The Newbies have Landed

So this past week three of the new teachers for the foreign language department arrived. (To be fair, one of them — Alf — is not actually a newbie. But he’s new here. Hangzhou is quite different from backwoods Henan!) Anyway, as ZUCC’s foreign teacher liaison it’s my job to welcome new teachers and show them around. So that’s what I’ve been busy with lately. Fortunately it’s a lot of fun.

New teachers that have arrived so far:
Russell Alf Carl

So far I have greeted them, helped them move into their new apartments, helped get everything distributed and operational (water dispensers, washing machines, refrigerators, TVs, etc.), took them shopping for household necessities, took them out to different restaurants, took them to West Lake, took them to Bank of China to change money, took them cell phone shopping, took them furniture shopping, took them to a super cheap Chinese bar right by West Lake, took them to a nice expat bar on Hangzhou’s lakeside bar street, took them to Hangzhou’s famous student hangout called the “Reggae Bar,” and took them to “L.A. Disco,” Hangzhou’s most popular dance club. Oh yes, I had more alcohol this past weekend than I’ve had in a while.

The expat bar scene is a much-reviled aspect of life here, but it’s certainly something they have to experience. I think this past weekend’s trips were pretty good. There were a few females involved too, the most noteworthy of which we have nicknamed “Biter.”

Some funny quotes from today (each coming from a different person, one of them belonging to me):

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s getting kicked in the nuts.

Ahhh, that blows cold. [Referring to air conditioning]

Tea and water are kind of the same.

Must have more fun!

Yes, these guys are gonna make great English teachers.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. senor boogie woogie Says: January 28, 2005 at 5:54 pm


    I hope these people have a good time like I have here in Hangzhou. Hangzhou is NOT exciting. It’s actually quite dull after you have been here a few years, but if you are new on the scene, welcome and all that good stuff.

    I am in Raggae all the time. I am the big wide-load dude with yellow hair and a yellow jacket. I would like to start a “welcome wagon” type of group for those people who are new to the community and may think on occasion that living in China is an overwhelming experience. Feel this way, contact me.

    My e-mail is


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