23.06.2012 34 °C
I have to appologize for letting you down, and not writing my blog for such a long time. I can come up with excuses such as «I had no time» or «I was busy.» But the fact is, I didn't feel like writing. Can you imagine? I didn't feel like writing?
Anyways, as only a few more days are left, I would like to share some personal experiences with you.
There have been many door sills to step over, many trembeling knees and rapid hearbeats. First of all in the class room, and secondly with my health (which I found out after three months and which really, sorry for my words, sucks).
Two days ago I went to walking street to go to starbucks and read my book at the river side. In the bus, a Chinese guy came over for a chat. He was about to enter his interview to become a teacher assistent in a primary school. And along the way, he asked me if I had some good teaching tips, and how to become a good teacher. And without realizing it, a whole waterfall of words and sentences where coming from my mouth. At that point I realized how much I've learned about teaching, about the classroom situation, about the children in general. The different types of human walking around on this strange planet earth. And also about myself.
In China I've asked myself many times «What on earth am I doing here?» It was not the longing to go home, it was just the feeling of not being home. I realized in China, that the feeling of home is immensly important to human beings. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we try to build a home, we try to feel ourself comfortable, and make the best of it. It is in our nature. As I have problems putting it into words I will give you a visual picture of it. We try to build a house of branches and mud. Carefully we place each branch on top of the other. Suddenly the tower of brances collapse of the weight of a big branch, and falls apart. At this point, our trying has failed, or we haven't tried hard enough. As a result we wish ourselves as far away as to Mars, to start over again with building our house of branches and mud, which we can call home.
Soon Changsha will be written in my personal history. The city where they plan on building the tallest building in the world. The city which is growing rapidly. The city with more inhabitants than the whole of Norway. The city with cheap taxi's and even cheaper busses. The city with a McDonald on every streetcorner, coffeeshops, cozy streets, busy streets, beautiful streets, ugly streets, cheap street and expenisve ones. The city with the fancy malls and stincky tofu. Am I going to miss this city? If you would ask me this question now, I would give you a steady»no.» But I also know this answer might change over time.
Here in China we've got the oppertunity to travel quite a bit. And I have to say that China is a diverse country. If somebody would aks me «What is China like?» I have no idea what I would reply. because China is not like one thing, or the other.
China is huge, that much is for sure. Every province have their own culture, dialect and sometimes language. Every province has its own speciality and atmosphere. Even in half a year time, I haven't seen nor experienced enough of China, that I can say what China is like for sure. But still Chinese have something in common (obviously). They are hard working people. They get things done. They don't complain much. They are quite, quick and efficient. Very efficient. I bet no other country can build a building with 30 stories in 6 days! Their efficiency is shown in every part of life, in the shop, in the hospital, in the schools and in the banks. The good thing with one party regime is exactly this: things get done. Maybe some disagree, maybe the majority of people don't want it in that way, maybe human rights are violated, maybe it is chynical, but at least it is done. And don't get me wrong, I absolutly think it is a violation of human rights to not give the people free speech or the right to vote. To push them into things they don't want to do. To shut down every single mouth, and ban asking question. The militarization of this nation is scary. But there is also a good side of a one party regime, and that side I discovered in China: the efficiency.
Chinese people don't brag much, they are really direct and sometimes things they say can make us frown our eyebrows. A random person on the street, who starts talking to you, might suddenly say «I would like to marry you.», without any hesitation. A comment like that makes me at least frown my eyebrows and laugh, and think silently «ok, he's a freak.» Their direct comments is often really funny. You will also experience that the sense of humour varies a lot. If you try to tell a joke, you might be the only one ending up laughing. Either they don't understand the English good enough or they just don't find it funny. And that brings us over to another topic: lauging. Do Chinese people laugh a lot? I would say «no», not too much. But on the other hand, 30 year old woman can giggle like teenagers the whole day long. A very good example of this are our English teachers in the school. They giggle, they are jolly and they have fun for sure.
When I started writing this entry, I had no idea what I would end up writing. I just let my thoughts run through my fingers, and words are formed on the screen. Magic, isn't it?
As this entry is already quit long, and you've got some paragraphs to read, I would like to add a final thought.
Even though I would not call China HOME, it has given me a lot. And for that I'm thankful. As my friend wrote so beautifully «Having someone in thoughts, when your bags are packed, is when you know, you've got a place to return that you can call home.» This someone is China, and maybe one day I will end up calling China, HOME, and return. Who knows after all what the future will bring? Muslim's believe our life is written with a universal pen in the univers, which only Allah has access to. So I might have to ask Allah, or just wait and see...