I got hired with a tutoring company here in Wudaokou and yesterday I met my first potential student. He was only a few years younger than me, but acted very nervous and childish. His parents literally hovered around him while I made a little small talk, then everyone left and I was expected to make this kid's acquaintance. His English was not very good, but he could read nearly everything I showed him, but couldn't understand much of what he was reading. Also, he couldn't understand my English very well at all. This is a by-product of a Chinese English education which has a heavy focus on grammar drills and spelling, but is not concrete on the actual use or meaning of the language, obviously due to a lack of native English speakers in the country. Some of the English language books I saw, especially the newer ones, were very good, so I think the educational system is starting to shift. Anyway, he wants me to come to his house (on the opposite side of town) instead of meeting at the company (which is a brief walk from my apartment) or at my apartment itself. Not so sure if it's worth it... I figure if I pick up 4-5 students, I'll be making enough money to get by.
When the hired me, the company took a terrible picture of me which they are going to put on the wall with the rest of their "foreign friends," which should be amazingly funny to see. I''m happy about this company, but I'm going to interview with another private tutoring school tomorrow. The rates are even higher at this other company; I'll be earning around the same or a little more than I did in Miami, but with Beijing prices.
So all three of us have work: Silvia is going to work for the Korean kindergarten, Saul for this local Kindergarten called "Venus," and I'm working for a couple tutoring companies, apparently, whizzing around to student's houses or the office, or, hopefully, some will be whizzing to my apartment.
Also: Went to IKEA today. We bought all sorts of homey things, but didn't spend too much money. It's SUCH a zoo, but a lot of fun to walk around in. I'm feeling better healthwise, but I gave Silvia my cold.