Unemployed Again

on Tuesday, 30 November 2010

This morning I get up, check out of the hotel and move the rest of my stuff into the apartment.  Me and Matt get something to eat and then sit in the GLV using the internet. I have to be at EF for the business training by 2:00pm. But I really hate the job and am contemplating quitting, especially after hearing more stories about people not getting paid and even the boss sending an email saying two members of staff still haven’t been paid since October. I get there and watch a business class, the business class is actually ok and doesn’t seem to difficult, but a combination of things, mainly the fact they want me to teach 5 different classes and not mainly kindergarten, which is why they hired me. I have some interviews set up at some local kindergartens this week and although it is probably stupid to quit your job when you haven’t got another one and have no money, especially after just over one week, I just really hated it and it was actually making me miserable and ridiculously stressed. It was a huge relief after I had said I was quitting. I go back and meet Matt for some food and a beer then we go and watch a film, Manhunter, at Brads apartment.

Interview At Kindergarten

on Monday, 29 November 2010

This morning I had an interview at a kindergarten, the kindergarten was really really nice and was the perfect job. Unfortunately my demo didn’t go great and they would not get a visa, I would have to keep going to Hong Kong or Macau. I am really not liking EF now and am actually on the brink of quitting after just one week. I am disappointed with the lesson and am not confident of getting a job there. Me and Waiyi look for some more apartments and I find somewhere for 1200 Yuan a month for a 1 bedroom place. Me and Matt were going to get a place together but he is probably going to go to Hangzhou instead now, so I just rent for one month to see what happens. Matt has an interview for the same kindergarten that afternoon and says it went dreadful as well and that they had 10 other people applying for the job. Me and Waiyi get some dinner and then go to the port. We arrive 5 minutes before the boat is due to leave and although we have done this the last two times this time the boat has left early and she misses it. We have to wait for another hour and then I go to the ice bar for a couple f drinks with Matt. I have to go to EF tomorrow to be trained in teaching business English.

First Sunday At EF

on Sunday, 28 November 2010

Today, I had my four hour lesson talking about travel. It happened that the students are quite rich and had done quite a lot of travelling, so we spent quite a bit of time talking about their travel experiences and then they all planned a trip and explained it to everybody. Afterwards I had another kindergarten class and then we all went to the ice bar for some zilch, but again didn’t stay late.

First Saturday At EF

on Saturday, 27 November 2010

So today, I turn up at EF and had expected to share some lessons with other teachers, but instead was told I had to teach my own lesson and had five minutes to prepare. The first lesson went reasonably, but the second I ended up just taking the kids to the park and playing football as it was activities weekend. Then I had a kindergarten lesson and then left a bit early with the excuse that I needed to find an apartment with Waiyi. We had a quick look, but ended up going and playing some pool and then got an early night as we were both very tired.

Trying To Find The Buddhist Temple

on Friday, 26 November 2010

Today I get woken up by Matt, for some reason I am sleeping very late and still feeling very tired. He wants to go to the Buddhist temple. I have to pick up my medical report first. I arrive at 12:15pm and they have gone to lunch and the guy says come back at 2pm. Luckily a nice women opens up and gets my report for me. I head back, and we get a bus to the Buddhist temple, it turns out it is not here and there is just a very expensive garden, for 50 Yuan. They say the temple is miles away in the mountain, so we decide I have enough time and don’t know where to go so head back. I send a few more job applications to some kindergartens, in the hope I can get a better job before I sign the contract. I get one women ring me almost straight away and arranges an interview for Monday. Fortunately I am not working so will go there on Monday and hopefully get that job. Which is both more money and I don’t have to work weekends and I prefer the younger kids as well. Fingers crossed!

Go Karting In Gongbei

on Thursday, 25 November 2010

This morning I get up late again and me and Matt go to Gongbei. I do some go karting and then we find a cafe and Matt has an interview for a job in Vietnam. I am starting to think my job is not that great, but I don’t want to leave, so will continue looking while working there. We get some dumplings and then go back and we again go to the ice bar and play zilch.

First Day Back At Work

on Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Today was my first day working properly at English First. I was unsure whether my lesson was at 10am to 12 or 2pm to 4pm. I had been told 10-12, but the online calendar said 2-4. I rang  the boss and asked if it was 10-12, he said yes, I asked about the calendar and it turns out that it was set in English time, so was eight hours wrong. My first lesson was a 10am and was a 2 hour lesson. I did a lesson about clothing and although I had one student whose English was great and one whose English was terrible. The lesson actually went really well. Afterwards I had a break from 12 to 6:30. At 6:30 I had to go and do an oral test for some new students who wanted to join the school and test what level they should be in. Afterwards I go back and me and Matt play some zilch. We end up getting very drunk and not going home till 2am.

Planning For First Lesson

on Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Today I get up and have my medical exam in the morning. I go to the hospital and have to have blood tests, x-rays, urine tests, ultrasound, ECG, eye test and various other tests.The rest of the day I spend planning my lesson for tomorrow and want to make sure I have plenty of stuff prepared so I don’t end up sitting there with nothing to do. We go for a drink and I get an early nights sleep.

First Day At EF

on Monday, 22 November 2010

Today I go into EF to meet the staff and get some more details of the job and agree to the terms. Waiyi comes along with me. Surprisingly the boss offers me only 6000, I end up agreeing to 7500, but later think maybe I have been done over a bit. Nothing is signed so I can get out when ever I want at the moment, but really need a job at the moment as I am almost out of money completely. I agree and then me and Waiyi go for some food and I take her to the port to go home. At the moment I am staying in a hotel but really need to move soon.

Worst Hotel Ever

on Sunday, 21 November 2010

Today I am woken up at 7am by the most ridiculously loud hammering and drilling noises. I go to the window and look out and 2 foot from the glass is a workmen and around him are about 5 others banging and drilling stuff. I put in my headphones and try to get back to sleep but it is just so ridiculously loud. We obviously move hotels and try and get a refund, after a lot of arguing we finally get 40 yuan taken of the bill, but really the room is not worth anything. We get in the new hotel and it is actually much better for less money. Matt has some part time work today and when he finishes he rings me and says they want to give me a job, unfortunately they are only taking one of us, so although I am happy, it is a shame we both don’t get to work together. We all go and watch the new Harry Potter, everyone agrees it is dreadful and I am annoyed we waste the time watching it. We then go to the ice bar and play some zilch with Brad. We get quite an early night though as I have to go to the EF tomorrow.

Back To English First

on Saturday, 20 November 2010

Today we are back at English first to do some demo lessons. We arrive at about 10am and end up spending the whole day there. We end up teaching one lesson of kindergarten and supervising some tests, as it is test day and most of the students don’t have a proper class. Waiyi is coming in the afternoon, but rings and says she has had to go to hospital after injuring her thumb. It isn’t too bad and she will still come and visit, just arrive a bit later. I have to stay at the school anyway. She arrives at about 9pm and I get her from the port. We check in to a hotel and then go to the ice bar for a couple of drinks and some zilch.

Leaving Hong Kong Again

on Friday, 19 November 2010

This morning I leave Hong Kong at about 10am, I go to Shenzhen and still haven’t decided to go to the interview in Shenzhen or not. I decide not to as it is not legal and instead go to Zhuhai where I can get free accommodation as an intern at GLV. I meet Matt in Shenzhen and we get the ferry down, I go to GLV to sort out the internship, but it can’t be organised today and I have to email. We then go straight to an interview at English First in Zhuhai. We observe a kindergarten lesson and get to join in and help out. The boss Mike who had originally said there was two positions now said it is unlikely we will both get the job as one position is for kindergarten mainly and the other business English and he has a guy trained in business English. It is a bit of a shame because it would be great for us both to get a job together. Mike does say the guy wants a lot more money and it may not be approved, so there is still a chance of us both getting the job. After we are shatttered as it has been a long day so go back to the ice bar for some drinks. I plan to get a hotel after as I think there will be plenty of room. It turns out there isn’t at 12:30am and I end up having to stay at Matts as GLV has not replied either.

Supposed To Leave Hong Kong

on Thursday, 18 November 2010

Today I am supposed to leave Hong Kong after I get my visa. The visa will be ready at 6pm. I get up and pack my stuff and check out and go and have lunch with Waiyi. Over lunch I decide it is going to be late when I leave and it will cost me almost the same in Hong Kong for a room as in Shenzhen. Therefore when I get back to the hotel I check back into my old room and decide to stay one more night and leave in the morning. Me, Waiyi and Chris go out for a few drinks, but get a fairly early night as they have to work and I have to leave early.

Interview In Hong Kong

on Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Today I have an interview at a kindergarten in Hong Kong. I just about managed to find it in time. It is actually closer to China than the main part of Hong Kong, so it is not ideally positioned, but they asked for an interview. I arrived and gave them my details, then as I had expected they were unsure whether they would be able to apply for a visa for me, so they asked me to send them some more details and then they could check and get back to me. So it wasn’t a complete waste of time, but I am not hopefully they will be granted permission for the visa. I meet Waiyi in the afternoon and we go for some dinner.

Jackass 3D

on Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Today we don’t do too much. I meet Waiyi after she has finished work and we go and watch Jackass 3D, I find it hilarious, but Waiyi isn’t impressed. We go for a steak afterwards and get an early night. I will leave for Shenzhen tomorrow, once I have my visa.

Apply For Visa And A Film

on Monday, 15 November 2010

This morning I get up early and go and apply for my visa. I then try and change rooms but they say I can’t get in the room yet and will have to wait till later. I watch a film on my laptop and then go and meet Waiyi at her brothers graduation. I get roped in to taking loads of photos and we go for a meal afterwards and then meet some friends of hers, although not related they call her aunt. I get in trouble with the security guard for taking a picture of a butchers stall for some ridiculous reason. We then head back to Causeway bay and watch a film together, Unstoppable. I think it is pretty lame but Waiyi thinks it is quite good and even cries at the end. We get a late dinner and then go to sleep. Waiyi has to work tomorrow, so I don’t have much to do.

Early Night

on Sunday, 14 November 2010

Today Matt leaves for Shenzhen again, as he has a double entry visa and needs to get back for the interview tomorrow. We go to the visa centre and I can still only get a double entry for 30 days each. It costs me 900HKD for a double entry, ridiculous compared to the 250HKD it costs Matt with his Polish passport! We see Matt off, he really hasn’t got a clue travelling by himself, with his ridiculously heavy bag. Me and Waiyi get some food and have an early night. Waiyi has the day off tomorrow, she has to go to her brothers graduation ceremony but I will meet her there once I have applied for my visa and moved rooms.

First Interview

on Saturday, 13 November 2010

Today we have an interview with a women for a job at a kindergarten in Shenzhen. Luckily the checkout time of our hotel is 2:00pm, so we can leave our bags at the hotel, while we go to the interview. The women asks us to meet her at KFC and after a nice girl guides us to it we arrive and wait for Issabella to arrive. She arrives about 15 minutes late, asks us a few questions and takes some photos. I have to leave to get a new Chinese visa tomorrow and Matt will come as well. Issabella arranges an interview for Matt on Monday. We both go back to the hotel and get out stuff and make our way to Hong Kong. We get checked in at the hostel, the same one I stayed at last time and then me, Matt and Waiyi go for some food and then to Lan Kwai Fong. We meet Lydiah and Robin and they take us on a tour of LKF and Wan Chai. Inevitably we all get very drunk and don’t get home till late.

TEFL Is Over

on Friday, 12 November 2010

So this morning we go to GLV to collect our certificates. We end up leaving at about 2:30pm and after saying goodbye to Brad and Jenny. Me, Matt and Lydiah go to the port, Lydiah heads off back to Hong Kong and me and Matt go to Shenzhen. The ferry is about one hour and is very rough. We arrive and try and find a hostel, but there doesn’t seem to be anything very cheap. We eventually decide to stay at a place recommended by the travel bureau at the port. It is actually a hotel and costs 260Y for a twin room, but as it is just one night we just book it. The taxi takes almost an hour to get there, but it is near the main station, so we can get to Hong Kong easily tomorrow. We spend a bit of time looking around the local area and get some food and use some internet in Starbucks. Tomorrow we have an interview with a kindergarten in Shenzhen, but it doesn’t sound very legit and probably won’t offer us a work visa. We will have to wait and see.

Last Days Teaching At Sanzao

on Thursday, 11 November 2010

Today is our last TP and pretty much the end of the course. I am the first teacher and get a great class and the lesson goes great. I watch everyone else then we head back to finish of some paperwork in the folder. We have a farewell dinner in the evening and me and Matt also have to go and do English corner again! I also spend some more time researching jobs and we also have a presentation by GLV. It seems to be the policy of the Chinese government to give work visas to degree holders and they should also have two years teaching experience, I don’t have either. I think in very rare occasions the school would get the visa for you, but I think this is very unlikely. It is a bit worrying as it seems all the schools contacting me want to work on a tourist visa illegally, especially working in this area of China, I would have to go to more remote areas of China to get a work visa legally. I hope I could sort something out soon.

Teaching At Number 9 Middle School

on Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Today the other half of the class teaches at a local school, but not until 4:30pm. For the rest of the day we just do some more planning and finish of some other work in our folders that needs to be completed before the end of the course. We have to make sure tomorrows class is all prepared as well. We leave for the school at about 4:00pm and get taxis, the school is really nice. Everyone is a bit worried about this model as it is supposed to be the hardest, but thankfully my lesson goes fairly well, probably one of the best so far. We go back to the school, have a couple of drinks at the ice bar as it is somebodies birthday, then we go back to the apartment and I end up sleeping at about 10:00pm as I am so tired. Tomorrow is the last day of teaching, then we get our certificate on Friday and me and Matt will leave for Shenzhen, where we both have an interview at a kindergarten on Saturday.

Day Off From Teaching

on Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Today half of us didn’t have a lesson, so the whole day was spent just preparing for our lessons on Wednesday and Thursday. Four people from the class were teaching today and four tomorrow. Today they were teaching in GLV and the students were brand new students, only been at the school two days and their English was very limited. The lessons were an hour and it was hard work for the teachers. I am glad I will teach kids tomorrow at a middle school, with better English than the adults at GLV. I spend the whole day preparing my two lessons and then go and observe one lesson. After that we go to the ice bar for some drinks and then to another teachers apartment to play some XBOX, first time in a long while. I end up getting a bit drunk, but no where near as bad as Matt.

Monday Lesson

on Monday, 8 November 2010

Today we have to get the bus to a rural school about an hour away from GLV. We arrive and the school is pretty impressive. We spend the whole day there and don’t get back to GLV until about 5:30pm. The students are great, but this school does not recruit English teachers as it doesn’t have the funding. We go back and watch a film on Brad’s new 60” TV that he ahs bought. Only 2 more teaching days left.

A Haircut Finally

on Sunday, 7 November 2010

Today we play some more pool, I get some revenge on Waiyi and seven ball her again. I also go and get my haircut. It only costs 20yuan (£1.90) and I get a lovely shampoo and head massage. We go to the ice bar again in the evening, but Renee and Matt are ill so we don’t spend much time there.

250 Days!

on Saturday, 6 November 2010

Today I get up at 9am to go to a teacher training session at the school, thankfully I actually felt alright. The meeting was actually quite interesting. Only me, Lydiah and Xenia turned up. The meeting was 2 hours long. Afterwards we went and had some food and played a bit of pool. Some how Waiyi managed to seven ball me. We then went back to the ice bar and played some dice and had some beers.

First Reading And Writing Lesson

on Friday, 5 November 2010

Today in the morning we have our first reading and writing lesson. It is at the same school, we did the first lesson. My lesson goes quite well I think, and we watch Jenny give a demonstration of the next lesson model, which is great. We then go back to the school, the last few days it has started raining and pretty much not stopped, I hope the sun comes back soon. Its the first time in 8 months it has been less than 25 degrees and bright sunshine. I try and get all my work done and planning for next Monday so I can finish at 5, when Waiyi is coming over to meet me. I get almost everything done and leave at 5 an pick her up. We go to the dumpling king restaurant and then the ice bar for some beers and some dice. We play a new game that Brad teaches us called Zilch, very fun game ad a welcome change to the usual one. We stay a while, me, Waiyi, Renee, Matt and then Lydiah and her husband join us a bit later. We go home about 11pm as everyone doesn’t feel like staying late tonight, instead we will go out tomorrow. I have to be up at 10am tomorrow to go to a teacher training session the school we are in is doing. It is optional but I think it will be useful.

Last One On One Meeting

on Thursday, 4 November 2010

Today was our last one to one meeting. I decided to try and correct Ann’s way of telling the time. This was successful, but didn’t take up even half the lesson, so for the rest of the lesson, we just chatted, with me asking another 500 questions. Afterwards we had time for lesson planning tomorrow, when we have the second teaching model. I managed to get quite a lot of work done, hopefully I won’t have too much work for the weekend when Waiyi is visiting. After school we go to the ice bar for a couple of beers and some dice before going back for some sleep.

Second One To One Meeting

on Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Today we have the second one to one meeting. Ann is a lot more open now and is speaking a lot better, she still struggles to understand quite a few words but her reading is pretty good. I have to record a sample to analyse later and find to correct on the last meeting. Afterwards we spend most of the time planning for our next lessons. I have received a couple of emails back from jobs in Hong Kong. One wants an interview the other says  they require six months experience before they can get a work visa. I leave the school quite early and go back to the apartment. I watch a bit of TV on my laptop and then go to bed early. It is a good day as I have got some replies to sending out my CV, but I also find out one of my shares has gone up a lot today and I have missed out on quite a lot of money.

First One To One Meeting

on Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Today is our first one to one meeting. We have all got completely different students, some very young and some very old, with different degrees of English. I have been told my student is a 30 year old English teacher and his English is excellent. I prepare some topics for conversation. When I get there, I wait for 15 minutes but he doesn’t show. I speak to Jenny and she says I should take her sister in law, her English is very limited, so my topics of conversation last about 5 minutes and then I have to make up hundreds of other questions as she gives one word answers. We go out that night and have some beers at the ice bar and play some dice. We end up getting quite drunk.

Start of Another Week And Another Month

on Monday, 1 November 2010

We start today with a observation lesson of Brad in the second teaching model, which we will have to use on Friday. This is a much easier model it seems and afterwards the rest of the day is used for some grammar lessons and some lesson planning. Me, Matt and Renee go to the dumpling king for some food and then go back to Matts to watch a film, which is actually the documentary about Banksy.