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Old 08-07-06, 10:41 AM   #1
gbcb
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Meh... what should I do?

Everyone's allowed a merton moment once in a while, right? Well, this is mine:

I'm in a state of limbo right now. To give a bit of background, I've been a Chinese language student for the past two years. My classes finished recently, and I'm now looking for a job in Beijing. My situation's a bit dicey because I'm here on a one month (renewable once) short-term visa that I wrangled after my student visa expired. I've still got about 3 weeks left on its first iteration. A proper job would not only give me money, but would also let me stay in the country legally for a year or more.

Now, I had been under the impression that I had a job, but it turns out as interested as the company said they were (I was asked "can you start on Monday?"), they simply don't have a position for me to fill (a friend on the inside confirms this, and I blame their misleading statements on translational difficulties on the part of the HR manager). This is awkward because I had made some tentative plans around that job -- such as sub-letting out my flat to a friend on the assumption that I would have a job, work visa, and new apartment selected based partially on relative proximity to my place of work.

Fortunately, I get along well with my friend, so I'm living on my own couch. The problem now is that I have no job, no particularly good new leads on a job, and only the roughest of ideas of where my place of work would be if/when a job turned up. The other issue is that I may not be able to rent a flat at all without a residence permit, which is contingent on my having a work visa.

I also told my landlord at the beginning of the summer that I wouldn't need my flat after August. Its location is convenient for going to the universities, but is on the other side of the city from places I would be likely to work. Having read through the commuting forums, I know it's not an insurmountable distance, but 20+ miles of commuting every day is more than I'd like to do in Beijing. Furthermore, I have a crazy neighbour who shouts and doesn't let me sleep (nothing I can do about this -- I've asked), my electricity supply doesn't let me run my toaster and air conditioner at the same time, I'm sick of having a 2 sq. metre bathroom without a separate shower so that when I take a shower, everything (toilet, sink, floor) gets wet, and I'm so far away from the centre of the city that I can never invite my more centrally located friends over.

I'm looking at an apartment tomorrow morning in a much more central location. If it's nice, I'm tempted just to take it on the assumption that a decent job will turn up, and then stall the landlord as long as I can on registering with the Public Security Bureau until I actually do get a job. Do you think this is a dumb idea? Or should I just stick with my couch and current apartment for as long as I can until I have a job for sure?

For the record, I'm also angry with BikeForums for warping me to the point that I don't want to live TOO close to where I'd be likely to work, since that would cut into my daily riding.

Sorry for the length of this message, but I needed to rant/vent a bit. And if any of you have contacts with companies in China who want a nice Canadian guy with decent Chinese language skills, let me know .
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Old 08-07-06, 11:44 AM   #2
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Howzabout you get a job w/ a Canuck company that needs to gain a foothold in China like Nortel or RIM?
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Old 08-07-06, 11:55 AM   #3
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hey my fellow Canadian friend! (yep, a canuck here too) Im not sure what the right decision is for you! Immigration laws are just so tough! It's all up to you if you want to chance it and pray for the best. I tend to go for securities first. I would keep my rotten apartment till I have a job security.
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Old 08-07-06, 01:32 PM   #4
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Cervélo are advertizing a few positions where your language skills would be an asset, but of course they're in Toronto, not Beijing;

http://www.cervelo.com/employment.aspx
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Old 08-07-06, 10:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for the link SaabFan, I'll look into the Cervélo thing anyway, just for the hell of it. Who knows what might happen?

blonduathlongirl, I also tend to avoid unnecessary risk, so it looks like I'll be here for a while. The apartment that I saw today was nice, but not quite nice enough to make me drop everything and move there immediately. On the other hand, I've just about had it with not living with aircon in 32+ degree weather with 90 percent humidity. Praying for a big thunderstorm to cool things down now...

And thanks, jyo, those are some good ideas. Sometimes some of the most obvious solutions don't occur to me at all
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