Blogs from Wudaokou, Beijing, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou July 12th 2011

After returning from North Korea everything seemed to move at lightning speed. A few weeks prior, towards the end of April, our school, , informed us that our teaching quality had decreased and therefore they were reducing our pay by about 1000 U.S. Dollars. There was nothing in our contract about this so we had no choice but to accept this unfortunate situation and hope for the best. By mid-May we were informed that again our salary would be reduced by about 1000 U.S. Dollars. It was at this point we started to make preparations to leave China. By June I was reduced to a paid-by-the-hour part time status and the situation as not tenable. During June Laura continued to work for Clever Kids on a full time basis. Actually June was the only month we ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou March 10th 2011

Hello from China, Our spring and summer plans are progressing along quite nicely. We are happy to report that we now have a city we are moving to and a date when we need to be there. We need to be in Seattle, Washington by the 23rd of September as this is where Laura has chosen to do her PhD. I am applying to various actuarial and math programs in the area as well. All of the applications are due in early April so I am working hard to finish up the essays and get all of the paperwork in order. We have settled in quite nicely. In the end it looks like our schedules are finally pretty much decided. The final results seem to have Laura teaching 2 English classes and a Health class and ... read more
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Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou January 31st 2011

What a difference a week makes! Or how about a month? Last month at this time we were celebrating the secular new year in Delhi, India. Now we are about to celebrate the year 4760 (or there about) in China. We now have a wonderful job teaching English and a splendid little apartment! After considering many offers we decided to go with Clever Kids on a Dramatic Adventure in English. First of all, the company really invests in its employees. Last month there was a company paid for spa weekend. This month we all went out for dinner and drinks and got a really nice New Year's gift hamper (thats British English for a gift basket). They actually pay us to come in during the week and prepare our lessons for the weekends. The downside is ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou January 22nd 2011

Hello hello! I should call this one "an arduous journey." When we arrived in Beijing we gave ourselves 1 week to find a job, otherwise we were going to go down south to a rural village and teach there. I am so glad we found a job in Beijing and chose to stay here! Beijing has a really nice metro system and bus too. Unfortunately I work a bit far away and am obliged at this point to take 3 different subway lines and a bus! What a journey! I should start from the beginning though. We have been couchsurfing exclusively since the end of last month. When we arrived in Bj (Beijing) we stayed with some Israeli Russians. We then shifted to the flat of a another American grad (woot woot) who has graciously allowed ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou June 24th 2010

So... today is my birthday and I have spent it all in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Everyone in the program (Alliance for Global Education @ BLCU) has a Chinese test tomorrow, and thus is studying tonight, so we decided to go out last night. I was surprised at the turn-out, as almost 20 out of 26 or so students showed up. I was originally thinking of going for all-you-can-eat and drink sushi, as we celebrated many a birthday at such places in Shanghai, where everyone gets plenty of food and their fill of beer, sake, and plum wine for under 200yuan ($30). However, turned out the US and England games were both Wednesday night (World Cup Soccer for those of you who don't keep up) and I was afraid we wouldn't be able to get a ... read more
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Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou June 22nd 2010

This is the story of my new tattoo... Two of my friends and I were out one night, and we started talking about tattoos. I said I wanted to get one, one of my friends, Katie, said she encouraged it, she already has two of them. One of my friends, Orit, she didn't like the idea and had a lot of negative opinions towards tattooes. That led to a huge argument between them which was pretty entertaining, but in my mind Katie won, so I was pretty pumped on the whole tattoo thing. Then we went into Lush, a bar/cafe place which had open mic night. There these two middle eastern looking guys were on the stage playing and I was like "they look like they are from Israel." Orit, who lived in Israel before said ... read more
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Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou June 10th 2010

So... Anh's cousin (another one) picked me up yesterday morning from my hotel and we drove to the airport together. After getting all checked in, we wandered around the airport shops killing some time, and me looking for a way to blow my last 55,000 dong (less than $3). I was thinking to buy gifts for my teachers to be, but $3 wasn't quite enough for anything of substance. It did, however, buy a bracelet and a magnet at the overpriced airport shops. Shortly after, it was time to board my flight to Beijing :) I said goodbye to Anh at the terminal coffee shop and boarded my flight. I was very sad to find the window seat I had asked for in the emergency exit row I volunteered for, was not actually a window seat. ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou November 10th 2009

Last snow was on a Sunday, so it did not create a big mess. This time is overnight snow in the middle of the week. It creates a mess in the morning. The subway is unusually packed in such early morning. It is because the subway is always on time and no traffic jam. Most of the pictures are in Wudaokou五道口, Chengfu Road 成府路 in front of BLCU, and in BLCU. Feel more like Christmas than Los Angeles. Beijing usually does not have snow that early and not that much. Normally is early autumn, mid-autumn, late autumn and then early winter, winter. This year is early autumn and moved right into winter. Most of the trees do not have a chance to turn color. All the color is gone after the snow. I hit the Xiangshan ... read more
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Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou November 7th 2009

The Wudaokou 五道口 subway station is a major access to the near by universities. Such as - Beijing Language and Culture University 北京語言大學; China University of Geosciences 中國地盾大學; Tsinghua University 清華大學; Peking University 北京大學; Beihang University 中國航空航天大學; Beijing Forestry University 北京林業大學; China Aricultural University 中國農業大學; Renmin University of China 中國人民大學 and Beijing Film Academy 北京電影學院. The side walks near by become a flea market from late afternoon to the early evening’s hours. Most of the stuffs are geared to the students’ populations. There are many accessories for girls, shoes, clothing’s, winter gadgets, books, computer accessories. The side walks already crowed with food vendors and parked bicycles sometimes is hard to walk through. The bicycle p... read more
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Asia » China » Beijing » Wudaokou October 13th 2009

About halfway into the fall, the Chinese celebrate two holidays - Mid-Autumn Festival and National Week. The first holiday usually marks a long weekend of eating Moon Cakes (a rich date-filled pastry-ish treat-ish) and family time. The latter holiday marks, for the better part of a week, a mass mobilization of most of China when everyone plays tourist while waving small Chinese flags. This year the two holidays collided and we found ourselves with a solid double holiday of ten days. China’s National Week was of particular interest being that it marked the 60th anniversary of the current government. Of course, the only logical thing for two lao wai tourists to do is dive deep into the heart of our beloved Red Regime and visit the Capital. Last week we loaded ourselves onto an overnight express ... read more
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