Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Relaxing Week

Living and working in China definitely comes with its share of challenges, but it has some great advantages as well. Today, I am enjoying one of those perks. I didn't have to go to work.

About a month after arriving in China, we experienced some horribly unpleasant weeks when we were pulled out of our jobs until our work visas were completed. This left us without work and without money. This experience led me to demand guaranteed pay in my next job. The school can make any decision it wants about how often my classes are cancelled, but my contract states that it cannot affect my pay. This clause has protected me several times.

Right now is one of those times. This past weekend was Memorial Day in America. Coincidentally, we also had a three-day weekend in China. However, here, it is the Dragon Boat Festival (忠孝節). We had to have school on Saturday because the holiday stretched from Sunday to Tuesday. Since we would be missing two days of school, they added an extra day at the end of last week to get one of those days back.

I reported back to work on Wednesday and was told that I would not need to come to work the following day because June 1st is Children's Day. School would be in session, but it would be a day of parties and there would be no need for English class. I also never work on Fridays, so I had a one-day work week. Lucky me.

Don't let their appearance fool you. All children are horrible.

Children's Day is a major holiday for children here. The kids in my class say that it is better than Christmas. The whole day is dedicated to them. In fact, the majority of my classes for the last month got cancelled because the children were preparing songs and skits for the Children's Day celebration. I have worked so little in the past month, this is why I am happy to have that guaranteed paycheck agreement. Time off is nice, but bills still have to be paid.

With all this time off, I have tackled many of the issues that have needed to be attended to. I have figured out food delivery, how to order stuff online, where to buy clothes in my size (Chinese people are significantly smaller than me), and how to repel panda attacks. I'm starting to figure out how China works.


  1. Since I work in an office, and actually have THREE days of work this week, I'm glad you had time to figure that out, and I can reap the chocolatey and pizza-y rewards that get delivered!

    1. I think I have worn out the delivery button on my phone.

  2. Replies
    1. I is a lot, but we have gotten used to our new country enough that the learning is happening much faster now.


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