Sunday, October 30, 2005

We are experiencing technical difficulties

This may sound strange, but I cannot access my blog. But yet, I can post. The theory is that the Chinese government blocks access to blogs. Still not sure why I'm allowed to post then. We'll deal with it somehow.
Anyway, all's well here in Shenzhen. The city was just named the model city for China for it's economic and health success.
I still have no idea what I'm doing when I go to the grocery store. All I can really recognize are a few packages that written in partial English and the vegetables. I think I need to ask some of the Chinese teachers to accompany me to the store to help me figure out what all these items are. It's either that or I better learn Chinese fast. And that wouldn't be such a bad idea... it might help when I want to order some food at the restaurant downstairs. On that note, the hallway smells like Chinese food. That's not a complaint, just an observation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The People's Blog

I have arrived in Shenzhen, China to teach English to kids. The flight to Hong Kong was far too long. I think scientists need to develop teleportation. Or maybe airlines just need larger seats.
Anyway, I've been here a day now and I'm lost beyond belief. I can't really talk to anyone other than the teachers since I don't know any Chinese and the Chinese know no English. My apartment is completely empty aside from a rock-hard bed, a wood couch, and a TV... and a telephone that don't work. I better get accustomed to this place quick. Otherwise, I doubt I'll make it through the first month.
As I'm told, I won't get any real training for teaching. However, I was also told it should only take me a week or two to get used to the classroom and grow comfortable in teaching these kids as much English as possible considering the great language barrier.
I think it should go well as long as I don't try to teach Jersey English, Brooklynese, or Pittsburghese. I'm really tempted, but I know I shouldn't resort to that.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Will someone please tell me why Tom DeLay was smiling in his mugshot? Who the hell poses for a mugshot anyway? The man was arrested and charged and released on bail... AND HE'S SMILING! I would much rather have seen the classic Nick Nolte mugshot pose for DeLay. Guess I can only dream.

Friday, October 14, 2005

More stupid news

False information AND plagarism... this is getting out of hand.
I think we need to teach a little more journalistic integrity and ethics. As do other countries, according to the article. Haven't these idiots ever heard of intellectual property rights? Please people, do your own work for a change. And do a good job at it.

Thank you Capt. Obvious

I don't know what to say, but "Well, duh." Just read this, it's funny.

I can't believe they really need to fund a survey to figure this out. Where do I sign up to get paid to do such pointless research?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

confused by visas

I went to the Chinese embassy in New York City today to apply for my tourist visa so that I can travel to Shenzhen and acquire a Z (work) visa. I took a number that was quite confusing--it was numbers and letters. From what I could tell, the number had already passed on the boards. I stood with a lost look on my face. I guess the guy at the window in front of me noticed. He waved me over, even though there were others waiting and this was obviously not my number. I was then asked some questions about my application. I didn't know I'd be questioned right there. "What kind of editing do you do?" Huh? "It says here you are an editor, what do you edit?" Oh... mostly law. "OK" Yeah, that should tip them off that I shouldn't be trusted--I work with lawyers. "And why do you need to have this visa in seven days?" Because I'm leaving in less than two weeks. "But why?" That's when I was invited to go to China.
The whole process took ten minutes from walking through security to getting everything filled out.
I had planned to use the whole day for this. I was back on the bus for Jersey by noon. I can pick up my visa Monday. Does this mean I get a visa? And I still want to know what the little Chinese note at the bottom of my receipt means. It probably says, "Stupid American Visa." And it's probably accurate.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Welcome to the NHL, Sid

Tonight was the opening night of the new NHL season... 18 months or so in the making. I was out at the Thirsty Moose to watch the Devils-Penguins game. Why didn't I watch at home? Because you have to pay to watch games on Fox Sports. Stupid Cablevision crap.
Anyway, the Devils beat the Penguins 5-1, thanks in large part to the goaltending of Martin Brodeur. This game was the debut of Sidney Crosby--the kid who is supposed to be the next Wayne Gretzky. It was also Mario Lemieux's 40th birthday. Happy birthday, Mario. By the way, your team still looks terrible. Crosby wasn't all bad in his debut; he did have an assist on the poweplay (one of eleven powerplays of the night).
The Devils seem to have the upper hand with rookies this season. Zach Parise, the kid who led the U.S. team to the World Junior Championship, made his debut with a goal and an assist.
Both rookies were outdone by Washington Capital's newest addition Alexander Ovechkin, who had two goals on the night against Columbus.
At least there are three rookies worth watching this season. Let's just hope they continue this through this season and many to come.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Job Stuff

It appears I have a job. And it's one that pays. OK, so it doesn't pay well, but I'm alright with that. Starting in November I will be teaching English as a foreign language to 7-8 year olds in Shenzhen, China. Yes, I realize it's a communist country (really it's more like an oppressive capitalist country).
I figure the U.S. government is borrowing enough money and resources from China already, so why not cut out the middle-man and get paid directly from the source. Actually, that's not the reason why I'm doing this. I really think it would be a great experience to teach English in another country. And for some reason I enjoy Asian cultures and history.
The only problem I see is that I have to keep my commentary to myself. I enjoy criticizing governments (U.S. and others). I have a lot of problems with the Chinese government and it's recent history of oppression and human rights violations. But since I don't want to wind up in a Chinese prison, I'll have to learn to shut my mouth. Fortunately, I won't have much opportunity to voice my opinions in a class of children.
Let's just hope it all works out.