The morning we landed in Shanghai, my coworkers and I decided to venture out and experience China.
After walking around our neighbourhood for ten minutes, we were confused whether they flew us to the right country.
I swear to God I’ve never seen so many little blonde kids before. In Toronto, we have little Asian kids, little brown kids, little white kids, and a black kid.
I was not used to so much whiteness…
And this here, is Pu-dDong.
Let me explain. Shanghai is split up into two parts. Pu-xi and Pu-dong.
“Pu” means river. On one side of the Pu is what most people think of when they hear Shanghai, with crowds of people pushing and shoving. This is Pu-xi. I love it to death.
However, I lived in Pu-Dong. Not even the side of Pudong close to the river. I’m about an hour bus ride from there. Ie. The Jersey of Shanghai.
In Pu-Jersey, as a friend called it, we have the older expat community. The white collar Westerners who are sent here on first class flights, with drivers and maids to tend to their every need. EVERY need.
So instead of Xiaolongbaos (Aka. Little shanghai steamed buns) the restaurants here sell gourmet burgers (aka. Big American buns stuffed with Cow).
The average age of expats living here is like… 60! By my estimates anyway. Not the hip and happening place I imagined I’d be living in.
So every week I’d call my mom, my boyfriend, anyone who will listen, and complain about how boring it is here, and how lonely I am.
Good thing I had a job to occupy me. To all those who think a teacher’s job is easy! How dare you sir!!! I curse you! I curse you and all your descendants!
All in all, teaching is hard.
On top of that, my school was new and had zero resources. I had to do EVERYTHING from scratch!
I’d work before work.
I’d work at work.
I’d work after work.
I’d think about work in the shower/before bed/during eating/ while pooping.
I’d work weekends.
I’ve never been so sleep deprived in my life. Yet somehow I’d never felt more alive.
I had so much fun with my students. We’d just laugh and laugh…during accounting class.
Of course it was not all good times. Once I tried to take away a student’s cellphone, he ran screaming up and down the hallway for 10 minutes. Then proceeded to take himself to the principal’s office and confessed “I just did something very bad. I’m sorry.”
He was funny.
I have no idea what happened to him.