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The Journey to the Coldest Place I’ve ever been

The Journey to the Coldest Place I’ve ever been Harbin, China

Harbin, China- February 23, 2013

Leaving Shanghai this afternoon, the last four from CIEE boarded the ChinaSouthern plane Northward to Harbin (Ice City) , where we will begin the rest of our journey in China to be teachers!! On our way to the Pudong Airport you can definitely see all the Smog that the pollution has created. It made me feel like I was getting a headache from all the haziness. The air quality in that area is nooo good. They need to plant some trees or something. Up north it is supposedly much better than in the city.

The flight was a pretty easy going 3 hour flight and we got to sit next to each other, they fed us, and we watched Ice Age 4 (It reminds me of My Nyra!) On the plane, we had no idea who was picking us up at the airport. Just going with the flow…30 minutes until landing and you look below us and the city is FILLED with SNOW! Not only that, once we land we don’t go straight into the airport—we are unboarding outside! So me and my heavy bookbag scurry from the airplane..outside to the next bus to take us into the airport! 7 seconds hands were cold! We make it to the airport and I guess the thing called a line does exist because everyone keeps cutting what I thought was a line to get into a stall. I had 3 people waiting on me outside so i decided to skip the bathroom run and wait until I arrived wherever I was going. So we get our bags for baggage claim and walk outside to meet 2 smiling faces: Fiona and Lana (those are their English names–everyone around here chooses an English name also). We then wait on a line and board a bus that takes us about 1 hour away into the city of Harbin where we drop off one of our friends to go to Daqing and we catch a cab a couple of blocks to the hotel. That cab was a necessity because its about 5 degrees here! (No joke) Ice Sculptures everywhere, ice cream being sold in a box just sitting on the curb…. I don’t know how these people live here all the time. You must get use to it ..however I am from the SUN people so this is not my cup of tea. Good thing its almost spring and the weather gets beautiful for summer. Its a short-lived yet gorgeous summer here, I hear. From about April until September we get good weather! YIPEE! Speaking of Spring..tomorrows the last day of the spring festival so we may go to a lantern festival party but all I hear outside right now is fireworks. I HEAR it! ..I haven’t seen not one yet? Maybe its because I can’t look up while I’m walking because I am so focused on not falling on my butt with all the ice and snow. Whew! We met with some other CIEE participants who started up here in September and they took us to find dinner. They were nice-we found a good delish meal and they showed us where we can go shopping. I found out that I am definitely teaching at the school RIGHT next door from this hotel and I will be with the children! YAY! my favorite! I’m really excited about teaching! Hopefully I can pick up more of the language while I am out here also!

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