Wednesday, February 27, 2013
what's new with my life lately. I'm back in China. I know I may have
mentioned some other plans, but hey, plans change and China is
Here's what's new. I've ditched the government run school system in
Haimen to join up with a private English language training center
called Web International English. This basically just means that
people of all ages can pay to come here just to learn English.
I've been here less than a week, but I can already tell the job is way
better. Not only am I making twice as much money (yay! more Starbucks)
but the classes are smaller and I don't have to make my own
curriculum. So overall, so far so good.
I've relocated to a new city, Changshu, about an hour away from where
I was before. It's a little bit bigger, has a lot more foreigners, and
a McDonalds. Best of all, I've moved out of my jail like dorm room at
the school into a lovely apartment.
Okay, so maybe the apartment wasn't so lovely at first, but it's
lovely now, and getting better every day. Here's the thing about
Chinese apartments. They don't clean them out before the rent them to
you. When I signed the contract, they said they were going to clean
it. The problem was, my month in the USA apparently erased the Chinese
definition of "clean" from my brain. For those of you who have never
been to China, clean is a relative term. In this case, "clean" meant
remove some (about 60%) of the garbage from the last guy and mop the
floor with dirty water. So I was in for a tiny bit of a shock when I
got home from work to my new apartment.
I had a bit of buyers remorse. The shower was broken. It was dirty.
The last guy had apparently never cleaned anything. Ever. There were
tears. Thankfully, my lovely boyfriend came to the rescue, installed a
new shower, and paid a little old lady to clean my apartment.
So now the apartment is finally clean enough for me to clean it
myself. It's a good feeling to be able to touch stuff in your home
without feeling like you're going to contract some sort of disease.
Great success. I'll post some pictures as soon as I get it decorated a
Anyways, now that I'm back, I'll be blogging again, so follow along
for more adventures (and misadventures) for the new year.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Yeah, it can be easy to bash America… because society as a whole is pretty much insane (think “Honey Boo Boo and Jersey Shore”)… But for as many things as we are doing wrong, there are a lot of things that we are doing right.
We are so freaking blessed to be born in America.
Flush your toilet paper.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Kids are hilarious. Not always intentionally, but entertaining none the less. I wish I could remember half the things that some of my students have said to make me laugh. I really need to start writing things down as they happen.
This week was a particularly funny week. We were working on asking questions – I decided to play 20 questions with my classes.
Here are a few of the best quotes from class this week that I can remember:
Is it a superstar? Yes. Is it a woman? Yes. Justin Bieber.
Is it an animal? Yes. Can you eat it? No. Can it eat you?
Is it an animal? Yes. Is it black? Yes. Obama!!
Is it a sport? Yes. Fuck! Kid from across the room, "That's not a sport."
Is it a person? Yes. Is he sexy? Yes. Kobe Bryant? Yes!! Kid from across the room, "He is not sexy. I am much more sexy than he."
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Hi my name is Julie and I used to blog here often. Sorry I've been MIA lately, but nothing worth blogging about has happened. It's life as usual in the village. So instead of a story about something crazy that has happened to me, today I will attempt to answer the age old question, "Why do many Chinese men have one really long pinkie fingernail?"
Okay, so I really have no idea, but it is perplexing.
Thus, I've done a bit of research via the Internet and person to person interviews and come up with a list of several plausible theories. These theories come from both foreigners and local Chinese. Everyone agrees that the phenomena exists, but nobody really knows why. The evidence was pretty inconclusive.
1. Home-grown cocaine scoop
2. Booger/ ear-wax scoop
3. Good luck
4. Status symbol. In the olden days, long fingernails were a sign of wealth. If you're laboring away in the fields all day, you probably don't have long unbroken fingernails.
Personally, I'm thinking it's a good mix of all of the above. If you have any insight, I'd greatly appreciate the feedback.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Unlicensed food stalls and street vendors are illegal in China.
So how do you know which ones are licensed and which ones aren't?
Easy. You wait until the police come by. The ones that scatter are unlicensed, and the ones that stay either have a license or aren't worried about being checked. You tend to see people scatter more often in bigger cities but every so often it happens here in the village.
Today, on my daily stroll through town, I stopped to buy some sugarcane from a guy with a wheelbarrow full of it. Business was good for him and he was peeling and slicing sugarcane left and right. There were probably about four people waiting when I was there.
Just as the man handed me my bag and I was about to hand him my 5 kwai, the police came around the corner and homeboy grabbed his wheelbarrow and took off down the alley at warp speed. Sugarcane was flying everywhere, children were diving out of the way, dogs were barking – it was ridiculous. This dude must have been caught without a license before; usually the escape is not quite so dramatic.
So there I stood with my bag of sugarcane that I did not pay for.
I felt really bad so I wandered around the area for about 15 minutes to see if the guy would come back, but he never did. I'll have to be on the lookout for him in the future so I can pay him back for my stolen sugarcane.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Today was the first day back from vacation, so I thought that I'd ask the kids what they did during their holiday.
"I went to the countryside" – was the overwhelming response. Even most of the adults I asked said they did this.
But what exactly happens in the countryside? I HAVE NO IDEA. I literally could not get anyone to expand on what going to the countryside means.
Do you visit your family there? Is there some sort of resort or orchard? Are there just thousands of Chinese people standing around in an enormous field? What happens in this mysterious "countryside"?
Nobody could tell me. Or maybe nobody was allowed to tell me.
The only conclusion I can make is that it is clearly a secret. Foreigners must never learn what happens there.