One surprise after another...
Our hosts picked us up in Nanjing and drove us to our home for the next two weeks, Yizheng, China. My partner Brianna and I are the only two teachers at this site. There are 160 JESIE teachers working with 4500 Chinese teachers all over Jiangsu Province. We had mentally prepared ourselves for somewhat limited accomodations, although we had been promised western toilets and air conditioning. Public buildings and rest stops have squatters only. Imagine our surprise as we wheel up to the Li Ming hotel...a luxury hotel, lots of glitz, faintly reminiscent of Las Vegas. We have every amenity one might want: fridge, electric kettle, internet, a wall of windows over looking the city, Our rooms are next door to each other on the ninth floor. Breakfast is provided in the restaurant each morning.
This evening our hosts picked us up for dinner. We walked to a place very nearby. We would never have known it was a restaurant as it was on the second floor. The five of us ate in a private dining room. There seemed to be 8 or 10 of these small rooms. A wide array of dishes including whole fish/fish head which had every part of the fish included.........Serendipity continued as we walked back to the hotel. A wedding was in progress and the wedding car was parked at the entrance. It was a sight to behold a shiny black car with a heart shaped blanket of pink roses in the shape of a heart covering the hood with stuffed Hello Kitty figures on top. We took pictures. We needed a couple of items xeroxed for tomorrow and the front desk was most accomodating. When we got upstairs we were treated to a huge fireworks display up the street. Since then there have been two others from different locations. Maybe they are celebrating our arrival. Yao Ming's retirement is topic number one on the news and in the Chinese papers. One of our hosts was most pleased when he realized I was from Houston.
Another fireworks display just began think I'll take my tea and sit by the window.