Shanghai- Tea party

Dear Joy,

It's been a week since we've landed in Shanghai! Time literally flew by so fast! So much has happened within the last couple of days- where do I even begin. It seems like somewhat of a fresh start, downloading approximately 20 apps, having to break through a firewall to use all the apps I'm used to, a whole different language, environment and lifestyle. In a way it is really exciting. I can be whoever I want to be, do what I want to do and there's a ton of opportunities everywhere.

Before I flew, I remember being really afraid of feeling homesick. I was scared that anxiety would strike and I wouldn't be able to cope. But thankfully, none of that has happened thus far, and I find myself enjoying the whole new experience immensely. I love the convenience, the people, my housemates, batch mates and my home. I love that I'm pushing myself to try new things every day, soaking everything in.

Some yummy bubble tea that I bought with my housemates! Bubble tea here is pretty affordable and you can get one with pearls for about 10 yuan (2 SGD!).

Our 1st meal!

Some local food! Shanghainese food is quite different from what I'm used to. The food tend to have a very strong flavour, which can sometimes be pretty overwhelming.

I tried Hai Di Lao for the 1st time! I've never had it in Singapore before and I can see why people rave about it. The Mala soup was also better than I expected and the total bill is only about half the price of Singapore's.

My first 饿了么! I ordered a tuna salad (though I didn't know it was Tuna because I couldn't read the Chinese words LOL). Delivery in China is so crazy convenient I love it. This came within half an hour and only cost about 9SGD including delivery!

Today we had 生煎包 too. The first time since we've been here and it was so good! The soup, meat and dough really complements each other and they were very generous with the fillings. Can't wait to gobble more down over the next couple of months!

Thinking more about it, this is actually a week of many firsts. Aside from trying new foods and ordering food delivery, I've really tried to be brave, put myself out there and be independent.

1. Gym membership

Before I came to Shanghai, I already told myself I wanted to go to the gym more often. I need it as an outlet to keep myself sane and energetic. I signed up for one with Physical gym and went for my 1st session alone today! They have classes aside from their normal equipments and I attended their spin class, which is also my 1st ever spin class. The music was in Chinese (I got a shock and wanted to laugh) and it was so loud my ears hurt. I was also dripping sweat by the first 10 minutes but it was fun and a good work out! Can't wait to go more often!

2. Nail and eyelashes package

Having done both of these in Singapore, I wanted to come here to find some cheap places to do both. I ended up going to try one across the street from my house and signed a package (after much selling from the staff and manager haha). I'm still unsure if it was an impulsive decision and whether it's really worth it because it was a lot of money, but I must say that their service is really good and the price is very reasonable! Plus, the location is convenient and peaceful, perfect for unwinding.

3. Taobao

I ordered Taobao and everything came so quickly! Some things even came overnight. Today we had things arriving non-stop throughout the day and I'm so amazed at how convenient this really is. It's always so exciting to keep receiving things because it's like Christmas over and over again (HAHA) and it's almost as though my life is coming together as we build more furniture and add things to our home.

4. Transportation

I took Mobike and 滴滴 alone for the first time today. Riding Mobike was pretty scary because I had to ride on the side of the road and I am not a great cyclist. Plus, the roads are right-hand drive so it's a little confusing. But I made it! After the gym, I took a 滴滴 home and was lucky enough to get a friendly and nice driver. He chatted with me the whole way back although I could not understand half of what he was saying. I mainly replied with 'mm', '是的‘,’就是啊‘, the whole journey home. But I tried!

Many more weeks to go in Shanghai and I hope this feeling of joy and excitement lasts. I'm nervous about starting work but I guess who isn't? I'm just really thankful to have fun and humorous housemates who look out for me wherever and can speak mandarin so much better than me (lol). Glad to have found a nice home and room (see above!!! But now it's even nicer hehe should make a room tour video one day) and have settled many things that were bothering me before I flew over. I'm sure there are going to be many ups and downs but may I have the courage and trust that God can carry me through!!!

You are strong and you will fight and you can do it!!!

With love,

Joy x

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