Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh Monday!

Hey there! Hope everyone had a great weekend! I am finally sitting down with enough time to give you the run down on my first week & weekend in China and tell you the terrible thing that happened to me the day I left Thailand. 

So in order for me to get my Chinese visa without having to go home I had to send my passport to my mother so she could process my paperwork back in Chicago and because everything takes forever to get done in Asian countries I knew I would have to overstay my visa in Thailand. I was pretty worried about it simply because if you get caught you get fined & deported. If you make it to the airport you just have to pay before you leave. In the last month there I ended up spending a lot more than I should have between traveling and only getting paid once since I left the states. I had just enough money in my bank account to cover what I thought was going to be the overstay fee and enough travelers checks to cover me for a month in China. When I got to the airport I realized I could not find my travelers checks in order to cash them, I also had to pay overweight fees of $100USD, which I had to use my emergency credit card for. Well once I was finally on my way out I hit the passport center and they told me how much I would have to pay for my 9 day overstay. It turned out to be double what I had anticipated(based on asking MANY people) so I definitely did not have enough money to cover it even with getting every last bit out of the atm that I could and freaking out because I could not find my travelers checks. Finally these nice Thai people saw me crying trying to explain I had no more money(I was about 400baht short) I had my purse completely emptied all over the table and the guard was yelling at me in front of everyone passing telling me that he would take me to jail if I didn't get more money out. I kept explaining that if they could credit cards I could pay but he refused saying they only took cash. Anyway, two different people and another guard all stopped asked how much I owed and each gave me some. In total it was enough to cover it and the guard was quite pissed. It was a horrible experience and I still tear up thinking about how crappy it was. I am almost 100% positive he was charging me more than he was supposed to and just being an asshole. I was supposed to pay $150(and that was on the high side, I ended up being charged $320ish) 

I got to China with no money and freaking out because I don't get paid till I have been here a month. Thanks to my amazing mom she wired me some money and told me to patiently look through  my belongings when I got to my apartment. Luckily I found the checks BUT as it turns out in my town it is almost impossible to get them exchanged. The nearest place to do it was at the airport. It definitely was a rough week, I talked to my stepmom about the checks and she suggested I Fedex them to her and she could cash them in the states and put them directly into my bank account. So that led to my first trip to Guangzhou, the nearest large city. We can talk about that in another post! 

Overall, aside from the normal pain the ass situations that arise when living in an Asian country like everything taking forever to get done and not being able to communicate I am very much enjoying it so far. This town is pretty small in comparison to where I thought I would be but its pleasant and very green! I love that its clean and safe to go for a run. There are about 20 foreign teachers but quite a few other foreign business people. Its hotter than hell here though haha...much hotter than Thailand. Its also 100% humidity haha which I am used to in Chicago for the summer but its September!! I am not complaining though. 

My students are super adorable and starting to come around and talk with me more and more. I never thought I would enjoy working with such small kids but I do and it feels great! 

Ok enough are some pics! 

my living room in the new place 

my view...not much but im on the 16th floor :) 

2nd night in China...

some of my students :) 

Pineapple Beer...amazing inventions! 

three of the foreign teachers-South Africa, Wales & Canada! 

at the teachers tea winning a prize for a game
Another teacher in town-at the bar :) 

cheering my parents on for the Chicago half marathon on Sunday! 

Hope you all have a fantastic Monday!!! 

1 comment

Miss Chelsea said...

I was like experiencing anxiety just reading about that mess! Phew. You brave girl. Glad to hear things are sorted out and you are enjoying yourself though. What an amazing opportunity

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