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Dec. 15th, 2006

Drunken Ramblings

There are so many things I took for granted at home,
and so many things I never took
the last days spent with you only got better and better
something that I waited too long to ask
and too long to act upon
fortune favours the bold
rewards the fearless
and gives to the confident
sadly, I held so little of those qualities

I wonder will you wait for me there
when I am here
or am I wrong with how I feel
do I feel wrongly
do I lie even to myself
am I thinking too much about it
am I rambling drunkly?

Sometimes I wish I wasn't so far away,
but I'm proud of where I am
although I still don't know where I belong
or who I belong to

Dec. 1st, 2006


Well here goes for a long awaited update!
Mostly some pictures of Shanghai..I'm surprised how Christmas'y everything is getting here. Halloween was nonexistant in most places but Christmas is around all the major shops.
Shanghai is gorgeous and has all the comforts of home. Infact I feel like I'm in just a toronto five times the size when I'm there. You see another foreigner every 2 minutes(most of them german I find).
I don't have much time to write here before work, so lets get to the fun stuff; the pictures!

Nov. 10th, 2006

Woops, missed a picture--short update

A final pumpkin picture from the halloween party, so I can keep track of it

Nov. 2nd, 2006

Pumpkin Carving Contest!

So our school had a big halloween party(270 students came) and we asked students to try to carve and bring in a pumpkin(or something similar to a pumpkin) for an extra contest that we'd give a prize to the best!
A lot of the parents had no clue what we meant and were asking us, so what do we do our kids do? Jiaxing never has anything halloweeny(china doesnt celebrate halloween and you can only find halloween stuff in bigger cities like shanghai)
Anyway, our kids are 5-12, with the majority of the 80 pumpkins handed in done by our younger ones, without further ado, here are some of them :)
And I have lots more on my pictures sections

oh and...i guarentee these kids cheated!!
--some of the pumpkins had lightswitches hooked up to them that would turn on a light inside and play a melody wtf!

Oct. 28th, 2006

Want to work teaching in China?

Ok SO here's the deal--if anyone else is serious about coming to work in China teaching English like I do--talk to me!

I'll give you most of the info here, but you can always message me on msn to get to know more stuff--
I was talking to the same person who recruited me, who is still on my msn that I talk to here and there(very nice lady/girl)
There are 2 immediate job openings in Hangzhou - which is an hour and a half away from me..and probably about a 20 yuan train ride--which is rediculously cheap--there's another in Wenzhou but it's probably like 4 or 5 hours away :( maybe 3...currently none open in Jiaxing where I live for people with low credibility

In order to work at my job..jessie my boss said she was looking for someone older(probably 23+, who has either a bachelor's degree, teaching experience, or TEFL/TESOL or any of those... if you really express interest and would like to work in my work(which of course I would love too), I can always direct your application to jessie anyways and see what she thinks

But for the job in Hangzhou--
All you need to do is send your email to Maggie(zhong_chun@hotmail.com)
Your email must include your resume, recent photo of yourself(doesn't seem to matter so much whether you are asian or not) and a picture of your passport(if if you need time to get a passport--takes like around 3 weeks but 1-2 days if you pay extra)
You do NOT need a bachelor's degree, or TEFL--i told her about 2 of my friends that had expressed interest but I told her they had neither degree or tefl and she said it's still fine

Personally, Hangzhou is a place that i'd LOVE to be working/living in, all I hear are good things, there's two ancient chinese sayings that involve Hangzhou--one is In heaven there is paradise, on earth there are Hangzhou and Suzhou
the other is Born in Suzhou, Live in Hangzhou, Eat in (i forget where) and die in (i forget where but it was cause of the type of coffin they make)

And if you took the job in hangzhou, we'd be close enough that we'd still be able to hang out a good amount! --like tuesday-friday i work 3pm to like 8:30pm so I could take a train after work, get there for 10:30-11pm, stay the night, leave for home at lke 1pm and make it for work! :)

And especially every week that I have my day off I'd come up the day before, and then stay the whole day on my day off then go back home

Or likewise you could come from hangzhou and visit me, and we both would be able to see each other's places, introduce friends and such and all that, while living and having lots of fun in china!
And every holiday we could take a trip somewhere completely cool(Japan anyone? :))

-and any future jobs(if you are seriously considering teaching in China and want a job near me--shanghai/jiaxing/hangzhou--but wouldn't be able to for a while, just give me like a date and such that you'd be available and we'll talk it out!

I doubt anyone would be able to up and go right away, so if you are considering teaching english in china and want to work near me let me know! I will tell maggie around what time in the future you'd want to come so she can watch for jobs(shanghai is an hour and a half away too and would be CRAZY cool to live in--there's also a cpl other schools here in jiaxing)

But if you are practically up and able to go..and want the hangzhou job but need some time(like time to get passport ready and stuff) then let me know and I'll check with her if you can have another month or whatever

Pros---cost of living here is RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP like omg!(just ask me for some comparisons and i'll gladly let you know)
-the streets are always lively, stuff is always happening(largest populated country in the world--more than twice as many people as england and the states combined---
-i think it's gorgeous here--jiaxing is very very nice, and from what I hear hangzhou is even nicer, and I know how awesome shanghai is(although more expensive to live there than jiaxing/hangzhou)
-the experience--without saying
-you get a foreigner wage(probably somewhere between 900 CAD a month- 1200 CAD a month--but no taxes, your apartment will be paid for(at least most of it except the bills which arent too expensive) everything here is like 7-15 times cheaper(2 bedroom apartment, the very nice modern one I live in right now for 171 CAD a month(although 2/3rds of it is covered by my school), 1 hour massage for under $3 CAD, taxis start at around 70 cents CAD, beers for around 30 cents to $1.50 for import..etc etc etc)
So you will save money or be able to pay off bills at home!

and your flight will be reimbursed upon completion of a year contract!

You'd have some initial big expenses--like flight(i took flight to beijing, then flight from beijing to shanghai and paid a total of $980)--i brought money with me extra but ran out as I had to buy stuff like a cell phone here and some other things here and there(i also ate out at very expensive western restaurants(only expensive by comparison to chinese restaurants)
Then my boss paid me an advance and it'll be enough to last me easy til i get paid the rest

I have debts back at home that I'll be paying off while I'm here..so you can come here with debts(the only teacher that I work with does the same and has much more debt than me)
You'd have to pay to get a passport if you need it, and for the visa($50)
if you need any of that info on how to get that stuff let me know.

But yeah..sorry for the super long post, I think it would be super cool to have some friends working around me! Even though I havent once been lonely yet--most my days I walk around after school alone out of the street but i'm always happy just being in the city and watching people or eating out etc) I just think it would make an already awesome thing MORE awesome if someone moved out to my city or even a nearby city(preferably hangzhou or shanghai--unless of course you can make it into jiaxing)

also, if you want more info on China, do what I did and check out wikipedia
wikipedia have very good pages on like Shanghai, Hangzhou, Jiaxing(not as much on jiaxing)--but you can also search Zhejiang and get info on the province
I think most people don't think it's possible for them to be here, but it was sooo unbelievably easy for me to do it
My posts are always messy so I hope you have fun reading through the randomness
If you have any questions leave a comment or email me or message me on msn!
Ok bye!!!

Oct. 27th, 2006

This one's for Mom!

This post is to make mommy proud!
I bought a whole bunch of cleaning supplies..and maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow after school I'll be handwashing everything

A lot of stuff is covered in dust when you wipe your hand across, from when they were doing work in the apartment and from no one being here--so I bought floor cleaner and a swiffer type mop thingy and bucket and hand towels and gonna go through the whole area and get it clean!

Especially the balcony, makes my socks/feet turn black--

I also bought a basin for hand washing clothes and some detergent--going to probably get the washing machine and fridge moved in here tomorrow though I need to do laundry asap

So I hope you read this mom!

Oh and..a one hour massage in jiaxing near my house---30 yuan..that's like under $3--and it was awesome

the boss of the place stepped in for the last while of the massage, he's like mostly blind--but an amazing masseur

Got batteries for my camera finally so I'll be taking a picture of the pumpkin sometime soon
Ok byebye

Oct. 25th, 2006

Wonderful Day!

Had an awesome day today
My work day consisted of carving the pumpkin I got in Shanghai,
making some weird spider thing out of black plastic, balloons, and twist ties..
talking with students, and going shopping with cherry(a teacher) around town for school supplies--and of course eating dinner at the school which is always free

I found out from Cherry her hometown is Sichuan---the city where those famous 'Szechuan or Sechuan' style chinese dishes and hot pot come from!!
Which was very interesting to hear as I love szechuan--so she invited me during the holiday to come up with her to her hometown to have the food there and party :)

Yesterday, via reference of the other foreign teacher I work with Andrea, I found a bubble tea place where you pay ONE price of 20 yuan(under $2 canadian) and get UNLIMITED bubble tea, free dried fruits to snack on, and fast internet access! You get to try all flavours if you want or different types of tea
And at the end of the meal they gave me a coupon for 10 yuan off my next purchase !!

Gotta get my phone fixed though it's crapping out and i can't accept calls..but i should have that fixed early tomorrow

Still doing all the halloween decorations at work, tomorrow I teach a class but it'll all be fun like all days are :)

Oh and across the street from my apartment complex is some 'shower' place where well...lets just say you can get much more than just a shower :)

Haven't been but teachers were talking about it today lol


Oct. 24th, 2006

My short trip to shanghai

So I get to the train station(had on a piece of paper written 'train station' and 'carrefour' or something like that(the place that sells the pumpkins aparently very popular in shanghai)
train ride to shanghai 16 YUAN!! that's under $2!!
taxi ride there was short only 5-6 yuan

didnt have a clue which line to line up in..didnt think about that...so i took a random line ..got up to front and it took a while for them to understand that i wanted to go to shanghai on the first available train

which was like an hour and a half away
So I go across the street to the People's Park!
Which was very nice but my camera was out of batteries(have some stuff on the cell phone)

Inside there...I saw people paying a little bit of money(like 4 yuan) to go into some little place that from the outside looked like a mini park..

But nope..it was a zoo I found out when I got in..well..a 'zoo' cause it was pretty ghetto

i didn't feel safe at all..all the cages you could reach your hands right in and they looked like if the animal got mad they could easily knock over the cage
it also looked like some of the animals could just jump it

saw some crazy weird looking deer with some messed up lip bone...a domestic american dog exhibit!
and some monkeys...a black bear that had gone insane because its cage was too small :( and some really old scraggily looking lions...

some emus...lots of peacocks..
and no visible workers or anything safety-wise

then i get on the train(find my way to the right seating area no problem)
hour and a half train ride..wasnt too packed got my own seat

and i get off in shanghai!
ask a taxi about the carrefour place and he quotes me 100 yuan so i'm like screw that there's gotta be a subway around here somewhere

so like..all i had with me was a piece of paper that had the store that sells the pumpkins written on it in chinese
start walking randomly one direction following some cpl...see them go down into this stairwell...start hearing subway trains!

so i get in the subway...pass the sheet around some more figure out which subway line im going on

get on the right subway line..dont know my stop so pass the paper around more

get off at the nearest stop...which wasnt too far away...then..pass paper around again and start walking in the right direction

every intersection i asked someone new to point me in the right direction

turned out to be an hour walk

got to carrefour!(the store) tons of western stuff omg i was in heaven..had pizza hut! and gelato! so much more to choose from

bought a freddy krueger glove and a 10kg pumpkin

talked extensively and exchanged emails with a guy i met at pizza hut from detroit

then walked for an hour and a half carrying the pumpkin, and traced my way back home np abd yo 7 flights of stairs to my apartment

but wow that got heavy lol

and the amount of looks i got with the pumpkin made my day, and so many ppl coming up to me talkin to me in chinese talking about the pumpkin

not to mention my stroll through shanghai i saw like over 40 foreigners...in the carrefours at least like 25

i'll take a picture of the pumpkin when i get some new batteries for my camera :)

Oct. 21st, 2006

My Trip to WalMart and Starbucks! And my first friend?

So! I took my first trip to wal mart and starbucks(just recently opened mm that was delicious)--i had never really been there and been able to explore(went to wal mart once but was driven to underground parking lot and then straight into wal mart)
so I didn't realize that it was part of a huge awesome(pictures to follow) mall--plaza
It was really nice, took lots of pictures, including near the end another giant sea of bikes and motorcycles..all the pictures are of the area right around walmart and such, it's all part of a big mall/plaza/outdoor shopping area
And in starbucks there was one girl working there who came over to talk to me for a long while, she wanted to practice her english and such and told me to keep going back to starbucks so she could practice more english
So when i left i gave her my number and email, her conversational english is pretty good, but could learn many more stationary words

Also got a pay advance of 1500 since I was running out of money, thats pay for 1 week(6000 first month and 7000 every other month)
It was about a 5-10 minute taxi ride and it costed 10 yuan(about $1.30ish?)
oh and taxis...are AWESOME..they are the most law-breaking of all drivers in china(which is saying a lot cause everyone drives horribly here)
But both taxis...drove about 60% of the time in the wrong lane..and only move if there was oncoming traffic too close(the traffic would get really close before they would move)
and they cut off everyone, almost hit everything, it's wicked, it's like a rollercoaster with no real safety precautions and a much higher chance of things going wrong
anywhere, here are the pictures!

Oct. 19th, 2006

Big Picture Update 3 - Jiaxing

Okay, here are some pictures of places I walk by everyday
the first bunch daytime, the last night(some night pictures were too dark and didn;t turn out right)
But because there are soooo many pictures(like 70 of em) I'm omitting most for now and posting ones I really like

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