Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mainland China Timeline

I was told that the order of what happened in my blog is not clear, so here’s a quick timeline to get things straight.

Before China-
Fall of ’05 to spring of ’06- taught Chinese at Exeter
June ’06- went to sister’s graduation in Scotland
July-August- taught Tae Kwon Do at day camp in New York

Traveling to Tibet-
September 17-22- went to Beijing, spent nearly a week there
Sept. 22-25- flew to Chengdu, spent a weekend
Sept. 25-29- Traveled west to Danba, and went to Jiaju, Suopo, Buke and Zhonglu with Li Tong
Sept. 30- Oct. 2- Went to Dangling with Li Tong, his wife and two others we met, Wen Yi and Liang Chao- trip was a debacle.
Oct. 3-5- Went farther west, to Garze, while the others went their separate ways. Spent a couple days in Garze.
Oct. 6-8- Went even farther west to Derge, on the Tibetan border. Met Thomas, a Frenchman working in Beijing, and an annoying Chinese couple on the bus. Went with them to Pelpung Monastery, in an isolated village near Derge.
Oct. 9-12- Went to Dzongsar on my own.
Oct. 13-15- Snuck into Tibet.
Oct. 16- Nov. 1- Hung around Lhasa. Was shown karmic tests at Ganden Monastery. Went to Nam Tso with random group of foreigners. Attempted to find a job in Lhasa.
Nov. 2-4- Went with Erica and Kirk to Reting (where Erica was attacked by a deer), Tidrum Nunnery and Drigum Til (where we saw Tibetans attack a Chinese truck driver).
Nov. 5-20- Hung around Lhasa with Kirk, Alex and Jon. Hunted for pot with Jon, and did prostration kora with all three. Went to nangma several times.
Nov. 21-23- Returned to Beijing by train; stayed in Xining for a night.

In Beijing-
Nov. 23- Dec. 15- Hung out in Beijing. Lily took me to a guqin factory and guqin classes, then introduced me to her friend Ziqin, who offered to help me get a business visa. Got bad offer to teach English as nurse’s school.
late December- Forced to Hong Kong for new visa, spend a week there then spend a week and a half in Taiwan, seeing Angie and Rika. On train to HK met Steve, an anti-Communist Party reporter from Fujian.
Early January- Went back to the mainland via Hong Kong after New Year’s. On train back to Beijing met Noriko, a Japanese student in Hong Kong.
January- Back in Beijing, hang out with Noriko for a few days before resuming job hunt. Get a job offer from Ziqin. Move into Lily’s room, start getting tutored by Ye Bingxuan, a PhD student.
February- Applied for work visa, attended conference with Ziqin, celebrated Chinese New Year.
March- Got ripped off by landlord after moving to Ziqin’s apartment at the beginning of the month. Things went bad with Ziqin, and I finally quit at month’s end.
Early April- Traveled to Mt. Everest with parents.
Late April- mid May- Glasses hunt (they were lost in 1st trip to Lhasa.) Went to village near Beijing in late April, then to rock festival in early May.
late May- Restarted job and apartment hunt after getting glasses and taking a quick trip to the old imperial summer villa in Chengde. Found seemingly good apartment and seemingly good job, teaching Chinese to elementary school kids in the morning and Korean high school kids in the afternoon.
Early June- Found that the Koreans are impossible to teach and that I am the 7th or 8th teacher there, and then quit. However, the morning job goes well, even though I felt the agent I had gone through was misleading about the salary.
June- Find out that I am being underpaid, and after boss first promises to pay more then forgets his promise I quit once the semester is finished.
July- Start working for fellow alumni’s English school, which goes well. Move into new apartment, which does not go well. Decide to move out of Beijing.

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