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K'Tesh

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I've been offered a new job in Yantai. 8K RMB/month (based on a work week of up to 15 hours)(More, if I work more hours, but not less if classes are canceled for reasons other than my own). Apartment, health insurance, and bonuses (at 6mo and 12 mo). My current job is 100 RMB/hr for one on one classes, 120 RMB/hr on classes of up to 8 students, and averaged less than 7.5 hours a week. Basically, my work load will double, as will my pay, but I'll be able to afford things (such as shoes, glues, a TV, a plane ticket to the US and/or maybe even rockets).

I won't have to move. I'll get to keep my current apartment, which is OK, and with $$$ coming in, I'll be able to get the central heat turned on this winter (no surprisingly large electric bills).

Send Rockets! :wink:
 

fyrwrxz

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Alright, Jim! Now I know you're not moving or coming home, I'll start setting up the support network we talked about. Still seems you got a raw deal from the start. There may be openings in Shanghai, as my son left teaching to start his own company. I'll ask him tomorrow.
 

K'Tesh

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Alright, Jim! Now I know you're not moving or coming home, I'll start setting up the support network we talked about. Still seems you got a raw deal from the start. There may be openings in Shanghai, as my son left teaching to start his own company. I'll ask him tomorrow.
Thanks! Of course the address I gave you was for the office of my old school. Once everything gets settled I'll be able to give you the new address (it's more reliable to send it to the office than to send it to my apartment). If I'm not there to receive it, it might not get left, and as I can't understand much spoken Mandarin, it makes delivery calls easier if the office manager is the recipient of any calls.

Good luck to your son's new business!
 

iqsy59

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I would like to touch base with you and get your take on living there. I have an opportunity to take a 2 year assignment that I am very seriously considering. My situation would be a little different...51 years old, living in the industrial center of the north east (think North Korea), and my company paying all possible expenses...but like you, I imagine 2 years of building rockets to occupy my mind during the cold winters.

Other than your having to adapt to ever-changing situations, what are your words houghts on living there?

Cheers,
Michael
 

Woody's Workshop

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North Korea? I don't think you would want to go there. They are not really our friends.
South Korea would be more like it.
My nephew spent a 6 month hitch there, he said that part of the world is becoming very unstable though.
Be careful you don't go somewhere you can't get out in a hurry if needed.

I would like to touch base with you and get your take on living there. I have an opportunity to take a 2 year assignment that I am very seriously considering. My situation would be a little different...51 years old, living in the industrial center of the north east (think North Korea), and my company paying all possible expenses...but like you, I imagine 2 years of building rockets to occupy my mind during the cold winters.

Other than your having to adapt to ever-changing situations, what are your words houghts on living there?

Cheers,
Michael
 

fyrwrxz

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I would like to touch base with you and get your take on living there. I have an opportunity to take a 2 year assignment that I am very seriously considering. My situation would be a little different...51 years old, living in the industrial center of the north east (think North Korea), and my company paying all possible expenses...but like you, I imagine 2 years of building rockets to occupy my mind during the cold winters.

Other than your having to adapt to ever-changing situations, what are your words houghts on living there?

Cheers,
Michael
Michael-All joking aside, my son has been there for over 5 years. You have to remember these people are still communists, no matter how much crap they send to the dollar stores over here. There are layers on layers of bureaucracy that permeate everything. The joke with the ex-pats is it's "life on the hard setting" as most things we accept as naturally as breathing here takes an act of, well, the socialist state. The postal system sucks and things are just 'confiscated' for random reasons. (I understand most your packages will be gone thru-if not just crushed or waterlogged, so getting things from the states is problematical). Believe it or not-socks are hard to find there-go figure. They have their own version of Amazon ( I can't think of the name right now) but you have to read Mandarin to figure anything out. Think Mc-Master-Carr in Latin! There are rules and restrictions for taking money out of the country both US dollars and rimby (RMB- the currency) and conversion can be fraught with rip-offs, even by the banks. Yes there are yankee-friendly stores in the bigger cities (try finding peanut butter anywhere else!) and no-there are no 99 cent stores over there ( I asked my son if they had 49 cents stores 'cuz they didn't have to pay for shipping-he was not amused). Facebook is outlawed (really!) so eveybody uses wechat. The internet over there is unstable, whether thru government monitoring or poor infrastruture-you have to use a VPN based in the States to run a Google search. Oh- also you have to be "invited" to China-you just can't 'drop in' as a casual visitor. I'm sure your company can take care of all that-after all, they ( The Chinese) are chasing the Imperial Dollar worse than some of the Robber Barons of old. But in the end-it's an adventure few can experience. I've always preached to my boys about the 'rocking chair test'. What will you regret not doing if you had the chance and played it safe? A bunch of boring old memories and the bitter thougts of what could have been. You never know unless you take the road less traveled. It's even better with an expense account! Good luck, mate, and keep us posted. Straight smoke and good chutes!
 

iqsy59

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Thank you for the very thoughtful insight! Yes...not really North Korea, but just across the Hun river from it. Cold winters!

This would definitely not be a spontaneous move. I have been considering it for some time. I work for a large company that is well established there so I would have a strong expat network. Accommodations and compensation would not be a concern. That doesn't mean it's not a little scary to submerge myself into a culture that is so fundamentally different!

Decisions, decisions...

Cheers,
Michael
 

cwbullet

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I would like to touch base with you and get your take on living there. I have an opportunity to take a 2 year assignment that I am very seriously considering. My situation would be a little different...51 years old, living in the industrial center of the north east (think North Korea), and my company paying all possible expenses...but like you, I imagine 2 years of building rockets to occupy my mind during the cold winters.

Other than your having to adapt to ever-changing situations, what are your words houghts on living there?

Cheers,
Michael
I would go for it. I have done that gig (overseas) 4 times. You usually have lots of free time.
 

SCP

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Go for it! I still enjoy my time over there, usually 2 - 6 week stints, and I would welcome longer. I have been going for 12+ years, 6 times last year. I think I have been over 18 or 19 times as of September. Every time is more interesting , and I can tell you it became tremendously more interesting after I got conversational with Mandarin. I still keep thinking I will meet someone over there sometime like Ktesh...................
 

DavidMcCann

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I find it phenomenally interesting.... Just seeing how different US and Canada can be on a basic level.... ABW vs ABV, milk in cartons or bags, etc, the idea of real life in China, Russia etc is interesting. Magazines report extremes.... abject poverty, stupid rich..... But I could do that in the US too.... So how do billions really live?
 

fyrwrxz

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I find it phenomenally interesting.... Just seeing how different US and Canada can be on a basic level.... ABW vs ABV, milk in cartons or bags, etc, the idea of real life in China, Russia etc is interesting. Magazines report extremes.... abject poverty, stupid rich..... But I could do that in the US too.... So how do billions really live?
On fish head stew and chicken feet soup-LOL!
 

Cabernut

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I find it phenomenally interesting.... Just seeing how different US and Canada can be on a basic level.... ABW vs ABV, milk in cartons or bags, etc, the idea of real life in China, Russia etc is interesting. Magazines report extremes.... abject poverty, stupid rich..... But I could do that in the US too.... So how do billions really live?
Are you suggesting that people in Russia and China live no different than in US? I hope not. First, there's no difference between US and Canada. There's more difference between California and and Nevada. I have a friend from the Ukraine that lived under the Soviets. Better now than it was but still "ghetto" by our standards. I have friends from China who have described some of the unknown and unpublished horrors of the Communist govt there. That's why they're HERE. My wife is from a 3rd world country. She knows what it's like to see a village harassed by government thugs.

Based on personal testimony from people who've actually been born there, lived there, and experienced life there first hand, life for the average person in these places such as Russia & China is really really hard. Regardless of what some "magazine" says or doesn't say, the reality is that we have it an order of magnitude easier here.

"Poverty" here is not having a flatscreen TV. LOL
 

Peartree

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Are you suggesting that people in Russia and China live no different than in US? I hope not. First, there's no difference between US and Canada. There's more difference between California and and Nevada. I have a friend from the Ukraine that lived under the Soviets. Better now than it was but still "ghetto" by our standards. I have friends from China who have described some of the unknown and unpublished horrors of the Communist govt there. That's why they're HERE. My wife is from a 3rd world country. She knows what it's like to see a village harassed by government thugs.

Based on personal testimony from people who've actually been born there, lived there, and experienced life there first hand, life for the average person in these places such as Russia & China is really really hard. Regardless of what some "magazine" says or doesn't say, the reality is that we have it an order of magnitude easier here.

"Poverty" here is not having a flatscreen TV. LOL
I don't think David was saying that there is no difference between Russia, China, and the US. In fact, what I read implied quite the opposite. I'm pretty sure what he was saying was that even though the differences between the US and Canada are often small, they can be quite fascinating. From that, and extrapolating to someplace like China that would quite obviously be VERY different, he was expressing the utmost fascination at the possibility of seeing, firsthand, how folks there really live.

In that regard, whenever I travel I have always found that aspect, among others, to be most enlightening. In fact, in January my wife and I had the opportunity to have dinner, and conversation, in the home of a Palestinian family in Bethlehem. Clearly, our world views, and our daily lives, are extraordinarily different, but I learned more in an hour about the politics of Israel, Palestine, and the people than I would in months of watching our news shows or reading in the library. Totally fascinating and enlightening. What I read in David's post was something very similar.
 

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I've spent a sum total of about 6 months in Shanghai in the last 7-8 years, in short snips- business trips vs living as an ex-pat. I really enjoyed it, but it wore me out! Fascinating experience, and unlike Europe where I can communicate fairly well (speak a good bit of French, and enough German to order a sausage and a beer), really felt like an outsider. I once walked into a music shop and wasn't sure if the clerk was yelling at me to leave or inviting me to sit down at a piano I was looking at.
 

DavidMcCann

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I don't think David was saying that there is no difference between Russia, China, and the US. In fact, what I read implied quite the opposite. I'm pretty sure what he was saying was that even though the differences between the US and Canada are often small, they can be quite fascinating.

Yea, exactly this. I have no idea how it got taken any other way honestly. I grew up in Buffalo and have had friends in Canada most of my life. The subtle differences are numerous.
 

K'Tesh

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I would like to touch base with you and get your take on living there. I have an opportunity to take a 2 year assignment that I am very seriously considering. My situation would be a little different...51 years old, living in the industrial center of the north east (think North Korea), and my company paying all possible expenses...but like you, I imagine 2 years of building rockets to occupy my mind during the cold winters.

Other than your having to adapt to ever-changing situations, what are your words houghts on living there?

Cheers,
Michael
Hi Michael,

Sorry for the long delay in replying. The last week has been kind of stressful, between the "Am I going to remain in Yantai, China, or come home at the end of the month" to the "Teaching demo jitters ("Man I need this job")", to the "How do I get out my contract with my current employer?", and finally... "I've got to do lesson plans for this week, and what am I going to tell the kids?"

China is quite a trip. It's not all Mao jackets, and dour people who are struggling to make it. The clothing style has definitely been influenced by the west (read, it is western). The people seem to be pretty happy, and are quick to smile. Expect to see a lot of stares though, especially if you're in an area that western people don't normally get seen. Chinese manners are greatly different than what you see in the west. Pick your nose? Sure. Eat the nose gold? Why not? Kid needs to pee, pooh? the sidewalk works (I've actually seen adult women do the same (at night)). Crotchless clothing for the little ones? Why not? Cough without covering your mouth? Yeah. Smoke in a nonsmoking restaurant? Certainly. The list goes on...

Then there's traffic. To be operating a motor vehicle is to be in a constant state of moving violations. The worst are the taxi drivers. They will crowd you (on a bike, or walking in the bike lane/auto lane) because they want to drop their customer off, and get the next one ASAP to make as much as they can. There seems to be some kind of internal Chinese radar because pedestrians and motorists seem to do some of the dumbest moves, and yet crashes seem to be rare (they do happen though). Me, I find I have to be hyper vigilant to prevent myself from being sideswiped, right hooked, left crossed, or T boned by motorists on my bike... Crosswalks do not seem to give the pedestrian any priority if a car wants to drive through it. All this said, and I have to add that road rage seems to be rare (except for me, I seem to be the angriest person on the street). They will honk at you, but it's not an attempt at scaring you, just to make you jump kind of honk. It's a I'm coming, and letting you know, so you can get out of MY way kind of honk.

All this said, the people seem to be genuinely nice (provided they're not a motorist). They are constantly asking "where are you from" which after a while, you'll be asking the other foreigners too, if you don't see them often. Touching your arm (if you've got arm hair), or belly, if you are fat is not uncommon. While it's not exactly Emily Post, it's not in a mean spirit. Though you will need to curb your American response to an unannounced blatant odd touch. One guy, an employee at a local supermarket, suddenly grabbed me around the middle (not hard, like a tackle), and I was about to grab him back and pile drive him into the ground, when he released me, smiling, and saying something (what I have no idea). He then was fascinated by the hair on my arms, and brushed my arm. I try to tell people, touching Americans is not a good idea without permission first.

WeChat is everywhere. People will constantly ask you for your WeChat address. They'll typically add you, and maybe post for a few days, then move on. However, I owe my new job to a WeChat message group. This probably won't be something that you'll experience.

A VPN (Virtual Personal Network) is essential if you use Google, or don't want anyone reading your searches on Bing. Bing will pop up as Bing.com.cn if you're not logged into your VPN. Google and Bing both will log into their versions for whatever country you're logged into, so some searches may result in odd languages, and you'll need to translate it if you can. You'll probably have more contact with others than I've had (my financial situation has been shaky at best, so you'll be able to go out more). With a regular job, you'll be maintaining regular hours, and in more contact with people than I have been. My apartment doesn't have a TV (I can't afford one), and I don't have a radio (what's the point? I can't understand what I'm hearing, without context, and very slow). YouTube is a great source of documentaries, and even first run movies. I saw Jason Bourne on August 12th, over a week and a half before the movie was released in theaters here. While I haven't seen Star Trek Beyond on YouTube, I did see Star Wars The Force Awakens on it. Searches like "Action Movie 2016" will get you things like this. You'll learn to ignore the distortions in audio, or the off center video.

Now, I've got to go an teach for a few hours today. Apparently there's another national holiday this weekend, so my work week has been moved from Saturday/Sunday to Thursday/Friday.
 

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Yea, exactly this. I have no idea how it got taken any other way honestly. I grew up in Buffalo and have had friends in Canada most of my life. The subtle differences are numerous.
Oops, sorry then. I guess thats the limitation of text communication. Tone of voice is subjective.

K'Tesh, thanks for the update. How are you adapting to the local cuisine? Some of the more traditional foods are really strange to western palettes.
 

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Oops, sorry then. I guess thats the limitation of text communication. Tone of voice is subjective.

K'Tesh, thanks for the update. How are you adapting to the local cuisine? Some of the more traditional foods are really strange to western palettes.

thats another thing. I'm a serious fan of "Chinese" food. My research into actual Chinese food has gotten insufficient results. (though i gather a trip to toronto may yield results)
 

SCP

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REAL Chinese food is DELICIOUS! Real home cooked chinese is awesome, and go to the right restaurants and the food is outstanding. I wonder if you feel the same K'tesh? I like the hot stuff myself......

David I bet if you get into a good Chinatown area in Toronta you should find something. I hope you do! I always like to share my experience from there, and hope others enjoy it as well.

My september trip was incredible, I ate lunch and dinner with a family every day, this family had a personal chef (wealthy factory owner) who went to the market every morning for fresh food, and he prepared lunch and dinner for about 10-12 of us each day. We ate in their house, they welcomed us in like family. The owners father and I became good friends, and would always laugh because my chinese was better than his and he wanted me to teach him haha. They spoke heavy dialect (JinYun - famous for pork, and mountains!).

And by the way I am sure he was just being polite to say I spoke better, but his point mostly regarding accent - he could tell all my learning has been from standard Beijing teachers.
 

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On fish head stew and chicken feet soup-LOL!
As someone posting from Chengdu (on a visit), I would like to add cut-up turtles deep fried in a hot pot.
And don't knock the chicken feet. They are highly regarded and more expensive per kilo than breast or leg meat.
(OK, they don't taste that great to me personally...)

People here live very very well. There is a booming consumer economy. This is good, because a satisfied populace is generally peaceful.

People are much less suspicious of Westerners than they were five years ago. Driving has improved.
Everyone has been very nice to me - more than they had to be.

The one-child policy is over, and it has had one visible positive effect:
Because children were so precious, families were and still are very happy to have daughters.
The status of women has changed.

The young people are very environment conscious.

BTW, the ads on TRF are in Chinese here. I find that interesting.
 

K'Tesh

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I now have BSI 30 Minute Epoxy, as well as their Super Thin and Medium Thick CA glue, and Accelerator. I think that I'm actually able to build the serviceable kits I have on hand. :grin:
 

K'Tesh

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Forgot to add...

Thanks Randy! eRockets ROCKS!!!
 
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