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Chongqing, China

a travel blog by cz74699


I am teaching English at Chongqing Normal University with five other teachers from the UK, the states, and Ireland. Lots of good times and more to come.
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The hardcocks are formed

Chongqing, China


where to start....hmm. This is my first time in China so I didn't know what to expect. The following will be a list of experiences, observations, general thoughts, ect. If any chinese read this, do not be offended its all in good fun.

Chongqing air quality= terrrrible. The sky is always grey, the air is so hot that the students were fainting and so the university had to cancel classes. The appartment that was provided for us is roomy and better than I expected. There are many mystery meats everywhere but most of the time it ends up being pork. they freakin love pork, so much that they even put some sort of pork paste on cookies and pasteries. They do not have breakfast foods really...they just jump right into lunch. The food is like WHOA spicy. even if you ask for non spicy guess what you are getting - SPICY - The school does really random loud ass anouncements and theres often Chinese opra waking me up at 7 am. All of the freshman have to participate in military training so I don't start teaching until Sept 18. When we first arrived we had to be under quarentine for 5 days incase we had bird flu and that basically meant we had to stay in the apartment at all times; however, we got bored after the first day and broke that rule basically almost immediately because we wanted to sing karaoke.

All of the students love America! we get stopped in the middle of the street when we are shopping because people want pictures of us. its just like being famous haha. one person actually asked me to sign her arm. its just bizzare. They are all very eager to learn and are all very friendly. Im excited to start teaching them, but they are all at different levels of English some can barely speak and others have been studying english for ten years.

They play a hell of a lot of basketball and bad mitten. We have a height advantage and for that reason only is how we win games.

You know how you hate going car shopping bc the sales ppl pounce on you and haggle? well everytime you go shopping for anything thats how you are treated. ten people start shoving items in your face.

chinese beer is pretty good.

Overall all good stuff.


permalink written by  cz74699 on September 13, 2009 from Chongqing, China
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week deuce

Chongqing, China


more random information:

Step 1:The English names for these students are hilarious. Im not sure where they get their American names from...they might just open a dictionary. here are some of the names they have introduced themselves as

twinkle (a male), Mark of the sky, Tom sunshine, tomatoe, stamp, popcorn, and my favorite T BAG. And no one wanted to break t bag's heart and tell him what his name actually meant.

Step 2: babies dont wear pants or diapers. They wear assless chaps and the parents might get peed on. They just find the nearest bush for the baby to pee or poo into. I know they are just babies, but its still weird to see their wearing crotchess pants.

Our boss, Mark, loves us and takes us out like twice a week. He is good friends with the police department and so we got drunk with the sherif last night. all the food and beer for the entire night is paid for. and bonus...the policemen around Chongqing are our new BFFs they think we are hilarious. They also think Americans love popcorn and at the bar, the owner came out and gave us like 6 bags of popcorn to take home. weird. LOTSS more karaoke its really big here and they are very passionate about their singing.

Mark is taking us to a nearby town tomorrow to see a giant Buddist temple and we are having a banquet in our honor so that should be interesting. I'll have more photos to post after this weekend.

- peace

permalink written by  cz74699 on September 17, 2009 from Chongqing, China
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good and bad day

Chongqing, China


Today has been a very long day to say the least. Started out at the foreign teacher's apt at 9 am this morning and ends right about now. 11:14. So we have been trying to figure out who we work for (directly take orders from) for a few days because there seems to be a conflict. This lady who is in charge of the foreign teachers and who helps us with everything from fixing our sinks to getting good food around here, does not get along well with the head of the english dept. SOOOO the other day she told us we do not have to do what the head of the english dept asks us, such as when we go out to eat and get wasted with him. (however you dont want to be rude if an adult invites you to dinner for free in your honor) If its not in our contract we dont have to do it though. And to make matters more complicated...the head of the english dept said that this girl is below us in rank and we dont have to listen to her. So today we were invited to go to a temple in another city with the head of the English dept. and the girl in charge of us was not allowed to know where we were going. Long story short they each want us to do what they say and its causing major issues because they each make plans for us everyday and we have to piss one of the two of them off. And they want us to lie to the other person about where we are and what we are doing. This is just going to end badly and we are not sure who to listen to.

next issue. we were told we were going to a temple and then eating at a banquet...well little did we know we were going to meet the mayor of the town plus the board that manages the entire county. AND we would have to make a speech which would be on their local television network. We only found out when we saw people taking pictures of us and then we had to sit a desk in front of hundreds of people at a middle school and talk about education in America. We really didnt mind talking about ourselves or even being there it was the fact we were lowered there under false pretenses. No one told us what we were doing until we got there. We had been the first foreigners the people had ever seen in real life so at the end of the press conference all hell broke loose! Students and people bombarded us like we were fuckin Michael Jackson risen from the dead. I took two photos of it..but we all agreed it was freightning and we never want to be famous. ever. shit kept being shoved in our face to sign and people were taking pictures of us and shooting video.

Did I mention before the press conference at 11 am we had to be in the car for almost two hours then we had to take like 20 shots a piece at this place (which doesnt sound bad but it was soo bad) that early in the morning and it was terrible ass rice wine. Drinking that early plus that much plus that fast was not fun at all. I wanted to shoot myself and I love drinking! And i had to put on a happy face. I was just still shock from the fact i had to go on tv right after that.

on the upside, the temple was very interesting and I took lots of great shots. The people were very nice, I just have never been around people who literally force you to drink so much. and you can't say no because it is rude.

sooo that concludes why I had a good and bad day.China is an interesting place indeed.

permalink written by  cz74699 on September 18, 2009 from Chongqing, China
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standards are just barriers

Chongqing, China


Hello again from China!
week 3? I'm starting to get my days all mixed up

I finally started teaching this week, I forgot I was here to work not just hang out in China for 10 months. Teaching went pretty well, the students are excited to be there b/c they are freshman and are eager to start learning Enlgish. All of my students are studying to be English teachers themselves. More good English names that they had : Fun, Breeze, Diaper, Donkey. They want to know about weird things here are some of the things students wanted to learn about when I asked them.

How to lose weight, why America says/ does mean things to China, are guns easy to get because this particular kid heard everyone and everyone has a gun.(this made me nervous bc he made it sound like he wants to do a school shooting and needs a gun fast), what I think about assisted suicide. (very serious issue to talk about and it is illegal to talk about it in China) and why did michael jackson die on earth? haha

All the students love Obama for some reason.

So things that happened this week: Three of us got talked into doing a radio spot for the campus radio. For 15 mintues we had to talk about random things. They shoved the microphone in our face and at one point forced us to sing the national anthem, which is actually really hard to sing especially when you get to the "land of the free and home of the brave" part. We didn't realize that the radio segment was live and it was broadcast on loud speaker to the entire campus as well. So everyone heard my terrible voice. I don't sing for a reason!

I dont know if i mentioned it but the clothing sizes here are ridiculous. They are like kids sizes and I can fit into ladies size XL or a men's size L. It makes us feel pretty sad but the Chinese are soooo tiny its ridiculous.

There is this guy..Mark of the sky... that loves us and may or may not be stalking all the teachers. The other day he literally popped out of a bush and was like oh hey where are you going? what are you doing? you can come back to my dorm and help me get my balls ( basketballs we were assuming.) and he insisted one of us give him our number. He is by far the creepiest.

Also, there are random electricity blackouts here. they could last 15 min or 10 hours or more. It's bc there isn't enough energy to support the country so it just messes up and stops working every like few days.

We met two more American teachers that are working about 15 min away from us so we made friends with them. We went out for karaoke and did the golf pub crawl game. I took some pictures of that and of a mountain bike ride we went on today. It was scary bc cars, scooters, and pedestrians are everywhere in the street - there are no traffic laws - sooo it was intersting and it was kind of like a frogger game.

anyways I'll post these pics and keep updating. I finally got facebook to kind of work so that was a break through.

peace on earth and goodwill to men

- CZ

permalink written by  cz74699 on September 26, 2009 from Chongqing, China
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ohhh china china

Chengdu, China


Soooooo much to say since my last entry. Starting last Wednesday we have been on National Holiday aka the same as our fourth of July. They celebrate their 60 years of communist China.
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The night before we went out of town we went to our favorite local club to celebrate. There, we encountered the usual, but one interesting Surprise was the number of babies at the club. Yes, tiny tot babies, who bring babies to clubs at 1 am? The Chinese do...and once again they were not wearing proper clothes.

put some clothes on your baby and put him to bed, come on!!

Our favorite street food at 1 am. They love us and we love them. Its not quite as good as McDonald's at 2 am, but it gets the job done.

So off we went to Chengdu, China via a 4 hr bus ride (which we almost missed b/c there are a million bus stations and the driver took us to the wrong one). When we arrived to the hostel we were confused b/c it was half hotel, half hostel. We were almost homeless because we only brought copies of our passport info page. Apparently they were crackin down because of the national holiday and refused to let us stay. Then God sent us a helper named Eddie ( he was Chinese just spoke some English) got into a 20 min heated debate with the front desk ladies and YAY we got to stay there after all. We were upgraded to the hotel part =)

They had a picture of Malcom X, 2 Pac, and Bob Marley, which i thought was random, neat.

We went to an arcade, good clean fun. I hadn't done that in years.

We did many tourist-like things. We went to an excavation site/museum where religious ceremonies had been held. They buried things that they wanted to sacrifice, like elephant tusks and jade. They had really nice gardens all around it.


There were also remains of humans, more assumed sacrifices. creeepyyy

In the middle of the gardens we stumbled upon this group of guys who wouldn't let us pass until we gave them hugs. Really random, pretty weird too.

Next stop was the home of a famous writer/poet, Du Fu, who fled because of ani-shi rebellions. He built a thatched cottage in the middle of no where, including a building overlooking a pond and garden, where he would write most of his works.

that's what he looked like.

Our next adventure was when we met up with some westerner's that Alison met last year when she was studying in Beijing. We were at an outdoor restaurant where you cook your own food when all of the sudden a building on the other side of the street less than a block away caught on fire. We were all freakin out and the Chinese ppl glanced at it and then went on nonchalantly. WTF? They must not care if babies were dying. We watched stuff fall off the building and fly down from the sky for 45 min. THEN the firefighters finally came. Lesson learned: DO not start a fire in my apt b/c i'll be screwed!

Arts and crafts!The hostel all did origami and made floating candles that we then released into the Yangzte river.

Another day we went to the panda breeding center. Such cute critters, i got some good video footage of three of them getting into a fight. available upon request, of course.




male and female panda reproductive organs ewww

they also had what they called "little" or "red" pandas that resemble coons. ehh i prefer the regular type pandas better.

We went to a Daoist temple where people still currently go to make offerings and to pray. We were given incense when we entered and we were supposed to put it in the giant cauldron as an offering.


they had tables set up with elaborate flower and firework arrangements that we supposed were going to be used in a ceremony later that day.

Went shopping in a large market. I bought various Chinese goodies, a t-shirt that cost me the equivalent of a dollar, pashmina scarves,postcards ect.



Went out to eat at a pizza hut, which was soooo good. Tasted way better than in America,probably because it wasn't noodles or rice, ha.

We also went out for Peter's birthday and hit up some nightlife. More karaoke, like always! we sang ghostbusters haha

There were some dancing girls, and some Chinese breakdancers, woop woop.

passed out men at the bar. haa!

Glad to be back in our more suburban town and we all just joined a gym here. Pretty excited to take some of their classes, which include disco time, street dance, and body shakedown. hmmm....

permalink written by  cz74699 on October 7, 2009 from Chengdu, China
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H1n1 quarantine

Chongqing, China


oo lord. So today is Sunday and I have been in quarantine since early Wednesday, and let me just say that this is no longer fun.

Wednesday I taught a morning class and I was headed to the on campus shop to get a bottle of water. I saw tons and tons of students at the front gate of the school and the gate was closed, which normally the gate is only closed at night. I didn't think much of it until I went in the store and one million students were panic buying. It was like they are calling for snow in North Carolina and everyone and their mom goes to buy canned goods and water as if it ever really snows that bad in Charlotte. Anyways, a student of mine informed me that we were locked in and that's why so many people were getting food. There is only one shop and one cafeteria on campus so getting food would be a pain.

When I got back to my apt my boss gave me a thermometer and a face mask and said take your temp three times a day, and that they had no idea how long we would be under quarantine for. They didn't cancel classes right away but before my next class that day at 2pm all classes were canceled and they had taken 30 people with the Swine flu to the center city hospital an hour away.

So for the past couple of days we have been watching a few movies, playing cards, sleeping, living off of chips and gross spicy instant noodles, and cabbage with rice from the cafeteria. The fun of not having to teach is long over and we are all ready to get the hell out! haha. One day we did make tombstones and bats our of cardboard boxes and paint to decorate for Halloween.

Supposedly tomorrow or Tuesday classes will start back up, but the quarantine won't necessarily be over yet. Quarantine is like a slightly more free version of jail. crappy food and nothing really to do.

until next week when hopefully I will have done something other than sit in my apt...

permalink written by  cz74699 on October 17, 2009 from Chongqing, China
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Soccer game and Halloween!

Chongqing, China


I have been slacking off big time when it comes to my blog so I will attempt to fix this and cram in lots of info.

Classes have been going very well and I feel like a real teacher, haha. It takes time to feel out each class and figure out how to get them to participate because most of them are pretty shy. The students are great I love them and they are full of questions.

I also finally feel like I live here – I think before now I still felt like I was on vacation or something. I am also getting Chinese lessons twice a week from my friend Phoenix, and she says my pronunciation is good, but my written Chinese is shit. The characters are like small art projects…I am pretty sure I won’t be able to retain any of them for future use.



Last weekend some of us went an hour away into the city and watched a professional soccer game. It was a great time; we all started getting really into it after this man started a fire in the stadium seating area and got arrested. It was bring your own beer, and oddly enough we were the only ones drinking. We learned some Chinese chants and cheers and fit right in. Right outside of the stadium they were having a fair so we rode some of the sketchy looking rides and did some bumper boating.


We went back to our hostel and had some drinks to pre-game before we went out again and we met a ton of people. We started out playing cards and more and more people joined in. We had some Chinese, Canadians, French, a Kenyan, and several Brits all playing a huge game of circle of death. It turned out to be a great night because all twenty of us went out. Maybe a little too much fun because I ended up losing my wallet in one of the many bars we went to that night. Luckily, I only lost like 250 yuan, and I ended up getting a call from one of the bars telling me they found my wallet. Wooohoo! And then we found this shopping center that had a subway, starbucks, and dairy queen so for the short amount of time I was there, I was in heaven haha.

Next order of business…Halloween. At first I thought that the Chinese didn’t celebrate it but maybe knew about the holiday through movies and such. NOPE, they knew literally nothing about Halloween so it was interesting to think about the holiday from a different point of view. When I did my lecture on Halloween and traditions that go along with it I could see why the Chinese people thought it was a very odd holiday.



For Halloween we made gravestones and bats made out of cardboard to decorate our apartments. It was hard to dress up since there are no costume stores…a party city would have been very helpful! But considering our resources we did well; I was a zombie, Alison was a panda, Lily was a witch, Peter was superman, Mat and our friend Phoenix were both pirates, two other American teachers were an aerobics teacher and a pregnant lady. During the day we went around campus in our costumes and took pictures with our students. We also played a pick up game of basketball in our outfits and tons of students took pictures with us.




Then at night we went to a local night club. The English society and the bar wanted us to perform so we made a deal…if we performed three songs we could have free beer all night. So we sang Backstreet boys “as long as you love me” and danced to thriller…which ended up starting a congo line that included like 50 people, and then we sang “country road” a john Denver techno remix.There were other people that performed including a drag queen.



Some guy said it was his girlfriend’s birthday so we serenaded her and she gave us delicious cake. A bunch of our students came to see us sing and dance and to take pictures with us. Some of them even dressed up in costume too!



At 2 o’clock in the morning we went with these people we met to get some barbeque. The Chinese idea of barbeque is just cooking random things outside on a skillet like lamb on a stick. The octopus was actually the best thing we ate..it was freakin delicious!

All in all it was a very fun Halloween and it was a lot of fun to introduce the holiday to the Chinese students =)




permalink written by  cz74699 on November 1, 2009 from Chongqing, China
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just another day in china

Chongqing, China


Yes life is becoming more mundane here now. Just teaching during the week and going to the gym in preparation for my vacation that starts at the end of December, and hanging out with students. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to be friends with all the students but they ask to do things like play badminton and eat lunch with them more and more often now. Most of the students are pretty cool and just want to learn more about American culture. They took some of us to eat hot pot, which is a typical dish here in Chongqing. It is a very spicy soup and you choose what you want in it and they cook it in front of you. We also tried Korean barbeque and it was amazing. The grilled octopus was by far the best of the meats! The hot pot was too spicy for most of us but still delicious.

Last Friday we were invited to go to a presentation, and we were expecting maybe a play or some people singing. Instead, we got a bunch of people in rollerblades that were super amazing. They brought a bunch of different skates and made us all join them. We had been drinking a few beers so we were well down for it, even though no one had rollerbladed since they were like 8 years old, haha.



We also encountered this random giant dinosaur that is alongside of the road for no apparent reason. We of course thought it was hilarious and took pics with it. Also the random man doing tricks at the bar seen below was pretty interesting i thought he was going to make himself bleed.

I am still taking some Chinese lessons, but I think my learning has hit a wall. I am not really interested in learning how to read and write the characters; instead I would prefer to learn only oral Chinese if at all possible. And I don’t have the dedication it takes to learn a language right now. I rather just enjoy China and not spend my time with my nose in a book.

We have also been taking part in a soccer tournament; yea…even me who can’t play, haha. The British boys signed everyone up so we are taking turns playing. Our team has won all but one game so we are in the semi-finals and the winner gets a cash prize! Woohooo. Wish us luck.

AND ANNOUNCING THE BEST QUOTE OF CHINA SO FAR: A group of Chinese girls announced that they were bleaching their skin because they thought you couldn’t see blemishes if your face was very light. They said and I quote, “The white takes the ugly away” …. Hmmm if u had lighter skin wouldn’t you be able to see red blemishes more? Bless their hearts haha.

NEW holiday! Apparently November 11 is a national holiday –opposite of Valentines Day…Singles day!! Because its 1-11. Clever. They celebrated by having girls/guys night and bonding over beers.



permalink written by  cz74699 on November 14, 2009 from Chongqing, China
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No turkey for me. Lots of fun facts

Hechuan, China


No turkey for me

So let’s see…

Thanksgiving is coming up this week. We do not have the day off, but Thursdays I only have one class in the morning and we usually are required to do two hours of English corner from 7-9pm but we talked our boss into canceling it this week because of our holiday. So there’s no turkey to be eaten here so we are going out to eat at this place where they have western food aka steak and fries and spaghetti ect. It’s pretty expensive but worth doing every once in a while.

About English corner, now that it’s like 40 degrees English corner sucks. We have to stand outside in the dark (there are no street lights and we do it outside near a pond) and its only cancelled if its really raining so if its drizzling we still have to stand outside for two hours.

This past Thursday we had a city-wide power outage that lasted from 3 something until 9pm or so. Here’s the situation… if there is no power I can’t really teach because I give my lecture on powerpoint. Next issue, there is no heat in the classroom so by the time class is over I am super ready to go home and sit in my warm heated apt. BUT on this day with no power we all had to wear layer after layer. We went out to try to get candles but shops didn’t have any. So we ended up eating dinner with out winter coats on in the dark at a restaurant, next to a loud generator that was blowing weird fumes. FUN FACT #1: in China, many restaurants and stores don’t have doors (open air) so whatever the weather is outside it’s the same weather inside. I now appreciate the invention of doors.

There’s also no heat in the student’s dorms and they must live on campus all 4 years and they have the same 5 roommates every year! Hope they all enjoy each other’s company haha.

Fun fact #2: if people here don’t feel well, they do to the pharmacy and get an iv drip. They just hook themselves up and go about their day as usual.

Fun fact # 3 Chinese people describe clothes and things as very “fashion.” So if you think your friend looks cute today instead of being like oo I like that shirt, very cute, you would say “oh you look very fashion today” not even fashionable. just fashion. Also clothes have the words fashion written on them pretty often. Weird.

Also people keep contacting me and trying to get me to teach on the weekends. The extra money would be nice but I refuse to teach 7 days a week. I think they believe we don’t need a life and that we have a gift, and that gift is to teach English, and therefore, we must use that gift ALL the time.


We had an interesting night yesterday. Started off as a quiet Saturday night. A student asked if we would go watch the dance team at a bar, we agreed. The show was good some break dancing, some MC Hammer pants and some hoooorrrrrribble attempts to rap. After the show we played this game: you pay money to play, you roll the dice in a cup and the one with the highest amount wins 40 bottles of beer. We played three times and won the beer. There were only 6 of us and our Chinese friend who was already too drunk so we gave away a lot of it and then drank and drank some more. Needless to say everyone had WAY too much to drink. At one point our Chinese friend broke the leg off our table and open beer flew everywhere, like ten bottles broke, broken glass and beer everywhere and it was a hot mess. The owner wasn’t mad at us and instead asked to take pictures with us. Haha!

And a word about gambling here: I thought it was a stereo type to think that Chinese people gambled all the time while chain smoking, but guess what its true! In restaurants, in alley ways, at the park, in the middle of the sidewalk you name it they are gambling all hours of the day.


Lastly, Fun fact #4 Chinese people love Avril Lavine. god only knows why.



permalink written by  cz74699 on November 22, 2009 from Hechuan, China
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tis the season for some pork and rice

Hechuan, China


I know im a slacker. I keep forgetting im supposed to be documenting things. I will mostly tell my story through the pictures I have.

Ready set go.

Alison and I missed breakfast food because here in China they don’t really have breakfast food—they just eat dumpling and noodles for breakfast. So we decided to make homemade pancakes and they turned out more like crepes, but they were still good. It was a nice ghetto dinner. There’s no syrup so we used honey and peanut butter to sweeten the pancakes.

We also finished our soccer tournament and we came in third!! Woo we won a cash prize and went out that night for a nice dinner and drinks to celebrate. Our team captain, Lily gave out awards, which were these awesome I love china headband/sweatband things. I hope to find more so I can bring them home for yall in the states. Catherine was pretending to eat a chicken foot in this pic UGH. We don’t touch things that look like a carcass. I was buying fruit at an open air market this past week and encountered an entire pig head that was huge and my eyes watered up and I ran away, I absolutely cant stand looking at dead bodies.





Here is a picture of the main street vendors where I get most of my food. I get the same thing most days though because some food is too spicy or I just don’t know what im getting or how to order it. On adventurous days I do a random pointy to something that looks edible. Haha.


We’ve been working on collecting any and all Christmas decorations in a 30 mile radius. So far so good, more pictures of the winter wonderland to come. We have two Christmas trees yay! We used tinsel to write the first letter of each of our names on the wall.

And then today there was a talent show. They gave us front row seats with name tags telling us where to sit and free tea and and candy yayy. It was very entertaining here were the acts.
1. Kung fu demonstration
2. A fable was read that had the moral of follow your dreams
3. Two girls sang Madonna’s song “beautiful island”
4. more mixed martial arts
5. a nun chuck fighter
6. a skilled swordsman
7. a girl that danced like a stripper and made people feel uncomfortable
8. people karate chopping wood and glass
9. street and break dancers
10. A play about why you shouldn’t eat dirty food and candy off the street





We also had to play telephone with Chinese words in front of the crowd just to prove that we, the foreign teachers, are completely worthless when it comes to speaking Chinese haha.

I got pretty sweet videos of all the action unfortunately this website wont let me post videos. Later days….


Counting down the days until I go on my two month vacation and leave this one horse town. JK but not really. Next week I start giving my students exams then Im outa here!!!!



permalink written by  cz74699 on December 3, 2009 from Hechuan, China
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I am from Charlotte, North Carolina but I have been living in Chongqing, China since September 2009 and will continue to do so until June 2010. I have had a great time learning about Chinese culture through traveling and teaching English at Chongqing Normal University.

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