I never saw myself as an “educator,” but without a doubt I love teaching people a lesson, especially to those who need to learn. Pardon while I go off cue, like usual, but sadly, the only way some people learn with me is the hard way. OK! Back on cue. I always had an aspiration to teach abroad, not necessarily in the States. I’m glad I had this opportunity, but if there is one thing for sure, nothing is forever or always; The Sun Has Set at Spotlight Sunshine.
In the beginning, I knew what I was doing, but for the most part, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I guess you can say, I was just going with the flow. LOL. [Like I haven’t been doing that this entire time?!] I had no choice, I had to! I love learning things “along the way” of various adventures because that’s when we really learn. They say hindsight is always 20/20. We’ll never learn how to swim unless we’re picked up and thrown in the deep end. Hence the saying, sink or swim. And because of this trip, opportunity, experience, or what have you, I also learned, and was also slapped, again, that what’s meant to be will be.
I didn’t get much, or any training at all. Like always, I had to figure things out for myself. I got a few pointers and leads here and there, but all it did was lead, and point, me in the wrong direction. Sometimes, not taking advice is the best advice we can get and give ourselves. I did like teaching though because I always had to think on my toes, my creative thinking toes. Those creative, clever thinking toes that has helped mold me into the master manipulator, I mean master-mind I am today. I like to have my own set of rules and way(s) of managing certain things. I just hate taking advice that ends up smacking me in the face. Then I’ll only have myself to blame. A real magician never reveals his secrets. And I also learned, never take advice from an unproductive person, but that’s a whole other story. And no, I’m not a control freak! Not everything is in my control! And sadly, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I’m also not the only smart one out there. OK! Enough tangents!
I got to learn some Chinese, Mandarin. I got to learn how the Chinese do business. And sometimes, usually most, I wasn’t sure if they knew what the hell they were doing. I don’t know if it was them, or me, or what, but it would seem like their work-work is what Americans consider “busy work.” And the other times it was like they were chickens running around after their heads were chopped off. There will be blood. Sometimes they would just stand around, and I would think to myself, what the hell are you doing? I could see them thinking in Chinese trying to put things together. I would try not to judge, I would try to be compassionate on their situation. I wasn’t like some, or most, of the foreign teachers who were damn near over the top diva-ish and demanding. Some of the foreign teachers could be really cruel at times to the locals, because they thought they were God sent, and the way the Chinese catered to them didn’t make things any easier. Talk about biting your tongue, holding your lip, and setting yourself up for failure. But for all I know, they were constantly talking shit in their language because they knew the foreigners didn’t know what they were saying. I know I would, and since I’m a fast talker, I got away with some much. They would look at me like, huh?! Don’t take it too personal, Americans think the same thing of me, too! Join the club! And this has nothing to do with the fact that they, the Chinese, have major communication issues, and it has nothing to do with the fact that they know no English, and I know no Chinese. It’s just the way the oatmeal-raisin cookie crumbles. At times, it was like they were just standing around waiting for something, anything, to happen. I would wonder, is this all their life consist of? Standing around? For some it is. The locals are expected to be married and parents by the age of 25, and if you’re not, you’re REALLY working your way to being a useless old hag; their sun has pretty much set. That’s just the way it is. And when I was thinking that, I was feeling like, am I even working? Am I even making a difference? Talk about adaptation.
Living in China I had to adapt to A LOT, but, like I said, The Sun Has Set at Spotlight Sunshine. It’s not something that I really have to be concerned about [anymore] and even more so when I was there. It’s a whole other world out there.
I was only contracted for one term. I always thought my situation was weird, off, and different from everyone else’s, but, that’s just the way it was, and is. I don’t make the rules, I just on occasion follow them. I thought it was in my favor to be obligated to only one term instead of being forced and stuck in a one or more year contract and have the feeling of being stuck. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of entrapment. Oh wait, there is…
I was a little nervous when it came to do assessment a.k.a. finals. I didn’t want to freak the students out, because they get enough of that in regular school, and from their parents. But, I had to make sure they knew something, that they definitely learned something from me, besides the fact that I could make them laugh, and that whatever I taught them stuck and that they understood the meaning. Plus, I didn’t want to go all “Caddy Maddy” or “Mariah Doppleopplous” on them à previous blog, Thoughs whoo Kan;t du teech.
I learned to have appreciation for China, and for the States. The weirdest shit would happen there. People really love America, and some REALLY hope to live here. The natives, most of them, love America more than their homeland, and the funny thing is they’ve never even been to America. And the sad thing is, they’ll more than likely never either. Talk about no way out! And I was scared for never “Leaving Los Angeles.” The place where everyone wants to be because of the weather and beaches that most of those people never go to! Yes, the constant heat. And when it drizzles “a storm is headed” and flash flood signals are everywhere. I did, in China, appreciate the clean air the States has to offer. I swear, I wouldn’t know if it was smog or fog in the sky. It was so low at times, and at the other times the moon and the stars were nowhere in sight. There had to be a minor breeze in order to see the sky at times. Everyone and their masks. In the beginning I was like, is it necessary, but after finding it hard to breathe at times, Yes, it’s necessary. Plus, the way some locals chain smoked. OMFGG! They were just asking to die! Collapsed lung anyone? When the locals would ask how many siblings I had, they were amazed. They then shared that it gets lonely for them. But, now, that’s changing. If you and your partner come from a family of one, you can have two bastard children! Instead of having the government force you to get an abortion or toss your baby in the trash. LOL. I’m kidding! Unless it’s true…? Times are changing! I got to focus on writing. I also created a new writing piece, Strange Dream & Other Things. It’s a series of short writings with inter-connecting themes, anthological, because now-a-days everything is anthological, fucken Ryan Murphy! Soon Strange Dreams & Other Things will make its serial debut.
The Chinese are nice and can be great people, but they are not the best business people, at least the ones I crossed paths with. The businessmen say there’s a lot of business opportunity there, and I KIND OF believe it. Maybe I could find a(nother) job where half the time I’m just doing busy work, standing around looking pretty, and running around like a chicken without its head, AND get my housing paid for AND be drunk all year AND make multiple times more than the locals. It’s very much easy to be drunk all year and have them not know it, just ask a foreign teacher. I hated only a few of the student’s parents. Some of the mothers were like,,, There’s a Chinese saying, “go die.” It’s like, “get the hell out of here!” or “go pound sand!” or in other words, “go fuck off!” and toward the end, I was like, go die! ! !
For the most part, the foreign teachers were mean to the Chinese staff, going back to retrospect, which has become a new favourite word, aside from hindsight. I have to admit, even though I don’t entirely like being mean all the time, at least not anymore because believe it or not people can change! Big CAN! Some of them deserved it. It had to do with communication, and the locals trying to take advantage, on occasion, of the foreigners, pushing their limit, and foreigners feeling so entitled at times, yada yada yada. There was a vicious cycle going on.
It is cheap to live in China. The food is cheap and good. Nearly all the clothes Americans wear is from China, and China has such good fashion. The only things that are costly are imports, and you can’t find everything. I only saw deodorant once or twice? And even then, it was mainly women’s, but shockingly, the locals didn’t really smell, not like the Indians do, and I don’t mean the Native American Indians. Sometimes I see living in China as one extended vacation. Sometimes, it was a little too easy. I think the harder part was being there and being so far away from everything you know. That didn’t bother me though, I wanted to get away. I opted to be there. Some foreigners made it a point to prove. Some of the foreigners really had their own issues going on. China was definitely a good man quest, but like anything and everything, all good things comes to an end. I loved being in China, I did. I found happiness there. Because of who I am, the go getter, and someone who wants so much from life, I could’ve afforded to stay there another term, but I couldn’t be there another year. I didn’t like the company & school I worked for, but I didn’t let that get in the way of my happiness or living, and I knew that if I were to go with another company, which was my other option and almost other move, I would’ve had to sign a one year contract. That was something I would’ve had to do. Them locals wanna secure you and use the shit out of you. I did say it was a vicious cycle, right? Busy work, or not, they still have business to attend to, and if there is one thing about me, I understand that business is business! I’m just glad I got the opportunity to go and experience it. I did meet some great locals, and some of the foreigners were cool. I really liked my assistants. We had some gOOd laughs, and I liked being able to teach them things, too. What we Americans take for granted, the locals appreciated it so much. The simplest things made a difference. I swear, I did humble me, and I did feel humanitarian, but I’m in America now, so I’m over that –JK! I got to experience some of my favourite holidays with them. It was fun seeing everything in Chinese. It was fun seeing how happy some of the locals were. Living in another country: CHECK! It was a tough decision to make coming back to the States because I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. I didn’t wanna be like, should’ve, could’ve, would’ve. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t acting on impulse. I mean, I wasn’t, and still ain’t homesick, but like I said, I have other things I wanna do in my life, and “Time is running out” –Muse. I have battered fish to fry, and a kickass second Volume to publish. Plus, I can always go back, and I am better prepared for if/ when I do. China was great, but seasons change, people change, interests change, and again, nothing is forever and always. China wasn’t forever. That was never the plan. It’s time for a new venture, time to move on. Time to be the 8th vagabond I am. The Sun Has Set at Spotlight Sunshine.