Sleep-ins and Sim cards
Trip Start May 05, 2012
54Trip End Mar 01, 2013
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Breakfast was peanut-butter and Jam sandwiches on Chinese bread (which is ridiculously sweet and has a bit of a weird texture) because we had no power. Not that we would have cooked anything anyway, we are still trying to work out what local people eat for breakfast.
We met Taj, the teacher in charge at the school that we will be working at, in the lobby and he took us for a walk to show us how to pay for water, internet and phone, power and to buy sim cards. We will probably not have to pay for water again (although we won't find out if we need to until we suddenly have no water), electricity only needs to be topped up when you run out and internet is paid on the first of the month at a store not too far away
Getting a Chinese sim card was a bit of a process. We had to take our passports and sign officially stamped papers (The Chinese appear to love official stamps, they are on everything) and register our new Chinese numbers. On the first of the month instead of extending credit to your account they "terminate" your account until you pay the bill. We are on plans that give us a couple of hundred text messages, about 500mb of data and 200-300 minutes of calls. All for approximately $25NZD/month. Jealous much?
What this now means though is that we are connected to the world back home (viber is fantastic, hint hint) and I can receive emails and surf allowed websites from my phone. We also found out that our power was going to be reconnected today, rather than the 3 days we were originally told. This was great as we were planning on having to move to another apartment until it was fixed. So we now have power. And internet, hence this dump of blog entries.
We were so happy and confident once power, internet and mobile phones were going that we were planning on just going out and finding something for dinner. Taj had taken us to a Japanese supermarket called "Isetan" which stocks lots of western food (they sold Anchor butter and Mainland cheese!!) and we had had lunch in a Korean restaurant in the food court underneath
With our need for Mandarin skills increasing daily, we need to learn more soon. We have both become experts at saying "thank-you" and "hello" but that doesn't really help order dinner. Getting food is a great motivator to learn however, so I'm sure we will be pros in no time.