Decisions decisions!

This blogging malarkey is driving me up the freaking wall!

I have so much to say! So many rich but terribly controversial experiences to share.

I don’t know where to start!

To mention only the positive is to lie. Drastically!

To outline every nasty bit and crevice would be selling a negative image of a place that I don’t truly understand. Never mind inadvertently painting an image of my screwed up state of mind: On account of being here off course.

Striking the balance lies in my story telling technique which is failing me these days as I battle with everything I see, hear, smell, eat, do…etc…

Perhaps I should wait a couple months when things look up, then telling my story won’t appear so incredibly twisted. You’ll be surprised to know what people get up to at -26•.

At the moment, the only question that frequents is why? Why am I here? What was my inspiration? What did I think I would find?

The physical experience stroke sacrifice despite conjuring up reflective thoughts of very dark histories, and even of those more recent, isn’t what keeps me up at night. It’s the thought off not being able to tell it. My own morals impede me.

While friends, internet searches, banned google services and regular intermittent internet disturbances highlight rumours of every word in, out and around this country being monitored, erased, noted and censored. Those caught in the act pay a high price. Apparently!

Gosh! It’s only a LITTLE bit of porn, I know it’s banned, but what to do when your black skin, Rasta locks and weird foreign looks sends every Y chromosome as if dodging Russian Bullets. But this whole paragraph is indeed another story! Back to the point!

How do I tell my story, when it isn’t a terribly positive one? When the cultural differences are probably less critically distinct outside of my immediate experiences. Perhaps it’s my own perspective that carries the heaviest weight!

There is only one thing I am sure of. And that is that I have made a decision decision not a typo to stay. Suffering never caused anyone any pain…or something like that…point being that if I quit now, I just won’t know how it will all unravel. Decision decided. For now.

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2014, Well, the last four months.

Let’s start with arrival. Great flight. Air Turkey we salute you! Survived the long drive from Beijing to Tianjin. Slept for three days jet lagged. Only company being Joy. You’re the best!
Survived an even longer drive (15hours FFS) including one everlasting traffic jam and a major car accident. Again, present company shared chips, chocolate and loo paper. Tes we must do it again one fine day. Night fall+Songyuan -who said the driver was lost? NOT ME, but was he? 15hours FFS. Nuff said!

1st apartment. WTF. WHY? SPEECHLESS. OMG. TEARS. I MEAN WHY?? Ok get over it. Shower is as dirty as outside. Outside is a dump. Shower in my slippers. Thank goodness it’s summer. Ok slippers in shower is weird. So, A little elbow grease, clean(ish). Ah sheit, the toilet’s broken. WTF. WHY? SPEECHLESS. OMG. MORE TEARS. Well that’s nothing. Wait till you start the new job.

ok, new job. No way! Are you kidding me? Is this for real!? Is someone having a laugh!? WTF. WHY? SPEECHLESS. OMG. I’m not laughing. I’m a teacher, get me outta here!!!! NOW!!! Met a great teacher but she left. Met a super TA but she left. Met a cool friend but he left. Met some mofo’s. Glad it’s past. Many thanks for the experience. Dude I need an upside! Here it is!

Yeah so let’s belly dance. Oh yeah! Stretch it out with yoga. What a great friend. I’m so blessed! Eat out eat in eat out eat in eat out eat in. Love my taxi drivers, so much convo. Timbudong (don’t understand) why your hands on my rear. …er did you just touch my are…smile, you’re in Songyuan! Pay the driver! Walk away! Stunned!

Confessions of the heart. So lonely. One good friend. Is all you need. But hell no companion. Need an injection. But So black! So foreign! Giving up! Never felt like this ANYWHERE before! No trust. The lies. The rumours. The fakes. The boss! OMG The boss!!! Did I mention the boss. WTF. WHY? SPEECHLESS. OMG. Let’s move on! Lata, aka I QUIT!!!!

First time for everything! Never look back! Trust your heart! Trust your experience! New friends. New hope! Smile again. New venture. Positive challenge. New year! Kindness is never weakness. 2015 is yours! Humble souls receives theirs. Happy new year! Get what you want! Can’t get it? Then make it! It’s yours. Have an adventure.

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Pink toes

#chinareport the morning after the storm brings new #reflections.
Evolving #ruraltown shows off many shiny new buildings less than ten years old, alongside diminishing slum. #fortherecord my toilet is broken and the shower drips a drop at a time. It annoys. But then I look out my window to see this fellow collecting #idontknowwhat from a pit of rubbish and green goo. #wheredoifitin with Rastalocks, painted pink toes and foreign tongue? To offer this guy money would be rejected promptly with a sharp scornful and #misinterpreted look signalling #prideandego, the possession of mankind. I look on with #humility, give thanks and know #change is how we all got here.

Friends round

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Aaarrggghhhhhh #chinareport #jamaicaninchina I’m sitting here looking through the window contemplating, as recorded in the earlier post, when there comes a knock at the door. The boy and I look at each other. #whocoulditbe but two boys. “Your baby” they say “boy” in delicate #ChineseEnglish. Immediately I begin clucking around offering, almost insisting food and drink to which they humbly declined. Poor things. I’m such a fool in my #excitement. I run to my boy in the bedroom close the door and #mimeloudly “your friends are here!”. A tort silence and a bounce of stares exchange between us and again I return to clucking, dragging clothes for him to wear, lotion, hair, run back to the boys, give them a puzzle to do -see I knew it was a good idea to pack the puzzle- then go back to mi boy smother him in excited kisses in celebration of his new friends in our livingroom! It’s been tough for him. #languagebarriers #unfamiliarity and an over protective mum…..who today pushed the boy out the door so fast, you’d think we were home. I’m so happy, only #pharrel could top this one. My boy has made #friends in this new land. It’s so important to him. OmHeart #wellingup dude! #Sobbinghappily

A few days in

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It was bound to happen sooner rather than later. At first it was choc O bloc paralysis now it’s peristalsis a go go! Great heavens on earth! I’m not use to this. Still, better now than later given my recent news of transferring Now to the city where I will teach, inadvertently sparing ones bowls from being backed up by another 12hour drive from Tianjin to Songyuan. It looks like the manager is a spontaneous one. The short notice came around 9pm Thursday that we would begin the drive at 5:30am the following morning.

Well I had attempted to make a stand against this jet lag. The headache, drowsiness and appetite (though very mild) in all the wrong places and inconvenient times is getting to me. So, wake up 2am which has become usual in jet lag status. Send emails until 5am then rest for a bit nodding off towards 7am. Rise again around 9am with an even more banging headache compounded by the non stop running AC then go back to sleep cos it hurts too much.

Final call by 1pm and this time I’m putting my foot down, literally, to stand up and make the walk of evolution from ape to woman approximately ten size six and half wide fitting steps between the bed and en-suite bathroom door. I’ve done it. But ouch goes the first load. Along with the swollen feet it now aches head, toe and tail.

Two hours is plenty to contemplate Darwin so by 3pm with boy in tow, here’s to the our first trip alone out in town. Have I mentioned that it is BAKING, even with the constant cloudy foggy blanket in the sky the sun scorches through. No one told me about this. Well it was mentioned but rather politely that the air might be a little heavy. Hmmmmm. Ok! I haven’t seen a blue sky since we arrived.

Nevertheless, Walking down the road is empowering. I feel great despite all mentioned above. I hold my boy’s hand with sheer delight as proud-to-be-his-mum pedals the pumps of my heart. I look at him. He’s so tall. He has grown in so many ways since three days ago when he put on his poker face to board a flight that has preoccupied his mind for the best part of six months. He bounces speaking at the very top of his voice and I feel like a lion with peacock feathers. Boastful even. I love what I have. And just as I attempt to hush the child, the lead penny drops when he gives it to me one more time “can we have McDonalds today? I saw it on this road when we were driving”

Wow! There you go! Hunter gathers who just crossed rivers, seas, mountains and a few volcanos, not to mention risking being shot out of the air by goodness knows who so we can go pick up a burger and large fries. My how times have changed. Yes, we also passed Subway on the way there. Given that I can barely say hello and goodbye in the language of my host country, can it be forgiven that I made a few grunting noises and pointed the picture of a portion of fries to which the assistant (Chinese assistant ) responded “big?” My eyebrows raised in a fixed stare followed by delinquent nod. It’s time to get studying on the Ni hao I’d say!

It’s interesting to learn that even the Chinese who generally tend to be overly trusting of American brands, have recently acquired knowledge that their western idols have been serving years old stale meat via the mega chain. Apparently it made the news but my source was much more enriching as I listened in keenly on a conversation in the back seat of a taxi. Whatever dudes! Think what you like, the news is censored anyway. I can feel it in my bones, that while the challenges to come will be inherently tough, my entire being buzzes with imminent confirmed knowledge that I’m going to love this place.

Nickesha

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So loving my life right now

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Sun is on top of this world. Poor thing was prettified of taking the flight but it was so smooth and uneventful, he’s even said that he is feeling much better. The flight departed an hour late but I have to say I didn’t mind as it kind of ate into the 2hour wait in Istanbul. Apart from a little turbulence and being two of only three African-Caribbeans on two separately and totally packed Boeing 777-300’s, all was well! Funnily enough the majority weren’t even Chinese but still very diverse.

After a four hour flight to Istanbul then eight to China we journeyed another four by bus and taxi from Beijing to Tianjin. Trust me! I’m not the kind of girl to fall asleep just anywhere but the dribble escaping my lips agitated wakefulness and sadly not in time to spare landing on the boys head, who off course was flat out perched up again mine bosom. He knows nothing of this btw and yes! I will deny it.

I have to say that the apartment is cool and far exceeded my expectations. I had the option to be in one alone with Sun or share with the lady who met us at the airport. There are three rooms in a decent third floor apartment. Could do with a little clean but it’s got everything. On the first night after dropping our bags off and heading for dinner, the famous experience that I’ve been reading and hearing about just meandered into our lives. I’m a changed woman since I can’t really account for how it happened. Kind of thought that I would have been more prepared.

At the table in the restaurant we sat adjacent to a group of Chinese men having dinner. I say this as if there were anyone else but Chinese people having dinner. Just to be clear Sun and I represented the entire worlds remaining demographics. No Europeans, Africans, Latinos nor South East Asians. How cool is that! Everyone is Chinese. Omg I think I’m having a moment. And it’s great! For a second, minus the modern attire I could have been in a scene of The Drunken Master. Look, blame export culture but I love that movie…and now I’m in it! Ha!

Soooooo anyways…The guys were non offensively loud and boisterous and clearly having a good time! Then out of nowhere Sun was sitting at their table posing for photos!!!! No! You twit! It wasn’t magic and they weren’t disappearing Red Ninjas.

With cheeky Faces rich with curiosity and the essence of a thousand smiles, they began talking to us. After a few translated key lines via my Chinese companion Joy, which included ‘where are you from?-Jamaica living in England’ ‘Ahhh Bolt, Bolt fast man’ a fleeting thought ran across my mind of the great legend and ambassador Bob Marley being relegated to sidelines of history as this fancy footed giraffe boy waltzes his way into people’s lives. Wow! I can’t believe I just witnessed that! Sun wasn’t sure if he should go over to them when they beckoned but I must have somehow expressed approval. He sure rose to the occasion and before I knew it there was my boy doing the Bolt pose next to one of the men who by now were beyond enchanted as cameras snapped, clicked and buzzed. Very technically advanced cameras might I add.

Man there is so much to say about this place! It is vast. My eyes won’t widen enough to take it all in. I’m so loving my life right now. Even if jet lag has me awake at 2am (6pm GMT), and if my feet are unnaturally swollen and don’t fit my shoes or that my bowels are shocked into paralysis by 24hrs of travelling. I think of only one thing and that is a brief story I heard today about a flower that blooms in winter. It is compared to someone with a strong will to achieve. During the last six months I gave up several times but how do you give up on an opportunity of a lifetime when it is meant to be.