Picture posting capabilities have returned! Prepare for an onslaught of pictures!!
Regal Airport Hotel, Hong Kong: So not a hostel but we stayed here for one night to catch our flight the next day. Crazy expensive (I can’t remember the exact price but over $1500hkd for 4 people) but SUPER NICE! There is a pool that has two saunas in the changerooms and the showers are amazing (we have been deprived of decent showers most of the year…sometimes its nice to be clean). You could also pay for an international buffet which is also amazing! Food from all over and everything you could possibly want for breakfast (but no waffles, what?!)
Eco-Living Hostel: Kuta, Bali. We stayed in the 4 person, private room though they do have dorms. All very cheap but good quality (I think it was 116 000 rph/person for 2 nights). It had A/C which was nice and was really clean. No sink in our bathroom though which was a bit weird, but there was one just down the hall. They offered scooter rentals, breakfast for free, and organized busses to other places for you. Pretty far from the beach which is nice because you don’t get the party noise but we had to taxi to and from although it wasn’t expensive split four ways. We got lots of sleep here!
Rahayu Bungalows: Ubud, Bali. We stayed in Ubud for several days and due to a sick day we got to spend lots of time at this hostel/homestay. The room was huge with a pretty nice bathroom and a seating area outside on the balcony. They served breakfast to the balcony every morning and provided hot water and tea at all times. A/C. The people were really friendly and we were reasonably close to the main streets. We were able to bargain a little bit with them for the room and ended up paying 400 000 rph/night for the room. Only downside was waking up with the roosters and dogs and whatever other noisy animals were outside.
Élén Hotel: Senggigi, Lombok. We only stayed here one night (110 000rph/2 person room/night). Pretty meagre rooms but it was fine for a night. Ceiling fan. No toilet paper though, which was sad. Very close to the beach and there was several food places right across the street.
Mawar Bungalows: Gili Air (near Lombok). Each ‘room’ was actually a little hut/house that had one double bed and a bathroom in it, and a porch. Plug-in floor fan. We stayed here for several days as well (150 000 rph/house/night). It was alright, although the hut I was in our bathroom door couldn’t close and on the second last day our toilet tank refused to fill with water. But otherwise it did the job. The place also had an outdoor sitting area and served breakfast. Just off the main road so it was pretty quiet.
Aside from the airport hotel we were really trying to save money on accommodations so as to spend it on other things like food and activities. The only places we booked in advance were the Airport Hotel and the Eco-Living Hostel. Everything else we found by walking (or driving) around after we got there. I would say that the Eco-Living Hostel was the nicest place we stayed at, but Rahayu Bungalows was my favorite because it had a homely feel to it.
After spending far too much time of the last 3 days on an airplane (6 flights total, somewhere around 20 hours) I have finally made it back to the peace and quiet that is Saskatchewan.
It is so nice here.
My first meal back: Tim Hortons! Iced cap, bagel and fritter! Yummy! And far too much sugar for one meal…it’s been a while.
I also slept for a solid 8 hours last night. That’s the most sleep than I’ve had in the last 4 days, and certainly the most in 1 night for the last 2 weeks!
Already I can tell that reverse culture shock is in effect. I’ve asked some really obvious questions… And I’m avoiding answering the house phone (sorry!).
But the weather is beautiful, even if it’s a bit chillier than what I’m used to. As always in the summer, the possibilities seem endless.
I’m so happy now! :)
Well, today is my last day at the school. And tomorrow I’m heading out to Hong Kong to go to Indonesia for 2 weeks! It hasn’t quite hit yet. But I’m sure it will when I’m scrambling around the apartment doing my quadruple checks that everything is good to go…
Anyways, in the spirit of ‘teacher is leaving, will she return??’ I have received quite a few gifts from the students and teachers. (And totally had a photo shoot with my wonderful grade 2 class!) Throughout the week I have learned several things about gift giving.
I already knew that China was pretty big on reciprocity (if you get something, you should return it. Same sort of thing goes for dinners. If someone takes you out [and they will pay if they invite you out] it is highly recommended that you do the same). I have given some gifts to people and they always give me a gift in return.
Also, when giving a gift, apparently it is a thing to tell the person what is inside it. When I was given gifts almost everybody (if they had the time, all of the adults would do this for sure, maybe not the kids) would say “Inside it’s a …..”. No surprises here!
It’s been an interesting time here. No time to reflect now though. I’ve gotta pack and clean!!!
With this being my last week in Shenzhen, I no longer have Chinese classes Wednesday afternoon so I was finally able to participate in the yoga class that has been offered to the teachers this semester. It was so nice! Different than yoga that I normally do, much slower and lots of sitting and stretching and holding but it was good! The school has other activities going on for the teachers as well like tai chi, basketball, and badminton. I like it!