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The end

So, I don't know where to begin.. My China adventure has come to an end, and I'm sitting here with so many different feelings. On one side I'm looking forward to come home, but on the other side I'm leaving so much behind, which is sad. These six months have been, if I have to choose one word, then I'm probably best off with; CRAZY! It has been hard, difficult, challenging, exiting, funny, overwhelming, annoying, confusing, ecstatic, shocking etc. etc. I've learned so much about myself, China, cultural differences, children, and I've grown. I would never trade this experience with anything in the world, and I'm so grateful. I've seen so much hilarious, disgusting, strange, cool and fantastic things. I'm proud of myself for completing this semester, it's not for everyone. I've gotten friends from all over the world and I've taught wonderful kids who gave me so much love. China has given me new perspectives on a lot of things and I think it's very cool that I've witnessed how fast this country is developing. China is going to kick everyone's ass in a few years.

A lot of things that are completely normal here, is absolutely not appropriate at home. When I come home I have to turn on my "Norway-mode" to avoid a punch in my face. For example, there's nothing called lines here; if you want to get on the bus/metro, you have to run, push, squeeze and don't think of anyone but yourself (nobody gets annoyed/angry). Also going back to Norwegian prices is going to make me so angry. "Made in China"-stuff (which are more or less everything!) are ridiculously expensive in Norway. I'll miss getting gel nails for 120,-, a haircut for 15,- and buying clothes/shoes for nothing.

One thing I really miss is being "normal" and anonymous. People take pictures, talk about you and look at you all the time. I'm tired of being stared at EVERYWHERE. At first it was kinda cool, then I didn't care, and now it's mostly annoying. If I have a bad day, and just want to be nobody and unseen, NO, that'll never happen. Another thing is communication, I miss being able to communicate with everyone. And OF COURSE I miss a lot of Norwegian food! (Even though I know I'm gonna miss real Chinese food after a while).

But I know for sure that China will always be in my heart, it is after all my second home. I'm definitely coming back to travel more. There are so many beautiful places with hidden treasures all over China. Maybe I will come back for other reasons as well one day, who knows? There are great business to make in China.

- Ingvild.
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Skrevet av ingmid 14:38 Kommentarer (3)

Fragrant Hills & Mix

On Thursday Ingvild and I went to Fragrant Hills. We had a beautiful day with blue sky (!) and sun. It's not high season right now, so we had almost the whole place for our selves. In the evening we went to Club Mix with some Chinese people we met. We didn't pay a dime and sat in the VIP-section all the time. Hehe.

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There were huge cats everywhere. Loved it!

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We went to a "Cat café", and had a pregnant cat on our laps:
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Ingvild & Ingvild

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Chinese fashion; White skin color. Haha, OMG!

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Best drinking game ever.

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Another drinking game.

Skrevet av ingmid 17:42 Kommentarer (0)

Back in Beijing!

I'm ending my China adventure where I started it; in fascinating Beijing! It's so strange to be back! It's just as I remember it, just some degrees colder and some more pollution in the air. The first night (20th) we went to Wangfujing food street and I ate scorpions!

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Today we went to see Mao's dead body. It was so serious, not talking (when Hanna whispered something to me, a guard said: SHHHH!!!, with the most serious look on his face) and there were guards everywhere. One thing I know for sure is that you don't mess with Chinese police and security gurads. You could not stop when you saw Mao, just walk past for about 5 seconds. HAHA! The worst thing was that I started to laugh, because he looked so tense and looked like a glowing lamp. I seriously thought that they put a orange lamp inside his head. Everybody knows the painful feeling when you have to laugh but, for anything in the world, you cannot! That was the dominating feeling inside me during the whole session. I need to stop see the humor in everything, because this seems to happen to me a lot.

Apart from that, we've done some serious shopping these past few days. I have to throw a lot of my old stuff away to get eveything home. Shopping in Beijing is great!

Skrevet av ingmid 00:22 Kommentarer (0)

西安市 (Xi'an)

16. Jan - 19. Jan

Hanna and I had a rough start on our travel! We managed to miss the train to Xian. Everything went wrong on the way to the station (It’s China), even though we had 3,5 hours to catch the train. It’s been a very long time since I've been so stressed and sworn so much. The fact that I had more luggage than I could carry didn't make it easier. We ran through the station (or I stumbled), had no idea where to go, everything was in Chinese and yes, it was not a nice experience. All the other trains the same day were fully booked, so we got new tickets at 7 am the next day. We had some long, bored hours at the station, and we had to find a hotel when we got kicked out of the station. Nobody spoke English and they just stared at us (freaking Chinese people). After a while (with the use of body language) we got in a black taxi to go to a “black hotel”. It was way overpriced and later we realized that it could've been dangerous, because we had no idea where we were going and we could not communicate with the driver. But enough about the freak show, we arrived in Xian at 6 pm the next day. We took a bullet train (over 300 km/h), so it only took us 9 hours to get there. Later that evening we went for a walk in the Muslim Quarter:

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The next day we went to see the Terracotta Army. I’m glad we decided to take a guided tour, because we got so much relevant information.
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Our sweet guide who slept on my shoulder the whole bus ride home. Haha.

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So far they've found 8000 warriors (all with different faces), and there’s probably a lot more to come.

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They have so much work left to finish the found ones.

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Some were without a head, because the (first) Emperor of China died before they finished.

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Hanna Banana

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This is the man who found the first piece of the army. He was a farmer looking for water and he only got 10 NOK(!!) from the government .

The next day we went on a bike tour on the city wall. We cycled around the whole city center.
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You had one job. .

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It was so polluted this day! We could not see far and when we blew our noses after the trip it was all grey. Disgusting!

All in all, we had a great time in Xian. We also ran into Anna (one of the other interns). She wasn't only in Xian at the same time as us, but at the same hostel AND in the same room as us. Haha. What a coincidence!

Skrevet av ingmid 20:09 Kommentarer (0)

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

On Friday I had the last lesson with my VIP-class, we attended a kindergarten event (to promote our school) and we had a goodbye-dinner with our contact persons. Strange and sad to pack my things in the office and say goodbye!
Until I come home on the 26th, I'm going to travel.

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Benny, Tony, Husan, Rocky, Oscar, Blanny, Julie, Joyce and Annie.

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VIP-class really into the game! Boys VS. Girls. I tried to mix boys and girls into two teams once, and it was a disaster. They're in the "Boys/girls are stupid"-age.

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Goodbye dinner. Julie, Me, Sugar, Jay, Laura, Clem and Fiona (our Mandarin teacher).

We spent Saturday in Guangzhou. We had so much fun, without stressing and doing too much. We went up the "White Cloud Mountain" and we walked around the Shamian Island.
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Sweet Hanna!

On Sunday we went on a day trip to Kaiping. We had fantastic weather and it was a really nice day! The Kaiping villages are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Watchtowers.

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Reunited with my girl! Norina stayed with me for almost 5 days!

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Starfruit orchard. We could pick as many as we wanted, but we thought they were too sour. Our driver on the other hand, he picked us a full BIG bag! Haha!

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Hilarious Tom on a segway. HAHA!

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Skrevet av ingmid 01:30 Kommentarer (0)

Goodbye lessons

Only two days left of working, so I'm doing goodbye lessons with my beloved. Already had the last lesson with my favorite class, and It's not funny to "let go" (I'm a person who gets really attached to places and people). I also got some cute cards today. "I love you teacher", "I want you no go home! (with crying face)".

Class 4, grade 2:
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"Make funny faces":
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Kids storming the office:
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Class 3, grade 2, "The best of the best":
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Some of them can fit in my suitcase, don't you think !?

Skrevet av ingmid 04:41 Kommentarer (0)

Taking the bus

Here's the reason why taking bus is nearly impossible:

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Do I need to say more?
I just miss reading a simple bus table or just ask a random person if I need help. .

Skrevet av ingmid 04:22 Kommentarer (0)

Oral exams

I've been doing oral exams with my students for a while now. (I have to grade them) I'm testing every kid's speaking ability, in addition to colors numbers and some vocabulary according to the textbooks. I really want all of them to succeed, but unfortunately only a few manage to get full score.
And BTW, I only have 5 (!!!) working days left. . Crazy!!

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Skrevet av ingmid 23:22 Kommentarer (0)

Freezing

These past few days have been freezing cold here in Dongguan! It's not really SO cold (5-10 °C), but the problem is that there are no indoor heating and isolation. Not very normal down south. The temperature outside and inside is the same. Because of that, it feels so much colder, because you cannot "escape" to a hot place and heat up. We had a little heating fan, but it suddenly stopped working (as everything else in China, he he). Clem came home from work and caught me like this is my bed, hehe, and insisted to take a photo of me, so here you go:

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Skrevet av ingmid 16:53 Kommentarer (0)

Gotta love China during public holidays. .

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If you're going to China, NEVER travel during public holidays.

Skrevet av ingmid 01:23 Kommentarer (0)

New Year

In Shanghai!

Happy New Year, all my beloved family and friends! Going to Shanghai to celebrate the New Year was a good decision. We met up with a lot of the other interns and had awesome days! We were a big group, and so happy to see each other! Even though it was cold up there, the weather was perfect. Bright, blue sky and sun every day. We did a lot of stuff, including open bar (in a club) for 100 NOK on Sunday. NOT a good idea. For me, the result was being totally sober on New Years Eve. . Well, I had a great time anyways. Awesome firework and a really special experience. Shanghai is a cool city!

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The Bund!

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Old Town.

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Yu Garden. Mike, Hanna, Ingvild, Ragna and Evelina.

We went up to the top of Shanghai World Financial Center. It's the building that looks like a bottle opener (see picture below). It's 492 meters high and is the fourth tallest building in the world. It has an amazing view.
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We ate on a Japanese restaurant on New Years Eve. So good food!!

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Fireworks at the Bund. Everyone should experience the craziness there around midnight. Chinese don't really celebrate New Year as we do, they have Chinese New Year in February, but since Shanghai is so modern, they had stuff going on!

Skrevet av ingmid 08:18 Kommentarer (0)

Christmas performance

Every Child Matters!

Last week we had a HUGE Christmas performance at school! The kids have been practicing for months and it turned out great! Sadly, the government has forbidden public events (after the primary school shooting in USA and something similar happened in China a few days later), so no parents were allowed to watch. At the beginning we sang some Christmas songs, and then the kids had performances that had nothing to do with Christmas. Hehe. Mostly traditional Chinese dance, music and plays. We four foreign teachers had also a little performance; "All I want for Christmas is you". Clem sang and got the main attention, while Laura, Jay and I were the background singers. It was actually really fun!

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My sweet boys!

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Skrevet av ingmid 18:34 Kommentarer (3)

Merry Christmas from Villas Royal

Even though they don't celebrate Christmas in China, they love to join the "Christmas-trend". I'm not sure if they really know why we celebrate Christmas (only 4-5% Christians of the total population), but they surely know that we decorate with a lot of tensil, Christmas trees and Santa Clauses. (And sing Christmas songs. . Jingle bells all day long -.-)

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Origami Santa

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Made a Christmas tree with little Zoe

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Some of my beloved kids:

Skrevet av ingmid 16:58 Kommentarer (1)

The greatest gift you can give others is your smile!

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My sweetest Tom.

Skrevet av ingmid 17:04 Kommentarer (0)

One of the things I love about China!

Not. (For those of you who didn't understand the irony)

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Skrevet av ingmid 16:57 Kommentarer (0)

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