Wednesday July 02 2014

“The contract is a myth,” Joe kept saying as we got into the “politics” of Happy English. The new guys, Joe and Carl had just arrived in China, pushed to come early so that they wouldn’t miss “the trip” that we were supposed to be going on. When Joe mentioned “the trip” that he’d been told about my first response was “What trip?” Apparently the school will be taking on a group trip somewhere, but this trip will not take place until August. Carl was torn up about rehoming his cat, and after hurrying to arrive he was having a hard time with the realization that there had been no rush.

The new guys were living in the same apartment complex as us, so we’d taken them out for BBQ- a bit of a challenge though because there’s been a recent police crackdown on street food vendors. Everyone without a license has either been shut down, or disappeared for a few weeks. This happens from time to time. It mostly seems like a display of power, and I’ve heard that there’s usually a lot of bribes handed out. After a while the police stop showing up, and all of the street food re-appears over night. All of the food places with proper papers remain open (or perhaps the ones who pay their bribes?), and so there’s always food, just not as much selection.

Usually the entire parking lot is filled with small tables and stools in the BBQ strip. Some areas BBQ tables and chairs take up full streets- which become temporary pedestrian only zones. I guess this activity must be illegal, because during a police crackdown it doesn’t fly. Anyways BBQ wasn’t quite the full Chinese experience, and the place we usually get the the good chicken garlic from was closed, so we had to order from another location. The garlic was not cooked, and was not edible. Despite the complications it was fun, and the new guys seemed to enjoy the food.

It was nice to have some new people around to talk to. Joe and Carl seemed more mature then the last few guys we’ve had around, but they really seemed to be having a hard time with the school, so we’ll have to see if they stay. Apparently the kicker was the apartment. They didn’t have the kind of greeting as we had with Lainey, seeing as Lainey is backing off on her duties because of her pregnancy. Instead they were dumped in an old rundown apartment that still had junk left behind from the old tenets, and was covered in dust. Good work Happy English, you really know how to keep your new employees “Happy.”

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