Silvy might take work at The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, teaching English to acrobats and opera singers. It sounds incredible, but it would require she move to Fengtai district (on campus) in two months. We'll see what happens, although I wouldn't mind living someone other than Wudaokou, but I don't know exactly where I'd live. Maybe a more Chinese neighborhood with less Korean groceries and seedy clubs.
I'm being given a legit work visa, meaning I had to get a physical yesterday. I was led into various room, blood was drawn and I was given a chest x-ray. The staff was very friendly, everything was clean and designed for us picky, money-to-burn foreigners. Hopefully I'm completely healthy. This full work visa is a very big deal; it means that I can come in and out of the country as often as I'd like for as long as I'm hired by the company and gives me the option to apply for a Chinese green card. (not sure if I'll do that...) It also gives me a lot more protection in case things go wrong. Most English teachers, especially younger, barely qualified ones like me, work on F visas, which are not legit, but are usually not scrutinized so heavily.
I'll never be able to pronounce the Chinese "r" or speak like a native Beijinger. I'm owning my strong American accent.
We hired a maid, or an 阿姨 (a yi, or "ah ee") which is what Chinese called maids, which actually means "auntie." She cleans our place ridiculously well for a ridiculously low amount of money. I feel like a real imperialist.
Last week I saw a very funny man with a long beard and a traditional Chinese men's jacket with knot buttons near the wudaokou subway station selling bootleg DVDs, but only extremely arty ones like Pasolini, Derek Jarman movies, and lots of bootleg albums. He also sold banned stuff like the BBC documentary on China (with Chinese subtitles) and certain art films that would never pass the censors here. I bought some stuff from him and he told me to come back the next day, but he wasn't there and hasn't been there since. Hope he's okay.