I wrote the rest of this post on the flight, so let’s time travel a little in the past just for the fun of it.
Currently, I’m on this huge 777 plane waiting our arrival into Beijing. I think there’s about 4 hours left, hopefully! I had the hardest time sleeping over noisy Chinese people speaking in front of me for about two hours – they never told me about this perk of getting an exit row seat! Yes, the leg room is nice and you get to help people during an emergency, but you also deal with people thinking it is okay to hover in your area, talking and opening the window almost blinding you. Besides that, the food has been edible, nothing spectacular. I wouldn’t recommend any of their recipes.
I got my training schedule yesterday, I could possibly find an apartment to call my own this weekend. That’s really when it all set in. I am going to be living in China for a year – a whole year. My first full-time job. I am more than ready to see what I can do to be the best teacher to these kids. And of course, explore this vast land they call China.
After being on this plane, differences between American and Chinese way of life already popped up since I would say 75% of this flight is Chinese. Here are a few of the highlights:
· Wrong Room!- I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many Chinese people tried going into the workers’ break room – basically their closet – instead of the bathroom. Not sure if it was because they couldn’t read, or if they haven’t flown much before. Nonetheless, it was rather entertaining, if I do say so myself.
· The shoving, oh the shoving Personal bubbles and urgency to get places are different between cultures. Chinese will do whatever to get by whereas Americans will wait around and say “Excuse me”, expecting the other person to move.
· Love for rice – This one is a little more stereotypical, but for the first meal, we had three options, one of them being a beef and rice dish. Of course, they run out of it before they get to the lovely and spacious (if only!) back part of the plane where I am residing. Good thing that wasn’t what I wanted to eat.
· Language expectation – I understand that English is becoming the lingua franca for basically the whole world; however, this plane is going to China. There are only 3 flight attendants out of 9 on board who can speak Chinese, all of which look Chinese. It just reminds me of how Americans oftentimes are naïve to how big and diverse the world truly is.I’m sure there are more differences. I would love to know if you have noticed any yourself, or if you are curious about any of the ones that I have mentioned. It’s time for me to go explore Beijing.