Shanghai Surprise

This  is another blog to lament  about China Eastern customer service. OMG, I have  been trying to call since last week to change my ticket from JFK-Guiyang to JFK-Nanchang. It has been an ordeal. First I tried a customer service number  but it was in LA and after the  holding game, they finally answered 3 hours later. The woman refused  to help me because my ticket was in LA. She gave  me a NY number. This  NY number was terrible, I never got through. I have spent days trying to  get in touch. It was like a full time job that I was not getting paid for. I was on hold  for hours with no  hold music. I took a break on thanksgiving Day. Then I continued  to call. This  was  now  war and I will prevail!!!!!

Finally I goggled and got another number. It was in Vancouver. At this  point I just needed  to get someone on the phone. LA was evil. New York was non responsive. How  do  you think my Canadian experience was? Well to  start they had head bopping  bouncy happy people hold music. I just love Canada! Canada is a a Shiny Happy People holding hands version of the USA. Oh Canada, I love  thee. If China doesn’t work out I am defecting to Canada. yes I will give  up my USA citizenship in a heartbeat to be a Canadian.That is another blog  post though about my obsession with Canada. I only held for 20 minutes and then spoke  to a guy named Alex. Alex had a sexy voice. I know  he has  to be hot just by his voice!! In my dreams I will concoct my version of Alex. Sadly Alex was not allowed  to  change  my info because the Canada office was not allowed  to touch American ticketing. Great the only competent branch  could  not help me. The sexy Alex gave me the number to their headquarters in Shanghai. I bid adieu to Alex with the drop your panties voice.

I had to wait to call Shanghai due to the time difference, so I spent all that time chatting to Fifi in England on Facebook. Ha! Fifi you are famous  now. Better put a  comment on my blog for the  shout out. Ok so I called Shanghai office, I actually had an international plan on my cell that I was paying for  since the  days  I wanted to teach in South Korea. So I called Shanghai and  had a minimal hold time, it was 9am their time. I spoke  to Ling. She was ok. She  told  me that I  could  not change  my destination. Lovely. I really do not like China Eastern at all. I am being honest. Come  on really. They switched the date of  my original plane flight from December 5th to February 13th. However  the only portion that I could use was from JFK-Shanghai. I had  to cancel my Shanghai -Guiyang flight. I have  to buy another ticket from Shanghai to Nanchang. Now I can’t  do that with  Ling, why because they only accept Chinese credit cards. Ling asks if I have  a Chinese credit card, duh Ling no lol. So I will have  to go later  to their English website and order a ticket. Oh and I checked the English speaking site is run  by their  Vancouver branch. I hope they  take  my card. So I am  out  of  luck and had  to kiss that portion and  the money  I spent goodbye. I have  to give them 1500 rmb in order to change the flight info. Ling can’t take payment because I have no Chinese credit card. When I enquire  about adding Bowie as  luggage  she says that I have  to talk about that with New York office  to see  if they will allow it. On the China Eastern website  it said that  you can bring animals  and  they even told  you the  forms needed.

Ling  says that I can  call a number in New York  and have  them take the payment. the  number she  gave me was the  number I already had, so I explained that I am unable to get in touch  with them was there  another way. She  gave  me an address of their headquarters in New York. It’s in Manhattan. They will will only take  cash at headquarters. So ladies and  gents it isn’t ok. this jobless Chocolate Chick’s fundage is  getting  low. At this  point, I probably  would have  come  out cheaper using another  airline in the  first place. I was reading Air China website and they actually allow changes  in tickets. My cheapo ways  have  come  to bite  me in the butt.

This  is far from over though. I have to journey to the  city. Manhattan  to you non tri-state area folks. I decided  to make a day out of  it and  see  my lovely niece Caitlin. Shout out today to Caity, she turned 21 today. LUv Ya!!!! I can have coffee with her. We can chat, so it won’t  be that much of  a bust. Then cry  as 240 bucks leaves  my hands. That is  about the equivalent of 1500rmb.  So  I am at  a loss. In  another post I will tally this all up. Oh there is good news though, my school will reimburse me   for  my ticket to China.

So boys  and  girls  what  did  we learn today?

1. Never ever ever fly China Eastern because their customer service stinks

2. Don’t  buy plane tickets  before you sign a contract

3. LA and NYC folks are  rude

4. Canada is the best and happiest place in the world

5,Alex that works at China eastern Vancouver has  a phone sex voice and  has  to be a hottie 🙂

6. Caity’s birthday is November 26th and she turned 21 this year.

I am going to end this with a picture of how I think Alex at China Eastern looks.

The actor is named Zhang Han. I got this picture courtesy of http://www.cutehotguys.com

Daddy….I’m Moving to China

I am  so chicken, I have  not  told my dad that I am moving to China yet. I am so not sure  how  he  would react. I really  don’t want him  to be  sad or  worried. I don’t want  him  to feel that I am abandoning him. I love him very much, but I am  living a  half life here. My dad, well he is is hard  to  talk  to  sometimes. Things  have  to be handled  delicately. My  dad is  also very hilarious. I decided  to call him on Thanksgiving just  to see if this was the right time  to tell him. I said that I would tell him after I signed my contract. Well that happened two weeks ago. Below is basically how the conversation went down.

Conversation with Dad on Thanksgiving

Me: I have to tell you something, but I don’t want to tell you on the phone. I am going to try to come and see you in January or December
Dad:Is You Ok?
Me: I just am have a life changing moment in a good way.
Dad: You’re pregnant!
Me: No dad, I’m not married. I want to do it the right way. I’m a Christian
Dad: You’re getting married!
Me: No, I wish maybe someday.
Dad: Wait you said in January or December:Aren’t you working?
Me:Well that is part of the news.
Dad:Oh Lordy. LORDY!LORDY!
Me:Dad, God is with me. That job made me sad, it wasn’t healthy for me. I gained 60 pounds while working there.I quit my job, I had a job offer for December 5th but I found  out it was  not a good school.I have a job in February though. Just need to find something in between.

Dad: Don’t  bring your  dog here( My dad hates animals)

Me: I will board him when I drive  out  to see you, If I can’t make it I will tell you over the phone

Ok so someone gave me wise advice, I have to go visit him to break the news. I don’t know how to tell him that I am moving to China and already signed the contract and am moving in February. all the lab work came back so medically I am in the green. Any advice would be helpful. If this keeps up. I am going to rename this blog Chocolate Chicken in China. I dedicate the below song to me.

 

Freebird

Oh another post that  should  have  been  made earlier.  November 13th 2012 was my version of Independence Day. I am free from working at  my former school. I was so unhappy there and stuck it out  because I had tenure.  there are many people that don’t agree with my decision but it is  my life. I don’t  want to live a life half lived rotting away in Jersey living in What If Land. Now ,I am following my dreams. I am free!!! Life isn’t easy and things  didn’t work out as I planned. Life does not go easily, how  could we learn if things were always smooth riding. I still think I made the best decision for me. Ok this  post is just a reason to attach my favorite song ever on it 🙂 Ok get ready hold your lighters over your head and sway to the music. Politically correct hipsters you can go to your apps on you cellphone and choose the cheesy lighter image app. though I have  many challenges ahead I still feel lighter and free.

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Airline Aggrevation

Welcome to my little headache for the past two days! I call it the Headache Game Airline E I have  been in tears due to trying to get in touch with China Eastern to change my flight. It has been two days and I have not gotten in touch with them.! I was on hold for over  3 hours today. I called 4 times and was on hold for intervals of an hour. I did  get an answer when I called the California branch  but they refused to help me because I was flying out of NY. That was  after a 45 minute hold. Yesterday, I did not fare any better. I decided to call after Thanksgiving, maybe that is the problem? I have  never held so long. wasted hours on this.

 

I have to say ladies and gents please make sure you don’t buy tickets  until after you sign  your contract. I bought my tickets to Guiyang and now I am, going to Nanchang and my date changed too.I should have waited a week longer but at least I learned and  hopefully other will learn from my mistakes The first person that I talked to said they can’t change the destination. I  don’t  believe that. so I will  keep trying to call NY. at least China Eastern could get better hold music. I recommend an 80’s play list then I could rock out  to.  The customer service thus far has been abominable! I won’t  say  don’t  fly with them. I don’t know  how that service is. I will say if you fly with them never call their customer service number.  Never change  your reservation either. I have  to also add Bowie as luggage. I pray  my dog does well.

Dedicate the below song to China Eastern customer service phone numbers.

 

Free Falling

Teaching abroad has  always been an unfilled  desire of  mine  for the  past  four years. I never   did that first  step because other little problems have stepped in and made it a dream undiscovered. When I first  considered  teaching in South Korea I had  to chose between being a  bridesmaid in a wedding or going to Korea. I chose being a bridesmaid and the irony of it all is that I am no longer friends with the bride and groom.  I regret that decision because now I could have been married to a Kpop star and lived in musical happiness with a too beautiful to adoring hubby with like tons of plastic surgery husband.  LOL so not likely  but a girl can dream.

So four years have passed a I still have this restless feeling. so I decided just go for it. I am not happy in my current job. I stayed because it was expected. Now I am following my dreams. I am letting go of the  controls and  just freefallin man wherever the wind takes me. I am studying my Modules  for my TESOl certifcate and it  is hard!!!!!! Grammar is  killing me. note  to all prospective TEL teacher:Go with  the tutor suported online class.

 

UPDATE

******I did it on my own , I had  to take a final exam. I had 24 hour to complete. It  took me 22 hours. With tutor support no test. Remeber  don’t be an el cheapo. I do want to make a plug if you are looking for an online company to do use ITTT. I love this company they even liked my sense of humour. It is a British based comapnty, hence  why I spelled houmour like the Brits. Gotta love the Brits 🙂  Here is a link  http://www.tesolcourse.com/**********

Cheerio Mates!!!!!

Life is like a Box of Chocolate Filled with Nuts

It has been a couple of weeks  since  my last blog.  Well loads of things happened. My life was like a roller coaster baby!  Oh and I so do hate roller coasters. I was all geared up to head to Guiyang China on December 5th. This procrastinator even bought a ticket on time. I gave my teaching job 60 days notice. I was ready to go. I was never sent a contract. Bid red flags! I had my suspicions about that school. They were dragging their  heels and  not being cooperative with my recruiter.

I was promised a Z visa, then told  to get an L visas then we heard nothing. I found a terrible review about the school. I actually had to use  my Inspector Gadget deduction skills to figure out that the school in the review was the school that I was going to, I won’t spend time slandering the school, I just tell all future English teachers Google Google Google schools abroad! Also remember that that is the posters opinion and may not happen to you.

So now, I was basically screwed, I had a one way plane ticket to Guiyang, no job  in Guiyang and no job back home  because I gleefully resigned from that position. Basically I am screwed.  Thus begins the mad scramble job search. I was only  focusing in Guiyang , because I had a ticket there. I  found  some but they never contacted me back. I guess they weren’t chocolate lovers. At the  same  time  my recruiter was searching as well. Her search was   for  other areas. It looked like I was not going to got  on December 5th.

This is when I decided search on all the the places to get TEFL jobs like echinacities.com  and the  holy grail Dave’s ESL Cafe, which is like the Walmart for prospective and veteran ESL teachers.  I sent out 50 emails in one night. I got 6 replies back all from recruiters. I interviewed with one big named franchise in China, a small language center, and my recruiter got  me an interview with a medical university in Nanchang. I also was scheduled to conduct 2 more interviews for franchised schools. Well all my search is over God placed in my heart where I should be. I knew that it was the right place as I was interviewing. Oh and  you will have to wait til my  next post to see. Don’t  you love cliffhangers.

Paperwork! Paperwork

This is  what is needed to get this Chocolate Chick to china. I have  to complete tons  of  paperwork. On the china side they have  to complete more paper work than I do to get me there. I have to  become one  of those list people.

1. Read and sign contract (check)

2. Get health Certificate completed( 3/4 check) I have  no  more medical  to I have to may the rest out of pocket. Luckily  all the expensive things were done.

3.FBI Criminal Record Check. I have  to ask the State Troopers if they can take my fingerprints. NJ does only digital prints. I went through that hoopla with Alaska. Fail to FBI with a money order  for $18

4. Get a  duplicate of my BA, with my many moves that got lost

5. Call China Eastern Air pay the $150 bucks  for  change ticket fee and get a new ticket to Nanchang on  February 13th. Curiously it is way cheaper! So it  balances out.

Next Step Scan all the documents to the school. Then I will receive my invitation letter and  other documents. I will proceed with those  documents  and  my health certificate and BA to The Chinese consulate. to  get my Z Visa  to get into China. Cost of a  Z visa is $140.

 

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