Blogs from Kunshan, Jiangsu, China, Asia


Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan July 22nd 2010

We spent the night in Jie's father's home town of Kun Shan. I had my first Chinese meal last night and it was delicious. I'm really tired. I couldn't sleep on the plane and only slept a little last night. But at least I'm closer to being on Chinese time now. Kun Shan is right outside Shanghai. Today we will go around the city a bit and then head for Nanjing. There's also a city we are stopping at on the way with the small rivers running through it and the fishing boats that I wanted to see. We are about to have a special noodle breakfast now :)... read more
First trip out
Photo 4

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan January 6th 2010

So, major illness #1 has set in. I’m glad it’s taken about 4 months before I felt terrible. Last year, t was the second freaking week. Anyways, I haven’t been able to eat for the past two and a half days, except for something small at dinner. My other symptoms just kept getting worse. So, today I went to Lisa and she sent me off to the hospital. She was very supportive and observant and asked an English speaking Kindergarten TA, named Sunny, to go with me to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital and they let me jump the cue, I’m sure due to my foreign status. Sunny let me describe my symptoms in poor Chinese and then translated the rest of the doctor’s questions and my answers. She asked if I wanted shots, ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan November 11th 2009

After quite a nice long warm streak, the cold front is heading in. It rained the entire day yesterday. Anyways, Chinese lessons are going well. Next week is "open lessons" week. The parents come in and watch their kids and my teaching skills. It has many of the Chinese teachers anxious and stressed out. Paul seems pretty confident; so, I'm going to take his lead for the time being. Yesterday, we received binders for our lesson plans. So, this weekend that will be added to the agenda. The more I expose myself to the nightlife in Kunshan, the more foreigners I find here. Last weekend, I met some guys at Flower Bar and a handful of foreigners when I went with Wolf to Upside Down Bar. (Wolf is from Germany) This weekend the guys (Peter, Zach, ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan October 5th 2009

Friday morning I’m buzzing with excitement and anticipation. I wake up before my alarm goes off and I’m off finishing my last-minute things. I’m waiting at the local bus stop before 7am. At 7:15 a whole bunch of people arrive and at 7:20, the city bus arrives to take us to the bus station. I get off the bus and find my gate/terminal in the station. The bus leaves at 8:00, and by 7:45, there’s no line, no sign at the desk for the bus, nothing. I go to use the bathroom because there’s no stop for 3 hours. I get out at 7:55, and I vaguely see the sign at the desk terminal switch from Nanjing to something else. I see a huge line, but I have this nagging feeling that this certain bus (unmarked) ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan September 30th 2009

It’s the last few days of September and you can feel the anticipation for the holiday looming in the air. There’s a lot to get done and a lot to look forward too. I bought a variety of mooncakes and other Mid-Autumn Festival delicacies, but when Lulu and I got to the post office, they refused to send any food to the US. There’s a $10,000 fee to any food sent from China to the US. So, even though that idea went down in flames, I suppose it’s still the thought that counts. On Wednesday, I went with Lulu, Mitch, and Fire to the bus station. This was practice for my bus on Friday. At about 4, the school was flooded with students. As you leave the school, it’s reminiscent of the airport years ago, with ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan September 18th 2009

On Wednesday a photographer came on campus and photographed the teachers of the school. I've gotten in contact with Shannon and we're hanging out this weekend. Today, Jane is taking Zach and me somewhere to do something with our work visas. It's during our lunch break, so I hope I get back in time for classes. It's been raining a lot here. It started on Tuesday night and only lets up periodically. The drainage around here is not as effective as the US, so there's some water stagnating around parts of the city. The roads are slick too, so that limits any going out and excursions. A lot of people are getting sick, students and teachers alike. Paul was sick for a few days and there are a minimum of five kids missing from each of ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan September 13th 2009

So, I received another gift on Friday from a student's parents. We met at 1pm and boarded buses and went to the middle of nowhere and had dinner. There was also grape picking, fishing, and karaoke. I took Jasper with and he definitely made it better for me. Mitch suggested it and he generally gives good advice, so I went with it. He was a big hit with the teachers and kept my arms and thoughts occupied with the dog, rather than boredom or other unpleasantries. So, all n all, it was a good time with food that left much to be desired. Alas, that's "Chinese" food from this area for you. My cross stitch came in and I began working on that. Lulu has been helping me out, but her cats bother my allergies, so ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan September 5th 2009

Yesterday was pretty intense with regards to classes, but going out with the other foreign teachers definitely made up for that. We went to the karoke bar and then to Flower's. Flower's wasn't too much fun because it was Shannon's last day. Apparently the two got into a fight. It makes me really sad, because hanging out with Shannon was practically the reason why I went to Flower's so often. She's my first real Chinese friend. So I suppose I'll just have to call her up from now on and just go party with her. It'll be good to have a different crowd. I got some vitamins today, because I'm beginning to feel the effects of the mineral deficiencies. So, I got Vitamin C and Calcium/Iron/Zinc combination at Tesco. I went and checked out the Walmart ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan September 3rd 2009

Today has sure been busy! I wrote out every student's name to a) begin connecting names with faces, and b) to make sure I have the name of every student in the class. To say the very least, it was a hit! Colouring and taking pictures of the kids was definitely a plus. We reviewed the alphabet and I began teaching the alphabet song to the 3 year olds. I have to admit it is kind of frustrating, reinventing the wheel. Paul is really the main person who gives me advice and that is definitely a plus. So it's like I'm a marketing company and the class is a constant test group. Or I'm running in an election, and each class is a swing state. Some of the kids are quite fantastic though and some certainly ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Kunshan September 1st 2009

Today is my first day of class! It's been really exciting and a little stressful. There really isn't as much structure as there is in the US. There was a opening ceremony for the beginning of school for grades 1-12. Kindergarten wasn't a part of it. So as my foreign peers headed off for the gymnasium, I went to observe some of my classes. First I went to Forest class. It was then I realized that the classes were stationary and that I was the one visiting classrooms to engage the class in English. I really enjoy Forest class. I had the most time to observe and interact on a one-to-one basis with them, so maybe I'll rotate class observation in the mornings. So from 8-8:45, I got comfortable with the 3 year olds and their ... read more

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