I have finally arrived in Dalian! I've had a busy day, which I think has really helped to keep me from total bewilderment. The city itself seems pretty nice, although some places look a little like a war-zone - they are constantly tearing down and re-building. I tried to keep track of where I was all day, but it didn't really work :)
I looked at a few apartments, and have chosen one in the same complex as where my principal lives. It was the most expensive of the choices, but also the nicest (and only slightly more expensive than the runner up). As I get a housing subsidy in lieu of on-campus housing (which is available at the high schools), I'm spending remarkably little for a nice place, in a convenient location. There are shops all around, including a Wal-Mart, Starbucks and McDonald's. Go figure. The bus that goes by the school is also right outside, and is apparently quick, as you can walk to school in 20 minutes.
One thing that is definitely different from home is the traffic. Not so much the volume (which will change during the work week), but the lack of orderly driving and regard for crosswalks. I really can't see ever driving here. For any reason. Especially given the cost of a taxi :)
Tomorrow morning will start with a medical exam, then it's off to work! If I get to school before 10am then I'll likely join the seniors on a (rare) field trip. Otherwise I'll be doing lunch supervision (good thing it's an inside day so I won't need to know where the kids can and can't go) and a pull-out reading program. We're still short-staffed for the next month, so my schedule will probably be pretty variable, but in a way I don't mind because it will give me a chance to do a lot of different things.
So...let the adventures begin!