It’s been silent here for far to long now so it’s time for a new post! I have far to much to write about but I’ll do my best to write about it!
It’s been a time of job offers, disappointments, decisions, thinking, new decisions and some Chinese adventures. My plan when I came here was to stay longer than that the six months program. So I started looking for jobs before and found a few, foreign teachers are really appreciated, and needed, here. But many of the schools wanted either native speakers or teachers older then me. But I found a few I applied for. The only one who answered seemed really like, it was in Hubei where they have nice nature and less pollution. But it turned out I needed a bachelor degree which I don’t… But at the time it didn’t really matter because a Chinese man in London found me online and wanted me to move to London to teach his daughter English for a year. At first I couldn’t believe it was true, everything seemed so good: I would get enough money to take me through university, I would even get a bonus after a year, I would be able to travel home for important things, friends and family would be able to visit me more easily and I could even continue scouting.
Well, sometimes in life when things seems to good to be true they are… I started to get suspicious when i got told I needed a visa (I’m a EU-citizen and shouldn’t need a visa to work in UK) and that I had pay a deposit of 1700 GBP. After the British consulate in Guangzhou told me that 1: I didn’t need a visa to work in UK and 2: they would never ask anyone to pay a deposit like that, I realised it was a fraud and they tried to get my money and maybe personal information. I’m not sure I’ve ever been that angry before! I made some plans with family and friends before I realised it was fake and to have all that taken away like that was really hard! I was really pissed off for a couple of days before I decided not to let that bring me down and destroy my time in China. But even though I started to right away to make new plans I had lost some of my motivation to stay here.
I got other job offers but most of them came with the same problems, I needed either a bachelor degree or a working visa in China which it’s very hard for me to get since I’m not 22 and don’t have a university education. One reason for staying was to explore another part of China but the only visa I could get would’ve required me to visit Hong Kong once a month to get a new one which is kind of hard if I would’ve a job in central or in the north of China. Then i got another offer that i knew was true and that was really good. This time it was in Malaysia in a university where they wanted a English teacher to assist in their lessons and activities so that they would be exposed to ”real English” (thank you!). The payment was way better than what I have here and it also included living, activities and a round-way flight ticket between China and Malaysia. It was a hard decision but finally I decided to go back to Sweden even though I would like to stay here (or move to Malaysia) for several reasons, my older sister is getting married and my younger will graduate, I need to get some money for university and so on. And well, I found out soon after that they required a university degree for that school too so I feel certain that I made the right choice. Even though I will China a lot it will be nice to come home and then I can do something like this again later.
Enough about decisions, here is a story about what might happen when you work in a Chinese school. One day some time ago I came to my building for my first lesson of the day only to discover an empty classroom. I checked my schedule, the time on both my watch, my phone and the classroom clock and everything was correct except that my students were nowhere to be found! After a quick look around I realised that ALL classrooms were empty, so were the teachers office on every floor! I was confused to say the least but finally I found one of the English teachers who told me that my whole grade had a sports day which one told me… So instead of going back to bed which was my first thought I went to the sports field where all my students (and about 400 others) were running, jumping etc. It was really fun to see, many of them are really talented and many of them seemed both surprised and happy to see me there, soon I had my own fanclub gathered around me. I also got many questions and ”Wows!” about my camera with the zoom lens attached. Here are some pictures from that day:
So you never know what will happen in China, that is something I’ve learned here. When TTC placed me in the south I was told that ”it will be really warm even in winter” ”Nice, you won’t need any extra clothes” ”It will warmer than your summer” etc etc. So we got pretty surprised when is suddenly turned really cold one day. From wearing T-shirts and maybe a sweater after sunset I suddenly found myself wearing three-four layers of cloth including jacket and still freezing! And the worst part was that it’s cold everywhere! It’s not much warmer in our apartment than outside (in fact one weekend I opened the windows and realised that it was warmer outside with the sun), the classrooms in school are not heated in any way so I’ve been teaching in a thick winter jacket these past few weeks…
But at the moment I’m really warm and that is because I’m sitting 16 floors up in a five star hotel in Zhuhai with heated rooms and warm beds. So how did I end up here? Well, last week I got some visitors from Sweden, half of my family which is wonderful! So they lived in my apartment for some days and now we’ve been in Zhuhai for about four days (even though I had to go back home to work one day) and we’re living completely different from what I’m used to since I’ve lived in cheapest hostel available during travels. For the first time in a long time I have a big soft bed and a warm and nice shower! And the food… Let’s just say it’s gooood!
Right now it’s only about 30 minutes left of this year and I guess I should say about something about that. 2013 has been a interesting year, it started of in a bad way but it turned much better with Bråvalla musical festival, a family trip to Iceland and then this trip to China which is the single best thing that ever happened to me, I’ve learned so much about other countries/cultures and of course about myself, I hope that I won’t lose these changes I’ve felt when I go back. I’ve also got an even bigger appetite to discover other countries and parts of the world! I’m certain that 2014 will bring on new adventures and that many nice things will happen and I can only hope that it will change me as much as this year has!
Here I present some ”guest posts” from my mother and sister, they are in Swedish so unless so speak our beautiful language you can either guess or use Google translate:
Sitter på 16:e våningen i Zhuhai på hotell Bamboo plaza. Vi hittade ett rum som tog 4 personer
Zhuhai, just nu njuter vi av att det inte var det billigaste i stan. Utsikt över Pärlbukten som har sin
början mellan Hongkong och Macao, vi är bara en km från gränsen till Macao.
Vår resa började den 22 december klockan 13.45 från Tyresö och vi landade slutligen i
Guangzhou den 23 klockan 22.00. Där stod Jonatan och väntade på oss, en fin återförening! Men
så mager han hade blivit!!!
Vi hittade en taxi som tog oss till Sanxian, en resa på drygt 2 timmar. Nästan framme tog
chauffören upp något svart och bjöd Jonatan på, som artigt tackade men inte åt, tur var det!
Chauffören började harkla sig, blev stirrig och körde helt plötsligt som en tok.
Vi kom till lägenheten vid halv ett, då hade vi rest ca 27 timmar…. Lite trötta men glada att vara
På julafton jobbade Jonatan några timmar och vi mötte upp honom vid skolan vid lunch. Intressant
att äta i hans matsal, det var en gigantisk utspisning. Utan att ha gjort lumpen gick associationerna
till militären… Plåtbleck med ris och sedan en och annan identifierbar sörja… Visst gott, annat
Sedan gick vi hem och firade julafton i solen på balkongen, julklappar, pepparkakor och godis.
På kvällen åkte vi till staden Zhongshan en timma bort och åt middag med Jonatans vänner, en
multinationell middag med folk från Europa, Australien, USA i Kina… Och så åt vi italienskt.
Dagarna efter har vi gjort Sanxian, Zhongshan, ett spa där vi fick massage och nu alltså i ny stad
där vi stannar till den 1 januari då vi tre åker till Hongkong för att flyga hem den 2, medan Jonatan
åker ”hem” för att jobba sin sista vecka.
Kina är mycket intressant, både trevligt och fullständigt hänsynslöst, bilden på näthinnan av
mannen som påkörd och orörlig ligger mitt på en hårt trafikerad väg utan att någon bryr sig sitter
som en tagg…
Och jag vet en sak… Jag gillar att åtminstone tro att jag vet vad jag äter…..
Jag har sett och upplevt mycket dom här dagarna I Kina. Det har varit spännande att se hur människorna lever och bor beroende på om dom är fattiga eller rika, Det sorgliga är att se alla tiggare som går runt på gatorna och på bilvägarna för att överleva. Jag tycker att det har varit lärorikt och jag har fått en ny bild av hur människor behandlar varandra särskilt dom som man inte känner, Vi har besökt många vackra platser och parker som visar hur det gamla Kina såg ut och de nya Kina. Maten har också varit en ny upplevelse, jag har provat nya maträtter, vissa har varit goda och andra inte.
So to end this post I’ll write about my plans for my last weeks in China. Now I have five days off from school and after that I only have one more week of teaching (I will really miss my students!). Then we will visit Macau for one day and Hong Kong for a week where I finally can see the second Hobbit movie! Then I’ll go to Beijing for about 2.5 week to celebrate the Chinese new year, I really don’t wanna miss that! So I’ll leave China on the 7th of February. Then I’ll probably start to work almost right away.