Wow I have only been in China for several days and I feel that there is so much to share.
I was told by the airline that I needed my invitation letter, with only 45 min left until my flight left due to some baggage rearrangement etc...that didn't leave enough time to go home and back... After landing in Newark I spent the majority of my 5 hour layover looking for a place to have my documents shipped before I left for Hong Kong.... finally after talking on the phone for several hours with various people. I was able to have them faxed to the hotel at the airport and had to go through security with a whopping 30 min left until my plane left. Fun times! :/
I met up with Jeana one of the other girls who is teaching in Newark which definately helped the 15 hour flight to go faster, but with 6 bad movie choices, no leg room, etc... there is no way to make the time go faster...
We arrived in Hong Kong around 7pm and our next flight didn't leave until 8 am the next morning... because the Hong Kong airport is on an island it is at least 30 min. to the mainland. We decided to just stay because we didn't want to shell out the money for a room, take the luggage with us etc... We definately had some fun times and couldn't wait until the tock ticked close enough to check our baggage in again. (Since we entered China and were switching airlines we had to take our luggage with us) Because of some different regulations with the Chinese airlines it took us about 30 min to check in etc...
Our plane landed around 10:30 am and we were soo happy to be on the ground for a while. ;) We were taken to our beautiful apartment which looks more like a townhouse. Marble and wood flooring, 4 bedroms, an office, nice kitchen, a washer, 2 1/2 bath-- so much nicer than anything we could have imagined.
Yesterday we did some shopping for various needs for the apartment, etc... being forewarned that most bathrooms in public places don't have toilet paper and if your lucky will have a door... but the other thing is that they are different toilets! So I had my first experience with a "squatty potty" since they installed western toilets in our apartment and in the English department at school... fun times most definately :)
the sights and smells are so graphic to the senses, at times I feel that I can't take it all in. village markets, the CRAZY traffic (where the lines and lights are merely suggestions!), beggar children, bartering system, and to top it off being a side show because of my skin, (one of our delivery men said that he had never seen a caucasion up close) :)
i have to go now, but I will be sending more updates and pictures soon.