Time Flies

Just a little over three months ago I packed up the last of my belongings and took a bus to Dublin airport, ready to leave the country on a one way ticket to China to start a new life.

When I first got to Wuhan it was hot, really freaking hot. I'm talking 40 degrees Celsius hot. Now it's cold, rainy and wet. Instead of wearing sunglasses and a flowing summer dress I'm wrapped up in a couple of layers of clothing. I'm wearing my gorgeous new coat inside because my writing desk is out on the balcony (I can't call it sun room any more, it's too cold for that) and it's cold. Strangely enough it feels like it's colder inside my apartment then outside. This I don't quite understand but I guess it's Chinese logic.

My gorgeous new coat.

I've no regrets though. I don't miss Ireland one bit. That part of my life is over and I have no intention of going back there. I have a new life here and I like it a lot. I'm happy here. Things aren't always super easy, but I love a good challenge, even if it's a little frustrating at times. Also, I truly love my job, even though it can be quite tiring and also a little frustrating at times. Watching my students improve day by day or come out of their shell more and more is the most rewarding stuff.

One of my colleagues posing with the lyrics to Shane Filan's song "Baby, Let's Dance". Sadly she left the school but while she was there she was super helpful, super sweet and super fun to work with.

For Single's Day (November 11th) I prepared a little speed dating event, only the purpose was not to actually date but to talk to people. I gave each pair about three to four minutes and whenever the time was up I collectively got glares from everyone for interrupting their conversation. They can be a bit shy when speaking to me but last night they didn't use a single word of Chinese. A couple of new students joined and it was the perfect chance for them to get to know some of the older students and make new friends. Win/win for everyone.

The students are happily chatting to each other, means I get to observe and drink some hot water. My throat likes this a lot.

Even my fish has started to speak more English. He's still a joker though and whenever I ask him what his name is he likes to reply "I don't know" so I've started calling him just that. These are our silly moments and lately we have plenty of those. Just the other day I pointed out to him that our friends still walk hand in hand after three years of marriage and that I think it's super sweet. He promptly took his hand out of his jeans pocket, grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly. Yes, aww.

A slightly embarrassed fish is enjoying a kiss from his gal. Yes, it's really that easy to make a man happy.

Like I already mentioned in my last post, I've been having a blast with friends, I just haven't had the time to sit down and write about it. Today it's raining and since my friend and colleague snatched my umbrella from me last night, I'm not going out again until she comes to meet me. If I do my fish will have a field day telling me off for being so irresponsible. He's busy at the moment but he has a knack for finding things out...or maybe it's just the fact that I unintentionally tell him things. Our conversation will go like this:

Me: So I went to the bank this morning to sort out some stuff...

Fish: In the rain? Didn't you tell me that your colleague borrowed your umbrella last night?

Me: Erm... (nervous laugh)

Fish: Going out on the rain is not healthy, you'll catch a cold. (stern, reprimanding, fatherly glare)

Me: Erm... I'm sorry.

I swear, that man has a knack for remembering things. Then again, it's actually what makes him special. He knows that I like to listen to his favourite music when he's driving, so he never deletes the songs from his USB, just adds new ones. He also remembers what I can and can't eat and that I love eating spicy food, fish and tofu. He knows I like my hot water and tea and always makes sure I have some. Occasionally he also buys my favourite tea, just because he knows it will make me happy. Of course, every time he does that I tell him not to waste money but he politely ignores that and boy am I happy that he does. He knows I don't feel comfortable with the crazy Chinese driving so he doesn't do it and he knows that I like my hugs and cuddles. I honestly can't ask for more. Maybe a little more of his time...he's just too busy lately. It's for a very good reason though. More about that later...

This morning the security guard responsible for my apartment building told me off twice for going out with an umbrella, I'm not looking forward to a third time. 

Anywho, enough of that. I want to show you some pictures of my recent escapades.

Gorgeous flowers at 首义汇 (Shou Yi Hui). 首义汇 is dedicated to the 1911 Wuchang Uprising and the place is near the Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼 / Huang He Lou).

A gorgeous park with lovely displays of flowers, true works of art. On this picture I'm posing with my sister (my friend's wife).

I didn't know my friend snapped this photo, I was busy posing for his wife. Behind me is a gorgeous display of flowers and green bushes with little ponds and fountains.

A gorgeous flower tree.

A got a sudden, unyielding craving for some stinky tofu (臭豆腐 / Chou Dou Fu) so we went to get some. Six kuai can get you a bowl of happiness.

Striking another Chinese style pose, much to the amusement of all the visitors around me.

Beautifully sculptured bushes and flowery trees. Amidst it all a small pond and a water fountain.

My sister posing with a chicken...or is it supposed to be a Phoenix? We weren't sure. It sure as hell looks a lot like a chicken.

"Modelling" my handbag for the fun of it. It cracked my sister up.

A little bit of peace in the middle of a hectic city. I love Wuchang, it's the best place in Wuhan. It's buzzing with people, students, food, fun, places to shop, whatever your heart desires really.

Figures of Chinese kids playing in what I suppose is meant to be a kindergarten of some kind.

The sign behind me states that the flower sculptures behind me were put together and donated by Tianmen City. My fish was born there and also grew up there.

A little bridge for people to walk on and take pictures amidst the colourful flower displays.

Ladies' afternoon.

A perfect snapshot.

I just had to pose with the chicken / Phoenix mutant.

I have more to share but for now, that is it. So instead of bombarding you with a second set of photos, here's something much better, a sweet moment with my gorgeous fish, who was very possessive of both me and the tangerine in his hand. In return I decided to be very possessive of his leg. It's a game of give and take...

Last but not least, here's what I call pure, blissful happiness: Sitting beside my fish.