It’s 7:30 a.m. and I’m just waiting for the water to warm up for my morning shower – sadly, though constantly reminding myself last night I forgot to turn on the water heater before bed.

I’m heading into my second day of orientation and yet another day of trying to track down access to my Canadian bank account. If I had had an inkling of knowledge that this would be so difficult (I think I’ve tried around 20 ATMs in Jinzhou and Dalian) I would have tried a lot harder to find an international ATM at one of the various airports I hit on my way here.

The training is neat, and is giving me loads of ideas on how to manage my classes as well as dispelling some of my fears. Meeting some of the other new teachers was good too, though somewhat useless as they are all in Dalian, and I’m a 40 minute taxi ride away.

Today I’m going to make use of my time in Dalian (and access to Carrefore[sp?] – sort of like Walmart) to buy a rice cooker, possibly a hotpot (see previous entry), some longjohns (have I mentioned how cold it is here?), and maybe some slippers.

I should also track down some new VCDs. Though the ones that came with the apartment were plentiful, they’re a bit crap in the quality department – and for $0.60/VCD… I can’t go too wrong.

Oh, I guess HOW I am going to buy these things if I can’t access my bank account is a big question. After an exhausting trek around Dalian yesterday, I arrived back to Jinzhou to my school manager Sherry’s sympathy. She gave me 800 kuai from my first month’s salary (not usually paid until Feb. 10) to get me by and then took me out for a feast at a local restaurant. I discovered last night that she is the same age as me, though she insists that she is OLDER as she was born in January.

Alright – I think the water is warm. If not I’ll either freeze to the bathroom floor or be the unpopular student at training today. Wish me luck.

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