“Let’s do the mountain,” I said to Nate before work. We had started doing stairs up a small mountain near our house. We had nicknamed it “Jellyfish Mountain” because of the large freshwater spring at the base that was full of tiny opaque freshwater jellyfish. I had been dealing with some clashes at work, and … More Communication and Cultural Understanding
Originally posted on "China" Figure it Out:
Sonya and Rose had offered to take us to one of the main tourists attractions in Jinan called Thousand Buddha Mountain. They told us that if we went before the first tour at 6:00am we could get in for free. Nate set the alarm for 3:30am!…
Spencer, a friendly, but Spacey guy we had met wandering around our local “Uni-mart”, had informed us of bars where foreigners were given free drinks. Spencer had promised to show us one of these bars. After meeting up with a couple of other Jinan acquaintances: Ray, Nick, Jess we let Spencer lead us to the … More Phebes: Dancing in a box.
“LOOK OUT!” I screamed as Nate’s basketball bounced off of the rim of the net and straight at a man with a small child. The man did not understand! The ball was hurtling towards him, there was no way to stop it! THUNK the ball made contact with the man’s head and fell to the … More Visa Run Number One
It was very hot out and I quickly regretted the jean capris I was wearing. Nate and I had gotten up early for a trip to the market where we planned to restock our supplies of fresh produce. The long tables that used to hold the abundant supply of vegetables were gone, the covered market … More The Note and Tiny Broom
I was teaching my class, Papaya, about bathroom, so I had brought soap, shampoo, and toilet paper as props for class. The toilet paper was a convenient prop. Nate and I had both developed head colds so it came in handy well before class. “Do you need the medicine?” Candy asked me as my toilet … More Head colds are not fun.
We knew there must be an entrance to the spring. Jinan was known as “The City of Springs” for a reason, and we had first spotted the pool of water during a hike up one of the hills near our apartment. While teaching English for a company called “Happy English”, we worked Wednesday- Sunday, but … More The Elusive Spring
I had a bad feeling about the day and did not want to get out of bed. I was to head to the West end of town, the location of a second branch of our ESL school, for training. Training with Happy English, in Jinan China, so far had been a disorganized mess. For two … More “Training”
During the week Nate and I worked Wednesday- Friday 1:00 pm- 8:00 pm, so we had lots of time to ourselves. Saturday and Sunday we made up for it by working a brutal 10 hour shift each day. Lounging on our colleague, Katrina’s couch became a regular Sunday night activity. Every convenience store sold alcohol … More Hangovers and Hamburgers
My first class was four hours long, with a ten minute break every hour. I was carefully watching the clock so I would know when to call our first break. I got mixed up, and thinking we had gotten through all of the material early I started killing time. Victoria, the Chinese partner I had … More Teaching Begins