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I'm moving to China, departing from Oklahoma on December 11!

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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I'm moving to China, departing from Oklahoma on December 11!

Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:19 pm

Thursday, December 11, 2008...that's the big day. It's the day I will leave Oklahoma after having lived in the Oklahoma City area for 22 1/2 years. For so long, I've been yearning to escape, and the end is finally in sight.

I'll be moving to Chongqing, China.

For the first few years, I'll be teaching English as a second language. And then, once I've become proficient in the Mandarin language, the professional opportunities are vast.

My initial departure is on Southwest Airlines at 5:15 PM (local time) on December 11th. I change planes in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Beijing before soaring into Chongqing at 2:25 PM (China Time) on Saturday, December 13th.

I will interview with many schools during the first two weeks in Chongqing, then will travel to Beijing for a four-week training course on teaching English. I'll return to Chongqing again in late January, and the Chinese spring semester begins in late February. By then, I should have my own apartment.

In the meantime, I've been searching for a temporary menial part-time job in Oklahoma City, and will be selling, discarding, and/or giving away most of my personal belongings. And as a symbolic gesture on the night before the big departure, I'll be staying at the same hotel as in 1986 on my first night to reside in Oklahoma at the age of 8. (You can view it by clicking on http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/o ... y-marriott )

Below, you will find many relevant weblinks.




-------------------------------------
The English-teacher training course I'll be attending in Beijing:

http://www.cactustefl.com/tefl/course.p ... se_id=2288

http://www.languagelink.com.cn


--------------------------------------
The facilities I'll be staying at during my transition in December, January, and February:


Yangtze River International Youth Hostel (Chongqing)

http://tinyurl.com/5twb3y

http://tinyurl.com/684neq



Saga Youth Hostel (Beijing)

http://tinyurl.com/5g6b65

http://tinyurl.com/5kmyp8



--------------------------------------
And finally...some cool videos of Chongqing -- the city I'll be moving to soon.


(If you haven't seen these first two, here they are again.)

"Bird's Eye View" (day)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94z3ZIbKPhk

"Bird's Eye View" (night)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5Ei0pI11B0


---------
More Chongqing videos:

"Tribute 1"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ip9h2UPIJ0

"Tribute 2"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUYZh-3wpZ4

"Futuristic Projection"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qVe-mq9XK4

"Hot Summer Day"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JksH9CjUkG0

"Hot Pot"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV571QBB0Js
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Postby jamesbond » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:49 am

Good luck on your move to China! Please keep us informed as to how you are doing once you move there. So I guess you have given up trying to get a girlfriend here in the US? I know you said you were using the interent to try and meet some women. It takes guts to move to another country, most people in America never even travel abroad let alone move to another country! What does your family think about your move? Are they supportive of your decision?

I think Oklahoma is one of the more friendly states in America. If your having a hard time meeting women there, you may not find anyplace in the US that has friendly women. Have you ever visited Tulsa? If so, what do you think of it? I have been there and liked it actually. It was a nice change of pace from the Chicago area, less traffic, friendlier people and a lower cost of living. I think people in Oklahoma actually talk to their neighbors and are pleasant to one another (unlike the Chicago area).

Well, good luck in your move! As Winston would say, you will probably be "happier abroad."
Last edited by jamesbond on Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Enishi » Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:47 pm

That's awesome man! I'm happy for you.
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:50 am

Things have been going well for me in Chongqing thus far. I've received three job offers from private language schools: one of them explicit, and two implicit. Most of them require a prospective candidate to give a 20-minute demo class before being hired, and I said I'd feel more comfortable waiting until after I finish the CELTA course in Beijing. They were OK with that, and all of them want me to do one the first week of February (which is my second week after returning from Beijing. Most of the private schools are out during the last week of January for the start of the Spring Festival.)

So I'm feeling really relieved right now! I know that a teaching job in Chongqing is virtually assured for me, come February. Two of them basically told me that after I successfully do a demo class, the job is mine.

All good thus far....
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Postby Jackal » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:44 pm

DiscoPro_Joe wrote:Things have been going well for me in Chongqing thus far. I've received three job offers from private language schools: one of them explicit, and two implicit. Most of them require a prospective candidate to give a 20-minute demo class before being hired, and I said I'd feel more comfortable waiting until after I finish the CELTA course in Beijing. They were OK with that, and all of them want me to do one the first week of February (which is my second week after returning from Beijing. Most of the private schools are out during the last week of January for the start of the Spring Festival.)

So I'm feeling really relieved right now! I know that a teaching job in Chongqing is virtually assured for me, come February. Two of them basically told me that after I successfully do a demo class, the job is mine.

All good thus far....


Good for you, DiscoJoe!

I don't think you'll have any problem finding jobs teaching English in China! Just stay calm and look friendly when you teach your demo lesson.

Living in a foreign country can be tough at first, but in my opinion it's worth it. I've been living in Hungary since the beginning of September. In my experience, you will feel full of joy and optimism during the first month or so and then you will probably get somewhat depressed for the next two months or so, but then you adapt and get over it--at least this has been my experience.

I really enjoy life in Hungary and never want to go back. On the last day of school before break, they gave all the teachers champagne and I kissed all the women teachers on the cheek and wished everyone a merry Christmas. High school teachers certainly don't get this kind of respect in America! Some of the kids here are lazy as hell, but you'll find that anywhere. I try not to let it bother me, since I like everything else.

In my Chinese class in college, we once had a white American who was fluent in Chinese talk to the class. He said that if you are a white person who can speak Chinese well, you will get stares of amazement from the locals. This man had a Chinese wife and could also speak some Cantonese (7+ tones--yikes!).

Just have confidence in yourself and you will succeed, Joe!
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Postby momopi » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:55 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7792854.stm

Opting out of China's rat race

By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Shanghai

China is celebrating 30 years of economic reform.

It was in December 1978 that former leader Deng Xiaoping declared the country would not just tolerate private enterprise but encourage it.

Since then, of course, much of the country has been transformed. Millions of people have moved from the countryside to the cities in search of a better life.

And after three decades of extraordinary economic growth, there are growing numbers of middle class Chinese with good jobs who are well-off relative to the rest of the population.

Now some of those who moved to cities like Shanghai for good wages in white collar jobs are starting to tire of the rat race, and in a reversal of past patterns of movement are abandoning the urban sprawl for a quieter life in the country.

Country life

Gao Hong and Yang Xiaoling, two advertising executives in their mid-thirties, decided a year ago to give up their lucrative careers to move to a quiet house in the country, eight hours drive from Shanghai in Jiangsi province.

They took a 40-year lease on an old house which Yang Xiaoling came across during a business trip.

"She found it when she was looking for a handmade umbrella," her husband Gao Hong explained, sitting in the sunshine in their garden on a bright but cold December morning.

Yang Xiaoling says there were several reasons why they decided to move.

She did not like their life in the city. "You work in a company like you are in a machine," she said.

"Your working life runs in a groove, you do what you're told."

"People in the city are indifferent to each other," her husband added. "Here our neighbours come and join us for meals often, they sit in the sun with us in the garden and chat all the time. We never lock our door."

"We lived in Shanghai for years but we had no contact with 90% of our neighbours. If you have no contact with your neighbour, you have no idea what kind of person they are."

'Hampering development'

The couple have blogged extensively about their new life and their reasons for choosing it.

In the tiny unheated room with wooden floors where they log on, they power up their laptop to display the large number of responses they have had from other netizens.

"Many say that deep in their hearts they have the same ambition that we had," Yang Xiaoling explained.

But some are not so sure. One woman who called herself "Shanghai girl" chastised the couple for opting out.

"She said: 'You are 35, you should be the backbone of society, but you are choosing to abandon yourself to a life of pleasure'," Yang Xiaoling said. "She told us: 'You are misleading people, you are hampering social development'."

The couple said that after this post other netizens added comments defending them, declaring that everyone had a right to choose their own lifestyle.

"I don't pose any threat to society, and I enjoy the pleasure of farming; I think that's beautiful," said Yang Xiaoling.

'We belong'

The couple admit that it has not all been as easy and straightforward as they would have liked.

Their neighbours had to help them establish their vegetable garden because they did not really know what they were doing. They have grown enough to eat, but nowhere near enough to sell to others.

There are rats to deal with and the roof leaks. But they say that compared with the difficulties they faced trying to get used to urban life, these problems are not that significant.

No-one is suggesting that the couple's decision to leave the city is the start of a major trend in Chinese society.

It is clear they had made enough money to stop work and try something quite different. Relatively few Chinese would be that well off.

Gao Hong is writing a book about their experience. They say once they have finished renovating the house they may open it as a guesthouse.

They also plan to help local people sell provisions and other goods in the cities. They will live off their savings until these business ventures start to provide a return.

They say they see themselves as pioneers.

"We have lived here for more than a year, and never for a moment have we thought, this is too bad, we have got to get back to Shanghai," Gao Hong laughed.

Leaving the front door wide open, the couple go for a stroll around the village. Facilities are very basic. Some of their neighbours are washing their clothes in the stream by hand. It is like going back 50 or 60 years.

But the couple are happy. "The dogs don't bark at us now," they said. "They always bark at strangers, so we know we belong."
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Thu Dec 25, 2008 6:13 am

momopi wrote:Opting out of China's rat race
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Shanghai

Now some of those who moved to cities like Shanghai for good wages in white collar jobs are starting to tire of the rat race, and in a reversal of past patterns of movement are abandoning the urban sprawl for a quieter life in the country.

Gao Hong and Yang Xiaoling, two advertising executives in their mid-thirties, decided a year ago to give up their lucrative careers to move to a quiet house in the country, eight hours drive from Shanghai in Jiangsi province.

"We lived in Shanghai for years but we had no contact with 90% of our neighbours. If you have no contact with your neighbour, you have no idea what kind of person they are."


In my big Trip Report about my first time to visit China last July, two of the cities I visited were Chongqing and Shanghai.

I adored the people of Chongqing, while disliking most of the Shanghai residents. And during these last two weeks in December, the people of Chongqing have continued to impress me warmly.

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:45 am

Phew! That was a tough training course. It was very, very intensive for four weeks here in Beijing.

But now, I have my CELTA certification! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

I feel incredibly mobilized now that I have this CELTA cert, in addition to my Bachelor's degree (in an unrelated field). I can live and work in many, many parts of the world now!

But Chongqing holds a special place in my heart. Tomorrow, I head back there to build my life.

A. Get a few job offers in Chongqing (explicit or implicit).................. check.
B. Pass a challenging, super-intensive four-week training course in Beijing................... check.
C. Accept a job offer in Chongqing in February after the Spring Festival................... coming soon!

:wink:
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Postby Winston » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:18 am

So Joe, what did you do in China for Chinese New Year? Were there firecrackers and dragons?

I posted the photos you sent me at this link, like you requested:

http://www.happierabroad.com/phpBB2/vie ... php?t=4762
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:25 pm

WWu777 wrote:So Joe, what did you do in China for Chinese New Year? Were there firecrackers and dragons?


At midnight on Chinese New Year's, there were at least 300 fireworks simultaneously being shot off at random (by ordinary people) within a two-mile section along the Yangtze River where I'm staying. It lasted for about 45 minutes. It completely blew away any fireworks show I've ever seen or heard about! I can't wait to see it again from the same place next year! Maybe later this year I'll buy a digital camcorder and record the spectacular phemonenon next year.

Btw, thanks for posting the photos. (I just now sent you the ones I took in Chongqing last July.)
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:32 pm

Just wanted to let everyone know I found a job in Chongqing! It's at Meten English, located at Jiefang Bei. They already had me teach two classes yesterday and today to fill in for a teacher who's out sick. Next week, they'll present me with a full-time six-month contract that begins March 1st. The school teaches older teenagers and adults.

Here's the website of the school: http://en.meteni.com

Next I'll be searching for an apartment. I'll probably have one of my new acquaintances show me some.

Just thought I'd keep you posted on the latest news!
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Postby Mr S » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:58 am

How much are they going to pay you there? How many hours of teaching do you have to do?
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Postby Winston » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:15 am

Congrats Joe! I knew it would work out. It was great talking to you on the phone the other day as well.

BTW, here are those hospitality sites I told you about where people would be willing to show you around, help you network, give you contacts, etc. Just go through the profiles and write someone who looks friendly and well connected. A lot of nice girls on there as well, though it's not a dating site, but you never know.

http://www.hospitalityclub.org

http://www.couchsurfing.com

Check them out if you have time. The people on there are all very nice and helpful. I've used those sites for years and met a lot of wonderful people through them. Just so a search for your local area or use the browse feature. They are sure to write you back. Then, just ask them to show you around like a guide. They are usually glad to do so. Then as you get acquainted, just talk about yourself and what you're doing there, and if they know any useful info or contacts, they will tell you about them. That's all. You don't need to ask for help or favors directly. It will come naturally if the situation calls for it.
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Postby DiscoPro_Joe » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:42 am

Mr S wrote:How much are they going to pay you there? How many hours of teaching do you have to do?


8,000 RMB/month (i.e., about USD $1,200). A nice apartment in the very center of Chongqing costs about 1,000-1,500 RMB/month. Not bad, if I don't say so myself!

It involves 25 teaching hours per week. (Each class is 1 hour.) But here's the good news: most of the lesson plans are already laid out for us, so we just need to spend about 30-45 minutes looking over each plan beforehand, thinking about what we'll teach and how we'll teach it. It invloves a 7-8 hour workday, five days per week. Our days off are usually on Mon-Tues, Tues-Wed, or Wed-Thurs.
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Postby Winston » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:34 pm

DiscoPro_Joe wrote:
Mr S wrote:How much are they going to pay you there? How many hours of teaching do you have to do?


8,000 RMB/month (i.e., about USD $1,200). A nice apartment in the very center of Chongqing costs about 1,000-1,500 RMB/month. Not bad, if I don't say so myself!

It involves 25 teaching hours per week. (Each class is 1 hour.) But here's the good news: most of the lesson plans are already laid out for us, so we just need to spend about 30-45 minutes looking over each plan beforehand, thinking about what we'll teach and how we'll teach it. It invloves a 7-8 hour workday, five days per week. Our days off are usually on Mon-Tues, Tues-Wed, or Wed-Thurs.


W: $1200 a month? Wow, that's a lot more than you'd get in the Philippines. Does the school provide discounted apartments, or do you have to find one on your own? Do you have to sign a contract too?

That means you teach around 5 hours per week. I presume this is an advanced level English course where you can just teach in all English right?

Do you know if teachers are allowed to date students in China?
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

Don't forget my HA Grand Ebook and Dating Sites!

"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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