I have spent 30 of the last 48 hours in Xiasha (the satellite town an hour outside the city, where I work). That spells - exhaustion. But in a good way.
Yesterday when my classes ended for the day at 3:15, I went to get my hair dry washed until I met up with some students from last year for dinner. Turns out word spreads fast in a town as entertainment-less as Xiasha and one of my classes had found out about Jennie and I's KTV outting last week. They wanted in on the "hang out with the old teacher" fun, too.
It was lovely. They had pre-ordered lots of great dishes and we sat around a table and chatted forever. Some of them I hadn't seen for a year. Their thesis' are due this month so they are focusing most of their attention on what they will do post-graduation come March, 2011. I made them promise to invite me.
True to fashion, word has gotten out about my future plans. (I swear I only told like 3 people, these people can GAB!) I feel a little out of sorts explaining my going to Zhe Da because that school is a dream for most of my students (the school I work for is 3rd tier, the school I will be attending is 1st tier). I don't want to make them feel jealous or bad, so I would prefer not to let anyone know, but it appears that won't be possible. Secrets don't exist in a country of 6 billion.
Today after my classes ended I went to see Iron Man 2 in the theater with one of my students. I can't say too much, but it was quite entertaining to see how it was cens.ored. There is a country in the movie where the "bad guy" originates from, and everytime the name of that country was mentioned, it was blurred out. So, people would say something like, "I got you this all the way from R-oihhelihldjnvjnd-a. I was crackin' up. Because of the Gov. ties of that country and this country, this country doesn't want that country to "be the bad guy". Even though it's a COMIC BOOK INSPIRED MOVIE. It's like the Gov. here thinks the people can't seperate entertainment from reality, which actually, in my experience, is true a lot of times. The amount of times I have to defend that Am.er.ica is not all like Gossip Girl is outlandish. It was weird to see a censored movie in the theater. I didn't talk about it with my student, because there just is no point. I wonder what the translation was in Chi.n.ese on the bottom of the screen, though. If it was blurred out in speech, what was the translation? This just further ebedded into my mind that in actuality I reside in a land of robots.
After the movie (which was actually really good for having such a small love story component), we had some noodles for dinner and then I had to go to English corner for the last time! It was me and my Brazilian co-worker, Gie's, 12th and last English corner together. We have been English corner partners since last year and worked every single one together. We have it down to a rhythm: I threaten to run away (because it is just awful), she laughs and suggests we hide in the bathroom 'til 6:29, at 6:30 we emerge, I tell the directions and run the show, we seperate into various corners of the room and don't talk too loud to bother the other, at 8:14, she grabs me so we can go to the bus stop. It's been a good run together, but I can't say I'll miss these hours of being super exposed to random students. Some of the repeat students are really precious, but the majority of them are one-timers who just want a glimpse of a foreigner. I've answered the question, "can you use chopsticks?" too many times to count, and I'm just done.
So long, English corner, it's been real. It's been fun. But it ain't been real fun. But considering how nostalgic I'm getting, I won't be surprised if I hop on a bus every so often and join in one next year, just for memory's sake. :)
Tomorrow morning I have another phone interview with a summer camp in Korea. This will make job offer #4 in Korea for the summer. The only problem is the timing of the jobs. I would lOVE to go back to Korea. It's just so...cool. It's like the way the rest of Asia should be - clean, mannerly, hip, open to other ideas, and traditional all at the same time. We'll see what these people have to say. It's all pretty much the same job: July 21-August 23, 6.5 days a week, $2000, dorm/lunch provided. I also just found a job in Ta.i.w o n at the YMCA, that on pays a little less, but the days are more conducive to my visa-lessness and home-lessness so we'll see. If I get that one, I'll take it, I think.
How are you? I miss you/my country/normalcy.
Walk slow. xoxo.