General Update

So, just a general update: I have been here for about a month and things are going pretty well. The summer months are our busiest at EF. We call it the intensive period; it is from June till the end of August. During the intensive period there are classes or one-on-one sessions that meets every day of the week. They are mostly high school and college students trying to improve their English so that they can go to college in the States. That is the main goal for many of the families who send their kids of EF, that their child will have good enough English to go to college in the States, Canada, or Europe. And to meet this nee/demand, EF provides classes seven days a week during the intensive periods, and we have to be there to teach them. Thank God it is not a Chinese sweatshop, we only have to work six days a week. It is hell, but it is only for a few more weeks and everybody has to deal with it so I’m complaining.

I think I have officially become a Chinese citizen. After getting my paycheck for 3830RMB, which is about $540, (for all of you newly employed out there who are upset that you aren’t making any money, I don’t want to hear any complaints) I realized I can’t just keep all this cash under my mattress so I opened up a bank account.

pay day

The day after I open the account I got a call from the bank that I needed to come back because there was a problem with my forms. Now I was starting to freak out because this is China, anything is possible. For all I know the government has taken all of my money. Thank God it just turned out to be that they messed up my forms. They don’t understand the concept of a middle initial, so all of my forms said Joeli. I had to go back (without the help of a translator) and try to use hand motions to explain what a middle initial is, which is not easy. Now that I think of it I might be better off keeping all my money under my mattress.

This past week we had a rainstorm and it cleared out all of the smog from the city. Thank God. For the first time in a month I was able to see the sky. AND IT’S BLUE!! I had almost forgot. I was able to walk around town and see buildings that I had never seen before because the smog was so heavy. It made me feel so happy. The weather was so nice and the air so clean that I went out to play some basketball in the park. But I started getting pissed with the people I was playing with because here in China they don’t respect the make-it-take-it rule. I work so hard to make a basket and then I don’t even get the ball back, outrageous.


On the way back I stopped by an outdoor park/gym/workout areas (which you can find all over the place). These aren’t the parks/gyms we are used to, these gyms are just a few pull up bars and some other weird contraptions which people work out on. They are always in use especially by the elderly. It’s really weird, but nice at the same time to see all of these old people work out. I’m actually going later today to join a real gym, so wish me luck.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The work out equipment

So I just wanted to give you guys an update of what’s going on. Not so much one story but more of an overview. Hope everyone is doing well. And just to let you know. I have not had any more peeing or crying incidents in my classes. Thank God.


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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