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This Beijing Life: Month 3

北京的生活:第3个月



It took me a month to really get things under control, but I’m finally starting to feel better about my workload. I hired an awesome virtual assistant to help me with a few things, I started finding time to get blog stuff done at my day job, I realized the world won’t explode if I take a few days to respond to an email, and I started saying “no” a lot more to potential blog partnerships I know will just become a giant time suck.

我花了一个月的时间才真正把事情理顺,我终于可以适应自己的工作量了。我找了一个很棒的虚拟助理来帮助我做一些事情,以便在我的日常工作中抽些时间来完成博客的事情,我意识到如果我花几天时间回复一封邮件也没什么大不了,世界不会因此而爆炸,我开始对潜在的博客伙伴说“不”,因为我知道这将极大的消耗我的精力。

This month I also went back to Ningbo for my Master’s graduation! I’m officially a master which is an amazing feeling, and I had such a great time seeing all my old friends again.

这个月我也回宁波参加了我的硕士生毕业典礼!我正式成为一名硕士,这是一种很棒的感觉,而且我很高兴再次见到我所有的老朋友。



While I didn’t go on any weekend trips for Thanksgiving this year, I did have a pretty fun two-day affair with my office and foreign co-workers. After work Thursday night, my co-workers and I headed across the street to a $30 unlimited buffet. These things are usually pretty overpriced in my opinion, but we did fill up on enough sashimi, sake and wine to make the price worth it. Since we were one of the last groups to arrive, they just put a few bottles of wine on our table for us to enjoy (probably so we wouldn’t drunkenly knock any of the glasses over trying to get refills.)

虽然今年感恩节我没有参加任何周末旅行活动,但我和我们办事处的外国同事度过了非常有趣的两天时间。星期四晚上下班后,我和同事们去街对面吃了30美元的无限量自助餐。在我看来,这些东西的价格通常都相当高,我们吃了足够的生鱼片、也喝了很多的清酒和葡萄酒,使得这个价格物有所值。因为我们是最后到达的一批客人,他们就在我们的桌子上放了几瓶酒让我们享用(这样我们就不会醉醺醺地去倒酒而撞到了杯子)

After a lovely dinner, we all headed back to my co-worker’s apartment to drink more. While it was fun, the next morning was horrible. I actually think I was still drunk when I arrived at work the next morning, and I even took a quick nap behind my office door. Thankfully everyone was busy cooking for our office lunch so no one seemed to notice.

吃过一顿不错的晚餐后,我们回到同事的公寓里喝了更多的酒。虽然很有趣,但第二天早上却糟糕透顶。事实上,我觉得第二天早上上班的时候我还醉着,我甚至在办事处门后小睡了一会儿。谢天谢地,每个人都忙着准备午餐,所以似乎没有人注意到我。

Around lunch time I started to feel a bit better, and was able to participate in our giant company potluck. I had no idea how many employees we actually have in our Beijing office because we’re all spread out! I would say we had at least 50 people at the lunch, including a few visiting colleagues from Shanghai. While we didn’t have any turkey or stuffing, I did grab a huge plate of homemade mac and cheese as well as a tiny slice of pumpkin pie!

大约到了吃午饭的时候,我开始感觉好一点了,能够参加我们办事处的聚餐了。我不知道我们北京办事处实际上有多少员工,因为我们都分散在各处!我敢说,我们至少有50人参加了中午的聚餐,其中包括一些来访的上海同事。虽然我们没有火鸡或填料,我还是吃了一大盘自制的奶酪通心粉,还有一小块南瓜派!

Wow I sound like a five-year-old, but honestly this was a highlight of my month. Honestly, making friends as an adult is hard, especially if you don’t have time for hobbies.

哇,我听起来像一个五岁的孩子,但老实说,这是我这个月的亮点。成年后交朋友很难,特别是当你没有时间发展业余爱好的时候。

A few weeks ago it snowed in Beijing, so I decided to go for a walk around Peking University (the Harvard of China) because I live nearby and I was too excited about the snow to stay inside. While I was wandering, I was able to make two separate friends who are both students there. One of them even likes to go salsa dancing, so I think I’ll recruit him to go with me and split the $10 USD cab ride home.

几个星期前,北京下雪了,所以我决定去北京大学(中国的哈佛)散散步,因为我就住在附近,我太兴奋了,不想呆在家里面。当我散步的时候,我交到了两个不同的朋友,他们都是那里的学生。其中一个人甚至喜欢跳萨尔萨舞,所以我想我会邀请他和我一起去跳舞,然后平摊10美元的出租车费回家。

Last week one of my co-workers who lives in my building moved across town to Sanlitun, the business/bar/shopping area. It’s almost a solid hour by subway to get to his place, so I honestly thought him moving would be the worst thing for my social life. However, now that he’s there I’ve really started getting out a lot more. He and his new roommates threw a housewarming party, where I met tons of other expats who are living in Beijing long-term. This is great for me, because honestly I’m tired of making all new friends all the time. I added a few new people on WeChat, so hopefully I’ll have more people to hang out with in the next few months.

上周,我住在同一栋楼里的一位同事搬到了三里屯,那是一个商业区/酒吧区/购物区。坐地铁去他家几乎要一个小时,所以他搬家对我的社交来说真是太糟糕了。然而,现在他在那里,我真的只能开始多出去走走。他和他的新室友举办了一个乔迁派对,我在那里遇到了很多长期居住在北京的外国人。这对我来说很好,因为说实话,我厌倦了总是交新朋友。我在微信上添加了一些新朋友,希望在接下来的几个月里能有更多的朋友和我一起玩。



It took me pretty much the whole month of November to figure out how to manage my work-life balance to make sure I don’t have any of those anxiety attacks ever again. I started requesting days off when I needed them (no more getting pressured into working 6-day weeks) and I started giving myself permission to have a life outside of work and my blog. It was a hard month getting my crap together, but honestly I’m so much happier and more fulfilled now!

我花了差不多整个11月的时间来找出如何平衡工作和生活的方法,以确保我再也不会有那些焦虑症了。我开始在需要的时候请假(不再强迫自己每周工作6天),我开始允许自己在工作和博客之外有自己的生活。这是艰难的一个月,但老实说,我现在更快乐,而且更充实了!

I’ve realized that while I like this job compared to other jobs I’ve had in the past, I’m really just not suited for a full-time office position and that’s okay. I just need to make sure I put my happiness and health as the first priority, and work on paying off these student loans so I can do what I really want to do.

我意识到,虽然与过去的其他工作相比,我喜欢这份工作,但我真的不适合做全职办公室工作。这没关系,我只需要确保我把我的幸福和健康放在第一位,努力偿还我的学生贷款,这样我就可以做我真正想做的事情。

Here’s some other fun stuff that happened this month

这个月还发生了一些有趣的事情:

I judged a debate tournament for work, which was actually pretty fun! It was about whether or not animal testing should be banned, a topic which I know waaaay too much about now.

我为一个辩论比赛做裁判,这真的很有趣!这是关于是否应该禁止动物实验的话题,这是一个我非常了解的话题。

I got new pages in my passport! I completely ran out of pages thanks to my yearly 2+ China visas along with all those SE Asia visas. The process was surprisingly painless, and only took me an hour. The US is discontinuing the additional pages at the end of this month, so if you want to grab a few more pages (24-48 to be exact) be sure to get them before then! Just keep in mind that you can only do this abroad at an embassy or consulate.

我的护照上有了新的页数!拜我每年至少获得2个以上中国签证和东南亚签证所赐,我的护照的页数已经完全用完了。增加页数的过程出奇地轻松,只花了我一个小时。美国将在本月底停止增加额外的页数,所以如果你想增加额外的页数(确切地说,是第24-48页),一定要在那之前得到它们!记住,你只能在国外的大使馆或领事馆这样做。

My sink exploded. Literally the handle of my sink blew off and sprayed water EVERYWHERE. It was actually a disaster and happened at 6:50 AM right as I was heading to the debate tournament. Thankfully the kind man who works downstairs took care of everything while I ran off to the tournament, and he was able to get the water shut off and get a cleaner in to mop up all of the water I couldn’t get with multiple towels. Also, it only took them a few days to send someone to fix my sink. I kind of like my new sink and it didn’t completely ruin my “wooden” floors so in all honesty it’s kind of funny in retrospect.

我的洗手池漏水了。事实上,是我的洗手池阀门坏了,水喷得到处都是。这简直是一场灾难。这场灾难大约发生在上午6:50,当时我正准备去参加辩论赛。谢天谢地,我去参加比赛的时候,楼下的那个好心人把所有的事情都搞定了,他把水关掉了,还找了个清洁工把我用很多条毛巾都没弄干净的水擦干净。而且,他们只花了几天时间就派人来修理我的洗手池。我喜欢我的新洗手池,这场灾难也没有完全毁了我的“木制”地板,所以老实说,这是一个有趣的回忆。

I’m going home for Christmas! Finally after a year and a half I’ll finally be heading home to Seattle for two weeks. This trip is too short and it’s been far too long, but I’m still really excited. Firstly, it’ll be great to finally see my family and whatever friends are home (and my cat.) I also can’t wait to A) stuff my face with any non-Chinese food B) Load up a suitcase with food and toiletries from the US and C) finally take a vacation from working 2 jobs!!

我要回家过圣诞节了!一年半之后,我终于可以回西雅图的家呆上两周了。这次旅行时间太短了,距离也太远,但我仍然很兴奋。首先,最终见到我的家人和朋友(还有我的猫)是一件很棒的事情,我也迫不及待地想要a)用任何非中国的食物塞满我的嘴;b)用来自美国的食物和化妆品装满一个手提箱;c)终于可以从两份工作中解脱出来了!

This Beijing Life: Month Four

北京的生活:第4个月



Like I said, I spent the first half of the month in Beijing. I mainly spent my time working, but I also tried to be social and even put together a little hutong bar crawl that didn’t quite go as planned. Just before Christmas I flew home to Seattle and spent the holidays with family.

就像我说的,这个月的上半个月我都在北京度过。我的大部分时间都花在了工作上,但我也尝试着社交,甚至还组织了一次胡同酒吧之旅,不过没有完全按照计划进行。就在圣诞节前,我飞回西雅图,与家人一起度过了假期。

This was the first time in 3 years I’ve made it home for Christmas. Last year I celebrated with Shuffle Crew after our Christmas performance show, and the year before that I ate a jalapeno cheeseburger that hospitalized me with food poisoning. So it’s safe to say I was happy to be home for the first Christmas in forever!

这是三年来我第一次回家过圣诞节。去年,在我们的圣诞节表演结束后,我和ShuffleCrew一起庆祝,前年我吃了一个墨西哥胡椒芝士汉堡,导致我食物中毒住进了医院。所以可以肯定地说,我很高兴能够回家过这辈子第一个圣诞节!

It was also just nice to be home for a little while. A year and a half is a really long time to go without seeing your family or visiting your home country. Hopefully I can get home again next Christmas, or at least go home in February for the Chinese New Year!

在家待的一段时间也很开心。一年半的时间不见家人,也不回国,这确实是一段很长的时间。希望下个圣诞节我还能回家,或者至少在二月份回家过春节!

I think we all know the visa situation in China is a mess. So many people bend (or break) the rules, not because they want to, but because it’s such a bureaucratic hassle to get a work visa here.

我想我们都知道中国的签证情况是一团糟。这么多人屈服于(或者打破)规则,不是因为他们想这么做,而是因为在这里申请工作签证太官僚主义化了。

Long story short, I had a residence permit from my MA program that expired at the end of December. I needed a new visa, but in order to qualify for a work visa in Beijing, you have to have two years of work experience in your field. Apparently teacher and college counselor are not similar enough for me to qualify as a foreign expert, so they have to make stuff up.

简而言之,我的文学硕士课程的居留证在十二月底到期了。我需要一个新的签证,但是想要在北京获得工作签证,你必须有两年的工作经验。显然,老师和大学导师完全不同,我还不够资格成为一个外国专家,所以他们必须编造一些东西。

So since (for some unknown reason) I can’t get my work visa just yet, I had to get a business visa, which I’ll work on (technically illegal) until I get my work visa.

所以由于(未知的原因),我现在还拿不到工作签证,我只能去拿商务签证。在拿到工作签证之前,我会一直工作(严格来说这是非法的)。

I ate all the foods while I was home. Americanized Mexican food, authentic Mexican food, homemade Mexican food… I also had Ethiopian, Italian, and a mini Thanksgiving dinner! I even baked homemade apple and pumpkin pie while I was home…. I miss ovens.

我在家的时候吃光了所有的食物。美国化的墨西哥食物,正宗的墨西哥食物,自制的墨西哥食物...我还吃了埃塞俄比亚,意大利食物,还享用了一顿迷你感恩节晚餐!我甚至在家里烤了自制的苹果和南瓜派。我很怀念烤箱。

It’s been years since I hung out with friends from high school. They live all over the country now (and I live in China) so it was really nice to catch up and see what’s really going on outside of social media. I was the most behind since no one can text me all the way over here, and my Facebook feed is flooded with travel blogging stuff and liberal/feminist articles.

我已经很多年没有和高中时代的朋友出去玩了。他们现在生活在全国各地(而我住在中国),所以很高兴能够了解社交媒体之外的真实情况。我是最落后的,因为没有人可以一直给我发短信,我的Facebook上充斥着旅游博客和自由/女权主义的文章。

We’re going to make a better effort to stay in touch now, and we even created a Whatsapp group chat yesterday!

现在我们将更加努力地保持联系,昨天我们甚至创建了一个Whatsapp的聊天群!

Not everything this month was perfect. Here are some of the things that went wrong.

这个月并不是所有的事情都是完美的,以下是一些糟糕的地方。

I got sick and couldn’t afford a doctor

我生病了,请不起医生。

I have health insurance in China that actually covers me everywhere but the USA. For some reason I didn’t think to get travel insurance before heading home, because I figured since I’m a citizen there’s somewhere I could go to get treated if something went wrong. Nope. Nope, nope, nope.

我在中国有医疗保险——除了在美国,在其他地方我都有医疗保险。出于某种原因,我没有想到在回家之前去买旅游保险,因为我当时想,既然我是美国公民,如果出了什么问题,我可以去某个地方接受治疗。但是我错了。

Now that everyone in the USA needs to have health insurance, all the cheap walk-in clinics have been closed. I also tried to get birth control pills from Planned Parenthood based on a sliding income scale, and that’s gone now too! $50 a pack is a bit too steep for me, so I’ll just have to figure that out in China, I guess.

现在美国的每个人都需要医疗保险,所有便宜的免费诊所都关门了。我也试过从国际计划生育联合会购买避孕药,但是现在也没有了!50美元一包对我来说太贵了,所以我想我只能在中国想想办法了。

In order for me to be covered while I’m home, I’d have to apply for a year-long plan which is a complicated process, and not worth it if I’m only home for 2 weeks. That whole “you can be on your parents’ plan” thing? Yeah, but you have to pay for the privilege. Approximately $150 USD/month for me! Oh, and you have to sign up for the whole year upfront.

为了让我在家的时候能够得到保障,我必须申请一个为期一年的保险计划,这是一个复杂的过程,如果我只在家待两周,那么这个保险计划是不值得的。你可以加入你父母的保险计划吗?是的,但是你必须为此付出代价。大约150美元/月!对了,你还得提前一年报名。

Even World Nomads, my go-to travel insurance, is TWICE THE PRICE if you’re heading to the US than it is anywhere else in the world. Thanks, America.

即使是世界游牧民,这是我的首选旅游保险,如果你在美国办理,它的价格也是世界上其他任何地方的两倍。谢谢你,美国。

The worst part of being home was getting really, really sick and not being able to see a doctor. For almost 3 days I could barely get out of bed due to extreme stomach pain. At first I thought it was from eating too much greasy, fried food and carbs, but it must’ve been something else. The pain stayed in my upper stomach and never actually continued down to my intestines. I still have no idea what was wrong with me, but thankfully I got better in a few days so I didn’t have to shell out $175 just to SEE a doctor.

呆在家里最糟糕的事情就是病得非常非常重,而且不能去看医生。由于胃痛,我连续3天几乎不能下床。起初我以为是因为吃了太多油腻、油炸食品和碳水化合物,但后来我肯定是别的原因。因为疼痛一直停留在我的上腹部,从来没有真正扩展到我的肠。我仍然不知道我到底是怎么了,但是谢天谢地几天后我就好了,所以我不用花175美元去看医生了。

I even tried buying travel health insurance when I got sick in the US, but most companies have a policy that you either have to A) buy insurance before you leave for your trip or B) you can’t use your insurance for medical problems within three days of buying it unless it’s an emergency. Probably to fend of cheapskate idiots like me.

当我在美国生病的时候,我甚至尝试过购买旅游健康保险,但是大多数公司都有这样的政策:a)在出发前购买保险;b)除非是紧急情况,否则你不能在购买保险后的三天内用它来解决医疗问题。这可能是为了对付像我这样的小气鬼。

Note to self: next time you go the US buy travel insurance.

提醒自己:下次去美国的时候买旅游保险。

Part of the deal with me going home for Christmas was that I had to still edit essays while I was home. However, we told all of the students they needed to have their essays pretty much done before Christmas. Of course, this did not happen. I spent at least an hour almost every night editing essays. I would be enjoying dinner with my family, or watching a movie only to get a text: “did you see those 5 essays I sent you an hour ago??” GIVE ME A BREAK.

我要回家过圣诞节的部分原因是,我在家的时候还得编辑文章。我们告诉所有的学生,他们需要在圣诞节前完成他们的论文。然而,这并没有发生。我几乎每天晚上要至少花一个小时编辑论文。我可能正在享受与家人共进晚餐,或者看一部电影却收到一条短信:“你看到我一小时前发给你的那5篇文章了吗?”哦,天啊,饶了我吧。

One day I actually edited 20 essays. I’m not kidding.

有一天我真的编辑了20篇文章,我不是在开玩笑。



I have to say I felt a bit guilty while I was home for being gone so long. Everyone keeps asking me “When are you coming home?” and I honestly don’t have an answer for them. I feel really bad about not seeing my grandpa for so long, especially since my grandma passed away over two years ago. He’s 91 now, and I think he’s a bit upset over how little he sees me.

我不得不说,离家这么久,我感到有点内疚。每个人都问我“你什么时候回家?”我真的不知道该怎么回答。这么长时间没有见到爷爷,我感到很难过,特别是自从我奶奶两年前去世以后。他现在已经91岁了,我想他有点不高兴,因为他很少见到我。

I know that if I was able to sustain myself online, or work a job remotely, I could go home much more often. My round-trip flight to the US was only $500! My problem is the lack of vacation days right now. I haven’t even technically used any of my 20 vacation days since I worked so much overtime this fall, but I still feel guilty taking time off. The work culture in China is even worse than the US!

我知道,如果我能够在网上维持生计,或者远程进行工作,我就能更经常地回家。我去美国的往返机票只要500美元!然而我的问题是现在缺少假期。自从今年秋天我加了那么多班以来,我甚至没有用过我的20天假期中的任何一天,但是我仍然为请假感到内疚。中国的工作文化比美国还糟糕!

My childhood cat who I bought as a kitten in 4th grade passed away a few days before I was supposed to fly home. This is the second time I found out a pet had died before I even knew he was sick, but at least I didn’t find out over Facebook this time (you can thank my brother for that one).

我小时候养的那只猫是我四年级时买的,它在我准备飞回家的前几天去世了。这是我第二次发现一只宠物在我知道它生病之前就死了,但至少这次我没有在Facebook上发现(我为此感谢我的哥哥)。

As much as I’m really sad he’s gone, I’m happy he at least lived this long. This cat had bladder stones when he was a kitten, and wasn’t supposed to live very long. Somehow he made it 15 years!

虽然我很难过他去世了,但我还是很高兴他至少活了这么久。这只猫在它还是一只小猫的时候就得了膀胱结石,它本来不应该活得很久的。但不知怎么的,它活了15年!

This Beijing Life: Month 5

北京的生活:第5个月

To be honest, it feels like nothing really happened this month! I should probably take notes throughout the month so I can remember what I actually did, because January was definitely one big blur.

老实说,这个月好像什么都没发生!我可能应该在这个月做些笔记,这样我就能记住我到底做了什么,因为一月份绝对是一个模糊的月份。

I started the month out in Seattle, where I had a very uneventful New Year with my family. After the last two new years and how I celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving, it was kind of nice to have a relaxing holiday for once.

我在西雅图开始了这个月的旅行,在那里我和我的家人度过了一个平静的新年。在过去的两个新年,以及我如何庆祝万圣节和感恩节之后,终于有了一次放松的假期,感觉还是不错的。

After a final few days in Seattle, I hopped back on a plane to Beijing. I definitely wasn’t ready to head back, but when you have a real-person job abroad, you don’t exactly get a say over how many days you get off. This last month in Beijing was pretty great though. I went to salsa (FINALLY), searched for new apartments, and refused to work any overtime. Sounds like a good month, am I right?

在西雅图度过最后几天后,我跳上了飞往北京的飞机。我当时绝对没有准备好回去,但是当你在国外有一份真正的工作时,你不能确切地决定你能休多少天假。不过,上个月在北京的表现相当不错。我终于去跳了萨尔萨,找到了新的公寓,并拒绝加班。听起来是个不错的月份,对吧?

I spent the first week of the month at home in Seattle, and then headed back to Beijing for the remainder of the month!

这个月的第一个星期我在西雅图的家里度过,然后剩下的时间我就回北京了!

Aside from all the highlights of being home that I mentioned last month, here are some great things that happened in Beijing.

除了我提到的上个月在家的所有亮点之外,还有一些在北京发生的很棒的事情。

For those of you who have been reading my story the last few months, you know my work-life balance has been horrible. I was working 6-day weeks and overtime at my job as a college counselor, due to the busy admissions season. On top of that, I was also trying to manage this blog, as well as the freelance writing I do for Go Overseas.

对于那些过去几个月一直在读我的故事的人来说,你们知道我的工作和生活的平衡很糟糕。由于招生季节很忙,我作为一名大学顾问,每周工作6天,还要加班。除此之外,我还试图管理这个博客,以及为GoOverseas自由撰稿。



I also joined a women’s networking group in Beijing, where I attended the first bi-monthly dinner event. It was awesome to meet such a large group of strong, talented, and intelligent women from all over the world. At the dinner, a PhD student from Jamaica explained to us the situation of women in politics in her home country. It was such an interesting speech, and I couldn’t help but think the problems Jamaica faces ring true for women in government globally.

我还加入了北京的一个女性社交小组,第一次参加了两月一次的晚宴。能遇到这么多来自世界各地的坚强、有才华、聪明的女性,真是太棒了。晚宴上,一位来自牙买加的博士生向我们介绍了她的祖国妇女参政的情况。这是一次非常有趣的演讲,我不禁想到牙买加面临的问题对于全球政府中的女性来说都是真实存在的。

While I was there, I met a girl who runs a group for female writers in Beijing, so I’ll definitely be meeting up with them soon too. They even want to feature me on their blog!

在那里的时候,我遇到了一个女孩,她在北京经营着一个女性作家团体,所以我肯定很快也会和她们见面。她们甚至想要在她们的博客上展示我!

I kind of forgot the Chinese New Year holiday was coming up because I was so distracted by Christmas. By the time I realized I needed to book a ticket, everything was ridiculously expensive! Of course, the New Year is the time that everyone in China travels, so I couldn’t find anything even remotely affordable.

我差点忘了中国的春节就要到了,因为我被圣诞节搞得心烦意乱。当我意识到我需要订票时,所有的东西都贵得离谱!当然,新年是每个中国人旅行的日子,所以我找不到任何可以负担得起的东西。

Since I work for an agency and not a school, I actually only get the seven government holidays off for the New Year, not the three weeks to a month school teachers get. I thought our limited breaks were kind of ridiculous since most of our students won’t be coming in anyway. Why not just give everyone some time off after the busy application season? It’s not like we’re doing anything!

因为我是在一个机构工作,而不是在学校工作,所以实际上我只在新年有七个政府假期,而不是学校老师的3个星期到1个月的假期。我觉得我们有限的休息时间有点荒谬,因为反正我们的大多数学生也不会来。为什么不在繁忙的招生季节之后给每个人多一些时间呢?我们又没有什么事可做!

The worst part is that when I say we get seven days off, I mean we get seven days off including weekends. That’s how holidays work in East Asia. You have to work on the weekends to make sure you literally only get seven days off, rather than the nine days you’d get in America if you took Monday-Friday off (plus two weekends on either side).

最糟糕的是,当我说我们有七天的假期时,我的意思是我们有七天的假期,但不包括周末。东亚的假期就是这样过的。你必须在周末工作,所以实际上只有七天的假期,而不是你在美国的九天的假期,如果你周一到周五休息(两边还有两个周末)。

Since the tickets were so expensive, I had resigned myself to staying in Beijing, exploring the city and catching up on my blog. Then I discovered my boss had canceled students for a second week after the Chinese New Year! We still have to use our vacation days, but it’s less of a big deal if we leave. I’m not really sure what people are going to do in the office with no students but… that’s not my problem.

由于票价太贵,我决定留在北京,探索这座城市,在博客上写写文章。然后我发现我的老板取消了春节后的第二周的课程!虽然我们仍然需要利用我们的假期,但是如果我们离开的话,也就没什么大不了的了。我真的不知道人们在没有学生的办公室里会做什么,但是...那不是我要考虑的问题。

So when I found this out, I spent an entire day looking up the cheapest tickets possible. My only prerequisite was that I wanted to go somewhere outside China. I checked all the dates surrounding the New Year, and every country in Asia. I used Skyscanner, ITA Matrix, and Google Flights to try and find the best deals. It was crazy!

所以当我发现这一点的时候,我花了一整天的时间去找最便宜的机票。我想去中国以外的地方看看。我查了新年前后的所有日期,还有亚洲的每个国家。我使用Skyscanner、ITAMatrix和GoogleFlights试图找到最划算的机票。太疯狂了!

The cheapest tickets were to Moscow, and I was actually this close to booking the flight, but I was worried about the visa. I called the Russian embassy in China literally 200 times trying to get through and ask if I could apply for a visa in China without a Chinese residence permit because apparently, that’s an issue. They said that since I’m American, I would get the visa but it would be a $130 USD fee…. Yeah, nope.

最便宜的机票是去莫斯科的,事实上我就差一点就订到机票了,但我还是担心签证问题。我给俄罗斯驻中国大使馆打了不下200次电话,试图打通电话,然后询问我是否可以在没有中国居留证的情况下申请签证,因为显然,这是一个很重要的问题。他们说因为我是美国人,我可以拿到签证,但是需要130美元的手续费。是的,我没有钱。

SO the next cheapest option was…. Manila! I just visited the Philippines last summer (still working on all those posts…) but a small typhoon and crazy monsoon rain messed with my itinerary. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world though because I ended up visiting Siargao, which was amazing! This time I’ll be visiting Bohol and Siquijor for the next two and a half weeks.

所以接下来最便宜的选择是..马尼拉!我去年夏天刚去过菲律宾(我还在写关于那里的帖子...),但是一个小台风和疯狂的季风雨打乱了我的行程。我无法改变它,所以我最终去了锡亚高岛,这太棒了!我将在接下来的两个半星期里去薄荷岛和锡基霍尔。

Wow… that was long, but booking that trip basically made my month. And I only spent a little over $300 USD round trip!

哇...真是漫长的旅行,但是那次旅行基本上让我撑过了一个月。因为我来回只花了300多美元!



The bank had to take the money from me, and then we called the police to report it once I figured out where it had come from. This is the best part so I don’t want to spoil it, but I ended up getting hauled off in a police car due to a visa registration issue. My HR manager had to rescue me from the police station and explain to them an elaborate set of lies before they let me go.

银行把钱从我这里拿走,一旦我查出钱是从哪里来的,我们就报警。这是整个故事最精彩的部分,所以我不想在这里说太多,但我最后因为签证登记问题被一辆警车带走了。我的人力资源经理不得不把我从警察局解救出来,并在他们放我走之前向他们解释了一套精心设计的谎言。

Now everyone in my office jokes that I’m a fugitive, and every time I go to the bank or ATM they tell me not to get arrested.

现在我办公室里的每个人都开玩笑说我是个逃犯,每次我去银行或自动取款机,他们都告诉我不要被逮捕了。