Thursday, April 23, 2009

Arrived in CHINA!

Wow, it really didn't hit until we landed, I'm actually on the other side of the world. Flight from Bham to Newark was terrible. Little plane and packed. But Fight from Newark to Beijing was actually very pleasant. We ate about 4 full meals! We sat in the last row of the plane, which was actually a great place to sit. There were just two seats instead of a row of three and the seats still reclined. We had a lot of room and I watched about 5 movies and couple of t.v. shows with a few power naps thrown in. 13 hours of flight was not as bad as I thought it would be, it really helped with a personal tv in front of you. We both played a chinese/mandarin word game on the tv which taught me some basic words and various new release albums were available to listen to...Karen didn't even need to use her ipod.

When we finally landed, it hit me like a ton of bricks that we were actually here. I was very nervous going through customs, but it was just like the US, just went through no problem. Probably because I'm so good looking they just let me pass with no problem :) . We then met with Stacia, who is the Wife of Matt Gaines who is the Choir Director at the Tianjin International School. Stacia is a Samford grad and we hit it off immediately, especially her and Karen. We rode through the outer Ring of Beijing to get to Tianjin which was about an hour and a half away. Unlike in the states when you drive between big cities on the freeway, you see many different little cities and places to eat, here it was just fields and fields. All of the hiway roads seem to be toll roads. Anyway finally arrived to the Hotel. The Hotel is the Tianjian SaiXiang Hotel. It is right across the street from the school where I will be working. Hotel is Amazing! We are staying on the 17th floor with an amazing few. It looks like NYC, except much much bigger, 10million people here. Bikes everywhere you look and I'm not sure why they paint lines on the road because they drive crazy. I convinced Karen to go for a walk the first night here, mainly becuase we were trying to stay up to aviod jet lag. We walked a few blocks down the road to a Walmart type store. It was fun to get all the stares from the locals, there just arent many americans here, so poeple were very interested in us. We didn't buy anything, waiting for the markets in Beijing, but just going in was a fun experince.

The Hotel is a 5 star hotel with not one detail missed. The Service is great. Breakfast buffet was fantastic, with mix of western and asian food.

Pics later, when i figure out how to post them,

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