A Travellerspoint blog

December 3rd, 2009

Culture shocked

3 °C

I just came back from my 5 day trip to Europe today. It was so short, I feel like I dreamt it! So great to go home, see my friends, chat for hours and forget for a few days that I have a job! I always feel enlightened after speaking to my buddies! It was great too spending time with my family, getting up at the crack of dawn to have breakfast with my dad and planning my sister and I's participation in the Great Wall race next May! (At this point, if I don't get moving, I'll be another obesity statistic!)

So now, I'm back in China and feeling a wee bit disoriented and sad... Good thing Mike is coming tomorrow!! Yay!!!!!

Posted by Evil1 16:31 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

November 26th, 2009

Losing face

overcast 6 °C

Before I came to China, I was warned not to put any of my students on the spot in class and not to be show my irritation or anger in public lest I embarrass someone or make them lose face. I believed I should work on being more patient and polite. I wondered how I would survive having to hide my emotions, since my face has always been an open book. Still, I welcomed the challenge and already envisioned coming back to the West a changed, calmer person!

But as it turns out, I've hardly had to temper my emotions! I doubt anything I do could embarrass a Chinese person! They wouldn't be offended if I asked them how old they were or how much money they made. And considering how rude some salespeople have been towards me, I think showing my frustration is perfectly legitimate! Now, that's not to say that the concept of "losing face" doesn't exist or that the Chinese don't embarrass one another. Quite the opposite. I've seen mothers loudly chastising their child or couples sharing their fights with strangers on the street. If Westerners were half as dramatic as the Chinese, we'd fear losing face too!

Posted by Evil1 19:18 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

November 23rd, 2009

!K- TV

sunny 8 °C

Yesterday night, the team had a big pow-wow gathering. Originally, it was designed as a team building event but really it was multi-purpose (ie. to say good-bye to Danielle and welcome me and Ray, our new teacher). After an incredibly long day (I taught for close to 7 hours), we all met up at a hot pot restaurant. Hot pot is like fondue, but healthier since meats and vegetables are dunked into a broth! I've had it before and really enjoy it but last night's soup was a bit too spicy for me!

In any event, after dinner we all headed up stairs to the K-TV. That's karaoke! From what I've gathered, in Asia, karaoke is a private affair. People don't belt out tunes in front of perfect strangers! And that's a good thing too because some people's "talent" really shouldn't be revealed! And I'm not criticizing my colleagues here (although William really does have a dreadful voice!). No, unfortunately I'm referring to yours truly. Yesterday was sort of a revelation for me! I always chided Mike for not being able to carry a tune, but it appears I can't either! But hopefully my dance moves detracted attention from my voice!

Posted by Evil1 19:16 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

November 21st, 2009

Update

sunny 4 °C

My grand mother's funeral is set for November 28th. I was granted 4 days off of work to attend her funeral and spend time with my family. It'll be a short visit but I'm hoping we can make the most of it. We'll be celebrating Christmas early as well, since I doubt I'll be able to request another few days off so soon after this leave. So now, I have to find everyone some gifts! Holy moly!!!!

Posted by Evil1 16:09 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

November 17th, 2009

Bitter sweet

sunny 1 °C

Today's been a bitter sweet day. I went to a cooking class with some of my colleagues this morning and felt like I bonded with them for the first time since I arrived. I was also invited to attend a recent French friend's party. And I had sent Mike his invitation papers on Sunday and was looking forward to his imminent arrival. But then I got my brother on the phone (it's his 21st birthday today) and found out that my French grandmother died. It's the third death this year and I feel spent and gloomy. Everything just seems to be going downhill. I'm even starting to wonder whether Mike will ever make it to China to visit me. His job search is looking up but unfortunately none of the jobs are in China. And even if he does come to China, what's going to happen next? What's the point if he's not going to stay? In light of all this, maybe this is the year when I need to be home for Christmas with my family.

Posted by Evil1 03:54 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

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