The first day in Nanning

We got up at 8 in the morning. Well actually Javi got up at 6 and tried to convince me for more than one hour to get up too but I was still so tired. We walked around the area to find breakfast with WiFi. Not easy at all. We then found a little supermarket where we bought water and breakfast to go. Then we found a little WiFi spot on the street where we stayed for a few minutes to answer all the messages and talk to the family. I then looked up the address to go to the police station because if you don’t stay at a hotel you have to register at a police station within 24 hours. On the map it all looked like it was close to each other but in the end it took us a long time to get there only to find out that it was closed. But closed like forever – it was completely empty and full of garbage inside. We found a shopping center with WiFi and that’s where I checked the address of a different police station. Again, it looked like kind of around the corner and only a few streets away but it was almost an hour walking in the end and it was sooo hot and humid.

Next issue: registration at the police office

We were comunicating with our phones translating english to chinese and vice versa. So we sat there trying to do the registration. I had to fill in a form on the police officer’s phone because all the printed paper is in Chinese. A required field was Chinese phone number. But I don’t have one. It took us around half an hour to figure out following: I can use a friends chinese number but I did not have any because WeChat works with username so I can’t see the number. The chinese police officer made me a hotspot and I could use his internet to find a friend with chinese number. I called a girl from Spain that I haven’t even ever met before but we talked to each other because she was going to help me with the chinese language course. She then agreed to send me her chinese phone number. The police officer sent a verification code to her and she then sent a screenshot to me. All this trouble was for nothing in the end. Why? Because the next thing he asked me for was a confirmation letter of the landlord because if it is not a hotel you are required to have a confirmation letter. Of course I did not have one so the whole thing was a waste of time.

There was a Chinese-looking guy next to us and asking us if we need any help. He spoke English perfectly and I was so relieved to be able to speak with someone. He then told us that he is from Scotland but he learnt Chinese for 3 years – awesome! He helped us a lot and in the end the police officer said that I can register online when I get a chinese phone number. The scottish guy then called a taxi for us to bring us to a shopping center with Walmart so we can buy some stuff for the flat. He said: „The taxi driver already knows where you want to go. Just get out of the car and don’t give any money – even if he asks for money. It’s already paid by me“. Since I arrived in China I was in many situations like „oh shit that sucks so much and so complicated“ and „this is awesome, so nice I can’t believe it“. If you know what I mean… it’s just a rollercoaster of feelings. It was great talking to him and we got his wechat contact. Then we went to Walmart

The apartment we are staying at now is only temporarly because in 2 days the company will give Javi another one. Javi told the company that it is important for him to have a flat for himself because I was going with him. But the flat they gave him was a shared flat so after complaining they told him that they will find a solution. So right now I am still at the shared flat. It is an empty flat. There is nothing. No toilet paper, hand soaps, kitchen stuff… not even one single pan or pot or fork or anything. Absolutely nothing. (and yes, there was someone living there… I don’t understad how you can live like that to be honest)

Since we knew we would get to a different flat we did not buy much. Just a small towel to take a shower, toilet paper and food that we can eat without kitchen stuff. Even the food shopping was complicated but that would be too long of a story to explain now. In the end we just got a lunch that we did not even expect because of some communicaton problems but it was really tasty. At Walmart a chinese man came to us and asked if we need any help. After talking to him for a while he asked what we do in China. When Javi said that he works as a football coach the chinese man said that he knows a person (his ex work colleague) who works with football coaches here. He then showed Javi the contact and they found out that it is the exact same person that has been organising Javi’s arrival for a long time. The chinese man and Javi then took a picture to send it to her. In the beginning we did not expect that it is the same person because people here have 2 names: a chinese name and an english name. And Javi only knew the english name of her while the chinese man only knew her chinese name. But in the end it was super funny and such a big coincidence. I mean.. our first day in a city with 7 million people and we find some chinese guy at walmart that knows the person who works with Javi haha. Just crazy.

So that’s it for today. Now I am at the flat. Javi is at work but has a work dinner today to get to know more people etc. Since we only have one key and still no internet and no idea when he will come home I just prefer to stay in the room (after what happened yesterday I am not going to do that again). But like that I have time to organize some things.

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