Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Back from the Shadows

“This bus driver has the driving technique of a meth crazed ferret”—Phone message from me to a friend.

It's been an awfully long time since I've posted anything here. I have plenty of excuses, and quite a number of good ones, but I'll save those for some other time.

I seem to still spend a lot of time on buses, and I send a lot of messages to friends recounting my reactions to the very weird stuff I see and experience.

I recently read that Steve Martin was doing a book of his tweets, I wondered if I could do something similar, which I could- if my name was Steve Martin and people were willing to pay to read any random thought that came into my head.

I do have a decent hand held device, and there is nothing like a Chinese bus stuck in rush hour traffic to inspire some keen observations.

I've been bouncing around to the various kindergartens that my employer owns, teaching rudimentary English to very cute children. The schools are much nicer than those I have been in my various teaching gigs. They are cleaner, and have a good staff to child ratio. Child safety is a top priority, and there is ample love in the institutions.

I have piled onto my regular schedule an ungodly amount of extra work so that my 'weekend' consists of Sunday afternoon and evening. However, my regular schedule isn't half bad. I am scheduled at one of 3 schools at 7:30 Monday through Friday. For half an hour I stand at the gate with other teachers to greet the kids. This is one of the highlights of my day. Then I have breakfast with some of the staff, which consists of porridge, noodles, or steamed buns, the same stuff the kids eat. It's not very exciting, but it has failed to make me fat or ill. I then cool my heels, doing lesson plans or reading until 9 am when I do two half hour classes. I am then finished until 3:45 pm when I return for two more 30 minute classes, followed by a short break. I then spend half an hour, between 5 and 5:30 saying goodbye. All in all it's an hour a day as a Wal Mart greeter for rugrats and 2 hours of class time. It also gives me a big fat midday break, so I can chill and rest up because I have night classes, and a 9 hour of classes Saturday. All of the extra lessons come from the fact that I have a good reputation and am in big demand. I did not seek out this work. It found me. I turn down jobs on a weekly basis. If a decent, qualified teacher came here, I could have them working full time next month.

Help wanted.

Must be willing to relocate to an alien place where most familiar things are non existent. (There is the possibility that some things may vaguely resemble something you might recognize.) Must be incredibly flexible or your head will explode. Patience is mandatory. Quick wits and reflexes a must. Must be willing to try anything. Love of kids and ability to pull a spontaneous lesson out of thin air is required. Also should have a high degree of tolerance for crowds, queue cutters, litterers, spitters, horns, bad internet, noise, squatty potties and being stared at. Helpful if you like constant surprises and weirdness.

The pay allows you to live in a very comfortable lifestyle, yet keeps you in a low tax bracket.