Titles are optional

I was at the airport, desperately looking for my hand luggage on the carousel. At every turn jostling between elbows and bags and screaming children and the rabble of excited feet. My rucksac is on my bag, why would my hand luggage be on the carousel? Then I find it – a pink plastic toy trolley packed with groceries. Phew! I strap it to my front and scoot away. Only to realise that my hand luggage is actually a children’s toy and it’s full of vegetables and tinned goods. Panic sets in as I resume my search. Then I wake up. Not the most exciting dream, but it did make me feel very nervous. This is the first dream I’ve had which is remotely linked to going to China, and it reminded me of 1) how unorganised and chaotic the whole thing still feels, and 2) that I still don’t feel qualified to go – not too immature, not too stupid, just like my right to be there isn’t validated or justified. It’s the ‘woah man these crazy things totally never happen to people like me’ feeling.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going to settle in there, IF I’m going to settle in. Few people in this country fully appreciate my sense of humour, and that’s because I bounce off these people so easily. They are my closest family and my very best friends and I can count them on my two hands. Mind you, I have read lots that the Chinese are a very warm and welcoming people, and so hopefully the impenetrable fortresses that spring up in Wetherspoons every Friday evening will be a thing of the past (yes you play in a band in the pub down the road, no you’re not one of the Beatles, I don’t fancy you, and you’ve never left Deeside, so come down from that pedestal mate).

The 2nd TEFL has been completed, did I mention that? I’m waiting on the university to send me a ‘visa invitation’ document. This is where we hit the pretty major snag last time, and without a cordial invitation from Heilongjiang government I can’t go. Meanwhile the rest of the ‘school of 2013’ of whatever they call themselves have been to Beijing, taught lessons in summer schools, and start their placements this week. I can’t tell you how sickened I am by the influx of touristy pictures on my facebook homepage. You’re expats now kids, be cool, stop with the photos of you being embraced by a homeless Chinese kid because you gave him your bottle of water.


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