Wednesday, January 31, 2007

浦东新区 地区天气预报
(Pudong/Shanghai Weather Report)
1月31日 2月1日 2月2日
3°C 2°C 1°C
10°C 5°C 7°C
晴 晴间多云 晴
晴 晴 晴
晴间多云 晴 晴

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On Saturday afternoon we leave for our Chinese New-Year vacation. It'll be our first time departing from the Shanghai South Railway Station.

Monday, January 22, 2007

We're leaving Zhongshan Park!

Because Jodi is unhinged, jobwise, and because it will cut my commute by an hour a day, and because we want a long-term rental where we can raise the kid for at least a couple years, and because we want to try something new, we're moving... to Pudong. Century Park to be specific. We just paid the down-payment tonight, and I'm going to be taking out max daily credit-card cash advances (ATM problems, grr) for the next few days to pull together the first three months plus security deposit plus real-estate agent fee to be delivered next Saturday. RMB 3000 a month, 2 bedrooms 1 living room 1 bathroom, for the curious; on the upper end of the cheap.

We found a nice place less than a ten minute walk from the Century Park metro station, and about fifteen minutes from Century Park itself. It is only two stops from the metro station that serves my school, and should I choose to slum it—and up the commute time once again—there is a bus I can take from down the street directly to the school itself. The house is government-built, a 动迁房 given to people who have been displaced by one or another city project: think World Expo 2010, expressway or future metro line. Being ever the bargainers, these people got a big cash settlement as part of the deal as well, so they bought yet another house (and claim to have five or six houses within the semi-extended, one-child-hobbled-family) and are renting out the newly built in 2006 and freshly 装修'ed government gift home to us. Another woman from Beijing was willing to rent the place but the landlord has the impression that "foreigners will keep the place clean and in good condition" so we won out in the end. Actually he's a really nice guy who bought a buncha furniture for us to make the place more homey; only bad thing is, most of it is that big, wooden furniture you see in traditional Chinese houses. Cushions make you warm in winter, baring it makes you cool in the summer, they say; but forget that, when we get our own place it's gonna have plush loveseats and couches that you can sink down into, warm Shanghai summers or not.

Other nice things about this place:

  • Not so much readily available food as Zhongshan Park, but there was a 豆花 tofu "flan/pudding" cart outside exit 2 these last two days. He'll dump in extra sugar if you smile. There are also trucks parked along the side of the street selling cheap fruit.
  • There's a public preschool next door, "6-1 Kindergarden", named after the date of Children's Day. The playground is open to everybody on the weekends. Jodi will look into it for work possibilities.
  • The living room light has red and blue LEDs that flash in patterns. The landlord said it's "beautiful". I withhelf judgement.
  • A Metro supermarket within walking distance (the one at Longyang Road).
  • It's close enough to work that I can make a trip over to the veggie market after school, carry the groceries home on the metro and get there early enough to make dinner.

The plan is to sign the contract and begin moving in next Saturday, finishing the job off on Sunday and perhaps over the next week before we head home to Hunan for the Chinese New Year. One of Jodi's cousins is getting married, and believe-it-or-not this will be my first Chinese wedding besides my own. Plus fireworks, homemade-Hunanese food and all that a CNY trip to the heartland entails; I'm looking forward to it.

(Oh, and if you're thinking of renting a place in Zhongshan Park, see our ad on Shanghai Expat.)

List of places I've seen Cold Fairyland play:

  • ARK Livehouse at Xintiandi
  • Gua'er warehouse on Siping Rd
  • Harley's Bar in Xujiahui
  • Shanghai Theater Academy in Minhang
  • #31 Bar on Hangzhou's West Lake
  • Yuyintang Bar behind Longcao Rd (this was last Friday)
  • Channel YOUNG on TV (this was last Friday)

Places I'd like to see Cold Fairyland play:

  • Nameless Highlands in Beijing
  • Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Post ideas:

  1. Chinese fonts (company logos, scans from old ads).
  2. Rolling Stone feature on the SUBS, Shanghai rock.

Two things, school-related.

First, our school is recruiting. Sadly, they do a very poor job of it because most recruiting is handled by HR and they're more used to hiring engineers and line-workers than teachers. This is one of the many peculiarities, some good and some bad, of working for a private school attached to the main China location of a multinational Taiwanese semiconductor company.

So I'm making the call for applications here. If you are interested in teaching middle school or high school at The SMIC Private School in Shanghai, please send me your resume. We are particularly needy in the field of math, where about half of the staff is moving on to other departments, jobs or schools after this summer. We are also looking for somebody to teach computer science, preferably in addition to another core subject. We prefer full-time teachers, with near or native English, and degrees plus experience. An NDA keeps me from revealing the starting salary (another one of the peculiarities); it's lower than at the other international schools in Shanghai, but is balanced by company-subsidized housing and a relocation bonus even if you're local, plus possible stock options.

The SMIC Private School is a growing K-12 school with a good mix of majority-American experienced and just-starting staff and administration; the school values career advancement and investment in faculty education. Our curriculum is American and all classes are taught in English. Our study body is 99% Asian-American/Canadian, Taiwanese and Korean; our students are well-disciplined and hard working. Last year our first graduating class of 7 students all went on to study at private and public American universities; this year we have 12 seniors, and three classes of 21 to 23 sixth graders. We have prom, AP classes, and require students to buy TI graphing calculators for upper-level math classes. We enjoy a strong PTA that supports both students and teachers with parties and other activities. The school has the backing of SMIC, a multinational company that sets our budget, built and upkeeps a large campus with a wide array of facilities, and provides a strong set of incentives to keep teachers at the school long-term. We welcome you to come for a visit when you apply. We are located in Zhangjiang Park, a 10 minute taxi/25 minute bus ride from the terminal station of Line 2 in Pudong.

E-mail me at and I will forward your resume to the appropriate department head.

The second thing: I just spent a few hours typing up some solutions for my AP Stats class. It took a long time and I think I did a pretty good job. (I really need to get LaTeX working on my school compie, though.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The motley fields and prim lawns of Pudong were white with frost this morning.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Not getting enough exercise? Consider walking down to your local preschool and joining them in the "Penguin's Game" (aka the 兔子舞).

Bokane spars with former_pirate. Behold the work of his adversary:

豆,a bean, as in 豆腐
热,the opposite of cold
米,is rice or a unit of length
发,to emit and not withhold
搜,to search within a place
辣,means hot but not like 热
替,to stand in for or replace
Which brings us back to 豆,豆,豆。

Friday, January 05, 2007

Speaking of coincidences, my Computer Science 1 teaching assistant from college is in Shanghai, and being discussed on Smart Shanghai.

You might call Shanghai the "city of coincidence"!

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