Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Job

Quite a few people have asked me lately for details about my new here they are!

I work for a company called BIT Life Sciences. They basically organize big conferences here in China. My job is to proofread just about anything they ask me too. Right now I am working on their main website, and then after that they have about 40 other sites (one for every conference they organize) that needs editing. Here's the website if you want to go check it out. Keep in mind they haven't made any changes to it yet, so this is what I had to work with my first day. Sometimes some of the things they say are super funny, and others don't make any sense. Hopefully soon they will have time to make some of my many corrections. I also proofread letters, or speeches, or any other random thing they send to me.

Most of the people in my department speak English pretty well. They all lived in either Australia or England for a couple of years. They do all the translating and then I have to proofread. Some of them are pretty good, and others aren't. I've realized that Chinese and English don't always translate so well. They always tell me funny stories of things they have been asked to translate that are normal in Chinese, but in English just sound ridiculous if they translate it literally.

I work 4 days a week from 8:20 til 5:20. Its a pretty random time, but getting to work in the morning is crazy. The traffic is ridiculous, and the public transportation is even worse. Its something you have to experience for yourself to understand. Let's just say I didn't think it was possible to fit so many people on one little tram. I try to find myself a little corner and keep my head down. My work isn't far, but it takes me about 45 minutes to get there. After 2 weeks of trial and error I think I have finally managed to figure out the exact time I have to leave to catch the least crowded tram.

I have also had a crash course in Chinese food. I eat in a cafeteria everyday for lunch. It's cheap, and they have a couple of different options so it's not bad. I generally try to eat without asking what it is exactly that's on my plate. I stick mostly with vegetables since I have been to the supermarkets and seen all the crazy animal parts they consider edible! One of these days I might end up eating pigs ears or kidney and will be none the wiser because they just call it pork.

My contract is for 1 year and then we will see if I stick with this job or if I go out and look for another one. So far I have been happy with it. It gets me out of the house, and I have met some really cool people, even if the work itself is kind of boring.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Polar World

Nick and I got season passes a few weeks ago to the little theme park/zoo/aquarium by our house. I read on wikipedia that Polar World is the only exhibit of polar animals in China. Lucky us. We had a fun time seeing all the animals, but one of the highlights was definitely feeding the sea lions.

The other highlight was a show called Kung-Fu Walrus. They had a seal do some tricks, then a walrus do some tricks, and then the grand finale, the walrus did a dance routine to a Michael Jackson song! The video I took didn't turn out well, so we will just have to go back and see it again... Here's a little preview until then.

Notice the picture behind the walrus!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quarter of a Century!

My birthday last week was great. I just wanted to post a few pics of some of our new Chinese friends and our little party.

This one is with our cute little ayi. She comes 4 times a week to clean our house. We are so spoiled! She showed up on Friday with this huge bouquet of flowers for me. I guess Nick had a whole conversation with her about it, but I had no idea. I really need to learn Chinese!

Me and Nick with the very asian cake our new friends/neighbors bought for my birthday. She told me to get whatever I wanted, so I picked out a yummy looking chocolate hazelnut cake with frosting flowers on top, but I guess it wasn't considered "pretty" enough. (whatever it looked delicious) So I ended up getting this funky cake with a cat on top because she told me cake would taste better if it looked good.

Our new friends. They live on the floor above us. We met on the elevator one night. They came over to help Nick get some business cards printed and when he told them it was my birthday we had our impromptu party complete with funny cake. Cissy speaks enough English that we can have some conversations, although they do get kind of funny when I use a word she doesn't know and have to try to explain. They live with her parents and we already have plans to go over and learn to make dumplings with her mom. I can't wait.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pictures of our Apartment!

Nick got me a new camera for my birthday since my old one broke over a year ago. Hopefully now I can be better about posting pictures. Our apartment came furnished so we only had to buy dishes, and linens. It is super comfortable and we love our neighborhood. We have made friends with a cute Chinese couple that lives above us, and Nick flirts shamelessly with groups of 60+ year old women when we go out to walk at night so he is quite popular.

The front room. This is what you see when you walk in the door to our apartment. We have a great balcony out that window that overlooks the ocean.

DIning room. Everything is still pretty bare. We are slowly decorating.

The kitchen. We were so excited to have a dishwasher. We haven't lived in an apartment with one since we got married and now we have one in China where most people have never even heard of them.

The stove. We are seriously missing having an oven. Hopefully we can buy one soon.

My closet!

Our baby washing machine. I can fit about 6-8 pieces of clothing in at once.

Guest bathroom. Love the tub!

Nick's office.

This is our bedroom. You can see the bathroom door in the background.

This is our "reading nook" in our bedroom. It has an AMAZING view of the ocean and of downtown Dalian. We still need to furnish it though. I'm looking for a cute little chair and table, or maybe just a rug and about 50 pillows?

Our shower. The first thing we noticed was that you had to plug the water heater in right behind you while you shower. Super safe!

Another shot of our bathroom.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Well Herrro

Here is the first 3 months rent for us. I went and took it out of the ATM. Walked into the hotel room where Dana was reading and proceeded to make it rain.

Life in Dalian is great. Things are moving along so fast and falling into place. Above is my new pride and joy. It actually came into the house. It is a full jet powered bathtub with built in CD player and radio. Bingo. And it looks right out on the ocean. Our ocean view is normally nice. BUT today there was a ton of smog. And we couldn't see much past the shoreline. The wind is coming in tonight and should push the smog into North Korea by tomorrow.

Below is one of the best statues I've ever seen. Please note the mane on the keyboarder. It is in a park, called Peace Park. Right by the mall that is now Dana's favorite mall because it has 1) H&M 2)Zara's and 3) a massage place that gives a 60 minute massage for $5 USD.
I've been really busy with work. The one thing they never tell you about working for a start-up company is that full-time isn't 40 hours. I work everyday. I wake up at 6am. And then work until late at night. It's a great job though. I really like the people I work with and they give me a lot of support. I was in Beijing all last week. And Dana was here. Being real tough. Traveling for business is sweet. Especially when the CEO is around. Because you eat. And you eat good.

Dana and I are happy. So happy. We are hoping to get out to see Zack and Amy here in the near future. Most likely around Thanksgiving. But with Dana and I both working now. We have a lot of schedules to line up. But I really want to get back to Taiwan. And i'd love to show Dana around and let her meet my buddies there. And there is a lot of business there.