In August, 2003 I made arrangements to teach English in China, but when I got there, there was no job. So begins a very interesting six-month stay in Beijing. Within these pages you'll hear stories of college life, the move to a market economy, corruption, burnout, mobsters, government as benevolent parent, the surprising gravitation to all things Western, and the tribulations of a foreigner trying to start a new business. (Oh, yes, and the experiences of a newbie teaching English in a foreign land!) You are also introduced to some of my students, who in their own words talk about their lives, aspirations, and frustrations.