No matter how much travelling I do, I never can get my head around jet lag! There’s tips online on how to avoid/cure it, but apart from sleeping and trying to get into your new time zone, I don’t think there’s any other way!
I arrived late Thursday night and was so grateful to be met at the airport by Gaby who I had been communicating with since my second interview. She had booked me into a hotel near to where I would be working and eventually living, by this time it was past 2300 Chinese time, and I was more than ready to fall into bed.
We met Friday morning at 0930 to get me registered, buy a Chinese SIM card and find an apartment.
As we are walking through town I can’t help but notice there are no other foreigners and I seem to be something of a novelty, with people slowing down they scooters and taking photos and just generally staring at the white girl! A little bit unnerving.
Once we had been to register me with the police and got a SIM card it was lunchtime.
Gaby told me about a food dish that they only had here on the island, which was coconut water soup with chicken.
The chicken is served raw and on the bone (with a chicken foot too) and you cook it in the coconut water with whatever other ingredients you fancy, in my case noodles, and Gaby chose a local potato type vegetable which reminded me of yucca from Ecuador.
I’ve eaten with chopsticks and I’ve eaten chicken off the bone. But I’ve never eaten chicken off the bone with chopsticks! Plus, ironically, they don’t give you serviettes in restaurants here, a place where I’m most likely to ping my food over myself! So it was a challenge, but when you’re hungry and the food is good, you follow what everyone else is doing, munch away and spit out the bones onto your plate! (Gaby ate the chicken foot).
After lunch was apartment shopping, I had taken the liberty of having a browse online to see what I would be expecting. Although I was searching blind at this point as I had no idea whereabouts I would be working and what public transport would be like.
Turns out the flats I was shown were nothing like the ones I’d seen online!
For some reason landlords show you the property dirty, which really doesn’t help! And the kitchen counters are made for Chinese people who are a good couple of inches shorter than me!
I did eventually settle on a property, and Gaby helped get everything sorted. I’m not used to being this dependent on anyone, even in foreign countries, but I genuinely wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without her help!
This took us almost three hours but I now have an apartment and will be moving in on Sunday.
Time to eat and sleep off more jet lag. Meeting Gaby first thing tomorrow to buy essentials for my new home.