Thanks to the help of a friend here I now have VPNs for the netbook and ipad and all my technology is working perfectly….at the moment.  So time to write a proper blog.

Yangshuo – I’ve seen nothing of it – the heat and humidity is absolutely killing me, to the extent I can literally walk from the hostel to Mr Happy (the shopkeeper at the end of the road) to get water and crisps and that’s it before I am dripping with sweat – literally.  Fat Scots middle aged woman are not built for heat in the high 30s!  Apparently it’s the second most popular tourist place in China after the Great Wall – from the little I’ve seen it full of commercial shops and bars – but no Starbucks!

The orientation itself is…..weird.  Three days of introductions, lesson planning classes and general stuff about China and still not the faintest clue where I will be being sent to teach, which is starting to worry me slightly as most of the places we can be sent are rural, like towns of around 250,000.  I know that sounds massive in comparison with Perth, but a small city in China will have around 3-4 million people.  Ive got a 20 minute presentation to do tomorrow in front of my co-students and around another 12 random people and after that I should find out where I’m being sent.  So basically on Sunday in theory I will be packing up my luggage and heading off on a train/bus/plane to somewhere I’ve probably never heard of in China.  Part of me is scared, there are 21 of us on this orientation and we’ve all bonded so well together – I’ve never had so many men in my room before (that’s due to my young and attractive room mates rather than me!) and we’re all from different parts of the world.  But it’s amazing how everyone has heard of Downtown Abbey or Jersey Shore – or the Loch Ness Monster!  The NZ couple here’s son stayed in Kilwinning for a year having met a Scottish girl, which really does show how small the world really is.

But sharing a room is tough, it’s literally like camping, I’m living out of a suitcase and for the first time in my life I rinsed my knickers out in the bathroom sink tonight!  I want to get settled into wherever I’m going, get my parents to send me out a MASSIVE box of clothes as I packed totally the wrong things, and praying that I can still get all my internet access.  You’ve no idea how important it is to get facebook and to see that the A9 at Dunkeld is clear…..or that the Kessick Bridge is closed. I’m probably 5000 miles away from Scotland, but being able to keep up with news and updates just stops me feeling quite so isolated. 

However I appear to be able to now get BBC iplayer on my ipad – please god don’t let me be forced to watch easties!