Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Forgive the last post. I'm clearly a bit frazzled...

OK. Kona people, I will be making a return on the 28th of June. See you then.

In other news, it's a gorgeous day in Beijing. It rained last night, so today is clear, sunny, blue and breezy. Here is the view from my living room. Hardly a Hawaiian sunset, but it's still quite nice. The tall building center-right is the new Poly Plaza, currently under construction.

Also, I have an interview on Friday with a business strategy consulting firm. I don't know much about them, but a friend referred me, and based on my CV alone, they were interested. (Ironically, it was the same CV I sent the international school who rejected me.) From what I understand, they do research for big foreign companies looking to get into China. It's foreign-run, which is reassuring and the office is located in the swank Dashanzi art district. We shall see how it goes...

You know, non-Americans here often talk about the "great American dream". I guess, to a certain extent, we really do believe that hard work, smarts and diligence will take us anywhere we want to go, but I must admit, at the present, I don't know anyone my age getting ahead. Most of the people I know who have finished college are either barely scraping by, or barely scraping by and living with their parents. Few of them are working in the field that they want to work in, and if they are, they work far too many hours per week, for less than a living wage, with few or no benefits and no vacation (standards based on "civilized Western nations"). To me, China truly is a land of opportunity. In just two years time, I'm making 6 or 7 times what I did when I first started. Very basic competence has taken me all over, and opportunities, while not always stable, abound. I have held jobs not only in teaching, but in marketing, media and voice work. I take holidays, usually when I want to, and I have travelled to Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and various cities in China, both for work and pleasure. I spoke one and a half languages when I arrived here, and now I speak three, at the very least to "survival" level.
Maybe I have an unfair advantage here: native English skills and an American, and a, in the near future, British degree. I can't imagine the opportunities are so wide from everyone in China, but to be sure, even the Chinese are doing much better than they ever have before.

Despite my pain in the ass is pretty good.

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