The internet connection has been terrible here so I haven’t been able to post as often as I would’ve liked but I’ll recap what’s been happening in the past few days.
Things have been improving since I worked out my money situation and it makes me much more appreciative of what has happened since.
On Tuesday I moved into my new accommodation where I met my two new roommates who are from Washington, America. They’ve been very welcoming to me and what’s theirs is pretty much mine except for food. I even found out one of them was a Christian when I spotted a bible by their bedside table!
Tuesday was also the day I started class and I was surprised to find how relaxed the teaching environment is here compared to Beijing. I don’t have to worry over vocab tests every second day and I don’t need to stay up late working on my never ending pile of homework. I have so much freedom that I’ve gone out almost everyday whether it be traveling by myself on the subway or eating out nearby with friends.
I’m actually really surprised that I’ve adapted so quickly to the environment here in Shanghai from the busy subway and crazy traffic here to even being comfortable with eating the street food (no diarrhoea yet!). The first few days may have been hectic but now that I’ve experienced what could possibly be my worst possible scenario I’ve really been able to relax and be confident in whatever I do here. During class I only use Mandarin except when I’m speaking with my classmates during our short breaks and I can actually understand about 80-90% of what the teachers say (although our hanyu laoshi is terrible and no one can really follow along). It’s a huge boost to my confidence when I’m practicing my conversational Chinese and now I’m not afraid to ask questions or talk to random people on the street such as street vendors or people I sit next to in the cafeteria. People are more friendly than I expected and their speaking speed is comparably slower to those from Beijing which makes it easy for me to participate in conversations 😀