Second Year

Randy Josleyn | 2017-12-07

The efficient way to cross a street in Beijing, seen from the view of EF in 西直门
The efficient way to cross a street in Beijing, seen from the view of EF in 西直门

I’ve decided to stay in China for a second year. My first-year contract ends in February, so I’ll be here at least until 2019. I will remain in Beijing, since my girlfriend also lives in Beijing. My girlfriend’s English name is Bonnie (she is Chinese). We’ve been together since July, right after I celebrated the Fourth of July with my family in America.

After spending ten months living in China, my health has gotten worse, mostly from sitting on my ass all day. I used to keep fit with my father riding mountain bikes, but I can’t do that in China. The Chinese have built stairs on every damn mountain! So convenient. So bad for my hobby.

My rent is too high, so I will move within the next two months. I have decided to move farther away from work, which is currently a few minutes’ walk away. In order to improve my health, I will buy a foldable bike, which I can take on the subway with me if I need to. A regular bike will just be stolen here. The one I want to buy is very expensive, though, like all my hobbies are…

In late March, EF decided to close and renovate the center I work live at. As I may have mentioned before, they told us on April Fools’ Day that they wouldn’t be renovating, after all. This was after all students and teachers had already been transferred to other centers. In the beginning of October, though, they really did close it for renovation. It will be closed until January.

I really miss my center. It’s much better than my current one, simply because the culture is much warmer. Each center has a different personality, and in my current center, the teachers and students are all a bit quiet.

It’s also worth mentioning that my lazy ass’s commute went from five minutes to fifty minutes. In a city like Beijing, that’s average. Many of my students commute an hour and a half one way.

In my old center, I took charge of a new position, called the English Environment Coordinator, or EEC. In this position, instead of teaching, I would manage the schedule of activities in the center. I would help students connect with each other, and encourage them to hold activities. My current center doesn’t have enough teachers, so I’m back to regular full-time teacher.

Overall, living on my own has proved to be pretty time-consuming. At least after almost one year, I’m still alive and doing pretty well. I’ve got some more things to write about, but this rambling article is good enough for now. Till next time.