Saturday, 22 November 2008

Here's My Card

After just eight months of working for Web, I have finally been given my business cards. I also seem to have an e-mail address -- -- which I didn't even know about. Business cards seem to play a big part when meeting new people here in China. I guess I can join in with the tradition now. Other than that, the cards are quite useless, unless I use them for advertising private tutoring (which is completely against the rules of my contract).

Talking of private tutoring, I had my fourth class with the primary school students today -- I wrote about my first class here. Again, I had a very pleasurable time, and also learnt that they love competing with each other. For some reason they weren't really in the mood for concentrating, and the questions weren't flowing very well. Crystal -- their main teacher, and the person's home I go to for the class -- mentioned that we could turn the questions into a competition. It was amazing, as soon as I drew a table on the board with "boys" and "girls" on each side, they started going crazy trying to trying to score points by asking and answering questions as well as possible.

After the class was over I was invited for lunch by a couple of the parents. We all went together to the same Sichuan restaurant as last time. It was delicious, one of the best I have been too. One of the boys, Philip, requested an interesting item from the menu: Goose feet. Believe it or not, chicken, goose, and duck feet are all fairly popular with some people in China. I can't imagine why, where is the meat on such a thing?

Goose foot: not for the faint-hearted

Crystal and the children's parents were very kind for paying for the dinner and giving me a lift back to my apartment. The mother who drove me home even tried to have a conversation in Chinese with me. I was quite happy that I understood most of what she was saying, although my answers were full of mistakes. I had better back to reading the vocabulary in my green notebook.

I have been invited by an ex-employee of Web to his duaghter's one year birthday party tomorrow. Kimi is meeting me in a few minutes and we are going to visit the local toyshop to see what we can buy. It is tradition in China to give money in a red envelope for this kind of thing, but considering I am a foreigner and he is a foreigner, I think a gift for the baby is quite suitable. I have also promised Kimi that I will go shoe shopping with her after buying the gift....(snore).


大眼睛熊 said...

U..Snore..?!! :(
U looked like u were about to pass out when i was busy looking around in the shoes shops,it was like hell to u wasnt it?..

大眼睛熊 said...

I appriciate it though,u didnt complain at all!!! Thanks Xiao Zhu!! xxxxxxx

Ihengsi said...

Funny how they put "Foreign" Teacher as your title. Never seen that on a business card before. Can you imagine this in the very politically correct country such as the US? "Chinese" Engineer, "Black" Accountant, "Indian" Doctor, etc. LOL

mabelp said...

Chris! With a business card, u would look more professional (even u're already a professional Eng teacher). Hahah!

Your private students' parents are very nice, can they speak Eng?

Anonymous said...

Shame that the whole ESL industry in China is one big scam, despite the 'face' of professionalism it is given.

It's all about the most handsome white face, and nothing more. And then when that won't do they will just pay filipinos less to do the same job.

Regulation, rule of law....sadly lacking:(

Chris said...

Oh Kimi, it wasn't like hell that much. I felt extra tired after doing the class in the morning too. I think the dance music they play in all of the shops sends me into a coma too (just like in Fringe).

Haha, Ihengsi, that is hilarious. I have become so accustomed as being the "Foreigner" that I didn't even think how ludicrous "Foreign Teacher" sounds on the card. I really do need to go home for a few weeks, I've been here too long without a break!

Mabel, the private student's parents can't speak a word of English, it's very difficult, especially with my terrible Chinese.

Alex, it's funny you say that. At Web they hired a Filipino guy over the busy summer period. It's a shame how business-like the training centres are here, it's all about making another sale, not much to do with the standard of education unfortunately.

Wayne Chao said...

umm,,i'm afraid i can't agree that filipinos were treated unfairly,there is a filipine teacher in my uni,and she gets the almost highest payment for her high quality english class.i have to say that she is the best amid all the foreign teachers i've ever been taught.

Shawn said...

Have you ever eaten a duck tongue?
Sounds crazy?But it's very popular
in Wenzhou and really delicious.
I hope you have a try:)

Anonymous said...

what the hell?

"i have to say that she is the best amid all the foreign teachers i've ever been taught"

Well her grammar teaching can't have been that shit hot, I am afraid to say Wayne.

Anyway, I didn't mean to pick on that but rather the fact you side with asians over white people. A common trend in China.

Look around at some ESL recruiters/or esl websites, and you will see they do pay or try to pay filipinos less than native speakers. That is a fact, and not something fabricated to make your boss happy.

Chris said...

Wayne, actually the guy that came to Web over summer was very good also. Everybody loved him, he was a complete entertainer too, he could sing, dance, and play the guitar. It's a shame they didn't keep him on after the summer, but as I said before, Web is such a business they just wouldn't keep him on.

Shawn, unfortunately I have never eaten a duck's tongue. It is a bit scary for me, and also I am a vegetarian :( I took a bag of them home to England when I went back last, and nobody would dare eat one....apart from the cats. I have heard many people really like them, it's amazing how popular they are.

Alex, you are right, at Web there have apparently been disputes before about the salary handed out to different races of teachers. If you're not on their list of countries -- regardless of your English standard -- you're getting a pay cut.

Wayne said...

haha,unfortunately i'm not a formal student in her class,actually i attended her class only once,or maybe my grammar could be better,Alex,but wait a minute,"rather the fact you side with asians over white people",didn't u say we love most handsome white face??Woops!it seems we change our hobby following your words,holy cow!nice,man..

Anonymous said...

wayne wrote:

"Woops!it seems we change our hobby following your words,holy cow!nice,man.."

I mean a white face is most desired by recruiters and schools to gain face. But when a white face won't do or can't be found, then why not fulfill the role with a cheaper face?

Explain to me how the going minimum rate for native speaking FT's at my last school was 5,500 rmb a month, but I've seen ads for the same kind of institutions only offering 3,500 rmb to filipinos.

Given most chinese earn much more than 3,500 a month, even salarymen, do you think that's a fair wage for someone working so far from home?

But then it probably doesnt affect you as you are a spoiled little emperor living on mummy and daddys new money, which they both have from the factory they own or some cushy government job.

Grow up and take a good hard look at the real world, you might not find things so black and white when you are out in it on your own.