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Author Topic: Well, I'm here.  (Read 3778 times)

Phillis

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Well, I'm here.
« on: March 19, 2016, 08:22:29 AM »
 aaaaaaaaaa

This pretty much sums up what I think about my situation in China.

 llllllllll

This is what I feel like doing when I think back about deciding to come here.

 llllllllll :alcoholic:

This is what I'm doing instead.

I'd rather be back in Korea and that is something I never ever thought I'd say. Never. Ever.

AMonk

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2016, 10:00:16 AM »
 aoaoaoaoao Where are you located?  What happened? :wtf:
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rattie

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2016, 02:12:11 PM »
I understand getting well drunk to deal with an initial shock or disappointment, but please try to think away the problems, drinking them away doesn't work, ever.
What happened, where are you?
Is it just an initial shock, or something actually bad?

Phillis

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 01:50:49 AM »
Well, it's not culture shock or anything like that because I've been in Asia for over a decade, split between Korea and Laos.

It's the filth, dirt, air pollution, the bitter reality and knee to the groin at the death of a friendship and the cock-up of a shitshow which this university appears to be.

Where I live closely resembles a movie set from Saving Private Ryan - or any other similar WW2 destroyed town. It is fantastically ugly. And I left my beautiful little house by the Mekong along with my beautiful wife and family to come here at the behest of above said friend.

I am gutted. I won't get into the friend thing beause it's not appropriate for public fodder. But, where I am is ugly and the air is so polluted my lungs hurt. The internet is two steps above useless. My TV (haha) is out on the enclosed balcony because there were literally no stations on it. It was also a huge square box that would have been cool in a living room 30 years ago.

The air!!!! I've only been here 2 weeks and I've been told that the air is pretty good now. You can feel it! Understand....you can feel the air it's so greasy and scummy. There isn't a cloud in the sky and it's constantly hazy.

The phones are a fucking joke. I couldn't call my wife or Canada to talk to people. It took a week until I was able to call my wife and I still can't call Canada. Hopefully, that will happen today.

No...this was an experiment which was sought after with eager anticipation and longing, which has apparently turned into an absolute nightmare. I can't wait to get out of here and go home to Laos. I hate this place with the white hot intensity of 1000 suns...if I could see the sun that is.

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 07:29:23 AM »
You can still get culture shock from a new place in Asia.

You had an idea of how things would be that consistently came across as optimistic; to me over-optimistic.

I fully appreciate all the bad things. In fact i suspect that there's a few disappointments that have been waiting patiently in queue, and will shyly introduce themselves in the next couple of days or weeks.

There are ways through this, but it doesn't sound as though you're planning to hang around long enough to want to know about them. That's probably fair enough. I mean, I guess we all want people to honour their contracts, but sometimes we can encounter a perfect storm of subjectively feeling that we've made a mistake, and objectively really, truly having made a mistake because the situation is that terrible.

However, if you are planning to stay, (or if you have to) keep writing about it, even if its just a personal diary rather than things you post here.

Also, you have to recognise that there are probably going to be some good things about China, that make it in those ways better than Laos. Admittedly, if the friendship, job, home and health is all bad, I'm struggling to come up with a convincing list of possible good things.

If you are staying, stop drinking and self-medicating. In order to turn this around you'll probably need to have your s@@t together.

2 years ago, I'd have had no sympathy for you, but then I had to get out of a new dodge after 3 days. Giving up wasn't in my vocabulary, but it turned out that the phrase. 'my new boss is a psychpath and I will go insane if I stay here' was.

I still don't have a lot of sympathy for you though. I think I tried to warn you, though to be fair, I may have deleted any messages because I knew there was no point. (I'm sure others on here tried). Plus I always feel a bit of a hypocrite doing this whole internet forum feeling superior to others thing.

Phillis

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2016, 01:12:27 PM »
You have some good advice. I have been keeping a journal and writing is cathartic.

Drinking isn't the answer to be sure but it helps for the moment. 

Nonetheless, my situation sucks and I can't wait to leave.

It's okay, not all experiments work out as expected.

I'll be gone soon.

AMonk

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2016, 03:25:35 PM »
What went down?  Are you certain that a change of locale (within PRC) wouldn't work?
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Granny Mae

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2016, 11:34:42 PM »
Phillis mate, I'm sorry I don't have any experience teaching in China, so I'm not much use to you there. I do know that life is tooooooo short to waste; my husband passed away 27yrs ago. alalalalal  At least you have been getting plenty of life skills which should prove beneficial to you.  bfbfbfbfbf All the best in whatever you choose to do! agagagagag

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2016, 04:10:11 AM »
Don't automatically blame your friend for not warning you of the air and large swaths of buildings ranging from "in serious need of repair" to "unsafe for habitation by rats".  Even my city has areas like that blended in between the ritzy malls and all-glass office towers.  Those are so much a part of the landscape in many places that it's easy to assume that everyone already is familiar with them and there's no need to mention them.

Find a fan and strap a HEPA filter on the front.  At least that will give you clean air in your bedroom at night.  The air in my city isn't too bad, but I can tell the difference in how well I sleep with a filter fan running.  Let me know if you need any more advice on getting one of these.

BTW - Regarding Chinese TV - unless you like watching Imperial era costume dramas, there's not a whole lot worth watching.  Either download or find out where you local video pirates hang out.
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Tree

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2016, 05:32:19 AM »
It's a thing really. Search up "bad china day." Sounds like you are having some hardcore bad ones from the get go. Hell I still get them from time to time.

Are some/most of the reasons that attracted you here still valid?
The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
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Phillis

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 05:38:52 AM »
I could have researched more and not been so trusting in the opinions of others, but that's a personal vice or virtue depending on how you look at it.

I blame me, straight up.

The filter fan sounds like a good idea. My lungs hurt, it feels like someone is standing on my chest. I've never smoked and never had problems with asthma or anything like that so I feel safe in assuming it's the pollution. At times the air here smells like a burning garbage dump.

I'm not gonna whinge too much, it's useless. I am going home though to my wife, family, clean air, drinkable tap water, great TV and lots of open space and jungle trails to ride on.

What's up with the water in my area? I have bottled water delivered and it still tastes like copper, very metallic.

Oh yeah, payday was supposed to be the 15th, no joy on that front yet.

The good parts are all still valid. Very easy schedule, lots of time off, nice students that seem to care, reasonable apartment other than the kitchen which is miniscule and has a leaky ceiling which drips water from the stalagmite right on your head and neck. It's enjoyable. I've met some of the other foreigners and they seem nice.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 05:50:33 AM by Phillis »

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2016, 07:03:34 AM »
Change water companies.  Ask around (if possible) for a good one.
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Phillis

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2016, 01:22:23 PM »
I'm 4 weeks into the semester with 14 remaining. The students are nice and pleasant. I don't work much and when I do it's exceedingly easy.

I think it's odd - and unacceptable - that I live in an apartment building with a few foreign teachers who all exist in little bubbles. No one hangs or talks to anyone. I don't care how you slice it that's just fucking weird.

What the hell happened to being sociable? Jesus...where did the kindness go?

Nonetheless, I'll finish this term then go home to Laos in July.

Will I come back for the 2nd semester? Enquiring minds want to know. 

What is a certainty is that I freaking hate this place and I have no reason to stay because my reason for coming is dead.

On the upside I am listening to Frank Zappa: Jewish Princess -  which always brings a smile to my face.

Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2016, 12:30:14 AM »
I agree with you about the bubbles.

At my previous University there were only about 4-6 foreign teachers (it varied) and I always felt it was incumbent upon us to at least be friendly to newcomers, make sure they settle in ok and are alright.

After all, if they don't settler in and do a midnight run, then it would have been a problem for the remaining teachers.

Obviously some people are married and have kids, so you can't reasonably expect them to have time to babysit newbies, but I do think we have a responsibility to be friendly to people when they arrive.

However, I think you have to recognise 2 things

1. Just because the chinese lump us in as 'foreigners' doesn't mean that we have a lot in common in temrs of age and nationality. For instance, phillis, I would lay money based on what you've said on the forum that we would not really get on. I would still have been friendly to you when you arrived though, and invited you to hang out with my friends (if i had any) until you found your own path.

2. Foreign teachers are weird. I fully own the fact that I am weird. it's just that I think I'm weird in a way that makes me superior, and frankly i wouldn't entend that distinction to the other weirdos at my place of work.

I'm still quite bitter at the lack of friendliness extended by (most of) the other teachers when i arrived (including one teacher who had recomended the uni to me, and who spent a grand total of 30 seconds or so talking to me when i met him).

I guess people just have different rules for behaviour. The teachers who were welcoming to me (even though it didn't, and won't, turn into any kind of friendship) I will always be there to help if they need it. The others (and any newcomers in future) are on their own.

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Well, I'm here.
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2016, 04:55:04 AM »
Foreigners don't have much in the way of a group identity to begin with, and to be honest, there's not much of a work identity either. It's not really surprising that no one wants to know anyone else, is it? Personally, I find that any point of commonality I have with anyone else foreign usually comes at the expense of connection to the wider place I live in. We speak English, they don't. We have this culture, they don't. Etc. Seems like the foreigners with the greatest chance of being "normal" are the ones who speak the language.
Sniffing garbage...