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January 2004

High-Points


(You can always look here for how it all started)

It seems that most of the schools in China obtain their English teachers thru agencies.  These agencies handle all the details for the schools.  We received our teaching contract and two other documents from our school.  These other two are a document (in Chinese) to be given to the local Chinese Embassy for the processing of our Chinese Visas; and another that certifies that I am an 'expert' and my job cannot be filled by a Chinese person.  The school ends up sponsoring my Z visa, Foreign Expert Status, Resident’s Permit.  We found a travel agency in Denpasar (Bali) that will handle all the paper work for us so we do not need to travel to the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta.  We were told it would take about ???? days and cost about ???? US$ to take of everything.

The packing was actually pretty easy.  Luckily we had not really unpacked much from our last move, keeping many things in large plastic tubs with tight fitting lids.  The only thing we need to do is determine exactly what we will be taking to China with us - minimum of clothes; my laptop computer with all my lesson-plans, etc; my teaching books; and personal stuff.  Then around January 27th, we'll hire a large truck and have a few local women take stuff from our house to the truck, then drive to Tabanan to my friend Bill Dalton's house.  He has been kind enough to store our stuff for us.

Then just kill a few days in Bali and board our February 1st flight to Shanghai.  We'll have a 5-6 hour layover in Bangkok and may take a taxi into town for some Thai food!  We'll decide when we get there.

We've already sold my beloved Toyota Land Cruiser and have our cute motor-bike for sale.  I'll also be selling all our DVDs (we'll at least the ones we don't want to watch again).

In the mean time, I'm busy planning for my teaching.  I'm scouring the net for places with information about lesson-plans; teaching in China; etc.  It's amazing how much info is available.  I've collected some great lessons - some 1 day lessons, and some week long projects!  Should be fun.

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Chinese Visa

There is no Chinese Embassy in Bali, so we were afraid we would need to travel to Jakarta to process our special "Z" visa.  The "Z" visa allows me to work in China.  However, we found a travel agency in Denpasar that would handle it all for us.  So we took our 2 passports and the two documents we had received from the school in China and when to see them.  We also needed to get a photograph of each of us.  We were then told it would only take 10 business day!  Well only two days passed before we got a call that said we each needed complete physicals as well.  So off to the local hospital we went.  After what seemed like 2-3 gallons of blood, and some prodding, and some poking, and an x-ray, we had it.  So now we wait another week or so and we'll be all set!

We've now sold our car and our motor bike.  We just have a queen mattress and about 150 DVDs to sell and we're done selling things.  Yanti is off to Java to see her folks before we leave and when she comes back we'll finish our packing and just await the Feb. 1st departure!

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Earthquake

BTW, Yanti & I are fine after Bali's 6.1 earthquake on Jan. 1st. (What a way to start the new year!)  It hit at 5AM. I was (of course) on the computer while Yanti slept. After having lived in San Francisco for 30 years, I think I can safely say that I have much earthquake experience. Having said that, let me also say that Bali's earthquake was the longest one I've ever felt. It was also one of the strongest. It was centered about 50 miles east of us in the ocean between Bali and the island of Lombok. I know of no one that was injured nor any property damage around here. I have heard though, that several people died and that there was some damage closer to the epi-center.

Well, we are almost ready to leave beautiful Bali. Yes, we are both a little sad. I will miss so much of what I love about Bali - the rice paddies filled with water and the young rice; the processions of women in their beautiful Balinese costumes walking to and from the temple; the gaggle of geese walking across the street; the smiles on the facers of all the kids; and much more. Yanti will really miss her family, who just visited us here. This will be the longest she has been away from them AND the furthest!

But, having said all that we are both really excited about all the adventures to come in this next year. The sites we'll see; the new friends we'll meet; and all the things we'll learn.

I will send our new address and phone number in Nantong soon after we arrive.

I have added many maps of China that you will find interesting. Please go to http://www.brucebriscoe.com/china/maps.htm to see them all. One shows Nantong & where Nantong is!

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Don't forget to check out 

ü       http://www.BaliBeadedPurses.com Now Yanti carries about 20 beautiful purses and several beaded necklaces and hair clips!

ü       http://www.BaliTravel-Insider.com for all your Bali travel needs and questions!

 

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