Trying to master the language!

Since we have moved into our apartment, on the way to work I occasionally pop into the local coffee shop and order an Americano to go.

At first this did not go too well because my pronunciation was very bad (in Chinese a slightly different tone can change the meaning of a word). After a few days if practicing I mastered ordering my coffee and I was extremely proud of myself, that was until today when my order was met with another question from the server.

Now what do I do? Well thanks to technology I was able to determine that I was being asked if I wanted it hot or not! If only the server had asked if I wanted it cold or not then I would have understood as I learned the word cold for when I am ordering beer!

I have so much to learn if I want to get around without using English, I just hope my brain isn't too old!

Morning balcony shots

Tomorrow we move out of our temporary accommodation to our apartment in Longyang Road, so I thought I would share some shots from the balcony of our room.

This is what has greeted me each morning for the last 7 weeks.

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So far so good!

A few days ago I passed the one month mark of being in China, although I have stayed longer on business before this is a bit of milestone having relocated with my wife and all of our belongings (well most of our belongings are on a slow boat right now!).

Despite passing through the one month mark, we are still in our temporary accommodation as our future landlord will not be vacating the apartment we have let until December 21st, my wife and I decided that we liked the apartment so much it was worth waiting for. Despite the apartment being bigger than our house in the UK I am worried that it is not big enough, others say it is too big and many of the bedrooms will be empty most of the time. I guess we will have to wait and see!

I am writing this post on a flight to Seoul where tomorrow I will be not only visiting the head quarters of my news employer, but also heading to the Chinese embassy to obtain my work permit, therefore on my return to Shanghai I can obtain my residence permit which means I will be free to come and go for the next 12 months.

I am enjoying mixing in with the local. It is so easy to hail a taxi to get to work, I more often than not chooses to take the bus. Not only is is significantly cheaper, it is faster…though I do have a 15 minute walk from the bus stop to the office. This walk, along with the healthy eating is doing wonders for my waistline, all my trousers are too big for me now and if I don't wear a belt they will simply fall to the ground…..not a pretty sight!

It's not all good though! Internet connectivity is somewhat hit and miss. Connectivity within China is super fast, but connecting to sites overseas is slow compared to what I am used to back in the UK. Simply activities such as downloading a 50Mb podcast can take several attempts…I cannot work out why this is, perhaps there is some traffic shaping being done by the Great Firewall, not just blocking of almost everything foreign and social. One positive thing about the Great Firewall is that it blocks Facebook and subsequently all those annoying Facebook advertisements that are all over the web now.

So what am i missing from my old life in the UK?   That's easy, family and friends, Marmite, my Sonos and Monitor Audio Silver RX6 speakers!