This post is all about apps for my phone that I have found CRITICAL and mostly about WeChat…how China functions. WeChat is an app where you can message people, pay for almost anything and make posts like on Facebook. You will not find a person who doesn’t have Wechat. The messaging side is similar to WhatsApp where you can make free phone calls, however WhatsApp is blocked in China (without a VPN). In order to use the wallet feature, you really need a Chinese bank account which can be challenging to get in China for a foreigner without a work visa. You also need a local number, local address (not a hotels), your passport and sometimes your work contract. I use the back ICBC because it is internationally recognized and you can wire money to accounts back home. Also, there are branches everywhere and most have at least one person that speaks English. The wallet side of WeChat I assimilate with the popular app Venmo where you send money back and forth to people. China, especially major cities are moving away from cash.
The other day I taught two impromptu classes to a student one-on-one to catch him up from prior missed classes. I had met him as he was in one of the classes that I observed and knew that he was an energetic and smart little boy! I taught him one block of reading and another of writing with a 10 minute break in-between. He already understood the words and phonetic sounds from the chapter, so we played a lot of games to review including word tic-tac-toe, hangman and some games I easily made with blank paper and markers.
Well I really can’t believe that it just a week shy of my arrival in Shanghai where I have moved to work teaching English to young students. My body has adjusted and the jet lag is dissipating. I do wonder:
Why am I the only one sweating in this heat and humidity?
Well, it is now day four in Shanghai and what a few days it has been! I landed after the easiest flight ever where I had a whole row to myself from LAX to Shanghai Pudong Airport. My driver picked me up and deposited me at my hotel where I settled in. The next morning I immediately started exploring the city, using the metro system which is very intuitive, easy and reliable (so far). It really puts American transportation to shame!