Morning light from the uncovered window wakes me at 6:30am. I feel rested and excited to take on the day. I take some photos from my bedroom window and text family and friends with updates.
In the window light I can see that the bed is two skinny twin beds that are put right next to each other. There's literally not enough space in the room for them to be separated.
I shower. It feels good, the shower head is one of those rain ones that pours straight down. The warm water washes any remaining weariness away. I'm thankful that I have a change of shirts and shorts in my carry-on bags. I've already worn the shirt once, but it's still nice to switch it up every day.
The paperwork says we are to meet at 9:00am in the lobby to walk to McDonalds for breakfast. I head downstairs at 8:30am. No one else is there so I go for a walk around the block while I wait. When I get back to the hotel the first few people are coming down in the elevators.
The McDonald's is a short walk away. There are no markings on the outside of the building. There's no windows. There's a red wall with an inset door. A sign on the door reads "Factory Employees Of This Building Only." It's like a special secret club fast food restaurant.
UIC pays for our breakfast and we're told to get plenty because we won't eat lunch. I order a breakfast jumbo platter and a small thing of mixed vegetables and twist noodles.
We sit in a big square, two long tables pushed together. We laugh and joke as we get to know each other. The food is delicious. Tony tells us the tentative schedule for the next week or so. It sounds both very busy and very relaxed. Might have a fair bit of downtime, which will be nice.
There's a 7-Eleven on nearly every block. We stop at one as we walk back to the hotel to get snacks for later. From the hotel a chartered bus takes us to the ferry station. Is it called a station or a port? Either way, we arrive an hour or so before it's time to board.
The ferry rocks heavily for the first few minutes, enough to make us a little queasy. The rough waves are short lived though and the remainder of the ride is smooth.
At the port we get on a chartered bus to take us to our apartments at Horizon Cove. As we drive along the beach we admire the shoreline, palmtrees, and the busy natives. Parts of Zhuhai really do look beautiful.