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Showing posts from June, 2006

My First Job

Well, I'm at work now.

I interviewed with City Weekend on Monday. It seemed like a really cool job. Basically my immediate responsibility would be to develop a big network of contacts so that I could figure out what was going on in the city. They asked me how I would go about doing this, and I thought of anybody who I could contact, and who they could point me to, and what random social networks I am a part of... They seemed most concerned with the fact that I am more or less new to Beijing, since they were really looking for someone who could bring their own information and contacts into the job with them. But other than that, I think they still seemed interested in me, and I thought the interview went really well.

That evening I was feeling poor as I waited by the bus stop to meet up with Nick for Dairy Queen, when I got a call from Geoff. He checked to make sure that I was okay with the salary terms we had talked about before, and asked me to come in the next day. I felt l…

My sweet crib

Finally moved into my new place. I spent the last three days pretty solidly looking for housing. The first day I made an appointment with this agent who usually finds housing for ACC alumni. I figured she would be good since Meghan had recommended her, and Jin Laoshi brought her up the other day. She took me to see four places that day, and was very cordial and paid for my water and transportation and all, and offered to take me to a peach orchard sometime, but her houses were dumps. The first place was a joke. She said, "I figure you'll want a cheap place, so let's go see this one first, I'm sure it will be right for you." We took a bus for half an hour to get there, on the north side of Chaoyang Park. We walked off the main street a ways, past one of those big trash piles which naturally accumulate in public spaces, and down this little alley with squat shoddy brick housing. I waited for ten minutes while she fiddled with the door to the courtyard, whi…

Back Again

It always feel so bizarre to come back to Beijing. The city has changed so much since when I was in school here, but it still feels like I just left yesterday. I met up with my old teacher Wang Jiangbo when I got in on Sunday morning, and he was kind enough to let me drop my tons of luggage off in his kitchen, which he apparently doesn't use anyway. We had brunch, wasted a bit of time scouting out housing around his block, and I bought toothpaste. He is always busy with work though, so after we got back and took naps, I packed up a day bag and went to meet up with my friend from Nanjing, Fred, and his friend from Beijing, Nick. We met up with some more friends who had also just come up from Nanjing and had dinner and drinks, and I managed to weasel my way into crashing on Nick's floor that night. And the next.

Yesterday I came back to my old school to see if they could get me a cheap dorm room for the week while I figure out something more permanent. I happened to run in…

To Beijing

I took a trip out to Shanghai on Wednesday to interview with Pacific Epoch. They do technology and media research, and needed an editor. It sounded like it might be an interesting job, and a good way to learn about an industry while getting some experience under my belt, but it looks like it's just going to be mostly tedious proofreading. They had me edit some sample articles, and the way it worked was, they had their Chinese staff pick out some news items from Chinese sites, and write brief English summaries. I was to fix the English, and make sure that the summary contained all the important information and no irrelevant information. The problem was, their English was so atrocious that in some cases they actually conveyed the exact opposite meaning of that intended, so for every article I had to go back and read the original Chinese in its entirety and write my own summary. That in itself is fine, and I'm glad for the opportunity to use my language ability, but for them…

Restarting

A couple months after deciding not to renew my domain name this year and letting my website die, I decided I actually kind of like having a blog. Also, I apparently had registered an account with this site in 2002, and I guess it didn't work at the time, since my posts were all something to the effect of "GRAHHH! WORK GODDAMN YOU!" Anyway, I just dusted off my old username, and here we go.

This is my last week at the Hopkins Center in Nanjing. My plan right now is to catch a train up to Beijing before they start demolishing my room, stay with a friend for a few days while I look at apartments, get a place, and look for a job. I'm sort of waiting to hear on a job or two right now, but I probably shouldn't hold my breath.

Hopefully this blog will be less stupid than my previous websites. In addition to brief updates on what odd corner of the third-world I am lurking in, I'm planning to post pictures that my digital camera wielding friends pass on to me, like this…