I'm now in to my third week of being in China; which does feel quite strange, because I go home again in about 6 weeks. Time is flying!
My second week has been more of a 'settling-in' period; in terms of getting around, speaking a little more of the language and getting to work.
My first week was pretty difficult adapting to such a change in culture and language, but the more time I spend here, the more I get used to it.
I am still finding the language the most difficult aspect; although I've been trying my best to using a Chinese dictionary application when going to the local store, or when ordering lunch. The people here are so intrigued by foreigners, and many of them try to speak English to make us feel more welcome, which is a really lovely thing to do.
Walking to and from work is like a breath of fresh air when you see the locals up bright and early setting up their stalls for the day. Many families have a garage-like store which they operate their daily business from, then they lock up the shutters and go upstairs to their home at the end of the working day.
The markets are also fantastic - with many different stalls that have everything you need without having to visit a supermarket. Meat, potatoes, vegetables, potatoes, fish, potatoes. You get my drift?
My job is also great so far; I am a 'Digital Marketing Specialist' for a Chinese media company, so I am responsible for a lot of the social media activity on behalf of the business. I knew all that Facebook experience in the last few years would come in handy at some point - ha-ha!
I have a lot of responsibility, which is really important because it can be easy to be in a job in which you just try and get by day to day. In my role, I am constantly checking results and performance, and the positive results keep me motivated and encourage me to try and do even better. The people I work with are also great - they have been very welcoming and have a habit of giving out free food. Not that I'm complaining!
On the more social side of things, I have met a great bunch of interns so far. We go out on Thursday nights for dinner, and this week we had a special celebration on Thursday, as it was St. Patrick's Day! We went to a traditional Chinese restaurant that served the best dumplings, and Coral and I ended up heading to an Irish bar. Despite her insistence that we wouldn't be there past twelve, we stumbled out at 5am - in true Irish fashion!
Friday was a bit of a struggle, but all part of the fun! The big party was on Saturday though, and all of the interns met up at the Irish bar along with the boys from football - and we had a crazy party. Green beer, green, white and orange coloured shots and great music made the night one of the most enjoyable Paddy's Day celebrations I've had.
The next few weeks have a lot of exciting activities in store, including a trip to Macau and a visit to the New Yuanming Palace.
I'm looking forward to what the next few weeks have in store, and sooner than I know it, it will be time to come home again. But for the time being I'm embracing everything that comes my way because I'll only get this opportunity once.
Thanks again to everyone who took the time to read this week’s blog entry - I'm looking forward to sharing another update with you all next week.