Ben Brown

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Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 33 total)
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  • in reply to: T-Shirt Printers in Chengdu? #38456
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    Awesome, THANKS! I will check that out tonight!

    Cheers,

    Ben

    in reply to: July Events in Chengdu #34014
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    Woo-Hoo! Chengduliving is a big enough deal that African email scammers are actually registering to try to siphon money from us!

    Congrats Charlie!

     

    in reply to: new job – F visa? any ideas? #33886
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    That’s not to say you shouldn’t come to China. You should totally come to China. It’s awesome over here. I’ve come over to live here and work under a Z visa two times now. Both times I am very happy I didn’t have to try to set up a Z visa AFTER I arrived. That would be a bit stressful, because you don’t know whether or not you’ll have to fly to Hong Kong or further to finish the process.

    in reply to: new job – F visa? any ideas? #33860
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    If this is just for a teaching job I would wait until you find someone who offers to start the Z visa process right off the bat. For most any job, actually, that is what I would do. They should be able to get the paperwork started for a Z visa. If they’re offering you anything else it means they want to try to reduce their own risk or their costs in case it falls through. I don’t think you want to work for someone willing to hedge their bets in such a way. I would ask why it is they are only willing to offer an F visa invitation letter. You’re investing a lot in a plane ticket. They should be willing to contribute an equal amount of risk.

    in reply to: Teaching at Disney English #31792
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    What if I bring some home-brew over to the store one night….? We don’t have to talk directly to one another. You can drink good beer and tell the stories to your dog, Peggy. You can tell Peggy, right? I’ll just hang out nearby and look at all the pretty colors in the shop.

    in reply to: Outdoor Movie Night, Sunday 5/26 #31770
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    I’d LOVE to go watch Herb Brooks kick ass and take names in California!

    Count me in.

    in reply to: Two Actors Needed. One day. 800RMB per Person. #31069
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    Haha, Thanks Vincent. Brandon is very more fashion and most happy photogenically!

    in reply to: Business School for Kids? #31019
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    subway station. not subway shop.

    in reply to: Business School for Kids? #31018
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    Awesome. I’m sure they’d love that kind of attention. I’ll try to remember to stop in tomorrow after work on my way to the gym. Depending on when you’re in town at the end of May I might be able to meet you at the subway shop and walk you over there.

    The Natooke fixed gear bike shop is across from my house. I’m sure you’re already in touch with those guys. If not let me know and I”ll give you their contact info as well.

    my email: [email protected]

    in reply to: Business School for Kids? #31016
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    It’s called “China Britain Financial Education” and it’s pretty easy to find. You go to the north-south subway in Chengdu, go south to the High Tech Zone, exit, look around until you see the huge, funny-shaped Yellow and Purple office building. Walk south past that building along the main road and a block later you’ll see Jiu Fang Shopping Center. Go in. Go up to the 5th Floor. Walk around the building on the 5th Floor until you see China Britain Financial Education. I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow, probably, and will try to stop in and grab some materials for you.

    Here is the subway stop in Chinese:

    高新区地铁站

    Shopping mall address in Chinese, in case you want to spend more money and get stuck in traffic via taxi:

    高新区地铁站旁边的九方广场

    I’ll try to post some of the contact info tomorrow. No need to buy me dinner. Just drink one of my home brews someday and if it tastes like absolute crap tell me it’s good anyway and we’re square.

    Cheers.

    in reply to: Business School for Kids? #31008
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    Haha! Yeah I know where this is. I work in the New Tech district and my gym is in the same shopping mall as this school. I walk by it every day. When I first saw it I was marginally surprised and thought it might be certain to fail because really, who teaches finance to little kids.

    Apparently, China does.

    I’ve heard a news report about this on NPR (National Public Radio in the US) of all places.

    It’s in the Jiu Fang Shopping Mall in the New Tech District. You can get there by subway and a five-minute walk. I’ll try to remember to note what floor it’s on when I go to the gym today and get back to you.

    Cheers,

    Ben

    in reply to: Another Newbie…… #30663
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    Any Place between IKEA and Sichuan Sports Stadium in Chengdu would, in my opinion, be great neighborhoods in which to live.

    As far as rent is concerned, one question to ask might be “Does this apartment have 8 or 20MBPS Internet options?” Right now many older buildings are fitted out for 4MBPS, but it doesn’t function anywhere near that level.

    I bring this up because recently I subscribed to a US Baseball sports website that streams games. Up to now I have been able to watch very few of them because my internet is either too slow or it is inconsistent and freezes.

    If you DO need to know whether the internet in your building can function at higher speeds, it is a great idea to go to China Telecom and ask. They’ll get the address you’re going to live at and tell you whether the option is available. If you ask your agent the answer will almost always be “Yes” regardless of the reality.

    But overall, Chengdu is a great city. Good food, nice people, nice expats, a lot of outdoorsy stuff to do, and a decent level of access to western amenities.

    in reply to: Game of Thrones Season 3 #30616
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    Tyrion Lannister and Jaqen H’ghar. I had to look up Jaqen’s name because I keep forgetting it. He’s the dude who only spoke in the 3rd person and helped Arya by killing 3 people for her. I like Arya a lot too, and the swordsman who taught her “What do we say to Death? Not today.”

    I also like old man Lannister. His character is a good example of what arrogance breeds when one is successful long enough. He is so consumed with overconfidence that he misses things right under his nose, like the sister of his sworn enemy serving him food and wine.

    in reply to: Men's Shoes in Chengdu #30576
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    I don’t know how good the product is, but there is a shop next to my house (First ring road between Sichuan stadium subway station and Yu Lin Bei Lu, across from the Everyday Market next to the footbridge) that says in Chinese: Large sized shoes. They’re all leather. I don’t know anything about quality but at least they’ve got selection where you probably won’t hear “mei you” 10 out of 11 times.

    in reply to: How to Get a Micro SIM? #30534
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    What if I’m scared of not only the outside world, but scissors and cutters as well? 🙂

    I LOVE that about China. I’ve been told at one point or another that every single thing I’ve wanted to buy / do in this country “can’t be done”. I had a shop owner once tell me I couldn’t buy a replacement charger cord for my laptop because “Gateway computers aren’t sold in China”. I turned around, disappointed, and bumped into a Chinese guy wearing a gateway shirt. I followed him to his kiosk. Turns out they DO have gateway computers here. haha. The other guy had been telling me I was simply going to have to buy one of his laptops. Capitalism at its best in Communist China.

    in reply to: How to Get a Micro SIM? #30483
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    I’ve noticed that in China when someone doesn’t know for certain how to do something, the standard answer is often “it can’t be done”.

    The reality is not always the same.

    I came over with an unlocked iPhone 3gs that took a regular-sized sim, but I didn’t know it and so they pulled out a tool to cut my China mobile sim to a micro, then discovered it should’ve been regular size, so they glued it back together.

    I am nearly certain you don’t need a new phone. I would first ask through a Chinese speaking friend whether or not you can get a regular sim and cut it. Ask a couple of different places. Including those sketchy shops that won’t just tell you whatever the China Mobile dogma preaches.

    Also, go to a few places. China Mobile and China Telecom and China Unicom offer slightly different products and services. China Unicom, for example, offers the micro sims for ipads. It stands to reason that they will have phone number micro sims as well.

    Basically, don’t lose faith. China likes to say “it can’t be done”, which is ironic considering that in China the reality is usually some slightly twisted, jerry-rigged version of the opposite.

    Best – o – luck.

    in reply to: Air Pollution Hit 350 Today #30304
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    Haha! Before I went to lunch the Chengdu air quality index (aqicn.org/city/chengdu) went from 240 to 92. Amazing! I went to lunch and when I came back it had dropped 148 points!!! Chongqing, on the other hand, dropped 2 points in the same time. I smell something other than pollution in the air….

    in reply to: Where to Barbecue in Chengdu? #30236
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    I’m extremely interested in this as well. I found a smoker for sale online that looks to be within my price range. I’m already making my own beer and brats at home. I just need to find a place to grill this all up and then find people to eat it. I live around the Sports Stadium – First Ring Road and Yulin Bei Lu. Anyone who knows a place let me know.

    Cheers.

    in reply to: Cost of a Chinese Language Tutor #29731
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant

    I remember from one of your other posts that you’ve already passed HSK 4.

    I recommend focusing hard not just on HSK 6 study materials, but also on what you’ll need to communicate successfully in the industry you intend to enter.

    There will always be specific language and expressions, and no testing system, even the rather extensive HSK system, prepares you for everything you need to know. I Tested HSK 4 in 2011. I’m probably HSK 5 now. I work at a Chinese auto parts manufacturer where the primary language is Chinese and a decent amount of the top level management speaks little English. Had I passed HSK 6 prior to starting here I’d have still faced many many challenges.

    Best thing you can do is live the language. Get a tutor, study hard, but also strive to make Chinese friends who have no interest in learning English. Then hang out with them as much as you possibly can. Immerse yourself. Watch Chinese TV, read Chinese newspapers, listen to Chinese talk radio. Read. Write. Communicate. Listen. The only way to truly increase the rate of your improvement is to increase the amount of time you spend studying. That includes conversations with locals where you’re forced to use the vocabulary you’re learning.

    I’m not studying HSK right now, but I plan to sit for the test before the end of the year to see where I stand. Should be interesting.

    in reply to: "Govt" Bus in Chengdu? #29462
    Ben BrownBen Brown
    Participant
    Quote:
    there was one day about ten years ago that someone complained about foreigners riding on a bus which contained briefcases filled with military secrets painstakingly stolen from foreign governments and from then on we were told that we weren’t allowed on that bus.

    Hahahaha!

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 33 total)