May 9, 2012

words will suffice.

I just checked my iphone and realized I have no pictures to document this great/hilarous/full day.

Oh well, words will suffice.

I woke up and did some work online before meeting my presh-head boyfriend for lunch at a Western cafe across the street. I was craving a veggie burger and he was craving me-minus-the-attitude so by appeasing me, we all were happy. :) ha.

We came back to my home where I loaded up my goods, changed into my work clothes and headed off to my afternoon of adventures. I was reminded of our culture/gender difference when I asked, "Does this look ok?" about my work outfit and he responded with, "You look fresh." "I have never been told that in my life," I said, "I am a white girl from Florida, picket-fence, suburbia. I own poodles and a cat. I never look fresh." hahahaha. He rolled his eyes at me and laughed, "Nice, you look nice."

We said zai jian and I got on the bus to meet one of my American college students at my old hair place. I have not been there in moooonths and asked some of my students if they would go with me to use up my money on my VIP card. I would give them the service for free just to be nice and because I want to use up the 100$ on my card so I don't feel tied to the place anymore. I can't justufy going anywhere else when I have pre-paid at this place, so I want to use the money up. Why not use it on my students?

I got a trim and she got her Persian hair straightened. I kind of laughed to myself the whole time because there was a definite difference in expectations. She was not entirely happy with the outcome of her hair and I was like, "ah, whatever, I'll throw it up in a bun if it's bad." My standards of everything are low now after living here so long and I sometimes forget that not everyone does everything just for the experience.

A new guy cut my hair and then one of the few people who still work there came over to blow dry and straighten my hair. We chatted a bit and after awhile he told me that it was his day off. (They get one day off a week.) I asked him why he was doing my hair if it was his day off and he said he had come into the shop to get somehting and had seen me after so many months and asked if he could do my hair.

That.Is.Precious. I was so touched. How can you complain about a non-perfect blow dry when someone is giving you their day off to spend time with you? It was sweet. And I was happy with my hair.

I said goodbye to my student and headed across the street for dinner alone in a noodle shop before heading back to the Children's Hospital for my first day back at work! I got my part-time job back!

I have learned a big lesson in Chin.ese work relationships and after some maneuvering on Michael's part, I was re-hired as the English teacher at the hospital. I left this job around Christmas time because I was majorly stressed about school, changing majors, and adding another section of my adjunct classes, but I have realized lately that I miss my students so much and I miss the money, also. (I'm broke, thanks to Chin.ese fixed economy and inflation).

I had to hang my head a bit at the beginning of class and assure them I will not just up and leave again. (note to self - you can never quit this job again.) But it was SO GOOD to see everyone! I had a geat turn out - over 20 students and we had a great class. All my favorites were there and I was so happy they still believe in me to show up. I love my monkies and missed them so, so, so, much. Having a job that I am excited to go to is a blessing and I'm not giving it up again because of worldly stress. I'm hanging on tight this time. (Note to self).

After class one of the students I love the most hugged me and started crying and told me her story of recently being denied entrance to the PhD candidacy in Shanghai because of corruption in our hospital. Her department head apparently doesnt want her to be the only person wit ha doctoral degree in the department (higher ranking than her bosses) so she was conspired against and lost the opportunity for further study. She is disheartened and feels the world is against her.

My heart broke listening to her. I also felt guilty. How could I have left my people? They need ears to hear and shoulders to cry on. I have ears and shoulders. And I am not in the system. I know I cannot, "save" anyone, but I should never take myself from a place where I know I am helpful in some way.

I am so sad about the corruption here (and around the world) and how it affects good people with honest hearts. Pray for Marie. For hope and a future.

After Marie left to catch a movie with her hubby, Michael and I drove to a coffee shop near my house for, "coffee time," as he calls it. After some promting from boyfriend, I told Michael about my leg pain and he wants me to get checked out (no way). It was such a great way to learn new English words for him. "Do you have pain in your fingers?" he asked. "No." "What about your feet fingers?" "My toes? No, no pain in my toes."

I love that man. I told him if I still have pain on Monday (a week after it started) or if the pain gets worse, I will go to the international clinic. But I am just hoping it goes away by then. I have a half-marathon to run in 10 days. Imustgetbetter. And there's no pain in my feet fingers, so I must be ok. :)

I returned home to my American neighbor knocking at my door, "I heard you!" he called. I just wanted some peace and quiet and kitty time, but in came another person who wanted to talk. I felt like a conversational revolving door today - boyfriend, student, hair do'ers, students, boss, Michael, neighbor.

It was a great day of interactions and reminding myself how blessed I am to be here with these people. I need my job with my Chin.ese students to remind me of that. I am so glad they took me back. Things don't work like that in America, you can't just quit your job via text and then beg your way back in, but it worked for me here. I am so thankful. For the extra $150 bucks a month and for the sustained friendships. Mostly the friendships.

My heart was so happy to be back in the classroom that it could have jumped out my chest and danced on the table. It's where I belong. In a room of Ch.inese people with a whiteboard all to myself. I want everyone to feel the way I do at work at some point in their lives. It's glorious.

It's been a day. My hair looks fab. There's a sleeping kitty in my lap. My boyfriend is patient with me. My students came to class. My hairwasher gave me his time. My best friend tried to diagnose my pains. My neighbor and I had a chat about the meaning of life.

Who needs photos? Letters will do.

walk slow. xoxo.

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