I am supposed to fly to California for a (very important) wedding in two weeks. Originally I was just supposed to stay for four days, now I will try to extend that another week. It would be nice to be back home, have a vacation, not worry about anything. It's been far too long since I have had the chance to relax. Also, it would feel good to drive a car again. I prefer living in a place where I don't need a car, but sometimes I just miss the feeling.
T. and the principal called me down for a personal meeting today. "Is everything okay with you?" Apparently they have been worried about my attitude the past month. They think I seem unhappy, exhausted, angry. I am pissed off at the company, the changes, the bitch who tries to boss me around, and I told them this. I also told them I would quit on the spot if they try to make more drastic changes. What they want from me is almost literally impossible. We will see how things go.
N. is in Shanghai for the week. He texted me earlier to let me know that he misses me, has many gifts for me. Hm.
B. came to the school today to visit. We talked in a way that we haven't really talked in months - half a year, even. It was as if there had never been a problem between us. We're going to get together for haircuts and more catching up sometime soon. She is also going to try to come along tonight. More than any of the other friends I've ever had here, I miss her.
Tonight we are having a going away dinner for one of our coworkers. She is moving to Mexico for a "grown-up" job (in advertising) and this is her last week. She is from Poland and has been with us for a year, and she is a really fantastic person. She gets along with absolutely everyone and is really generous (with teas and Polish sausages and any other goodies she has). We have never been that close, but I will miss her and be eternally jealous that she gets to go live in her dream location while I am still right here.
After hearing no response aside from silence from N. for almost a week, he texted me at 1AM this morning. I was asleep, as I had to be up for work at 6AM, and so woke up to him telling me that I had to be home at a certain time so the landlord could come over and fix something in the apartment. As I already had plans for my day, I told him that I would not be at home at that time, and that he would do better to respect my time in the future and check with me before making any appointments. Now he is upset that I am not up to doing whatever he demands I do at whatever time on however short of notice he cares to give me. As I said to him: whatever.
In a relationship that has grown less and less satisfying for too many months now, this is, as they say, the last straw. I am moving out of the apartment we share. I am through.
I work for a bitch, too. This week has not been the greatest.
I can never really get into any job here except my full time work at the kindergarten. I have had many a part time job since I moved here (all teaching English), and after one or two sessions have dreaded each and every one of them. It's not as if they are necessarily painful - the actual teaching is usually dead easy, and more often than not getting to and from the job is made easier still by the fact that I am foreign and people will go out of their way to accommodate me. I think what it must be is that they are just not fun to do. At the kindergarten I have my students, who only after spending every day with them for a couple months did I get used to and truly understand (and it took them much longer to really warm up to me), but now they are the true loves of my life and an absolute joy to be around. I can't wait to get to work and see them every morning. I also have my coworkers, and they make everything easy, or exciting, or at the very least tolerable. I could not be more grateful for a group of people. I have nothing like this with part time work.
Yet I always take new jobs for one reason or another. The part time job I will work tonight I took on as a favor for K. while he was on vacation. Next month I will start another, taking over for my coworker who is moving to Mexico for a better job - she also asked me to do it as a favor to her.
I don't want to do any of them. I would rather rest than exert myself even a little for some extra money. It is probably my own laziness that has kept me in this country for so long.
K. was back at work today: "I missed you." "I missed you, too."
In the past, I have always gotten along with my coworkers. We become fast friends and usually they fit seamlessly into the fabric our group, all of us eating daily lunches and going out every weekend together. One of our new coworkers, F., is from Canada. He is tall, relaxed, has many beautiful bulging muscles as a result of sports, and is almost a clone of L., one of my closest friends and the coworker who recruited F. from his hometown. He fits right in and adds a new dynamic to the group. The other is a girl, J. from America. My first reaction upon hearing that she was American was horror, but she seemed nice enough (and even professed that she was not a fan of the US) when I first spoke with her. However, over four days of knowing her she has proved to be almost everything I dislike about my fellow countrymen, and it seems that life will be unfortunately drama-filled with her around. The guys are unanimously decided: they do not like her.
We all went out last night, sort of as a welcome for the new members. Even G. and his girlfriend came along (a rarity), and G. got completely hammered in the process (even more rare). Having given up my life as a drunk some time ago, I had enough drinks to get me on the dance floor and nothing more, but unfortunately my lack of inebriation did not save me from G. attacking me with his lips for our second would-be-drunken make-out session. I put an end to it quickly and ran away. He is my oldest friend in the city and has always been like a brother to me. My constant proposals of marriage are born out of my desire to acquire his EU citizenship, not out of attraction or anything of the sort. I was too sober to not find it incredibly awkward, and felt uncomfortable kissing such a good friend. Hopefully he will not remember it happened.
After the rest of the group went home, I also met up with T. last night. I usually try to avoid him as I know he is bad news for me, and I will never be able to give him what he really wants from me (and what does he really even want?). We had business to attend to, however, and the boyfriend is out of town, so I thought it couldn't hurt just once. I brought along a new friend, a girl from the UK now working at another school in our company, who is delicious fun. He got us around the bouncer and we avoided paying at the door, and he bought us a bottle once we were in. She and I danced, he and I pressed close and talked whenever we had the opportunity, but he was busy the majority of the time attending to every passerby he knew - so basically, the entirety of the crowded club. The guy knows and is connected to more people than anyone I have ever met. I started feeling sick after too many drinks on an empty stomach, and my friend and I escaped home with merely a text of apology to T. for disappearing. He sent me a text today, disappointed. I am torn about what to do with him.
K. was in his home country on vacation for two weeks and just got back today. He called me this afternoon, but I was napping in an attempt to recover from last night and missed his call. He'll be back to work tomorrow. I missed him.
N. finally came by yesterday. We smoked, and got down to business. He promised changes in the future, but he has done that before – too many times for me to take it seriously. “Trust me,” he says as he looks me straight in the eyes and holds his hard stare for long enough to convey meaning. I tell him that I hate it when he makes plans and promises and they don’t come through, and he says he hates it too. He doesn’t do it on purpose, and it is just as much of a disappointment to him as it is to me. Probably more so.
“Pray,” he says. “Give it two months.” So we’ll see.
G. told me of a better paying job where I would work less days and also only have to work evenings. They want me to do a demo class tomorrow to see, but I am torn. I would love to work in the evening, but I know it would turn me into someone fatally lazy – I would go to bed at 6AM and wake up at 2PM everyday, and never see my friends (or... something). It is nearby, but it does not have my kids, who I fall more deeply in love with everyday, or my coworkers, who are my best friends.
Plus, I will be in Hong Kong tomorrow. So it doesn’t really seem like it will work out.
N. called. “I promise I haven’t forgotten about you.” He told me about how work has been difficult the last week, how he is stressed. He said he needed someone to talk to, and I told him he could come by, I was here. He said he was on his way into the city and would come to the apartment once he was back. He never came.
Today was exactly how China should be, in my mind. Grey skies, green everywhere, and so humid you felt entirely wet from the minute you stepped outside until you were lucky enough to escape back home. A great day for gazing out the window, snapping pictures, and not much else.
She wouldn’t meet my eyes as we abused the management for how they treated her. Perhaps she thought I was insincere, or had something to do with it.
We were once like best friends, until a misunderstanding turned us into virtual strangers. She is now no longer my coworker. Now I won’t be able to see her and lament over our lost friendship every day, holding onto the hope that maybe we could work things out. It’s been six months. Now there is not even a chance.
I have thought about leaving my job so many times since I started working there. Two months in I wanted to leave, six months in, one year, today. It is just too comfortable. The management is almost unbearable, but I put up with it for my students and for my coworkers. My coworkers are my oldest friends here, my coworkers are my best friends here, some of my coworkers are or have been my lovers. I have come across better job offers but just cannot find it in myself to leave these people unless I know I am leaving for something better. I am convinced that it would be quite a feat for any other option I have right now to be better than this – I doubt it’s possible.
So here I will stay, until I am forced out or find a worthwhile escape.
Everyone else had gone home by 2AM. We quickly found ourselves in the bedroom. It had been a long time – we were both nervous, hesitant, awkward. We fell asleep side by side afterward. I woke up early, 7AM as always, and crept around my apartment quietly so as not to wake him. I typed softly on my keyboard, telling my best friend back in San Francisco about the boy in my bed. When he woke up, I made him coffee and Pop-Tarts. He had never heard of Pop-Tarts before. As he sipped his coffee he mentioned how wonderful it was to wake up here, and I told him he was welcome to stay anytime. He helped me tidy the apartment before he left, taking out the trash, making the bed, offering to do my dishes. At my door, he kissed me goodbye. Then he was gone.
N. didn’t come visit later like he had promised. He never even called.
Livejournal was banned in China (as far as I knew) when I moved here a little over nine months ago, and I never bothered to check and see if the government had decided to unblock it. I accidentally clicked the LJ link on my bookmarks toolbar this evening and was pleasantly surprised to find out that LJ has been free for viewing and using in China for an unknown period of time, so here I am again. I have used LJ extremely sparingly in the past five years or so, even when I lived in a country where it wasn't banned, so I am sure I will not write much in here, but I do have to share some thoughts about the People's Republic of China with the few people on my friends list (does anyone on my friends list even use LJ anymore?).
China is a fucking crazy place, and I both hate it and love it simultaneously every day of my life. Teaching adorable children is one of the best and most rewarding jobs in the world, there is no doubt about it. Sleeping with three married men at the same time is not a very great idea (who would have thought?). Hong Kong is a truly fantastic place, and one of my favorite places on earth. If you want to make some serious money, you should move to China and devote yourself to business - if you want to make super easy (but not super serious) money, you should move to China and devote yourself to teaching English (if you speak English, that is). If you are seriously unhappy and feel stuck in your life, China could possibly hold true happiness for you. Or maybe it's just me. I am happy and content with life in ways I never could have dreamed, and I am having so much fun.
I have thought about Rome every day of my life here, and am still devoted to saving every reasonable cent for my move to Rome and the completion of my education, but I decided to delay my return to school. I am staying in China for another year (or more?), and I may change careers (for the money) even though I really love what I do every day for work.
I have so much love for so many people. I miss so many people back in the States. I might update this again, but I am already hating how much time I am wasting on LJ again... just going through my friends page has had me distracted for about three hours now.