China: Initial Impressions…

Greetings from China!

I arrived in the Middle Kingdom on Wednesday, September 5th. Ma Li and I flew from Tampa to Chicago, Chicago to Shanghai, and then finally on to Shenyang. Some minor baggage issues aside, it was a smooth trip – no delayed or missed flights, no bad weather, no nothing.

I am now officially a faculty member – on a one year contractual basis – of the English Department within the School of Foreign Studies at Shenyang University of Technology. Furthermore, my master’s degree confers upon me not only the wonderfully pompous title of “Foreign Expert,” but also a fully furnished on-campus apartment as part of my compensation package. By American standards I’m working for slave wages – just under $500/month – but in Shenyang it’s enough for an individual to live comfortably. That last sentence may seem impossible to believe, but the comparative pricing scale for life in urban China takes some effort to wrap your head around – fertile ground for a future journal post.

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