Living in China

November 12, 2016 at 10:24 am (China)


My shipping has arrived so my classroom is finally feeling right.  My disco balls are up, the collection of ‘Where’s Wally’ books on display and my set of solar powered wackling figures are a big hit.  We have just finished our second unit and from now on in I have taught all the units before, which will hopefully make me feel more settled and confident.  I’ve been lucky to get some amazing PD opportunities and I can feel that I am growing professionally in my position.


img_2902I’ve been loving some of the special events we have had.  For Book Week the Grade 5 team went as a box of crayons.  We had the costumes made especially and it was a huge hit.  We’ve also had Sports Day.  I really enjoyed getting back into the ‘house’ spirit and am back in yellow house again!  Most excitingly,  I got to watch the Melbourne Cup LIVE and even won money on the sweep.  After seven years, it was such a surreal feeling to be watching this Melbourne tradition complete with my own little hat fascinator!  🙂


img_2823Hockey is not really an option here in Suzhou and I only got my shipping last weekend so I haven’t had a chance to check out the scene in Shanghai yet… So for the first time in 23 years I have started playing new sports.  I joined the teacher’s touch rugby team and had a fabulous day getting wet and muddy at a competition in Shanghai.  We scored a try in every game and are hoping to be more competitive next year.

I’ve also joined the local Gaelic team.  It’s about the only possibility for a female team sport around here and it’s actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be.  The coach works at our school and he does a brilliant job of keeping us motivated and on the move.  My hockey background is helping with positioning… not so much with catching and kicking.  I’ve always admired girls who decide to start up hockey late and now I can also appreciate how much hard work it is.  I often feel like such an unco.

I have been running but the pollution has been a bit of a problem as late.  My bright pink running mask arrived this week so I no longer have any excuses and am hoping to get back into it after my visitor leaves this week.  I am so looking forward to runs on the beach over summer!


img_2918I haven’t managed to cook anything in my kitchen as yet.  Pretty terrible I know but I get an amazing lunch with choices at school for 13 RMB (2.5 AUS/1,75 EURO) so there doesn’t seem to be much point.  I eat lots of toast, yogurt and street food.  I am loving trying all the different street foods.  The people selling them are always so friendly, speak absolutely no English and think it’s such a novelty that I want to try their food.


In three short weeks my little brother Bob is getting married and I am so excited to be coming home for the festivities.  Not that I have a dress to wear but mum and I are planing on power shopping as soon as I get home.  I did go and check out ‘Wedding Street’ here in Suzhou on my quest for a dress.  This area is streets of wedding dresses!  I have never seen so much taffeta in my life and it is beyond me how anybody manages to keep their businesses afloat.  Some of the dress designs were amazing and we saw lovely cocktail and ball gowns as well as a fair share of over the top, who would ever wear that?  Unfortunately the Chinese style of taffeta and sparkles is not exactly my style but it was a fun afternoon nonetheless.



Roadblock where we had to find certain paintings and reenact the scene as a team.

The people I work here with are amazing.  They are so welcoming and a huge wealth of knowledge about PYP, living overseas and just life in general.  A couple of weeks ago I participated in the Suzho Amazing Race which had us racing over Suzho and completing tasks in the hope of arriving at the final pitstop first.  We came last but had so much fun.  Many members of the community were involved either in the race or volunteering and I loved that there were familiar faces and big smiles around every corner.  Starting Gaelic has also helped to widen my friendships from just the school community.  The girls are lovely and lots of fun.


img_2888In particular I have been hanging out a lot with Jen who teaches Science in secondary.  We’re good at going on mini adventures.  This week we went speed dating which was a laugh.  Everybody seemed really nice but nothing that interested me.  The concept was fun though and definitely something I would be open to trying again in the future.

On Tuesday I receive my first visitor!  I am so excited to be able to explore this city with somebody else and am looking forward to a friendly face from my ‘German’ life.  Life is always busy, but that’s exactly how I like it.





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