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My Au Pair Life In China: Time Flies

May has just begun which means it's now summer here in China and I am personally hating it. It has nothing to do with the country or city, it's just that I cannot function well in humid weather. Since I arrived in Shenzhen I spent most of my time with two specific au pairs, including Lina, a Swedish au pair who finished her contract, these au pairs came from a different agency and one (Jon) lived really close by so I spent most of my time with him. Since we both finished work at the same time, 9pm, we'd usually meet up at Starbucks to talk or watch a movie or tv show. Also a side note, in comparison with other places drinks at Starbucks are soo expensive, at one point in order to comfortably use the wifi to watch some episodes we just took an empty cup from the table beside us to make it look like we had actually bought something. The other au pair is a Polish girl named Alicia she lives really far away so we'd usually meet up during the day to have lunch or go shopping. Anyway just as things were settling down Alicia was going to go on a two week trip with her boyfriend and Jon had to switch families. Which for me meant I had to socialise again.

Xichong beach with the whole host family. My legs went numb after having the host kid on my lap for a 3 hour car ride.

Since Jon got relocated to Hangzhou I decided to give him an early birthday present. It was an extra boomerang I had brought from Australia. Long story short, his gift lasted less than 10 seconds.

"Thanks dude"

"No problem just don't throw it yet, there's not enough room"


*Proceeds to toss it in the air almost hitting a security camera and getting it stuck in a tree

So presumably I'd spend more time with Alicia however we never got the chance to meet before she went travelling. Also my host grandmother disappeared one afternoon and I was told she wouldn't be back for a week. This not only meant more responsibility but more pressure as I would be spending more time with the host mother. However things turned out pretty well, while the host kid was at kindergarten in the morning we'd both chat and study at Starbucks until noon. This month I also got the chance to meet the host grandfather who stayed for a week and a half and will be leaving tomorrow morning. He was very friendly and kept always trying to give me more and more food. My host grandmother came back the day after he arrived and they've been married for over 20 years now. Also I fell victim to fake currency this month when I tried to buy a few things from the supermarket and my 50 yuan note wasn't accepted by the self checkout machine. I was so frustrated and angry because 50 yuan goes a long way in China. Nevertheless I now make the effort to check the notes I get given as change. And yes I know I could use WeChat pay but I need a Chinese bank account and that seems too complicated right now.

Dragon boat festival dinner with the whole host family at Jade Garden, and the Spanish restaurant my host mother took me too when I became homesick.

Using a Snapchat filter on my teacher during dinner, view of the landscape from Civic Centre and LED kites lighting up the evening sky at Lianhuashan Park.

After class my teacher and I explored a bit of Coco Park before deciding to have dinner at Children's Palace. Usually back home when I'd go out to eat with friends we'd each order our own dish and then pay or respective parts of the bill, however in China every instance I have gone out to eat with a Chinese friend it's very different, they refuse to split the bill and insist that I can pay next time. Also meal times are seen as opportunity to share not only daily events but the food. So when I told my teacher what I wanted from the menu she had the same reaction as my host mother a few weeks before --- "Okay what else?..... wait that's it?!"

Ayi making too much delicious food.

Zongzi, Children's Day at IBOBI and monthly cultural class.

Goodbye from my host kid and his next door neighbour.

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