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This trip report was posted on another forum and is a bit out of date, being from late 2010 to early 2011. However, I thought I would repost it here for interests sake.
One of the things you notice is how darn impressive coastal China is. An excellent transportation network with bullet trains whizzing at 300kmh, good cheap subways, an efficient bus network, many-laned (and tightly controlled) highways between cities and so on. Also impressive are the huge buildings, tunnels, and bridges. And although it is mainly ugly and polluted, they do keep some picturesque spaces â€“ for tourists I guess. The West Lake area in Hangzhou (sp?) reminded me of the best of Western cities and the city area to one side is fairly cool. (The rest of the city is the usual dump). The gardens and canals of Suzhou were nice.
The absolute coolest architecture I saw was of course the Western colonial buildings from the post Opium War concession ports; specifically, that island off Xiamenbei (I forget the name) and the former International Settlement in Shanghai. These buildings are now tourist attractions for Chinese. They are going through a wave of militant nationalism at the moment, but even in the midst of it they have to concede that though Whitey may suck, he sure used to know how to throw a pile of bricks together. The buildings made me simultaneously proud of our former culture and angry at the ugliness it has degenerated into. They just project majesty, beauty, functionality and permanence. Things like lion sculptures add a kind of magical touch. Walled gardens are classy. The broken glass set into mortar on top of the brick walls was a nice touch. Most of the buildings are still in productive use 100-150 years after their construction.
The English teaching side worked out quite well for me. I taught 20 40-minute classes a week of high-school aged students, with a little over 50 students per class â€“ so I saw over 1000 students per week. I was in a "key school" where the high school aged component consisted of two parts â€“ a public school with an academic elite and a private school with rich kids whose parents wanted them to be an academic elite.
I taught the former group first. After dealing with juvenile delinquents in Korea in conjunction a Korean teacher, teaching good Chinese students by myself was like a dream come true. With most of my lessons it was like conducting an orchestra. It was good to see I actually had developed some skills in the area, which you sometimes only realize when you step down to an easier stage. My lessons were constricted by a need to promote the West to the students in order to make them want to attend university there (the recruiting companyâ€™s aim) while seeming not to be a sales pitch and giving a real English lesson. Within these restrictions and the need to fit things in I think I did a fairly good job most of the time.
The second half of my teaching was teaching the rich kids. From my perspective, they were a mixture. I reckon some of them thought that they should earn the right to be considered an academic elite despite their slow start and were grateful the fact that they had rich parents gave them a chance to do so. The rest thought that the fact that they had rich parents made them an elite anyway and they shouldnâ€™t have to actually do anything to earn the distinction. It has to be said that the former group were skewed towards females and the latter group were skewed towards males. From a teachersâ€™ perspective, females are better students a lot of the time. Anyway, I managed to control and get along with them as well. They were still easier to control than the average Korean class. Interestingly I wasn't allowed to discipline them, although luckily I didn't really need to.
Generally the students liked me, wanted to know about me and got on with me. In particular the girls liked me and found me attractive. Iâ€™ve often wondered why Asian girl students seem to find their so-so male teachers more attractive than their male counterparts find smoking hot female teachers. One of life's mysteries, I suppose. The issue of slutification is interesting. Chinese females are not yet slutified because Chinese men have retained their balls (such as they are) and refuse to marry sluts. Yet it is clear that they are champing at the bit. In my school there must have been some kind of no-touch policy between teachers and students, but when I went to seminars elsewhere, chicks would come up and hug me. A young female Chinese teacher told me about seeing a black guy in a shop and restraining her sister from going up and hugging him. It is clear that if the powers-that-be gave them the green light, young Chinese women would become thug-humping skanks like their Western counterparts within about 5 minutes.
The food they served in the school cafeteria was a deliberate imitation of what Westerners ate back when we ate stuff that resembled food. Lots of fruit, dairy products, meat, vegetables, fish etc. From my point of view, great stuff. But the point is, they are consciously trying to take over from us. It is working in the sense that their young are almost as tall as the Western average. Most of my students were taller than me (although thatâ€™s not saying much). Some of their eating habits would seem a little gross such as the admittedly sensible custom of eating fish with the bones and then dribbling/spitting the residue on to the table in front of them. Generally, Chinese who have a little money eat vastly better quality food than Westerners. Food in the Anglosphere is garbage by comparison and to some extent always has been.
The students were typically very athletic and all seemed to be fanatical about basketball. When not playing sport they spend about 11 hours a day studying in the same classroom. During the school term they donâ€™t have much unstructured time at all. This is probably not ideal but has got to be a thousand times better than the Western alternative of doing drugs and being gangbanged by niggers and such. In general the whole setup represented a vast improvement over the West and even Korea.
In a lot of ways China is a strange mixture of better-than-first world and third world. For example the larger train stations are like modern airline terminals but the toilet areas are often atrocious and not all that private. Often houses donâ€™t have hot water showers or washing machines so you wash your clothes in a bucket and, in the winter, wash yourself by putting warm water in a basin, soaping the appropriate areas with a cloth and then upending the remaining water over your head. I did this for the first few days until they installed a free-standing water-heater in my room. They have no concept of sleeping on a mattress. Beds are just a board covered with fabric. You get used to this surprisingly quickly.
All in all, it was an interesting experience.
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I taught English in China too and hated it, left after a few months. About 45% of the teachers that work in China have positive experiences. If your confident in your teaching technique, work for a good school and live in a city where the women are friendly you might enjoy yourself.
The slutification of Chinese women is well underway in any of the big cities Bejing, Shanghai, Guangzhou to name a few. I don't recommend dating these women unless they moved there from another city.
Great post, thanks!
http://wikinewstime.com/7926/worlds-lon ... os-videos/
(~8 hours from Beijing to Guangzhou and vice versa @ 1/2 the price of airfare)
Man I wish they had this on my previous trip to PRC. I could've taken the train and visited a lot of places.
China has many good things and many bad things. If you go to C9 League schools (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C9_League) the cafeteria food and foreign student dorms are probably quite nice. But the dorms for local students are um... well, on the plus side, they pay very little for tuition and room/board vs. foreign students.
http://www.chinahush.com/2011/08/23/pek ... -students/
http://www.chinasmack.com/2009/pictures ... hools.html
Yes looking forward to the Beijing to Guangzhou line - I've already been on the Guangzhou to Zhuhai branch. Business class for an hour's ride at 250km/h+ was about the cost of a McDonalds meal back home in the UK!
It's nice to know that if I ever run out of ladies to meet in Guangzhou or Shenzhen then I'll be able to go to Changsha - home to the most beautiful ladies on the planet .
I'm more eagerly waiting the new high speed line to HK though, that will shave an hour off the journey and should be much cheaper than the existing service.
Good report cornfeed.
I'm also very much looking forward to using the new super fast train as it does indeed opens a whole new world of opportunities in China! Can't wait to return there!
You're really making the women of China and especially a few places (Chengdu, Changsha etc...) look very very promising indeed!When are you going again to move to GZ? Make sure you keep us posted here when you do get there! I'll be surely following your adventures with great interest as I'll be doing the same a few months later (around Sept-Oct).
I hope to get to Changsha and I'll write a review if I do.
Not that I really need to bother, given how many Hunan girls end up working in Guangdong Province.
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