Friday, February 01, 2008

No Longer Nico in Luoyang

After yet another long blogging hiatus, I resolve again to resume regular blogging about life in China. I have been getting up very early nearly every morning, and I hope I can use this time to write a little something every day. Call it my new year's resolution, which I'll say takes effect on February eighth, the first day of the year of the rat.
As the subject of this post suggests, I am no longer living in Luoyang. I left there on the thirteenth of December, after having spent almost three weeks in the hospital being treated for a rather nasty infection. I'll elaborate on this only by mentioning that this infection is commonly known as a rectal abscess and leave it at that.
After spending a month in Minneapolis and Louisiana visiting friends and family, I flew to Beijing on January 15th, then flew to Shanghai, where I spent the night. I met my friend Zoe, who moved to Shanghai from Luoyang about three months earlier, for lunch, and then took the bus to Ningbo, which lies on the southern side of the Hangzhou bay.
I've now been here for about two weeks, with three days spent back in Shanghai completing training for my new position at Web International English. So far my impression of city has been very positive.
The first several mornings here I went out early to a produce market near my friend Nick's apartment, where I've been staying. There I encountered a staggering selection of fresh seafood, including about ten kinds of clams, several varieties of live shrimp, and, of course, a enormous array of ocean fish. Those of you who know me would not have been surprised to see me with a huge grin, giddily hopping from stand to stand. You'd also not be surprised to know that this experience has made me confident that I'll enjoy my time here.
The city is worlds apart from Luoyang, with glistening skyscrapers and new villas comprising much of the view from Nick's apartment window. The streets and air are relatively clean, and the riverside view is charming and almost European. There are, of course, the requisite drab communist apartment blocks, but the much of the city glows with prosperity and modernity. Whereas Luoyang is a city just beginning the transition out of the communist past, Ningbo seems on the forefront of the New China.
In the next few days I'll report back with more impressions. For now, it's time to have some breakfast and get started with the day.


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