So what if it’s not Hong Kong

I can’t believe I got scammed. I am usually so careful and suspicious but not in a way that would make you think I was paranoid. I guess the best of us sometimes fall prey to the vultures out there. Shame on me as I only have myself to blame. It doesn’t mater how clever these lowlifes are, I should be smarter. This was the first and last time this will happen.

I wanted a job very bad. I was/am bored out of my skull and I want to go back to teaching. This school in Hong Kong wrote me and I checked to see if they had a website (they did) and decided to proceed with them. Hong Kong would be cool. However, I didn’t do my due diligence and if I would have checked all the things I should have checked, I would have been fine.

They (the bogus school) told me that no one there spoke English so the interview would be a serious of questions they would email me and I would answer. If I had read the staff biographies I would have seen that the head of the school who was writing me, graduated from an American University. I think you have to be able to speak English for that.

They gave me the job (surprise, surprise) and the negotiations weren’t too hard. They folded on a couple of things and I think their plan was to not give me some things so I could complain and they could acquiesce to my demands.

They sent me an offer letter and if I would have checked the phone number, it wasn’t the same one as the web site and I was told the number was out of service (all my wise moves came after the deed was done).

Not knowing anything about Hong Kong Visa’s they recommended a travel agent who would take care of everything. I thought it was expensive but I didn’t shop around. I sent this “travel agent” money for visa and plane fare through Western Union (if they want Western Union, don’t do it). I had all these little pointers but my desire to get out of here was so strong that I just overlooked them.

When it came close to the time for leaving, they got even greedier. They said the law had just changed and I had to pay x amount of dollars for another paper. I actually looked this up on the Internet and could find no mention of it. I started looking at the website closely and checking out the phone numbers as I should have done from the start. I got burned.

It’s shameful. I know it goes, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. I think I accept the shame for this episode. I lost money and I lost time. I know it’s no excuse but it was Hong Kong and I wanted to get out of here so badly

I had a few days after that of feeling badly but then I climbed right back on my horse and continued my search.

It looks like I came up with something decent. I had a few offers, some for little money and some for not enough money for what they wanted (one was even in Kurdistan).

A University that is running a training school for BA students who plan to go overseas to study for their Masters needed someone. This semester I will be teaching “How to write a dissertation”.   With any luck, I will be teaching Economics next semester. I told them if it’s Economics I want 3 months warning (so I can teach myself economics). The guy there says he really wants me to do English.

The money is good for China and they have been very reasonable and compromising in negotiations. I’m impressed. They give you a place to live, but it doesn’t have a kitchen. I’m told you can go to the canteen and eat (not me) or go out. However, they are going to give me a living allowance so I’m getting my own apartment.

Shujie is coming with me for the first 2 weeks and then she’s off to Baoding for family stuff. Her son is getting married so she has to meet the in-laws who insist that Shujie and her ex fork over some money. This is left from “old China” where the grooms family would pay the bride’s family for the girl, because the girl’s family raised the girl and now she was going away (to the groom’s house) and they may never see her again. But it’s the 21st century and that doesn’t happen. Shujie won’t let me negotiate with them so she’s stuck for some money. Everyone thinks she’s rich because she married a Canadian. What a joke. However, her son is a good kid and if the bride to be is good too, then who cares if the parents are morons. They are not marrying the morons.

After that she’ll return to Toronto until August. She needs the time to fulfill the permanent residency residence requirements. I will miss her but I’m going bananas and need to get back into action. The city of Changsha is about 2 ½ million people (just a Chinese village) and it does have 4 seasons but it’s very humid in the summer and very overcast in the winter. You can’t have everything. I think this time we will visit Hong Kong and Macau. Shujie has never been to Hong Kong (just changing planes in the airport doesn’t count), and neither of us has visited Macau, the gambling capital of the world (bigger than Las Vegas). The population density is the highest in the world. It should be interesting.

I should be gone just after the new year (if the paperwork goes according to plan). The people seem nice, but I could be fooled. It’s a new program so I’m in on the ground floor (no idea if that helps), and even thought China was not my dream destination, this is a bad time of year to be looking for work and being 59 doesn’t help.

So it looks like it will be, “Adventures in Changsha”. “Adventures in Open Heart Surgery” didn’t tell you enough. Let’s just say after a shaky start I’m almost as good as I was before the surgery (which wasn’t too good). However, I’ll take it because I’ve seen a worse side. My new thing to worry about is the ECG they took of me earlier this week. It indicates I need a pacemaker. My cardiologist will study it and do another. I hear it’s not a big deal but I’d like a surgical holiday.

So with any luck, I’ll be gone in a few weeks. I’ll get a little active again because I’ll be working. I’ll be talking to new people. And who knows, maybe I’ll learn a little Chinese since I won’t have Shujie to speak Chinese for me. As I said, I wish I was going elsewhere but Europe is almost impossible because of the EU, the gulf states are for money-hungry losers, and Iraq are for people who want to fight ISIS. Korea is very ageist and it’s full of Koreans. I tried to get some interviews in St. Petersburg but they didn’t work out. I had an interview in Mexico and hat sounded really good (but less money), but I finished 2nd and the principal would like me to apply for next semester. The person he took had experience working in Mexico.

So it’s just sit and wait for my papers from China now. Once they tell me they have them (within 2 weeks I hope), I’ll book the tickets. It should be interesting and different. I think some of the student’s English is not good so that will make it nearly impossible to teach them how to write a dissertation. Oh well, we all love challenges.




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