I keep having moments where I have to stop what I’m doing and just be amazed that this is already my third week in Shanghai. This semester is going to go by so fast, I just know it.
Anyways, last Thursday my morning suddenly became very interesting when after using the bathroom I realized that somehow the handle on the door broke. It turned out that the barkey dog came in handy when it came to getting my 阿姨’s (āyí - aunt) attention, since she was in the kitchen making breakfast, and I am not a loud enough person to have gotten her attention just by calling. After what felt like quite a while of her and my 哥哥 (gēgē - older brother) trying to get the door open, 阿姨 ended up having to call a fix-it person to come and get the door open. While I was stuck in the bathroom, I had to ask 阿姨 to contact the IES Abroad office to let them know that I would be late for class. Such an odd reason to be late, right? Ultimately, I was only stuck for about half an hour, so it wasn’t too bad.
However, I would like to take this moment to mention that Shanghai doesn’t have central heating, so each of the main rooms are equipped with a heating/cooling air conditioner. Great, right? Well, it would be, but from my experience it seems as though Shanghai people don’t believe in using the heaters. In other words, the heater in the main room of the apartment has never been on while I’ve been here, and both the bathroom and the main room have windows that are perpetually left cracked. (The heater in my room also doesn’t work very well anyways. I’ve got it on 32 degrees Celsius, but the room is still not much warmer than outside, save for one spot right in front of the heater that I will admit I find myself lingering in whenever I’m moving around my room.) You might be wondering, if they don’t heat the apartment, how do they stay warm? Good question! The answer: wearing winter coats inside. It’s definitely something to get used to, especially since one of the best parts of getting home is diverging oneself of all of the bulky winter clothing necessary for outdoors. I will admit that the cold drives me into my room for the most part, where I sit across from the heater (but outside of its range, unfortunately) and hope that it will please oh please heat the room a little more. I don’t feel too guilty about being enclosed in my room because my 阿姨 and 哥哥 (who did indeed leave for Beijing on Sunday) both do/did the same thing. I’m hoping that once it warms up a bit in Shanghai that I will find myself able to hang out in the living room, just so I’m not isolating myself. The same is true for being outside just in general. I’ve also heard that Fudan University, where I have classes once a week has cute guys, so hanging outside to people watch a bit between classes might be fun! ;)
Anyways, that’s all I have for now. Until next time!
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<p>Hello! My name is Katie McGee, and I am a junior at the University of Puget Sound, located in Tacoma, WA. I am a Chinese major with a Japanese minor and a Global Development Studies emphasis. I am a Chinese adoptee, and although my parents did their best to expose me to Chinese culture as a child, I grew up in a community with very little diversity. I have devoted this year to traveling East Asia (South Korea, Taiwan, Mainland China, and Japan) and improving my Chinese along the way. I have already learned so much during my travels, but continue to look forward to what adventures lay ahead.</p>