Sorry i really cant give too much advice on this one as i have never done it. When i first came to China i hung out at a bar called "The Kiwi', which i believe is closed now, but most of the patrons were English teachers from England and her former colonies and these guys would party pretty hard. My wife stopped me from going to this bar because i would come home a complete wreak. This was about 3-4 years ago. Keep in mind that the bars here do not close until the last person leaves and when you are with a bunch of Ozzies and Kiwis you tend to not leave until the sun is up. These boys can drink. Anyway i used to bring in Dead Shows and everyone loved it even though they never heard of the Dead. I was usually the youngest one with ages from 50 to 35. Over all i would say that China is a very good escape and you would be suprised at what you find over here. I would suggest trying to stay in a bigger city or if you want to get lost in China go to a smaller city, but you will do a complete 180 in your daily life. Anyway, i have been all over this country and have experienced many things and at this point i try not to leave Shanghai, but when i first came here my goal was the smaller cities and the country side etc. I speak Chinese as well so its easy for me to get around and was during that time period. If you do not speak any Chinese i would not recommend going off on your own unless the School has something set up for you. The first thing i noticed (and you will too) is that the American Propaganda machine was wrong as the only soliders that i saw at that time where the ones i would put my arm around while drinking a pint of beer out on the streets at 3 o'clock in the morning for a photo shoot!!! Things have calmed down some but things are still crazy over here. I hope this comment assits you with your potential journey.
I have sent my secretary there 3 times and "typical Chinese style," we have received mixed information every time. I have not done too much pushing ever since you and i had this conversation in May or June. I will keep my eyes and ears open.
Might be a long shot but considering going to China to teach English in preparation for
their hosting of the Olympics. I read all I can of first hand accounts, impressions, advice,
etc. I know 'China' doesn't mean 'all of China', that a place so vast and old must be more
diverse and complicated than a 'never been there' person could imagine. Kinda nervous
about going there, but almost (or lots more) curious. Mainly, need a job, 57 tomarrow,
teaching positions not easy to get, especially at my ripe old (and in the way) age. Definately need to 'reset my clock', find a new purpose for my efforts. Money isn't everything, by a long shot. A place to go and a reason to do, work worthy of my time and efforts are what I seek. Been a teacher forever, special educ., early childhood, etc. Kids grown, time to reclaim my
own life and times, adventures, fun, friends, music, purpose...anyway, this being a world-
wide forum, expect more info. than I can read. Thanks to those who have written re:China
already, as I need to decide, apply for positions, ASAP. Not necessarily wanting to
run away from current life, children, etc., but need to put some fresh air in my tired tires,
reset my clock, find the 'me' I lost track of during the last 20 + years. Being Dad is good,
but peace and quiet in an 'empty nest' is not my desire. Want to regain a view of a future
that has become blurry and short in my mind's eye. Plenty of time left, don't want it to be a
quick blur. Want ? Need ? Don't really know but gotta go. Further.
did you send Columbo to speak with the ticket agent?
there is no way the dead wold play in China before they played in a US city...
"What's the point of calling shots, this cue ain't straight in line
Cue balls made of styrofoam and no-one's got the time"
I love to hear first had adventures in what is for me unfamiliar territory. The more people who speak openly about their experiences makes the world a better and more tolerant place, I think. And no apologies necessary about "boring Germans". Trust me, I can rant about that very subject for hours, and HAVE on occasion, but I have adopted the lovely French habit of feeling compelled to state an opposite point of view, in order to foster discussion and debate. Is my opinion that German society tends to be very afraid of individualism, and being seen as different; and this fear is a "hangover" of the Nazi days. But again is only my own personal thesis.
I must apologize as that statement about Germans being boring is a horrible generalization. China: Yes you do gain an appreciation of Western comforts and the value of individual life after being here. It all depends on the China you actually live in because if you are living in Shanghai and if you are an expat or in an upper income bracket then you can live very well. I could honestly say that I live better here than I could if I lived in the States. Here a made costs about $120-130 per month so you just get a couple of them and they pretty much do everything from cleaning, cooking, making beds, etc. The soft bed had to be imported from England as the Chinese enjoy sleeping on the box spring mattress! For me there are 2 China's, there is the educated class middle - upper class and there are the uneducated classes (peasants) who are the majority of the society. I must say this first, that 99% of Chinese people either upper lower anything are usually nice people. At least from my experiences I have always been treated well and in the most remote parts of China I have received smiles. I also feel safer here in China than I would in the States. There are no guns and very little crime. I can walk anywhere in the City of 24 million people at any time of the night and not have a problem. (From being on Tour I have been to every major city in the States 4-5 times if not more and I can tell you some horror stories! I will save that for another thread.) Of course there could be exceptions, but over all China is a safe place and Children are looked upon as being treasure so your children are safe as well (from kidnapping and sex offenders.) There is crime that involves murder etc but 99% of the time this is internal family dispute etc, but again this is not too common. Little respect for individual life: I agree there are 1.4 billion people here and human life is not worth too much and is very expendable. I have many horror stories some are from my own experiences, some I have read in the English New Paper, and some I have heard from word of mouth. Most of these stories take place outside of the big cities in the country side where the majority of the people live that have very little education. This is where the stories of the orphanage probabley originated from . These places exist and the thought of giving your baby away because it is a girl horrifies me. As I know many Chinese people in Shanghai who have girls and love them very much, I can say that the orphage you mention above does not represent the country as a whole. I hope that I have given you a clearer picture into China. And there were rumors that The Dead where coming to Shanghai and Beijing but it seems these rumors have died out, but if it ever comes true then this would be a good time to come to China!!!
And I am only 20 minutes from Frankfurt airport-so same goes for me, Trifecta. As for your comment in the Europe thread about Germans being boring, you are basically correct, but also slightly wrong. Are some really wacky Germans out there-but you just have to find them. Or are also a handful where their coolness and individuality are deeply buried, and you have to get to know them to notice-back me up on this Jodester, surely you know what I mean. Was never in China myself, but nowadays alot of the companies in my industry are producing in China, so could be that I end up paying a visit there one of these days. A friend of mine who went there said she gained a new appreciation of Western comforts and the value of individual life when she was in China. Somehow she ended up paying a visit to an orphanage that was full of deprived and unwanted little girls, said was about the saddest thing she ever saw.
Yeah, Chang Mai is excellent! A lot cleaner, a milder climate, and not such bad smells coming out of the sewer grates on the street corners! :) Didn't have time to make it up to Pei, next time! :) I'm based in Hamburg, just around the corner from where the Beatles honed their craft! It's a great city and highly recommended! If ur passing through at any point in time let me know beforehand so I can show u around! J
Are you kind?
Where in Germany are you living? I travel through Germany about 3 or 4 times a year. (Usually passing through). I hate flying so I only fly Lufthansa (East Africa and Europe) as I feel completely relaxed with a German flying the plane. Anyway, China is complex and there are good times and bad times. Raging, well only time will tell. Thailand, where? Changmai or Pei? and many others. I have been to Thailand a few times, but the most interesting time was in Sept. 2003 when the Queen of Burma was jailed and I was on the Burma Thai boarder and wanted to enter Burma just to say i was there. Keep in mind people that this place is completely off limits just as North Korea is. At that time Burma was this far off isolated place that one would only hear about around a camp fire. I sat with my Canadian friend on a hill feasting on ______ which caused us to miss about 3 days. but when we came to it, there were tanks and armies on both sides of the boarder. So we decided to go back to pei. This was in the Golden Triangle or near it. This part of Thailand/Burma/Vietnam is considered a very sketchy place. Look it up. Now I do good business in Burma and I would never have thought that this country would ever involve me or have anything to do with my daily living. How strange and exiting life is. By the way, the point of the story is go up north.
I would love to check out China. Was in Thailand three and a half years ago. I love Asia! Here in Germany it's ok! Rainy though! I'm from New Zealand but actually grew up in northern Florida. Sounds like u are ragin' bro'! :)
Are you kind?