....maybe two reasons actually.
Firstly, I'm making more than double what I made the first year I worked here (2003-2004) and secondly, the strength of the RMB has increased.
When I first came here in 2003 8 RMB was equal to $ 1 USD but now 7 RMB is worth $1 USD.
That may not sound like much but it actually adds up and even though I'm making less than I would in the US I'm still living in a rent-free apartment and not having to do any office hours.
I teach 13 different classes a week but I pretty much only have to plan about 2 different lessons a week and just deliver both multiple times.
Each class is 2 "academic" hours long and one "academic" hour is 45 minutes so I'm actually working less than 26 hours a week.
However, I do usually spend a few hours (or more) preparing each lesson. There are times when I'm feeling a bit lazy or am just busy doing Visa-type stuff and I just follow the textbook but I prefer to come up with my own material or find something interesting on-line to talk about. (I also spend a LOT of time GRADING papers....and I have something like 200-300 students so do the math).
I just did a lesson on Basketball (with a few classes, kind of an experiement) this week and got a pretty good response from my classes because Chinese people LOVE basketball which I don't think many people in the West realize. I definetly never realized it until about 5 years ago.
Anyway, I have one class a week where I teach English to Chinese Teachers and I asked them if there were any topics they wanted to discuss for the next class and one of them said "Marriage" (something I know little about...I'm a 28 year-old bachelor!) so I guess that's what I'll be doing next week.