November

So November has probably been my most difficult month so far, mainly down to homesickness, darker days and the temperature suddenly dropping. Nonetheless I’ve still managed to fit so much in, which has made it fly past – I can’t believe I will be home in 22 days! All lessons are now building towards our Christmas Sleeping Beauty show, in 3 weeks time.

My highlights of the month have included:

  • Going to Concordia High School’s Fall Play Noises Off – one of my students performed in this and I was so so impressed at the immaculate timing and delivery. It was hilarious and nice to see so much young talent. I also wanted to take the opportunity to check out the school itself, which was huge and incredible compared to anything I’ve seen back home.

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  • Spending time with the wonderful people I have met since coming out here. This includes many nights in and out, such as an evening in Park Hyatt at the Shanghai Financial Centre (aka The Bottle Opener) overlooking the Oriental Pearl and another South African braai night!
  • My first Thanksgiving! Amazing food and company. I feel so lucky I got to spend my first ever Thanksgiving party here in Shanghai with so many new people. I also found my new festive drink: apple juice, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and Captain Morgan’s on the hob. Christmas in a cup.
  • A day trip to Hong Kong. During my visit I met up with my friend Edith and we went for lunch at a community art centre and did some shopping in the endless sweaty markets. I definitely need to go back here for a longer trip as there’s so much to see in such a compact place. It felt similar to Shanghai but much more crammed in.

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  • Contact from home. Thanks to the Chinese postal service, I only just received my birthday cards from home, but it was such a lovely surprise! I miss everyone at home so much and literally cannot wait to get home and spend some time with them.

The rest of my highlights are simply the views I come across on a daily basis. They always cheer me up if I’m having a hard time and, as always, I am in awe of how local everything is.

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And of course, I have my students to make me smile too!

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