I’m getting lazy with the posting. I don’t know why. I have to force myself to sit down and do this after I thought I had it down as a regular once a week routine. We are in the new apartment and I’ve been at the school for 2 weeks now. Is it heaven? No. Is it hell? No. Is it that damn, elusive Pimpernel?
We moved into this apartment 2 Sundays ago (March 17), and the apartment wasn’t clean enough, though it did get cleaned the next day. There is hope for it. It’s large (for here) with 2 bedrooms. There is no kitchen yet to speak of but with any luck they should be putting it in by the end of the week. When people buy an apartment here it has nothing. You have to get your own cupboards and stove and counters and such. We figured we could wait since this was a newish apartment.
We have furniture (almost too much) and although we were told we were getting a new washing machine, a new microwave, and a new TV, that wasn’t quite true. The washing machine is used but works fine as well as the microwave. If they had said the things were used, we wouldn’t have said, “boo”. But why lie? I guess because they are Chinese (what a terrible thing to say) and it’s just as easy to tell a lie as to tell the truth. I told them they could keep their old, used TV and we bought a 32” flat screen. They are cheap. This one was about $200.
We got Internet really quickly as I made my first bribe. After they ordered Internet for us, Shujie found out the name of the technician. She called him and told him there was 100RMB (about $8) in it if he was here within 30 minutes. He was here in 20 minutes. I guess I have to play the game and I was tired of waiting on people to show up who never manage to show up when they say they will. The Internet here is so much better than the Internet at the school in Baotou. I think they throttled the speed down just to annoy people.
The school isn’t too bad. The students try a little harder than the University students and their spoken English is better. I think they really do go to University overseas from this place. The hours aren’t strenuous as I work Sunday to Thursday with Tuesday off also. I just teach reading and writing which can be a little boring but things change every few months so I can deal with it.
There is a big mall close by with a Pizza Hut (I am so sick of Pizza Hut) and as we discovered by accident, a Starbucks. That was a nice surprise and we can go there once in a while. We went last week to the Subway (sandwich place) in town and that was quite delicious. It doesn’t take much to please me. I also brought home some Dunkin Donuts. You take what you can get. We will have to discover some places in this town to get a decent meal when going out. Last night we went to this Italian restaurant close by. I tried to order the Lasagna and was told that they didn’t make it. Why was it in the menu? Because it’s China, that’s why. We left.
Shujie has started looking for a job and I hope she finds something. The places she’s spoken to pay less than $1000 a month and when she tells them she wants about $1200 a month they act like she’s asking for the moon. I guess if that $200 a month is going to break them, she shouldn’t be working there. The problem is China is the amount of people who need jobs. You can get people dirt-cheap. I believe you get what you pay for but the Chinese don’t really care about the quality of the work. The people here work extremely long hours accomplishing very little.
I don’t know what else to say at the moment. It’s not very exciting, is it? Sometimes I don’t feel like it’s an adventure anymore. I think I still like this teaching. You get to talk to people. You can learn from others. I guess I need to find some excitement.