Friday Morning in Shanghai- SOL #7

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6:00AM- Alarm goes off…snooze
6:09AM- Alarm goes off…snooze
6:18AM- Alarm goes off…snooze
6:27AM- Alarm goes off…OK, OK, I’m up!
6:28AM- With one eye open, I check my email on my iPhone…nothing too important. Time to get out of bed!
6:32AM- Stumble into the bathroom, wiping the sleep out of my eyes as I try not to curse the morning. Why is it so early?
6:33AM- Go pee…you know everybody does it!
6:34AM- Wash my hands and face and brush my teeth
6:37AM- Start boiling a pot of water for my edamame snack and throw some assorted veggies in the oven to roast for lunch
6:39AM- What am I going to wear? Quickly deciding on an outfit, I throw on a couple pairs of tights, my jean skirt, and a sweater.
6:43AM- Put the edamame on to boil. Wash and cut the apples, oranges, and strawberries for today’s smoothie.
6:45AM- Throw the fruit and coconut water into the blender….whirrrrrrrr…perfection.
6:48AM- Check on the edamame and veggies….not ready yet.
6:50AM- Makeup time…a little powder, blush, mascara, and chapstick. Good to go. 🙂
6:53AM- Log onto my VPN to read and comment on a few of my fellow slicers’ posts.
6:57AM- Whoops! Edamame and veggies are done…quickly pull the veggies out and drain my snack. Back to commenting.
7:20AM- Eeeek! I gotta go! Frantically, I pack my lunch and bag for work.
7:27AM- Noticing my droopy flowers, I jot down a quick note to ayi- ‘Please water the plants today! Thx!’
7:28AM- Throw on my shoes and I’m out the door
7:29AM- Descend 7 floors in the elevator, walk out my building, and head to the gate
7:35AM- My favorite motorcycle taxi driver waves a hello, and I hop onto his bike. By now, he knows my routine…waiting for me each morning, anxious to give me a lift to school.
IMG_5197 7:36AM- And, we’re off! Meandering through the streets, dodging pedestrians, cars, other motorbikes, and bicycles, we make our way down Hong Mei Lu. Hang a left on Huaguang Lu, past the five year old boy peeing on the street, dodging the car that pulled out in front of us, past the shops selling egg pancakes, steaming baozi, and meat on a stick, avoiding the street cleaner and his high pressure sprayer.
IMG_52087:38AM- Right on Hongzhong Lu, traffic slows down, people mill about, greeting one another, making their early morning purchases. Running the red light, we turn left on Yan’an Lu, under the elevated highway. Only a few more turns left.
7:40AM- Swerving around a motorbike, horn blaring, we turn right down a one-way street. Going against the flow of traffic, passing fruit stands, an Avon store, and loads of random little shops selling all manner of household goods, we cruise.
7:41AM- Almost there! Left onto Hong Qiao Lu. This time we have a green light, but that doesn’t stop us from nearly taking out a few pedestrians in the crosswalk.
7:42AM- Pulling into the zoo gates, we ride past the guard station. Today we are met with resistance. The guard, yelling in Chinese, tells us we can’t enter. My pengyou (friend) yells back. Angry looks and words exchanged, we’re at an impasse. “Ke yi!” (It’s OK!) I shout, anxious to get going. For now, we are allowed to go.
7:43AM- With a smile, a wave, and a “Zaoshang hao,” my school guards greet me in their usual way. After paying my 10RMB fare and a quick goodbye to my driver, I run in.
7:44AM- Clock in for the day (it’s a China thing). Whew! I made it. One minute to spare! Now to start my day. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Friday Morning in Shanghai- SOL #7

  1. jaclynfre

    Do you thumb / fingerprint in each day? Our school set that up for teachers to records our time at school? Thanks for sharing!! When my parents came to visit Indonesia this December, they were fascinated / appalled by the driving here. Comments such as, “I think we just took out that person on a bike” and “How fast are we going?” were all heard by me, but not understood by the driver.

    I also have an interesting sense about writing about my life in Indonesia. I feel like I’m in danger of either making it all seem exotic or precious when there’s a part of it that is every day. How do you feel about talking about life as an international teacher at times? It’s a tricky balance.

    Reply
    1. aggiekesler Post author

      We actually have old-fashioned punch in time cards. Our school also uses it to record our time in and out, to track anyone who is having an issue with arriving on time.
      I, too, had a similar experience when my friends from the states came to visit. The driving was a big culture shock for them!
      I so know what you mean! Part of my life is exotic, new, exciting, different, but part of it is routine, normal, mundane. It’s all about striking that perfect balance I think. As an international educator, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but there are parts of it that are not ideal. It’s really hard to understand unless you’ve experienced it, too. You know what I mean! 🙂

      Reply

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