Tag Archives: PRC

Eternally Optimistic

9 Aug

‘To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower is to hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.’ – William Blake


Blue Skies Smiling At Me

4 Aug


Spring in Xinzheng

21 Mar

Spring is arriving in Xinzheng!  I went for a walk in the river park with some friends yesterday.  We were hunting for fishies and we caught some!  Harry was out in the middle of one of the koi ponds balancing on the pots, it’s a miracle we didn’t end up with a soaked, stinky Harry ūüôā  the trees were flowering, the we√Ėather was lovely, what a great day!


CAQ: Is China Safe?!? – The Size Issue

16 Jan

Well, small break in the vacation plans – mom fell yesterday and crashed her hip so I spent 13+ hours in the Korean hospital.¬† Today she is zonked out on pain meds, so I have some time to do a little typing ūüôā

I haven’t really had time to answer questions yet, but I wanted to start addressing some of the Commonly Asked Questions people give me about China.¬† While it may not answer everything, I hope that it will clear up some big misconceptions people have about this beautiful country.


CAQ #1: Is China Safe?!?

When I began telling family and friends about my new adventure plans to teach in China,I found fear and worry was a bit more prevalent than excitement, and I had to do some serious selling of the idea before they would start to get behind me.¬† The most common question I was asked¬†was “well, do you think it’s safe?”¬† After thinking about¬†it, I’ve decided that this question stemmed from concerns of about three things (size/language, health, and security); I’ll address each in turn over the next few posts, but I want to start with the size/language concerns.

Concern: China is massively large and the language is foreign. 

Just looking at a map will tell you that China is one of the worlds largest nations (technically¬†#3, right after Russia and Canada).¬† Then there is the fact that it is actually the #1 largest nation in terms of populations (1.3 billion in 2015, making up 19% of the worlds’ people!).¬† Just, woah!¬† There are 45 cities in China with more than 1,000,000 people, and the vast majority of them are closer to 3-4 million.¬† Compare that to the US, where only 9 cities have more than 1,000,000 and only 4 of those are more than 1.5.¬† It’s just kind of mind-boggling to think about how HUGE China really is.¬† And I think this is one part of China that people actually kind of get – we’ve seen the movies about Shanghai and Beijing, watched the tiny little streets and billions of flashing lights in strange characters leading us into back alleys to be lost in the maze forever.¬† China’s size is daunting, and I won’t say that this doesn’t scare me at times.

Unlike Korea and Japan, where subway signs, maps, and bus routes are more or less in English, most of the transportation aids in China are in Pinyin.¬† In fact, there isn’t even a map at all of my home city of Xinzheng, and it has about 600,000 people.¬† While this seems extremely big to a Missouri girl from a town of 12,000; to the¬†locals, this¬†is practically a backwoods country farming village.¬† Even the nearby city of Zhengzhou, boasting 5,000,000 as early as 2010, is considered a small¬†city. And that’s TWICE the size of Chicago! And still no good map! Continue reading

First Trip to Zhengzhou

7 Sep

Last Thursday we took our first trip into Zhengzhou,

a large city about 1 hours drive from Xinzheng, my new hometown.  Xinzheng is considered a rural farming town out here in China, but it actually boasts of about 600,000 people living here.  While it has a ton of normal shopping, the prices can be a little high and the variety of items is small.  Consequently, a lot of the foreigners and students prefer to go into the much larger Zhengzhou (8 Million Inhabitants ~ the size of New York City) for a greater selection of products and more opportunities for bartering prices down.  

One of the things Zhengzhou offers that Xinzheng doesn’t is a far larger number or walk-in clinics, including one that works solely on Job Physicals or Physicals required by Visa Applications. ¬†So this past week we were sent into Zhengzhou to visit the clinic to have our physicals for the Permanent Residency. ¬†This was really our first major foray outside of the College Campus, since we have been so busy moving in and settling down. ¬†It didn’t help that classes were starting last Monday and we had to instantly jump into lesson planning. ¬†But all that aside, this was really our first adventure and we soaked up ¬†every minute of it. ¬†I’ll post more about the physical itself later, but here are a few things we noticed in our drive through the city:

The Traffic is INSANE!  

Two lane roads that suddenly have five lanes of cars, scooter and taxis driving down the sidewalks, huge poles holding up the overpasses above suddenly appearing in the middle of a driving lane, no merging lanes, and a complete disregard for any road signs contributes to what seems like absolute chaos. ¬†It’s truly amazing that there are not more accidents than we saw. ¬†There are NO traffic laws ~ at one point we had a four way corner with cars going from each corner all at the same time, crossing three lanes of traffic in any given direction. The only exception is that you are responsible for everything in front of you. ¬†Conversely, you don’t have to look behind you at all, whoever is behind you is responsible for not hitting you. ¬†It’s pretty confusing, but they work it out. Makes for a lot of butting into lines. ¬†

Continue reading

Average China Teacher’s Salary

26 Jun

This page from AbroadChina.org offers a really great list of average salaries in the different areas of China.  The list of local resident and teach salaries tells you at what level you can expect to live, while the list of foreign teacher’s salaries lets you know if your pay is the equivalent to the Chinese Standard in the area.  Admittedly, it was based on 2003-2005.  Still, Great Resource!

Base Monthly Pay Only
Location Foreign Teacher‚φ Chinese Teacher‚Ď° Urban Resident‚ĎĘ Rural Resident‚Ď£
 National Level 1,942.00
(High School or Elementary School)
897.56 234.39
 Anhui 3,150-4,050 880.83 727.11 199.15
 Beijing 3,850-4,950 2,214.00 1445.41 627.97
 Chongqing 3,014-3,875 994.33 907.12 188.11
 Fujian 4,030-5,182 1,211.08 1032.18 338.39
 Gansu 3,241-4,167 1,038.83 737.93 123.20
 Guangdong 4,150-5,336 1,533.67 1283.76 362.74
 Guangxi 2,722-3,500 900.50 790.30 192.93
 Guizhou 4,283-5,250 813.42 704.67 126.39
 Hainan 2,917-3,750 1,054.08 746.62 242.44
 Hebei 2,970-3,819 873.83 603.26 251.31
 Heilongjiang 3,617-4,650 1,091.00 657.90 251.59
 Henan 2,902-3,731 888.83 842.91 178.13
 Hubei 3,098-3,983 949.58 756.32 200.78
 Hunan 3,138-4,034 1,014.83 639.52 245.46
 Inner Mongolia 2,917-3,750 971.75 799.01 227.67
 Jiangsu 3,150-4,050 1,258.92 976.84 395.22
 Jiangxi 3,684-4,737 834.42 731.57 207.06
 Jilin 3,135-4,031 994.25 726.55 251.22
 Liaoning 3,650-4,694 1,070.33 776.34 318.12
 Ningxia 2,800-3,600 1,130.17 672.12 224.36
 Qinghai 2,667-3,429 1,055.67 790.96 148.41
 Shaanxi 3,354-4,312 931.50 746.83 168.47
 Shandong 2,975-3,825 1,046.83 906.98 320.90
 Shanghai 4,529-5,823 2,057.17 1661.96 704.08
 Shanxi 2,882-3,705 883.42 821.54 157.15
 Sichuan 3,182-4,091 980.75 712.92 207.92
 Tianjin 2,333-3,000 1,421.92 1118.86 458.34
 Tibet 2,342.50 723.59 115.83
 Xinjiang 2,800-3,600 1,186.92 732.96 165.11
 Yunnan 2,333-3,000 1,065.50 725.84 141.43
 Zhejiang 3,911-5,029 1,852.58 1454.08 610.16
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