Survivor: 厦门大学, Funds Edition


NOTE: I CAN’T READ ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH FACEBOOK. I set my blog up to post to Facebook before I left the country. My ma, who frequents my page anyways, says some of y’all be postin’. Send me emails or texts (even though I can’t return texts) instead because I really do want to hear from you:, (216) 543-2390. Also, I just got my Xiamen Address! If you would like to honor my study abroad registry requests, I want some of these:

Hannah Weinberger, Room 1004, Caiqing Jie Building, Xiamen University, 3610050 Fujian Province, P.R. China


As I navigate the ethernet cable collection of variable length decorating my floor at 4 am, I feel a rare spurt of altruism. How have I managed to persist thus far in these conditions? What can I do to ensure that others evade death likewise? If you plan to study at Xiamen Daxue, the survival skills I have gleaned in only a week’s time are necessary informations for your street smarts arsenal.

1. Make Money on The Side

Making Money on The Side(walk)

While it’s less than a hassle to live on less than $10 a day, having a cache of surplus funds is excellent insurance in the event that you lose your wallet/student card/mind. Interestingly, the same skills that assist one as a student can be construed as money-making talents with minimal adjustment. Por ejemplo/for example/如,


Xiamen Daxue is not a small campus, and one tends to ambulate. If you have an advantageous composition of muscle and your stature can support that of another’s, consider marketing yourself as a foot taxi. Even with both their book bags and yours on, the Chinese tend not to be a hefty lot, and actively pursue opportunities in which they interact with foreigners. Charge by the half minute.


The Chinese government’s minor level of xenophobia affects the public’s fascination with the English language by approxiamately zero degrees. In China, it is not unusual to see words and phrases that defy good sense and grammar like ‘syphilis’ and ‘gastric bypass’ and ‘you raik the heart sheep’ bedazzled across a tee shirt simply because English is cool- pop culture presents people who speak English as intelligent people who lead fascinating lives and can support themselves financially. If you’re not one to invest yourself too heavily in a job well done (English speakers don’t need to invest themselves too much because life’s good anyways), consider taking on translation projects on the side- if you can write English letters, it doesn’t matter what you have them mean. Just give your employer some a’s and z’s and ‘giving an innovation unripe birth to your business group’ to emblazon about their business cards. If you’re not particularly verbal right off the bat, try thesauri roulette.


For those students for whom even half-assed translation is too taxing, try charging others for appreciating your existence. If having someone look you up and down, announce, ‘So beautiful!’ and beg to have their picture taken with you isn’t enough to convert you to the practice of pimping yourself out photographically, consider the number of pictures one could take in a minute if you wear an American flag, have a friend serve as a photographer who can take people’s pictures for them, and practically ‘conveyer belt’ Chinese people by you while holding up a peace sign. It’s efficient and practically foolproof.

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