Thursday, August 23, 2007

Eff Ay Cue

So five days. Next Tuesday we get on a 747 and fly SFO to PEK. Some people that we've met have asked us some questions, here are the answers:
1) Plenty, about 7,000 RMB/month each with a free apartment, so 14,000 RMB/month free and clear.
2) More important than exchange rate is buying power, which is pretty good. Beijing is an expensive town and some things (lattes and X-boxes) are priced for westerners wages, but I don't see us eating any cup-o-noodles.
3) High school for me, Elementary and maybe middle school for Sara.
4) I don't know.
5) I don't know, hopefully pretty close but we're not teaching at the same place and if Sara teaches at two schools she'll have to travel in the middle of the day. How far apart? "Not far relative to the size of the city." Jennifer Ding is an awesome, frank person to talk to.
6) Only a few hundred words so far, but I can count to ten and tell someone I don't speak mandarin. Most importantly I can apologize, the equivalent of "excuse me me, sorry," by far the most critical phrase for any traveller.
7) Our Gmail accounts should still work, you can msn message me at toby[my last name][at]hotmail[dot]["comma" without the "ma"] and voice should be working.
8) We're getting a new pair every year.

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