I rode the longest escalator in Asia with my friend and other fellow CIEE participant Eric. It was crazy! It is so long!
After the zoo we went to a part of Chongqing not far from where we were, where all the buildings have graffiti on them. It was pretty cool. It’s the Huangjueping Graffiti Street 黄桷坪涂鸦街 and is said to be the largest graffiti art region in China and the world.
A few months ago I went to the zoo with my friend and fellow CIEE participant Derrick. We had a blast. Who knew the zoo could be so much fun? Although the animals don’t have big cages and don’t seem to be taken care of as good as in the USA, they weren’t in bad shape. I could go on and on about the zoo and the animals we saw but I think it’s better to let the pictures do the work. And yes I did feed a giraffe and a hippo :D
My apartment… What to say about it? It’s small but not so small that I cant have people over.Well maybe it’s best to use pictures.
This is my apartment building. I’m on the 8th floor.
This is my hallway. To the right is my kitchen and to the left is my bathroom.
This is my bathroom. This is a squat toilet for all you who have never heard of or seen one.That was me when I got here. It was a little bit of an adjustment, but they really aren’t that bad. My bathroom floor gets dirty quicker than humanly possible. I clean my floor before I take a shower seeing as my shower is above my toilet. Interesting right? It was a shock and I wasn’t sure how to work that one out, but the water goes pretty far so I stand on the corner and it’s all good. Most of my friends do actually have a regular Western toilet so I wouldn't worry about.
This is my kitchen. This is the counter, the sink and the door that opens up to my little porch with my washer on it.
These are my gas burners and my fridge. I don’t cook as much as I should but I’m cooking more and more.
This is my little balcony and my tiny washer. It works really well. It’s all in Chinese and I figured it out. I’m getting pretty good at that.
This is my dining area of my living room. As you can see I have 2 chairs and 2 little stools. I also have a nice 2 layered glass table. My table is like a catch all. I don’t have storage and I don’t have many places to put my stuff.
This is my couch. It is actually pretty comfortable and it can be a second bed if needed. It also is a catch all. I have all my bags and backpacks and coats on it. I try to keep it clean but I don’t use it anyway. I have a tv that doesn’t work because I don’t have cable.
I have a bedroom that is separated from my living room by sliding glass doors that you can only kind of see through.
This is my bed. It’s actually 2 beds on top of each other. It’s not super comfortable but it's not that bad. I think the first night I really slept on a rock. I had to buy a “mattress pad” or should I say another comforter. It is a big bed though which is nice. I have space to sprawl out! On the right I have a closet and a little stand. I also have a night stand next to my bed.
So that is all I have. My apartment isn’t that big but it’s perfect for what I need. I like my neighborhood, the little store downstairs with the people that I’m getting to know, the small supermarket down the street, how close I am to work, the fact that Jared lives 20 floors above me, and that I’m super close to all modes of transportation. This is my humble abode that I will be leaving in 11 days.
The food here is really good. It is spicy. They put spicy peppers in everything, EVERYTHING! They put in almost all the dishes and they even put it in their noodles they eat for breakfast. After living here for 6 months I can say that food just doesn't have much flavor without the spicy stuff. There are a lot of fresh vegetables and many different types of food. You can find Mexican, Indian, Italian and McDonald's and KFC here in Chongqing. But Chinese food is way cheaper and to be honest, it is really good. I like to mix it up though because in the US we eat a ton of different things all the time, but here in China they don't mix up flavors that much. So got to keep it interesting. Here's some food I've eaten and some very common foods.
We’ve had a solid week of good weather. It has definitely been hot and it even got up to 104 degrees the other day, but the sun has been shining and I’ve been loving it. It has made me feel happy and I’ve tried to spend some time outside. Not only do I want some sort of tan, I just want to be outside and feel the sun. I love the sun but when it's 100 degrees and humid it can be hard to be outside for any length of time.
Sunday I went over to the neighborhood Yonghui and got a few things I needed. On my way there I soaked up the sun and when I arrived I decided to sit outside in the sun on a bench for a little while before going in. It was a beautiful day. It was sunny, warm and breezy. It did get a little hot but soaking up all that sun and vitamin D just warmed my soul. We haven’t had many days of sun here in Chongqing. When it is sunny, the clouds and smog usually cover it up. The month of June was a month of just rain and so July has been nice.
I got sick last week and I figured some time outside and the sun could do me some good. I had a sore throat that went away after a few days. That turned into a cough and some congestion of course. It’s a summer cold, which is so weird to me, but hey going in and out of hot weather and the cold AC has to do something to your body if you go from one extreme to another. Anyway, I’m pretty much over that thank God.
I have exactly 5 days left of work. My mom will be here in 9 days. We leave to travel around China in 11days. And I will be home in 21 days. How have 6 months gone by so fast? What happened to all that time I have in China? Or that snowy day in February when my passport was late and there was a giant snow storm on the East Coast causing me to miss my flight? Or that time a less than 2 hour flight lasted over 7 hours and I missed my flight to China? Or the day I turned 23 with so much time left in China. I only have 20 days left in China. I can’t believe it.
On one hand I am completely excited to come home and see all my friends and family. I get to see my mom in 9 days and I am beyond excited. I haven’t seen her in over 6 months and that is the longest I have gone without seeing her. Our trip is going to be amazing. We really are going to some of the best places in China. I have a lot of plans for when I get back too. I have a coming home party, the usual doctor’s appointments and a hair appointment to give that blonde hair a touch up, tickets to a Florida Georgia Line Concert and the State Fair, a trip to the Rhode Island, a Labor Day party to go to and on top of all of that I have to plan my adventure in Spain. If that even happens, because the process is so complicated and I haven’t even found out where I’m going yet.
On the other hand I am sad to go. I will miss all the friends I’ve made and the life I’ve created here. I will miss Jared more than anyone else in China. Why you might ask? Well you might be thinking that Jared and I are dating like everyone in our office, but no Jared and I are not dating. Jared is my best friend here in China. We know each other better than anyone else. We spend a lot of time together mostly because of work, since we work together, but we also have the same friends and sometimes have movie nights or get dinner together because we also live in the same building. He’s the one I talk to the most and the person I tell everything to. We’ve endured all the craziness of work and China together. So I will miss him a lot. I know that we will stay in touch and see each other again.
Moving is bittersweet. When you move abroad there is the excitement of going to a new place and starting a new life. You’ll miss your friends and family but you can stay in touch. You’ll learn another language and your native language will get worse. You’ll make new friends so fast, it’ll seem like you’ve known each other forever. You’ll get used to the food and the culture and anything that seemed weird or gross or different will just be normal everyday life. This new place becomes your home and even if you miss home, you can’t imagine being anywhere else.
When you move home there is also the excitement of seeing all your friends and family. You’ll get to have everything you’ve missed like mom’s home cooking or Dunkin Donuts. But there is the sadness that comes from leaving the friends you’ve made and the life you’ve created. Not to mention that most of us have no idea what to do when we get home. I put my life on hold and now I’m back to wondering what to do with my life.
I am excited, sad, anxious, and nervous all at the same time. I’ve had an amazing time here in China. I’ve gone to Hong Kong, Zhangjiajie or the Avatar Mountains, Langzhong, an ancient city and I’m going to Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Guilin. China is must bigger than you think. So that’s actually pretty good for someone who was only here for 6 months and had no vacation time. I really like living in China and I really like the spicy food. Everything is so cheap here too. I’ve enjoyed my time in China, but I’m ready to spend time with my family and friends, to get Dunkin Donuts and to be home again. I don’t know what is coming my way but I hope only good things are in my future.
Summer weather in Chongqing is ridiculous. It’s hot and it’s humid. It hasn’t even been a “true” or “real”Chongqing summer yet. It gets up to 40C or about 120F ewww! The month of June was pretty unusual for Chongqing. There were 24 days of rain and the highest temperature was maybe 89 degree Fahrenheit or 32 degrees Celsius. It was pretty humid throughout the month but the rain made it feel like a warm New York summer but with rain. Then July comes around and bam the sun starts shining. I shouldn’t complain because I’ve only actually seen the sun maybe 7 days total since being here, but damn it’s hot up in here.
This week it has hit 96F and 98F or 35.5C and 36.6C. And besides that it has not only been sunny, it has been humid. The walk to and from work has been like hell. It feels like you’ve been lying on the beach all day in the hot sun, but you’ve only just stepped outside. And exercising? Pleaseeeee, it’s like being in a tropical jungle with you’re whole body drenched in sweat. Even after finishing you’re workout, you’re still sweating until you can reach your shower and turn that cold water on.
And of course, AC has become my best friend. I never turn that thing off. Well ok, to save money on electricity I turn it off when I go to work but THAT’S IT!!!! I live for AC now because really who can stand being outside unless absolutely necessary? No one, even the Chinese avoid the sun and heat like the plague. They have an unfair advantage of having grown up in this weather and of not sweating like us foreigners.
Chongqing is actually called one of the Furnace Cities in China because it get’s so hot. Unfortunately, we haven’t reached those peak temperatures yet. I hope to God we don’t, but well this is China and you know after our month of rain, it’s going to come back with a vengeance.
Note to self (and everyone) Don’t come to China in the summer!! It’s not only expensive to travel but it’s HOT as hell.