Dr. Lomino in China: February 9
February 9: I Learn More
Today I walked to school on my own, feeling much more confident in learning my way around. I am greeted at the entrance, and following the custom, take off my shoes and put them in my special cubby. Walking in sock feet I meet more of the staff in the office and then set up my computer in the conference room where I will continue my teacher interviews.
Michael, the second of the “foreign teachers” enters wearing his big American smile and we talk—Jecky tends to other tasks since I don’t need a translator! Michael is from Philadelphia and we talk about back home and also his new life in China. Jack, the third foreign teacher, from London, enters next and we continue a conversation in English—now with a British accent. Jecky joins me as I meet Colorful, the very sweet art teacher. By now, I am getting sleepy again. It is clear to me that my body thinks it is 12:30 am, and I should be sound asleep. So I am again advised by Jecky to go home and get some sleep. I don’t need to be persuaded—and willingly oblige. On my way out, Astrid tells me that the foreign teachers would like to take me to eat at a Western restaurant tonight and would I like to go? It sounds wonderful, so we make plans to meet at the apartment gate at 6:30.
After a short rest I decide to practice my new found independence and venture to the grocery store on my own. I purchase several items there with Chinese currency. Even though I can’t communicate so well with the clerks, we manage to make the transactions without any problem.
That evening I experience my first taxi ride with Michael, Astrid and Jack and the restaurant fare is excellent. We spent the evening talking about No Boundaries and their experiences as ex-pats in this fascinating land. Michael kindly accompanies me in the taxi back to my apartment.
Today’s Insight: I’m in a foreign land, and no matter how delightful the locals are, it is very comforting to spend time with others who speak my language and share my customs. It also made me homesick for the first time. I have been so busy that I haven't really had so much time to remember that I’m halfway around the globe from the ones I love.