Yesterday was our first day of school and I love my students already. I am so excited about this school year, however I have still been busy getting my classroom together (video coming soon) and settling in to the city that I feel overwhelmed. So this weekend I just wanted to wander around Kunshan and see what’s in my area. I have not had a chance to do this since my parents left. Helene and I wanted to go shopping because everyone wears the best clothes here, so we quickly made plans for “Bri and Helene’s shopping adventure” even with the rain. Then…
I couldn’t find my debit card.
Now, international cards don’t work here so I have been living off cash. It’s all been great until now. After hours of stressing even more (because I have already been on edge) and figuring out how I can function, I decided to let it go.
So we decided to figure out the city bus, because it only costs 1 yuan to ride. So much cheaper than a taxi or DiDi. We made it successfully to Tinglin Park where we got off to check out the shops. There were lots of boutiques with really cute clothes that I may check out again later, but we were looking for more casual things. Casual here is fashionista casual. I need “I’m not trying to be on the cover of a magazine” casual. On the bright side, I got a great chance to practice my Mandarin. Now I can say “I don’t like,” “I don’t want,” and can say most of my numbers (because I need to haggle!)
Tired of looking at the same style of clothes, we turned to go somewhere else and find some food, and of course I saw a Royaltea store. It was so adorable inside. I can’t see adorable tea places and not go in. We went in and with my limited Chinese I actually was able to ask the girl what she likes and was going to try that but they called someone and handed me the phone and the person on the phone spoke English! I quickly told her I don’t care what I got, I would like to try anything. She said she could be there and help me in five minutes if I waited.
So I did.
And come to find out- She’s the owner! There are 10 franchises in the area. So we met a new friend and I tried a new drink (mango with cream cheese) and she showed us some snack places around and life was all good. She even helped us to another bus that dropped me right outside my community. Today started of a little rocky, but that’s how adventures go sometimes.
Video to come.