Houston, we have a problem

8 08 2009

Well, actually we don’t have a problem, but we are in Houston. So we left Tucson on Monday morning after lots of packing and cleaning and assistance from a fine group of friends. After having some problems with the Aztek (pulling a weighed-down trailer, mind you) overheating, we slowed down the pace of the trip and eventually made it to Las Cruces, where we dropped off Hercules (my one-year-old cat) at my friends’ Chris and Lizzie’s. We hung out with them for a while, and Hercules seemed reasonably comfortable – in an angry kind of way, but nonetheless – so we drove the last hour to my parents’, arriving around midnight.

We spent basically two days visiting my parents. My sister’s husband Danny did a pretty thorough job of flushing out the Aztek’s radiator, which was nice of him, and we had the usual dinner and hangout time. On the second night, we met my sister and her family for dinner at the golf course, then went to a house where my dad’s blues band was jamming, which was fun. Lots of strange hippies there. I’m not talking about you, mom. We left Thursday morning at 6 am, and I’m glad we did, because …

The drive took about 18 hours. That’s a long time sitting in a car. For all of us, Tallulah (Missy’s dog) included. I swear, the drive from El Paso to San Antonio is the longest stretch of nothing road in the United States. Is there a worse one? Denver to Salt Lake City, maybe? Anyway, we made it, pulling into Houston and Missy’s mom’s house at about midnight.

Friday was spent unloading the trailer, which we were both glad to get out of our lives, then dropping off our applications for visas. They told us they’d be ready by Wednesday. Afterward, we went to a zydeco place for burgers and did a bit of dancing. While we were hanging out there, we found out that there was a soccer friendly match between El Salvador and Colombia starting in a couple hours at the University of Houston, so we went and watched the game, which was lots of fun. I’ll try and add a couple photos from that, time permitting. Today we’ll hopefully spend a relaxing day hanging out then go to watch a music festival at a park in downtown Houston. Then Sunday it is on to Dallas/Ft. Worth to see Missy’s dad & stepmom. Talk to you soon!



That’s right, the blog has a new name

9 07 2009

Exciting, huh?

So as an update, we have both been offered jobs in Nanjing. Missy’s offer comes from the Nanjing Health School, where she will be teaching 16-20-year-old Chinese nursing students how to be FABULOUS! I’ve received an offer from Nanjing Foreign Language School. We received pictures of our apartment – through the Nanjing Health School – and I will have a dorm that I can let you guys stay in when you come visit.

Here are a couple pictures we received of the apartment. Let’s hope they are of the actual residence.



Yes, it has a western toilet. But no stove. We’ll make do.

Both schools are reasonably close to downtown, so far as we can decipher. Neither job pays exceptionally well, but China is cheap, so we should be just fine. We both start teaching on Sept. 1. Anyway, that’s it for today.


28 06 2009

I’ve never used Skype, and neither has Miss. P, but apparently that’s how we’re being interviewed for a position at the Higher Normal School (or something along those lines) in Nanjing (pronounced NAWN-JING). We’re both hoping that this interview is successful and results in us getting a job offer or two. Missy is interviewing tonight, and I’ll be interviewing on Wednesday, thanks to my job schedule.

In addition to this, I’m supposed to get a call from a school in Xi’an (pronounced SHE-AWN), one of the older cities in China. We also have a guy in Lianyungang (pronounced LEE-AHN-YEN-GAHNG, so far as I can tell) which is a city close to Nanjing and Shanghai. Xi’an is further west; probably the equivalent of living in Kansas City to Shanghai’s Richmond, Va. Anyway, hopefully we’ll have an offer this week. Wish us luck.

Until then we have lots of little errands to get done – phone calls, selling stuff, disconnecting stuff, etc… – and my parents will be in town the weekend of the fourth to pick up some furniture and junk I want to keep but see no reason to take with me (lots of band memorabilia, some books,  pictures of Vin Diesel with his shirt off, etc…). After that, we’ll need to work on shipping out some of her stuff and painting my floor (don’t ask) among other fun moving-related projects.

Six weeks!


And so it begins

21 06 2009

Hey folks, this is where Miss P. and I will be blogging about our experiences in China the coming year. At this point, we haven’t come up with an ‘original and fun’ name for the blog, so until that happens (say, when we decide what city we’re moving to) I will just post under the Missy and Jeremiah’s China Adventure title. Once we have the city figured out, maybe there will be opportunities for clever city-related blog names. Xi’an Loves You, Yeah Yeah Yeah? Sitting On The Dock of the Beijing? Perfect Tianjin? Only time will tell.

Anyway, here is where we are in the trip: We’re finishing up tying up some loose ends here in the states (i.e., getting rid of my car, taking care of Missy’s medical bills, eating at restaurants that we always talked about eating at, but never did), and we will both be leaving our current places of employment at the end of July. After packing up and saying tearful goodbyes to all our friends and the couple of hangers-on who try to shine brighter in our afterglow, we’ll be headed first to New Mexico to visit with my family and possibly soak in the hot tub, then on to Texas to see Missy’s parents and sister as well as getting our Visas, which should be a relatively quick process (fingers crossed). Then we fly out for Shanghai on Aug. 18. Lots left still to do, but we’re at that exciting stage where the move is really going to happen.

As for this blog, I’m planning lots of fun little tidbits that should be interesting to read. In addition to posting a lot of photos, we’ll probably try to post some stuff on here that is illuminating for those of you who don’t know a ton about China. I’m going to make an effort to explain pronunciation, which is often wrong in the Westernization of Chinese place names – i.e. Shanghai is pronounced SHONG-HI, not SHAYNG-HI. We’ll also try and focus a lot on how things are different out here, as well as how the whole teaching thing is going. Anyway, until the move, you’ll get to hear a lot about the getting ready process, so enjoy.

— Jeremiah