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By the way, I asked a teacher here and if you have a work visa for one job then you can apparently do any other jobs that come by your way. There are any number of small jobs for foreigners here - think Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.
Really China works on social contacts. The word got out that I'm looking for teaching jobs, so I'm getting the odd phone call about jobs. As of now I've turned them down as I just don't have the time to take on any more stuff.
The other thing you can do is slash expenditure. By living in a student apartment building I've halved the rent that most other foreigners pay in this neighborhood. And I've just spent 48RMB on a slow cooker which means I can cook pasta and soups in my apartment and halve my weekly food bill compared to dining out all the time.
Incidentally, $1000 a month is a great living wage in China. The girl I hope to meet tomorrow has just got a new job for around $1000 a month - she seemed happy with this, and this is in Shenzhen, China's #2 most expensive city.
Xiongmao, I know what you mean. I am glad to be rid of the cubicle slave life. That is my HA instead of women. That is why I went to the Philippines nearly five years ago and haven't been back yet. I don't even miss the money. It was a trap. The lifestyle makes it almost impossible to save and get ahead anyway.
I don't have a job, but little things pop up all the time. I have been invited to speak at trade shows and paid 3000RMB for a 90 minute speech and demo. That's more than most make in a month in the smaller towns. I rarely eat out, even before I had a wife whose cooking is better than any restaurant I've been to. Not having a 9 to 5 meant I had time to cook, and I enjoyed it.
This life is just plain better.
I don't have a job either, but my websites make enough to just about break even. I've turned down a lot of jobs lately as I'm trying not to make a new cubicle for myself here.
I'd like to get out and explore a bit. I've just been to Shenzhen, and I've sussed out the border crossing should I want to go to HK. Well buying the Shenzhen train ticket was pretty easy, so maybe I'll try to aim for Changsha or somewhere next. I've always loved trains, and I love the old diesel locomotives they have here.
As for the cooking, well I bought a slow cooker and now I'm cooking stuff in my apartment. I mainly cook soups and pasta, as both are pretty cheap to make and I can pack both types of meal with all kinds of veggies.
Also I'm not big on the food around here - it's just not what I want to eat. My date on Saturday ordered this big bowl of fish and it was full of bones - I don't know why anyone would want to eat something that risky!
I love Hubei food but I haven't seen any in Guangzhou. I need to date a Hubei girl, but they've been quite hard to find.
I wonder where Magnum is? He must be missing his girl.