Thursday, August 29, 2013

So I Moved to China

I’m a little behind on here. Clearly. Some of you are like what, wait, you’re where? You did what? Well you’re probably not actually surprised. I know, I know, my communication and publication has been, haphazard. So moving on.

I moved to Shanghai, China. I’m also teaching here. And while I’m excited, and as it’s my second international move so I’m a little less green – China is a completely different animal. Training wheels off. Was that guy riding by on the motorbike holding up his IV fluid? He was? Well at least he wasn’t driving? It’s like Thailand level of what on Earth, but a lot more, brusque. At the same time – even more hiso (high society, a shortened Thaiglish word that has permanently wedged itself into my vocabulary) here in Shanghai than Bangkok. Well duh. Oh wait training wheels segue…

Unless you are talking about rollerblades. You see the other day I went looking to buy a refrigerator, as you do when you move to China and an unfurnished apartment, and I came home with roller blades instead. The ultimate class distinction problem. Oh I cannot refrigerate my food, I shall recreationally roll around asphalt on wheeled shoes instead.

The benefit of this, as opposed to running, is that you’re working the majority of your leg muscles without overly exerting your plantar fascia tendon. English please? You don’t have to bend your feet up and down. This is very important when you spent the last year hardly being able to walk properly after tearing and/or straining said tendon.

I have been waking up at 4:40 am frequently. Partially because the entire country of China uses one time zone; and we are in the east (duly noted that the west has late sunsets instead). But also because I lack curtains for the time being.

Since currently our work days are shortened I’ve used this to take advantage of my new roller blades twice this week. On the first occasion, remembering I have not in fact rollerbladed since sixth grade; wiping out on our apartment ramp with our garbage, wiping up when I saw a woman walking a sort of Yorkshire terrier and I leaned back in the slightest and fell smack dab on my butt, and towards the end of my fifth lap when I thought only two wipe outs I can do a sixth lap and I promptly collapsed into a bush. Ok, fine, no more today.

I am back from my go this morning, during which I decided not to count laps because it’s distracting from the primary task of leaning forward in case of Yorkshire terrier, I think I did quite a few more than five laps, and I did not wipe out at all. My iPod also refrained from falling out of my bra this time, though it’s done a great job making my boobs look rectangular.

I downed more than half a Pocari Sweat upon return to my abode, a beverage which I’m still explaining to some of the newly landed frontiersman. I mean…fellow Americans that are new to Asia.

One of the reasons I’ve blogged less and less these several months, aside from great frustration at my general situation the past year for myriad reasons – is simply my discomfort with publishing my observations. Boil it all down to that, for whatever reason. And no, not from any law or government – really, my own personal, social situations and career path.

I still feel that now. I pull out (and on) my masks appropriately. And honestly, it has little to do with China. Or with Thailand. I’m not particularly worried about offending the countries where I reside (they already know if they need to, any way), so much as the people from my home culture, or within my immediate colleague group. I do not wear the mask of a white North American in Asia only. I wear the mask of one working here with many other divergent view points, representing many nations, religions and opinions. Bah I make it sound like I work for the UN. HA! So grandiose.

My point is, I still wear a lot of masks. And I hate that. So Tuesday evening, after I had gracefully epic failed with the garbage, the yorkie, and those sinister bushes (and what about Grandma with that sword I almost ran into? Ok, just Tai Chi) I got up at an Open Mic Standup Comedy night and let loose for about three minutes.

And it was glorious. For three minutes, I wore no masks. I was completely sober and I blurted out what I damn well wanted to say. What did I say? I’m not publishing that. Yep, she’s teaching your children folks. I hope that such a forum will allow for a greater degree of freedom than amateur internet publishing does, with its slightly more fleeting nature even than the internet, though I hope to continue both ventures.

I have missed writing. I have missed many things. As I wheeled around our apartment compound this morning, one of my many trance tracks came up. Well they were all trance who am I kidding. “How can you sit there watching, someone else? How can you sit there (sit there) watching.” Exactly. Get up and do it.