I want to be a good world traveler. I think of myself as a fairly open minded person. But I did not feel very happy to be in China for the first few weeks here. So I'm just writing with that honest emotion though I am not proud of it.
-Once I arrived in Shanghai I immediately got ripped off by a cab driver. Paid about $80 for a $20 cab ride, but didn't have the language or energy to argue the point after the long flight.
-I went to the main downtown area, The Bund, on my own. I was proud of myself for figuring out the Subway, etc. on my own, but when I got there the air was thick with particulate matter. Occasionally I would catch a breeze that smelled to me like lighter fluid. As I walked the strip, I realized I didn't feel well because of the air and heat. It's an uneasy feeling being alone in a completely new place and thinking you may be about to get sick. Luckily I didn't pass out on the sidewalk (not even close). Though later I did find good food and quieter/cleaner neighborhoods, I was not sold on Shanghai.
-Once I did meet up with the rest of the UW crew and go to the 'beautiful' city of Hangzhou, I couldn't see any beauty because it was constantly raining and cloudy. Oh, yeah, and the air isn't much better.
-Due to some miscommunication, I was put in initially in the student dorm instead of my own apartment.
-Once school did start, my classroom was locked on the first day. ('Welcome!') Then it took another few days to get the projector working. Just little things, but as a new teacher you don't need anything else to go wrong besides what you are already going to screw up!
-Food. I liked the food actually, from the start. But if I was not with someone who knew how to order (both language and process were barriers) I would end up hungry at lunch time and give up to go buy some packaged junk food.
Finally I should admit here that a good fraction of my troubles would be helped if I knew Chinese. I don't, and of course that's on me.