Remember that checklist that I made before I came to China? With only two months left in my teaching contract, I’m starting to have panic attacks about leaving this place without accomplishing everything I set out to do. For the record, here was the initial list, with accomplished tasks crossed out.
I will go crazy.
I was bored/lonely to death for my first few months here, until I met the right people and started seeing more of the city. And certain days, I still can’t handle the staring/spitting/pollution. But despite these things, I really do enjoy my life in Tianjin.
Major language gaffs.
I don’t think I’ve said anything too inappropriate (at least not on purpose,) but I’ve been in plenty of situations where my Chinese abilities have been far less than adequate.
Dance til the world ends.
There has been dancing. A lot of dancing. The best was at the all-Chinese Top Club, where we single-dancedly started a party.
I will be mistaken for a boy.
More times than I can count. Looking “alternative” in China is just not a thing. I will never forget the little girl in Beijing asking her mom, in the cutest little girl voice in the whole world, why there was a boy (me) in the girl’s bathroom.
Public speaking super star .
This happens naturally when you stand in front of people and talk for 16 hours per week.
- KTV Master.
***GOAL UPDATE*** My friend “Amidala” and I have set out to learn five Chinese songs before July. We will dazzle our friends with our amazing Chinese abilities and knowledge of heart-wrenching pop songs.
Oh right, classes .
I’ve gotten into the groove of planning for my classes no more than two hours before they happen, and it’s working gloriously.
- Meet great people.
***GOAL UPDATE*** I’ve already made some friends-4-life here, but I REALLY want to meet some of my students’ families, and see more of how Chinese families interact. I think this will be an important step in understanding more about Chinese culture. And I’m still on the look-out for anyone special out here, obviously. I may be practical, but I’m not dead.
And a new goal! Here we are with number nine.
- TRAVEL EVERYWHERE IN CHINA
After my contract ends in June, I’ll have about a month before I need to head back to America and get ready for the next four years of irresponsibility and shenanigans–I mean college! Obviously, traveling all across China isn’t a possibility, but I would love to see several cities near Shanghai, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, and Xinjiang province if I have enough time. Also, this will be a great opportunity to visit my students in their home towns! Basically, I can’t wait.