly a challenge, but we're making progress. Looking back to August, it's amazing what we now can say and read! People bend over backwards to help us understand. Also, several students, colleagues and neighbors have come to our "limguistic rescue".

Now off to dreamland...

1 comment:

Majewski Family said...

Ann, I love this post! We would love to live in China and some of the fears that you had, we have thought of too:)