Today was culture training, the time when we managers, after a month of letting the new Western staff wonder at the place they've agreed to live in for at least a year, talk about low and high context, individuality and collectivism, definitions of self, perspective of leadership, harmony, guanxi, face, and the new generation of Chinese people. Even after two years, which really is such a short time here, it's good to go over this information again. Even after studying and presenting on all this, it's easy to forget in practice. You can have a good explicit knowledge and still mess up horribly implicitely.
One thing that really troubled me was the new teachers' concern that they always felt like they were at work here. This is a feeling I've had myself for at least a year. Depressing. When you deal with language all day and your connections to back home are books and movies and you gotta actually pay attention to the words, well. So how can they get away?