following is a description of things in the city of Pingguolu,
Guangxi, PR. China. I will try to make the following as
detailed without being mundane.
The accommodations are very good. Its reported that
Owen gets the best available in Guangxi. IE- the rooms
usually have American like toilets so that you won't
have to squat. In my apartment they provided me with
a computer (Pentium II), printer, Internet access using
DSL Cable, a TV with DVD, VCD, MP3 capabilities, water
heater, kitchen with gas stove, a sterilization device
for dishes (it does the job).
Mosquitoes, and flying cockroaches can sometimes be
a pain. I've only had contact with about 3-4 cockroaches
since moving here. They have some bug and mosquito repellents
that you can purchase at the supermarket, that work
My overall opinion of the school is good. They always
pay you on time. Sometimes they pay you a little extra
for holidays, or for helping with special projectsĄ.
i.e. - English festival. The teachers always try to
work with you and help you. They like it when we discuss
different ideas and teaching methods with them.
If you are going to be sick, its best to call the school.
Although you should try and be careful on how many times
you call in. They are not as lenient as companies in
the US. Most Chinese teachers go to work ill, unless
they are very sick.
Also you have to be aware that they don't always inform
you of their plans ahead of time. So you might get last
The food here is greatĄ They have food from all over
China in Pingguolu, because of the Aluminum Factory.
Especially spicy foods, although you can avoid them
if you choose. Plenty of different dishes ranging from
the following: Fish, Pork, Chicken, Beef, Corn, Green
Beans, Herbal Chicken Soups, and Potatoes (one of my
favorites). They have various ways of preparing each
dish, so you may have a certain kind of potatoes on
night, and another completely different version of potatoes
later in the week.
Once a year the school will put on a festival. Where
they ask the English teachers to be the Masters of Ceremonies.
You have to teach your classes English songs, and incorporate
movements for the song. It's a little bit of work but
well worth it. They will probably ask you to sing one
English song or a Chinese song with one of the classes.
The week of the festival you must get the songs from
the teachers and come up with a program. IE- you introduce
the classes to the audience on stage. The show is semi-professional.
Experience is not required, and the school staff will
work with you. You must remember to ask questions about
things, otherwise you might not find out till the last
The school also puts on a Chinese show, but to my knowledge
you are not required to participate.
The nearby Pingguolu hospital has everything including
vaccinations for Herpes A & B. Rabies, Polio, etc.
It also carries Western Drugs, and Pharmaceuticals.
I prefer using Acupuncture and Cupping methods that
the hospital also provides. The medicines are very affordable
with the salary you'll be receiving. So you should not
worry about it.
When you first get here you may have a few stomach issues.
Especially the first 2 weeks. They have very good pills
for this, or you can bring your own medications. The
reason for this is because the body has to adapt to
a new climate and food. Getting lots of rest should
The city of Pingguolu is fairly small. The food market
is great. You can purchase food, get haircuts, and facials
at a reasonable price. There are also small shops where
you can by additional housing materials, plants, cd's
and vcd's. Sometimes the streets smell a little, but
not that often.