The month of March was a good one for us here in Guangzhou, China and we are really beginning to feel at home. All of Josh’s paperwork has become final, and so he was happy to receive his official China resident permit – so it is official that he legally lives in China! Now he can leave the country whenever he wants and return without any other type of Visa.
I was also excited to get an offer from the adult English school that I teach at. I’m now the business English trainer for a contract with a major car manufacturer here in town. Some days I teach in the school, and other days I travel out to teach at their manufacturing facility. It’s right up my alley with my previous experience, and I love being able to experience working life at a major Chinese company.
We have also had some time to explore our new home town, including trips to a few parks to go on bike rides and some markets. Lastly, one of the coolest things that we did was cook a traditional southern BBQ meal for our local friends. It was a lot of fun. They had never seen this type of food before. We made shredded pork BBQ sandwiches, homemade macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, and baked beans. They asked so many questions about the food, and we loved explaining to them how people eat BBQ in the States.
It was cool to see food that is so normal to us be so interesting to them. They were even taking photos of all the food!
Here is a quick spending recap for March
March 2015 Spending = $1610
- Rent – $330
- Misc. utilities & property management dues $80
Transportation, Food, Fun, Misc. Cash (all lumped together): = $1200
- This month we had a few expensive nights out that were a bit unexpected
- We also grabbed a few more clothing items from a great outdoor store nearby and a useful collapsible bag for Liz to use for work and travel
- Lastly, we had an expensive visit to a 24 hour spa recently. We haven’t written about it yet, but details to come soon!!!
** This s the first month since we left the States that we officially have more income than expenses! YAY for saving again!!! And the better news is that this month’s income did not include the additional money from my new full-time and corporate teaching gig, that will starting rolling in next month. So we are looking forward to stuffing a lot more money back in the bank and replenishing what we’ve used since leaving the States.
- Being able to navigate public transportation…and even start recognizing Chinese characters on signs!
- Found an IKEA! Enough said.
- Liz got a custom drink named after her at the bar down the street
- Stumbling across a Subway sandwich shop (and found another one close to home)! Sounds weird, but after eating nothing but Chinese food (rice and noodle dishes), a good Subway sandwich really hits the spot!!!
- Josh becoming an official resident of China (hopefully Liz’s will come through soon)
- The night we ended up partying at a Chinese night club – that was random!
- Exploring the enormous Dafushan Park / mountain – and going for a bike ride along the many trails, as well as some hiking up the mountain for great views.
Liz: My favorite part was definitely cooking the southern BBQ dinner at our home for everyone. It was a lot of work to find the ingredients (some of them were not so easy to find), and our kitchen is TINY — without many of the conveniences that we have in the States. So I had to adapt my cooking style. For example, I made the pork in a rice cooker! But hey, it worked! I was just so happy that it turned out and everyone loved it and were going back for seconds and thirds!
Josh: For me, I really enjoyed our day exploring Dafushan park. We rented a two person bicycle and rode around with friends Steven and Wendy. The park is huge, and just beautiful! We even parked the bikes and went for a hike up a mountain to a pagoda and lookout. Unfortunately, it was a bit overcast and it started to rain. But at least it wasn’t super hot. It felt nice to get out into nature and do a bit of exploring, right here in the heart of the big city!