I’m still here

It’s the evening of August 31st and here we are in Nanchang, still living in a hotel in a room the size of a box. At least it’s clean and we’ve been here a week now.   I can’t live on the 6th floor of the dormitory so the school is putting us up here. We are going to live outside the school (they pay) and supposedly we are moving on Saturday. However it’s China, so who knows?

My visa expires in 3 days. You are supposed to get a residence card within 30 days of your arrival. It seems the school never got my foreign experts certificate yet, which I need. I spoke to the principal yesterday and he assured me he would make it happen before Friday. Supposedly I will get it tomorrow (Thursday). The girl in charge of it has only had about 3 months to do her job but apparently she is worse than useless. Everyone thinks so and they can’t understand why she is still employed. However, the principal likes her and I guess she gives a great blowjob so that explains everything. What a place!

Everyone we’ve met here so far at the school seems nice and pleasant and easy to get along with (except BJ girl). We’ve rented an apartment that is brand new and the school is paying for it even though it costs more money than they are allowed to give for an apartment allowance. I suppose because they didn’t do their job, they are paying the penalty.

We have a couple of teacher’s here without their foreign expert’s certificate yet. One of the teacher’s only has a tourist visa. Whenever this topic comes up he looks like his head will explode. There are 2 American teachers, 1 British teacher, and me the Canadian. We have teachers from Germany, Madagascar, and other places. It should be interesting.

I only teach American History (because I’m the Canadian) and Shujie teaches “Study Skills” and American Government. She will admit (and I will agree) she knows less than nothing about American Government. She has seen some of “House of Cards” so I guess that counts for something.

I don’t have to hang around between classes like you do at most high schools so that is good. All my classes are on the 3rd and 4th floor, which is not so good. It seems every place I go to in China, some new disaster strikes. Usually it’s the living accommodations, but this time it’s the visa. Why do I it? That’s a good question and if anyone knows the answer, please let me know.

The pay here for an International School is terrible but they had a job for Shujie so that was good. They screwed up her contract and put return airfare to Toronto in it so they will pay that. Chinese teachers never get that so I’m not complaining. I’m happy she’s working and I’m sure she’ll do a good job.

We’ve found 1 good restaurant so far. It’s overpriced but I have to eat. Their bread is as good as any at home, so I’m happy.

The first day of school is tomorrow and we had a meeting Monday, which told us we would be having opening ceremonies on the field at 7:20 on Thursday. Today we learned that we don’t have to go. It’s China. One of the speakers only spoke Chinese, but at the end he said that by the end of the year we should all be speaking English. I can’t figure that one out since this is supposed to be an International (English) school.

The official language of Madagascar is French if you didn’t know that. Now you do!

The German teacher lives with his pregnant girlfriend. We asked him what she did for a living but he said he didn’t know and she wouldn’t tell him. It’s a strange place.

They have to take me to the kitchen in the hotel every night so I can get my Insulin out of the fridge and inject myself. No mini-bar here.

What’s the curriculum and syllabus? When I make it up, then I’ll know.

We’ll see how it goes. It’s my plan (as it always is) to last the year out. As long as they don’t annoy me too much, and they treat Shujie well, it can be done.

There is a business card from a prostitute company under our hotel room door every evening. We haven’t called yet, but we might soon if we don’t move.

Summer was good. It was nice to see family, to go to New York and see Elana and Les Miz for the 5th time. Elana says she’s done after 7 times seeing it. She still loves it but she figures there are other things to see.

We visited Jan (who we worked with in Baotou) in Kalamazoo. It was quiet and restful. We enjoyed it. Next summer we hope to hit NY again and also Austin (because it’s hotter than hell and we’re crazy). It was in the 40’s when we got to Nanchang but now it’s the low 30’s. (This is Celsius). There is no dress code at the school so we (or I should say “I”) can wear shorts. That’s good.

So another year in China begins and just when you think you’ve seen it all, you see more. Not necessarily a “good” more, but let’s just say more.



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