From the plane ride

A bit of writing I did in my journal while we were on the plane…

I really hope I don’t miss out on any opportunities on this trip.  I’m currently over halfway through this flight, the rest of the plane is asleep while I have already exhausted my sleeping pills, and I’m fishing for SOMETHING to write about to keep me occupied. I know we’ll land soon (~4.5 hours!) and I will no longer have any problem finding something to write about… that being said, I hope I find the time to write. I predict that will be my biggest regret if I fail to do it… and taking enough pictures. I really don’t want to be an awe-struck, Hawaiin-shirt-wearing, camera around my neck, obviously dazed and confused tourist… but, the biological appearance of my face is telling enough that I am a foreigner, so why not take my pictures? I’ll have to force myself to embrace my touristy side.

Also, I decided that everyday I’m here I’m going to write at least one thing that I’ve learned.  Whether it be a language thing, a teaching thing, culture thing, whatever, I want to document one thing that I’ve learned – and I’ll share it with you all 🙂  I wonder if there’s anything else I could document on a daily basis… suggestions?

Dude. I slept for ~5 hours when our flight took off. hell yes.  The two sleeping pills Sarah gave me paired with my extraordinary sleep-in-a-chair skills from drum corps set me up for ultimate success to dominate this jet-lag thing.  It’s currently 11:25AM in Beijing, which means it’s 11:25PM by our internal clocks (which explains why most of the plane is passed out now), and we will be hitting the ground at around 4:00 – MUST PUSH TO THE END!

Along with writing and doing some crosswords, I have managed to watch a documentary on Stonehenge, Ides of March, and started watching Alice in Wonderland.  The flight (it’s a 777, for those of you who know anything about planes), has colored lights in the cabin that have been fading to different colors throughout the trip.  They mimic the sun rising and setting! They fed us supper with the lights turned to a bright, natural light, and when supper was over the lights slowly faded to light blue, to pink, to purple, and finally dark blue/black indicating it was time for all of us to sleep.  Now, they’ve come back to purple, pink, orange, yellow, and it’s time for breakfast! Mmm, omelettes. (ended up being not that great…)

We ended up getting stuck at the gate for a few minutes upon landing… apparently the pilot declared us to have a ‘fuel emergency‘ because our tank was a little lower than it should have been… oops? So glad he didn’t tell us that until AFTER we landed.  Everyone’s bags made the trip, fully intact! Grace from the Beijing Royal School met us at baggage claim with our keys, travel cards, meal cards, and a lot of information for us about our stay at the school.  She was very helpful, and everything was REALLY well organized – definitely much appreciated after such a long trip.

We moved into our rooms (description coming later!), and Grace gave us a mini-tour around campus to show us where the dining hall is.  We ended up having dinner at a little Chinese restaurant (which, I guess is just considered a restaurant since we’re IN China) that is in the square of the neighborhood we’re living in, next to a convenient store and a pharmacy. And people participating in what seems to be dance classes.  Grace says we are welcome to join anytime 🙂  The food was good! Not as syrupy as food-court Chinese food, and everything we ordered was spicy, and very tasty.  The plan tomorrow is to go to the Mall that is several bus stops away and do some general shopping.  I can’t wait to see Beijing in the daylight!

What I learned today:
1) Chinese currency is approximately 1/6th the value of American money… so the price of anything here in Yuan should be divided by 6 to find the American Dollar equivalent… O_o
ugh, math. Shopping tomorrow should be fun.

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