Sunday, October 5, 2008

Status Report

It is Sunday, October 5. I am sitting in David's apartment in Yanzhou, waiting to catch a ride at 4:30 to the airport. It's back to the city for me. It's hard to sit here and reflect and process, because so much happens here and so fast and the same goes for my mood. I've been quiet in blog land lately because I was suddenly super busy, and when that subsided, I was suddenly a bit mopey. Like I said earlier, I expected to have more hard times. I just never know when, why or for how long. I have had good experiences in this time, so hopefully I can catch you up a bit and get back on the horse.

Class has been interesting and no doubt helpful. I still completely blank out when it comes time to actually use the language, but oh well. My last class before the holidays this week was the low point for sure. When only you and another student show up, and he happens to be quite good at speaking because, well, he's been in China for two years and has already mastered four languages, the pressure is a bit intense. Anyone who knows me from back in school, I was the straight A kid. Valedictorian. Nerd. In short, I'm used to feeling like I understand or at least like I can achieve that goal. But when the teacher speaks to me over and over in Chinese and I just blink at her, contemplating if learning Klingon would be any easier, it does not feel very good. I literally feel like a dunce. I know it all takes time, but she sorta laughed at me and said maybe I was still asleep. No I thought to myself I just have no idea what any of those words you just spoke mean. I could have guzzled a pot of coffee that morning before class and I still would only have heard bing bang ling tang yao!! Blah, blah, blah...

The week of the windstorm in Ohio I was pretty busy with part time work with my old company. This was good for the hours and bad for my Chinese study time. Not that I was dying to study Chinese...

Other news includes a new small gig as an English conversation tutor to four 10 year old boys. More on that later, but it is quite the experience!

And now, after being here for three months, I finally made it to Yanzhou. The Chinese National Holiday was this week, so I didn't have school for a few days. David stayed in Shanghai a few days after the weekend so we planned to take the overnight train together. It was definitely a good time to come here, at least for me, but David had to work a lot more than expected, so I didn't see him much. It makes it hard to leave. He is back at work right now, so I will be long gone by the time he gets home. And after seeing that this place truly is depressing and crappy, the apartment in an industrial complex in a land of polluted skies and empty refrigerators, it makes me even more sad to leave him here. He deals with it well, better than I would for sure, but still, I know it gets to him. But if anything can be counted on in this crazy place, he should be back in Shanghai this Friday.

More of a report this time, but wanted to get something posted sooner rather than later. I must pack up and prepare for my first regional flight in China. Remember, if engines fail, I love you all. (Just kidding! Well, mostly...)

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