Gabriel - Life in China
Read as much book as you can and watch as many movies as you want on china but nothing and I mean nothing prepares you for the middle kingdom. Trekking nearly 5,000 miles across the world to teach English sounded crazy at first but I decided to do it.
So off I went to china in the middle of august. As soon as I got off the plane the smell and heat hit me as well as the lack of English speakers or signs anywhere, but it was really fun trying to find a taxi to get to my hotel.
I have now been in China for over six months and I can honestly say that I have adjusted to the vastly different culture. When I first got here I found myself comparing everything to back home in England. This resulted in me always being disappointed. Everything is so different; from the way of life, eating habits, social etiquettes and many other things, sometimes it even felts like a whole different world completely. My main hang up was personal space. This took a while to get used to as well as the staring. I sometimes joked that it is like being famous without money.
I really do love china. It is truly a great country with an amazing culture and traditions. The people are friendly and helpful and many will go to extraordinary lengths to make your stay in china as easy as possible. My school personally went above and beyond in helping me with any problems or any difficult situation I was in.
One of my favorite things about being in China is that I never know what's going to happen next. To say that it is the land of randomness would be an understatement. My motto for being here is Expect the unexpected. The way things work one day could easily change the next. It’s all part of the china experience and adventure.
Teaching has been great as well. The students will love you. They really do appreciate foreign teachers. I remember being very nervous before my first class and as soon as I walked into the classroom the students started clapping and cheering like I was a rock star or a famous person. From then on I never worried about any classes. Sure you will come across difficult classes but I found that as long as the lessons were interesting then those students will give you their attention. Another tip that helped was dividing the class in half and getting the student to compete against each other. This meant they spend their energy try to win whatever game you set and not causing trouble. Winning is everything here.
All in all it has been a fantastic experience. There have been ups and downs but that’s china for you. I wouldn’t want it any other way. To come to china I think you need to have an open mind, be very flexible and patience. These things will make life easier and help overcome any lonely or frustrating situation.
I would like to thank Lany for all the help she has given me before I came to china and while I have been here. I am also thankful for amazing school she placed me in. It’s nice to know that if I have any problem she is just one phone call or skype message away.
Xie xie ni (thank you)
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