Friday, July 29, 2016

The Worst Shit Ever ... Or Not

People occasionally ask me what's the worst thing I've heard in all my years abroad.

I've certainly heard and seen some very blood-curdling shit, so I don't know if this is the worst, but this is the thing that I always tell people about when they ask.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Nothing Paradox

There's an inherent dichotomy in teaching Saudis -- they are some of the most difficult students in the world ... but at the same time, working with them, you are most likely going to be paid to sit around and do nothing a lot.

My first job was at a college, and I only actually had to teach about 32 weeks out of 52. My second job was at an oil company, and the trainees came and went at unpredictable intervals due to the complications of bureaucracy there; there were whole weeks and months we were sitting around the office doing not much.

This job, working for a government contracting company, is now experiencing that same "bureaucratic lag." We had 200 students when I arrived, with 35 teachers, but most of them have already been sent home or graduated. Now we have about 35 teachers and 20 students. New students are coming in September -- supposedly.

Needless to say this makes the work day a bit leisurely.

Last Friday at work I played "Don't Starve" for a couple hours and watched the original Conan on Crackle. (Sure, Conan, it's a pleasure to see your enemies destroyed and hear the lamentations of their women, but it's also nice to get paid a full salary for watching movies.)

My replacement is a guy I worked with in my second job in Saudi; I'm supposed to be mentoring him, technically speaking, but there's not much to do there, either. Show him how to fill out some paperwork, and warn him about how to deal with trouble-makers.

My visa for China is being processed, and next Friday will be my last day here. The three weeks in the Canary Islands with the Girlfriend and then I start work in China the last week of August.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

And The Next Destination Is ...


I've been offered a really good job in China. Documents are on their way, so it's a go, unless we go to war with them in the interim, or something.

As readers might remember, I had a job offer in China last year, but ended up not going because of complications with the paperwork, as well as a need to stay in America to help my father get settled at the assisted living place he moved into. 

Readers might also remember that a commenter working in China said that I could probably get a much better job than the one I described.

I was skeptical, but when I mentioned that I had no job offers for September of this year, he offered to show my resume to his boss at the swanky interntional school he works at, which pays a shockingly good salary.

And damned if they didn't interview me and offer me a job almost immediately.

And damned if the contract conditions aren't about the same as my first job in the Gulf -- $4000 + month after taxes, paid accommodation, and 3 months of paid holiday time.

And Most people go to China for the experience, but I'm really kind of going for the dough. (Oh, and the kung-fu, I guess.)

I'll be near the capital city, The City Formerly Known as Peking, although not actually in it.

I am aware that I missed the "Wild East" days of teaching in China and it's probably not as fun and wacky as it was ten years ago. This is surely not the best time to go there -- but then again, it's probably not the best time to go anywhere. It's a bit of a rough patch globally speaking. 

So I need this information from readers, current and former teachers in China: What VPNs work best in China? I use Hotspot Shield now, but I've heard it doesn't work there now. Any advice on that score will be appreciated. 

So, middle-aged formerly depraved ETX working at a swanky international school, teaching rich high school kids? That sounds like a humorous fish-out-of-water comedy!