On the one hand, I am looking at employment other than teaching, just to try something new. At the moment, I am extremely interested in oil rig jobs. I figure I could meet engineers with advice about the industry and subjects I am interested in (like chemical engineering). I could also save up a lot of cash, which I could then use for my education so I wouldn’t need to take out loans or live an extremely meagre existence as a grad student with only grants to rely on.
If I were a radio operator, I would apparently have a lot of time to read (study Chinese!). Can’t beat that. Not to mention with the 6 months off in a year (downtime between shifts), I could do a bit of travel.
Anyhow, on the subject of travel and oil, Malaysia Airlines currently has dirt cheap tickets. Since I will likely get flown to the USA after this teaching contract, I looked at one way airfares for going back to Asia. I could get to Taipei from LAX for $424US including all taxes and fuel surcharges. I am not sure how they make money on that, unless they hedged the cost of oil previously. New York to Kuala Lumpur is in the $600US range.
On a related note, the rise of the RMB means that Taipei would cost about the same as a mainland city for study, despite the fact Taipei is a lot more open. Though I might have to travel to take the HSK test…