Reading back on some of our blog posts (haven't actually taken time to read back, but I am sure the rest of the sentence will be semi-accurate), we knew nothing about China and were often times completely befuddled and more often bemused by the chaos. Since that time, we have grown greatly and have largely remained befuddled and bemused by the relenting chaos. So much so that two of the authors gave up on China and left to get master's degree's from California's hippiest university, where I am pretty sure life is the opposite of China.
Anyway, I thought I would write what is likely to be the last post on this weblog for probably another decade as a "where are they now piece" for students or people thinking about going to study or live in China, so that they can see where the long slog might take them. So without further ado:
Was the first to completely flame out on China (I was the first to leave, but got beamed back), and happily followed is girlfriend, now wife, back to Old Gold Mountain, where he now is getting an MBA at a local university and working for a Chinese solar company as a modern day Willy Loman. His final grade on Succeeding in China without really trying: Pass, his weblogging grade: Fail.
The second one to leave then come back then to leave and then come back again then leave. And is probably going to come back at some point in time, and then maybe leave. He also went back to Old Gold Mountain and got a master's degree in the art of drawing buildings, mostly on computers, sometimes on paper (I don't actually fully understand what he does). He claims that he works for a company that designs the Bentley of office buildings, and by that I think he means he designs buildings for people rich people having mid-life crises and are over compensating (hard to get more phallic than a large tower). His final grade on Succeeding in China without really trying: Pass, his sleeping on random benches outside of places he has a key grade: 1.
Left then came back and took over the job that he helped Ben get and later Ben gave to him (that is the power of a limited network). After working for that company for three years in Beijing, he moved to Tianjin to continue to work for that same company doing real estate research. And as of today he still lives in Tianjin working for the same company. Fated to reside within a shroud of pollution for the foreseeable future. Or until he buys his plane ticket to move to NYC to get his master's degree in spreadsheets at a school that should probably be in South America. His final grade on Succeeding in China without really trying: undetermined.