Sunday, October 14, 2012

Finally been getting around!

Its been 2 years since I've come to this country and I've barely been around to see anything.  Having a dog to look after is sometimes a bit of a hindrance on your travel plans.  But I know I'd rather have him here than not here.  The past month I have had the chance to go back to Beijing and also go to the eastern coastal city of Dalian.  Our trip to Dalian was only for a day but it was a great time.  Every year Dalian has an international beer festival and once we found out about it there was no question that we had to be there.  Due to there not being a fast train to Dalian yet we ( Mari, Megan, and Gode=aka the aussies) had to buy tickets on the slow train.  This was no big deal, we all like train rides and Gode and I bought some beers for the trip (our train left at 7:30 a.m...... don't judge me).  We all pile in a taxi to take us to the station and at the last minute we decide that we were going to the wrong station so we told the driver to take us to the south station.  Well, we should have stuck with our initial destination station because we were wrong, it was 10 minutes until our train took off, and we were 25 minutes away from the correct train station.  Oops, Time for beer 1.  We make it to the train station which coincidentally was right next to the bus station.  We buy tickets on the next bus outta there which was at 9:30.  We all were hungry so we got some noodles and sat around to kill the time.  Beer #2. (keep in mind that these are all tallboys, no 12 ozers in our arsenal).  9:30 rolls around and we find our bus and load up.  Amazingly, on that very bus was one of Mari's friends/student's parent!  She is a great lady that we named Zoe and has helped us many times before with situations that needed a Chinese person.  Once on the bus we found our seats and took a small snooze to try and kill the 5 hour ride. Wakey wakey, time for beer 3, 4, and 5.  Needless to say by this time we are feelin alright and roll into Dalian and it's a beautiful coastal city with hills and beaches.  We find our hotel, went out for Thai food and made our way to the beerfest to meet up with our friend Sunshine.  The beerfest was pretty cook but it wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be.  I was hoping for tastings, different styles brewers are playing with, etc.  But basically it was on GIANT party with the same beers ive been drinking since ive arrived, but if you know me, im very ok with that too.  There were tons of people, beer tents, entertainers, and amazingly shotty bathrooms erected all over the place.  We all walked around the grounds trying to seek out a beer garden that we like.  We find one and have a seat with the people around us staring at us like we are famous and even coming to take pictures with the whities.  We order a huge kask (is that the right word?) of dark beer which tasted like regurlar beer and waited for our friend Leif (Sunshine's husband) to show up.  Once the Leifster arrived we decided to switch tents and moved to a more happenin joint.  We bought a mini-keg and went to work.  Gode and I decided it was time to go back to the interesting food vendor we saw earlier in the evening.  By interesting, I mean full of bugs.  Deep fried bugs, so of course Gode and I lit up like 2 dudes that had been drinking all day seeing a deep fried bug vendor.

So, we walk up and start pointing to everything we wanted including:  an emperor scorpion, tarantula, grasshoppers, grubs, snake skin, a seahorse, giant centipede, and some smaller scorpions.  We were very happy with our choices and expected the price to be pretty low as we are accustomed to ordering meat on sticks and it being pretty cheap.  The lady told us 500 rmb.....yikes, that's a tad over what we wanted to pay.  I was close to telling the lade to take a couple of the creatures back but Gode just said "Ill go get more money!" and ran back to the beer tent where Megan, Mari, and the others were.  OK, bugs paid for and time to eat.  They prepared the insects via deep fry and the thing is they fried the hell out of them so much there was virtually no flavor, just crunch. waaa waaaaaaa.  The funny thing is, we got back to the our table and everyone was examining our find when Mari pics up the tarantula, the flagship of our insect smorgasbord, and bites it in half like she's been eating them since birth.  Geeees! come on!!

So now, with a belly full of bugs (and other oddities) we sit back, people watch, and drink beer.  Time goes on and a dance party of topless Chinamen ensues.  Most people at our table had a good laugh and a couple people.........Gode and I decided that "when in Rome" was the more appropriate thought train to jump on.  Off go the shirts and we joined the table dance party!  They loved us!  No, literally, the men were saying "i love you" to us.  Odd enough but it didn't stop the boogie machine!  We dance dance dance, getting hugged by half naked Chinamen that were also shouting at their wives to take pictures of them with us.  Good times were clearly had and gallons of beer were consumed.  The next day we decided to take it easy, have a nice Japanese meal, and find a beach to sleep it off.  We were told of a nice beach that the government officials always use and it would be quiet.  The beach was rocky and the people were plentyful, oddly enough due to the overcast weather.  It was beautiful never the less.  We found some real estate, set up camp, and fell right to sleep.  I couldn't think of a better place to sleep off a hangover, er....uh..  I mean take a nap.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The times, they are a changin.

I am quickly approaching my 2 year mark here in China and its kind of a odd realization.  I didn't anticipate this.  "This" being, a life here.  A life that I could never have anywhere else, especially in my very own country.  It feels good to be the proverbial big(ger) fish and to feel important.  I know that to some of the people here I am a walking talking Yuan sign and that primarily comes from the color of my skin, and that's ok.  That's ok because I know that I am more than that and they will eventually see that as well.  I am an ambassador for all Americans in this small city and as such they need to see that we are more than a group of bullies that randomly slaughter a theater full of people.  I suppose this could all resort back to the "nature vs. nurture" debate, and if I were to engage in said topic with a well spoken Chinese citizen it would be a very interesting conversation due to the massive cultural differences in the upbringing of children.  As we well know, China has a "1child" policy that was introduced in 1978 so meeting someone around my age,  with a brother or sister is very rare, but possible(they tend to call their cousins "brother" and "sister").  It is possible because there are conditions to the clause.  That being, if you are an only child, and your spouse is an only child, you are allowed to have 2 children.  If you choose to have have more than one child, which some wealthy families do, especially if the first child is a female, you will pay a tax.  Ive been told that its around 15,000 USD but don't hold me to that number.  So, one would think that they hold life in the highest regard due to the controlled procreation.  This is true to an extent and then it appears to do a flip flop.  My old roommate and I have talked about this on several occasions and we still don't understand it. From my personal experience, I have worked with a newly pregnant woman who wore an apron that was supposed to "protect her baby from radiation" and she eventually quit her job 3 weeks into her pregnancy because she said it was "too stressful for her baby".  Which she swore up and down was a boy, by the way.  There was no way in the world that it was going to be a girl in her mind.  I haven't kept in contact with this woman but I do know that she gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby girl about 4 or 5 months ago and cried for 2 days because she couldn't give her husband a son.  That dispare quickly passed and now, I'm told that she is one of the best parents you would ever see.  Th point of that whole schpeal was that the status of the child seems to change post birth.  Obviously, as you have just read, the unborn child is (as it should be) treated like a he/she is the next saviour.  After the child is born and they see that it is healthy, they become a little more relaxed.  I've seen youngsters running straight into the street and playing in busy parking lots.  I saw one scooter with 5 people on it.  3 adults and 2 babies being hung off the side, being held by the 2nd and 3rd adults with the first driving.  I can't help but scratch my head to things like that when I see them, it just confuses me.  That might just be something I'll never understand.  Stateside, child protective services would have been called before that scooter even started moving.  For the record, not all parents are like that, I've met some of the most loving and dedicated parents in the world since I've been here, its just that Ive seen a bunch of the opposite as well.  So as regards to nature vs. nurture, where do they hold the majority of their stock?  I feel, as Americans, we have a decent blend of both.  I personally lean more towards the nurture side of the argument.  The child does come out innately something, but I think the knowledge and morals fed builds a more solid foundation. 
               On a different note,  I am sitting here at my new apartment having some coffee and listening to Exile on Main Street and I'm excited.  I'm excited for the change that is about to happen.  I will hopefully start a new school in October which means no more English First (my current school).  The new school will be a medical university so I will get to work with adults that actually want to be in class.  EF has been good for the most part but with the changes that have been taking place lately (new management) I'm happy to be leaving.  Just recently the higher ups told me that I had to move due to the new teachers coming not liking dogs but they have to live in the apartment Ive been in for a year and half.  Mari and I are in, what we think, is a nicer place but I have to pay an extra 500 RMB a month.  The kicker is, those teachers aren't even coming anymore!  The sole reason I had to move all my shit has backed out.  There's some karma for you.  I've been nothing but a loyal and hardworking employee to them and they reward that service with forcing me to move and pay for an apartment.  Now, that action has solidified my decision to leave the school and the teachers they've put so much stock in aren't coming!  They've lost twice.
               Cooper is doing great.  I can tell his anxiety is a little high lately with the move.  He can sense those types of things.  He has been following Mari and me around the apartment being a little bit needy.  He even will lie next to you while you are on the toilet.  He is afraid you are going to leave him.  It's all good though, this isn't his first rodeo when it comes to moving around.  That dog has seen and done more things that a lot of people I know.  Walking him around this apartment complex is so much better than the previous.  The first place, the people looked at him in fear and would even turn completely around to avoid him.  Here, the people love him, they tell me how beautiful he is and instead of picking up their babies to shield them from the savage beast, they put the baby on the ground and tell him/her to look at the "da gao".  Big dog.  Coop seems to be more at ease here too.  Until next time....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spring has sprung in Jinzhou!

Greetings you random readers from the land sleeping shopkeepers, dog thiefs, and finally the return of your toilet being wherever you damn well please! The long winter has finally subsided and gave way to lush green beauty that we all have been waiting for. Its amazing how ones mood changes once their surroundings stop looking..... well, dead. I suppose from a psychological standpoint I could work on not letting things outside of my control define my moods but hell, I think a Jinzhou winter would take its toll on anyone. Any who! With this nice weather as come my new toy. I bought a gas powered scooter (named the Asian Knight) and have been enjoying riding around town enjoying it from a different perspective. I had an electric scooter for a while but that thing was so slow it was almost more dangerous than going too fast. It was hard fot it to go fast enough to maintain a solid center of gravity so if a sharp turn had to be made you would probably just plop right over. Bu hao (not good). Its a cool little scooter, its a clutchless manual so I still have to change gears but the left handle bar which is usually reserved for the clutch is naked. The "shifter" foot levers are the same though. So riding it and changing gears whilst riding makes me feel like a badass. I tell ya, there is nothing better than shifting gears, weaving in and out of traffic, on this machine called the "Asian Knight" while Kenny Loggin's "Danger Zone" is blasting in your headphones, and yes, I do understand how dangerous that is. The asian knight can only hit a top speed of about 45 mph anyway so its not like im breaking the sound barrier. It is fast enough to kill me though and with the consistanly inconsistent traffic patterns here im always kept on my toes. I am taking Chinese lessons again and they are going pretty well but something happend the other day that didn't need a knowledge of the language to understand what was going on. There is a shop near my school that I go to to get random snacks and beverages during my work day. It is run by a young couple that are always very happy to see us come in and have even learned a little bit of english just so they can make us more comfortable. (the learned the numbers) One day I came in here and stood at the counter with my usual snack load which consists of: a sunflower seed bar, yogurt, a "juizy" pop, and a bread treat that we have dubbed "phallic bread". The husband and wife shop owners were watching the security video of earlier that day with the woman clearly not in a good mood. I ended up watching the video with them and here is how it went down: The shop keeps some of their goods ouside due to lack or room inside (because that is their home and their business). On the security video you see a man walk up to the storefront and nab a 12 pack of toilet paper and walk off. I don't know enough Chinese to fully understand what they were saying but I didnt need to. The woman basically said "how could you let this happen? Where were you? What were you doing?" The husband responds " I was here! I dont know when it happend!". The woman tells her husband to switch camera angles to the one that is watching the cash register. He does, and when he does all he says is "ooooooh" and his wife basically has an "ah ha!!" moment. On the monitor you see the husband with his head on the counter fast asleep. After the wife shouted at him for a little bit we all had a pretty good laugh. People ask me all the time where I let Cooper off leash for a run and I tell them that I found a small patch of closed in area that I feel comfortable letting him go. And that is only every once in a while due to the people around here using that area as their personal bathroom. Believe it or not I live in one of the nicest areas in town and stuff like that is still an issue. I actually found a hypodermic needle on the ground the other day. Those are the reasons I don't let Coop off leash more often and in more areas. Here is another reason. A buddy of mine who lives in another city had his dog stolen from his fenced in yard in the middle of the night. His community has cameras everywhere and when they watched the footage they saw a man walking away with the springer spaniel under his arm. His wife knew that there was an animal market (pets not food) in their city and she went looking for Timmy (the dog). She went once and couldnt find him but later in the day she returned and there he was waiting to be sold. I dont know the specifics of the altercation but she ended up having to pay 500 rmb to get Timmy back. I don't know how she acted but I do know that if I were put into that position there would be some serious violence. for those who don't really know me, im a pretty passive man. But this is my family! There are some lines you just don't cross. that value doesn't seem to apply with everyone here. The kicker is that my buddy's inlaws have wanted him to get rid of the dog for a while now because they want a grandchild and having a dog and a baby in a house together just doesnt happen for some odd reason. So, he is worried that they are conspiring against him having the pooch. I hope thats untrue but sadly it wouldn't suprise me. So THAT is why I never let Cooper out of my sight. Other than that bit of scary news, everything is going quite well for me. I have a lovely girlfriend named Mari who I met through my job. She is from The Philippines and she was hired as the foreign reacher for EF's sister company that works with babies. My job has its ups and downs but hopefully things will steady out with that. a lot of changes are happening at the moment and the business side has seemed to surpass the academia side. I am now just waiting for my next adventure which is difficult to find due to the lack of dog sitters. I am keeping positive and with my mind wide open and that is the main step in creating happiness. There is a little bit of cheese for ya. until next time Ni bu nan gua, wo hen goa xing.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's the year of the Dragon.

Right now I am sitting in my bedroom at the baby blue and white desk that was placed here by one of my predecessors. Looking out of the window is a little difficult at the moment due to the grime that has accumulated from the terrible air quality of Jinzhou. What I do see though is a man with a broom that looks to be made of limbs of a bush and he is sweeping the grass. He is piling up all of the dog waste, firework casings, random garbage, and of course dead grass onto the sidewalk then preceding to light it on fire. This is why I pay 39 yuan a month for "property management". Seeing this has made me wonder of all of the other things that I encounter daily that I have just written off as.... well, normal. Of course I didnt always think of the lifestyle here as normal but after being here for a year and 4 months, it just becomes that way. I can go to the run of the mill corner store outside my building and buy a bag of chicken feet if I were so inclined. (they actually aren't so bad if cooked well) A couple of shops down, you can buy processed and packaged dog meat. That, I haven't tried, for a few reasons. The first reason should be pretty obvious but second is because I've heard from a few people that dog is actually delicious. I don't want to become a dog addict. Another thing that I've just thought of that I have become totally desensitized to is something we all wish we could do without consequence...... yep,I'm talking about public defecation. It's mostly youngsters engaging in this act of public ploppy time but on occasion you will see the adult that just couldn't quite make it to the squatter. In case you are wondering (and im sure you are), no, I haven't applied the concept of "when in Rome" as far as matters of rear evacuation are concerned. But hell, pee wherever you want! Those are just a few of the goins ons that I encounter on the regular here in the PRC, and ya know what? I dig it. We recently went through my second Chinese New Year. It is now the year of the dragon. It was pretty similar to last year. Same stage, different cast. On thing we made sure to do right this year was the fireworks. My friend Tim and I headed up that mission (more Tim than me). It wasn't hard to acquire boom booms due to them literally being on every street corner in the city. Well had no reservations on spending what needed to be spent to fulfill our need to blow shit up. Tim bought a box of which the size would normally be used to move apartments but in this case it was one huge system of fireworks that needed to be lit by 2 people simultaneously. I was very proud of him on this purchase. Of course this monster would be reserved for our grand finale. The other works we bought would by American standards would cost you an arm and a leg and cause for a massively wide birth when setting off, but here, they are pretty damn cheap you can basically put theme wherever you wish. We did actually got asked to take the big box away from the apartment buildings due to its size which made us all the more giddy. Good times were had even though it was incredibly cold outside (beer freezing cold) and by the time we were ready to set off the big box, our camera batteries had succumbed to the cold and died. The fireworks in the city lasted for over a week and began at 7 in the morning. Poor Cooper is not a fan of Chinese New Year. I cant imagine how loud everything must be for him. taking him for a walk last week was a gamble because you never knew when someone was going to be setting off their stockpile of fireworks. I tell ya, there were some sounds comming out of him that I've never heard before. I think he actually liked the visual aspect of the whole festival because he would look into the sky and watch the explosions, its just his sensitive ears couldn't handle the rest of it. There were a few times where he would be watching through the windows with my hands over his ears and his head would tilt as if he was actually enjoying what was going on outside. That didn't last very long though, he'd soon continue barking at the booms. We are both glad that it's over for this year. Time to wash the windows.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tryin to hop back up onto the writting horse....

Whew! My greatest appologies on the amount of time between blog posts. Being in China, blog sites and social networking sites in general are blocked. If one wants to do some face booking or blogging they must acquire what is called a "virtual private network" or VPN. This basically tells the internet that you are logging on in someplace other than the PRC. The commuter that I came with and had been previously writing these blogs on had a VPN but it sadly bit the dust and is now sitting around collecting what it had bitten. I now have an ipad (dusting my shoulders off) and it has a VPN but the keyboard on it is not to my liking for longer writings. But now! my lovely mother purchased an ipad compatable keyboard as a Xmas gift and here I sit. Damn, where to begin. So much has happened since May. I've hit my year mark in China and have decided to sign another contract. I came to this decision pretty easily considering the economic distress America is currenly in. Its easy to save money here and I a good at what I do, so why the hell not? My family is healthy, im single, and I have no debt. If not now.... when? I have come to the decision that this lifestyle is for me. Not teaching english in china per say but traveling around and living in different places, doing different things. At this point in my life setteling down in one place for the rest of my life makes me kinda sick to think about. I suppose if I find a place where I can continuously grow I could consider it but i've yet to find such a place. Oh China! My beautiful, smelly, confusing, gigantic, infuriating, consistently inconsistent home. Cooper and I have grown to become pretty attatched to this small city. People in our appartment complex know Cooper by name and he has a few doggy friends (an enemy or two also). People still don't understand Cooper yet, they are terrified of him for some reason. One night I was walking him and we came to the front door of our building. About 30 feet away from the door was a woman walking to her home. She saw us and stopped dead right where she was standing, petrified. She stood there and stared and once she felt it was safe, she took off running as fast as she could. Sprinting as fast as a woman in heels could sprint she made it to what she thought was a safe diastance between her and my killer American canine. I was trying to open the door but I just couldn't, I was laughing way too hard. I hollered out in my best chinese "he is friendly!" but she didn't seem to care. Only the other dog owners seem to have no fear of the beast they call Cooper. If i've said it once I've said it a thousand times, if Cooper ever bit a person, I would walk up to that person and punch them in the face as hard as I could. Reason being, whatever that person did to get my dog to bite them, they deserved. So now they have a dog bite and maybe a little red mark on their face since i probably have the punching strength of a 7 year old. Friends have come and gone since my last entry which make me sad but thats the nature of this beast. It sometimes works for me since I have a hard time attatching myself to anyone anymore. Most recently one of my closest buddies took off back to America. He had been here for a few years and it was just his time. He came to China to be with the woman who is now his wife (she will be joining him after her visa interview) and I was fotunate enough to be the best man in their wedding. It was a pretty amazing experience, being in a chinese/american wedding. There really wasn't too much of a difference in the ceremony. My friend took pride in how little chinese he knew considering he had been ther for years so I had to hit him in the leg when it was time for him to say "I do" in Chinese. The ride to the reception and the reception itself was the interesting part. For some reason it is popular to be taken to the reception venue in a red convertible with someone hanging out of the back of a minivan filming the whole thing.. Once at the reception, it is tradition for the bride and groom along with the maid of honor and best man had to go to every table have have a toast with them. This involves drinking a small glass of booze, not just a sip. They had 10 tables of guests. Needless to say I had to pass a few times or at least stand behind some people and pretend i was drinking. That was the first thing we did! I had the whole night ahead of me. Remember the "music group" I had mentioned in previous posts? CrewesiFreed? Well that ship has obviously said dues to Crewe moving to Moscww but not to worry! A new group has been formed. Its a 3 piece comprised of my friends Ricky, Tim King, and myself. Our name is "King Richard the Freed". Good stuff. any who, the bride asked me a while before the wedding if I would sing a song at the reception and I agreed. Thankfully Ricky and Tim were there to go up there with me. Ricky played guitar, Tim played the bass, and I was on the mouth. We played "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison and it sounded really good. Our first gig was a success. I wish I could say the same about our second........ to be continued.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Alright happy times!!

Allot of cool things have happened since my last self-loathing blog post. I've been to Beijing to see a rock festival, Ive drastically changed my appearance, and I've been on Chinese TV.
Lets start at the beginning. A few weeks ago 3 friends and myself ( Ricky, Lauren, & Jon) went to Beijing because we heard of this big "Moon Bear" rock festival going on. So we hop on the fast train at 9 in the morning (that is standing room only) with a case of beer and no clue what a Chinese rock festival is going to look like. The beer is for the train ride, we would be standing a in a train for a little over 3 hours, we were going to have a good time. We get to Beijing, our beers are gone, and we are ready for anything. Jon knows Beijing pretty well and he is fluent in Chinese so he is our navigator. We walk around the streets and meander through the Hutongs (very narrow alleyway types of streets chalked full of stuff to do) and finally make it to our hostel. We throw our stuff in our rooms, grab a bite, then make our way to the show. Its not an easy task to get to this venue. We had to walk to the subway station, get on one train for a few stops, get off, get on another train for about 10 stops, then hire some dude with a van to drive us about 20 minutes to the venue. We arrive and there are 3 stages put up and people everywhere. This is going to be a good time. Food, drinks, people, live music ranging from reggae to metal. We go in there and plant our flag near the main stage. They had this little area with big pillows and tables that you could hang out at. The surrounding were beautiful. High mountains everywhere, a perfect setting for what was happening. The music was great, we met allot of cool people, Chinese and fellow foreigners alike. The beautiful thing was that we hall had the same thought in mind. Lets party and rock the hell out. And that's exactly what we did. The Chinese reggae bad had to be my favorite, they would be playing their hearts out on stage with a Jamaican flag flying behind them and someone in the crowd would be holding a huge flagpole with a Chinese flag on the end. Two cultures I never expected to cross paths but I suppose if anyone was going to sing "Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights" it should be the Chinese people. It was a 3 day festival but we oly had the energy to go to 2 days. Besides the best part was over, the headliner on day 2 was none other than U.S band Mr. Big!! Come on you know who they are " Im the one who wants to be with you, deep inside I hope you feel it to!". They have been around for a long time but there main era was in the 80's. They were amazingly impressive. Ricky told me that Mr.Big has one of the greatest guitar players around right now, Paul Gilbert. I have never heard of the guy bet apparently he has played guitar with all of the best. Ricky was right by the way, that guy could wail. Again, I was impressed.
The day after the Mr. Big show we just wanted to walk around the streets and take in the sights, sounds, and for sure flavors of Beijing. We went to Tieniman square, the forbidden city, all that fun stuff but my favorite part was just walking around experiencing everything that I didnt get to see the first time. I even went to the place where the dreaded "Lisa" experience happend looking for that horrible woman but to no avail. She must have been off conning some poor sap out of his money.
There are so many more little aspects of this story that I would love to talk about but I dont feel I could convey how cool it was through words. Here is a list and if you want to hear more about it, let me know. I would be more than happy to chew your ear off dear reader.
1. Befriended a 20 year old kid from Kansas. He was in BJ (Beijing you pervs) to learn martial arts.
2. Walking around the hutongs at 2 in the morning a tad intoxicated looking for a KFC with some more Americans that we met.
3. Cramming our bodies into the subway car, my ass literally got pinched in the door. When the doors opened, I had my hand on one of the rails in the ceiling and everyone was flooding around me tryin to get off the train. My feet came off the ground from the massive wave of people movinng passed me.
4. The Chinese tourist areas were selling T-shirts with Obama's face on Mao Zedong's body. Now, if you know anything about Chinese history, that's just weird. We could talk for hours on the reasoning behind that shirt being made.
5. Kids pooping in the street and the parents cleaning it up. I guess its better than buying a diaper and creates less trash. Still pretty gross to see though.
6. Going to the "party" district of BJ and going to the restroom at one of the bars. A man was working in there and as I washed my hands he came to me and said "massagey?" and proceeded to rub me down and crack my back! What service! First tip I've ever given someone in China.
7. Homeless women using their cross-eyed kids as leverage while begging on the streets. It worked.
8. Randomly finding Jon and Lauren asleep in the middle of a field after the Mr.Big concert.

OK thats enough about the Beijing trip for now, lets move on. Recently I've decided that its time for my long hair to go. The problem was that I didn't know how to get it shipped back home for Locks of Love. Well, my mom is comming to visit soon (woo hoo!!) and she can take the hair back with her! So off it goes. For the first time in 6 years I once again have short hair and I gotta tell you, it feels amazing. I feel and look like a whole new person. Its like the hair was dragging me down (as lame as that sounds). The day after I cut it all off I had to teach high school and one of the teachers there approached me to tell me how much she liked my new hair style. I was teaching her class first and when I walked in, the kids were silent for a second and when they realized that it was me the all erupted! It was a good feeling. The asked me why I cut it and I told them about hair donation in the US and that this was the second time ive grown my hair out to donate and bla bla bla. After the class, the teacher came to me (who spoke pretty good English) and asked me more about cutting my hair and what I was going to do with it. As I was telling her, her eyes welled up with tears and I could tell that it was taking alot of work for her fight them back. She begins to explain to me that something like that is absolutly unheard of in China. That being: doing something so drastic without expecting something in return, and helping others in general. In China, your appearence is EVERYTHING and changing that so someone could have a better life just doesnt happen. The Chinese are a very selfish people. Im not saying that in a bad way, they just dont think about the people that need help. Anywho, she then tells me that she has a friend that is a TV reporter and that she talked to her and she wants to do a news story on me and my hair donation. I say sure! So on one of my days off I go to the highschool where there is a reporter and a camera man waiting to me. I bring my Chinese friend Elaine with me to let me know if they translated my message correctly. The talk to me and film me walking around the streets with a bag of hair in my hand. Then they ask me to walk into a post office like im going in to mail my hair away. The also ask me to kiss my hair as i'm walking in..... I say "no thanks, but I'll wave to it!". So that was my 15 minutes of Chinese TV fame. The kicker is that the interview was aired last night and I didn't even get to see it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

For now I must sit here and ponder the yonder......

There has been alot of reflection going on in my life lately and I honestly don't know what to make of it. I don't like who I am, to be bluntly honest. I'm judgemental, ignorant, and can just be flat out mean. On the other side of the coin I can be caring, sensitive, and bubbling over with love that I have no outlet for. The thing is, it's not like I haven't been presented with said outlet, I have been. Its just I run away or I choose to keep my good qualities to myself as if im saving them or im just being the selfish ass that I am. I can sort of trace back the reasons for my reservations in my life history, I wont bore you with those. Lets just say that things that I thought would never change - did, and has led to my constant wall and self-medication.
I suppose its all a matter of perspective and not letting life's negativities define you but having them be the positive after-matter that fills your proverbial glass to the point of being half full. I dont want to be half empty..... hell, I don't even want to be half full. I want to be "Holy shit this is an awesome glass! Have a drink out of this glass!"
Maybe I'm just in the state of emotional evolution where the reasoning behind my thought processes wont become clear until they are done growing. I mean, birds wings didn't grow overnight. I sure there was a time in avian evolution where Mr. Kestral looked at the nubs growing out of his body and thought, "what the hell are these things for?"
The love is there. It is growing, I can feel it.