|potluck Thanksgiving dinner|
|winning night out with new foreign friends!|
(see fb for more pictures chronicling Jiujiang's nightlife soon!)
Change number two came with the beginning of December. It's gotten cold. From what I've been told, when winter comes here it's like a switch turns on, and it will pretty much stay like this until April. Now, cold is a relative term. The weather here is actually really similar to the weather in Austin/Waco, so it's not like we're talking arctic temperatures or anything (those can wait until I travel around in January). We had some low 20s last week with some storms, but it's mostly been in the 30s/40s. But the key difference between winter in Jiujiang and winter in Austin is that there is no central heating here. I am lucky enough to have an electric heater in my apartment (one of the stipulations of my contract through CIEE), but it only works when it feels like it and I can only heat one room in my apartment at a time. But nowhere else has heating. The restaurants, the classrooms, etc are all pretty cold now. Time to bust out the coats and scarfs!
My final note for this post is just to remark on how much time has passed since I arrived in Jiujiang. December 1st was the 3-month point, which kind of caught me off guard. I have now been in China longer than I was in Maastricht! But it certainly doesn't feel that way. Time is passing very quickly and the days feel shorter than they did there (probably because I'm not jumping on a train to another country every weekend like I was then). This experience has been so different from that one. Not better or worse, just very different. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this observation that time is inevitably passing. I'm enjoying my time here, but it's going by faster than I thought it would. But, I don't really know what that means or how I feel about it, so for now, it's just a thought that can run around in the back of my mind while I'm otherwise engaged.
I'm down to my last few weeks of teaching for the semester and have begun the daunting task of planning final exams for 180+ students. I am also planning my whirlwind tour of China for the winter break in January/February with some other CIEE folks from Jiujiang and Harbin, but more on that another time. I'm sure our adventures will fill many a blog post by the time we're done!
That's all for now! Keep warm and enjoy the holiday season for me!