Published: November 8th 2009November 8th 2009
Yeah, I dunno. It's a mountain. And a sun.
So yeah, i'm still here. There just hasn't been a lot to talk about. Still in Tongzi, Guizhou. To be honest.....it kinda sucks here. There really isn't anything to do. There's one park that no one really goes to, and aside from there all there is to do is wander around the city like a hobo. The city is extremely small so I can pretty much walk through everything in an hour or so and it's pretty boring. No one here really speaks English outside of English teachers and students, so there's no one to talk to, no one to meet. Sure I talk to and make friends with the teachers, but they are so busy with classes and their families they don't have time to hang out with me or anything exciting. Same with the students, they have classes every day until 9pm so that doesn't really give me time to hang out. Saturday they have class til 5 and the night free, and Sunday they have class at 7pm, so there's like a 24 hour window to hang out with students. The students here have good English, but they are extremely lazy and they don't try or
The Rock climbing competition was also on this cliff. Fun stuff.
apply themselves. They also aren't very interesting. They are really lacking the personality of my last students and they aren't excited to go hang out or anything, they only want to go to class and in the free time they go home and study and play the computer. It's pretty gay. So needless to say what I do here is go to class.......then go home and I stay there the rest of the day. There's no one to go outside with, there are no people to meet here, there is nothing to do if I go outside. It is extremely depressing.
Classes are kinda sad. No one really cares, it feels like i'm not really helping the students. It's a Number 1 school, so all of the rich kids and "smart" kids go here, which means a lot of them have the mindset that they don't need to do anything since mommy and daddy can buy their way into University and anything they wanna do, so they aren't about to try. Some will try, but I have 2 classes that I just sit there and beat my head into the wall since maybe it'll inspire them to ask me
Shana and a student
Other foreign teacher and her student Angela.
wtf i'm doing in English. Last class I repeated a lesson from 2 weeks ago because they told me we didn't do it. I knew we did it so I said w/e and I did it again. And these pompous kids who think they know everything made the exact same mistakes as 2 weeks ago even when I have given them the answers. I was just like whatever. I have learned not to give a crap about classes and students who aren't going to try to learn.
Anyway, i've become uncomfortable with this place. The locals do nothing but try to take advantage of me. I haven't been ripped off yet because i'm not an idiot but all they do is try. They give me a look like i'm not welcome here and I'm sick of being treated like an animal in a zoo. It's 10x worse here than in Shaoyang. I know I have to stop comparing but I can't help it. During National Day I saw a guy die in the street. He was walking and part of the sidewalk was under construction. He apparently wasn't watching where he was going and he tripped and smacked his
Part of Tongzi
I don't live here. Farmers do.
head onto the pavement and he just crumpled. It wasn't like he passed out, he was as if he instantly died upon his head slamming into the ground. He was an older gentleman, probably 60+. Blood was pouring from some part of his face, I couldn't see where, I could just see the blood. While he was lying there dead, a group of about 10 locals or so just stood over him looking at him. No one moved to call the police, no one called the hospital, they just stood over him watching, I guess trying to figure out if he was dead or alive. I gave my phone to my friend to have her call the hospital, but she didn't know where we were. I also didn't know. So there was no way we could tell them where to come or what was going on. After this a man turned around and saw me and said something about me, so I decided it was time to leave. So I left before someone called the cops and decided to say that I pushed the guy over. This is a common problem. If the police come and there's a foreigner there,
Outskirts of the town. I also don't live here.
they will just try to pin it on the foreigner because they "know" the foreigner is rich and so they can basically charge the foreigner with the crime and make up some BS story or the foreigner can pay a bribe. It's pretty crappy but the police here are worse than the LAPD. Corrupt and worthless. I seriously have never seen a cop in China do anything productive. The Chinese people hate the cops because they are corrupt. So any time something bad happens, I'm not allowed to stay and watch, I have to take off.
The only reason seeing this guy die bothered me was because I know that if that were me, they'd be doing the same thing except so much worse b/c i'm a foreigner. "OH WOW i've never seen a foreigner bleed before! WAAAAAAAAAH his blood is the same color as mine! NO WAY!" The locals here are seriously so freaking stupid it blows my mind. But I can't blame them because this city is a dead end town. Most people have no way out here, no connection to the outside world, no reason to care about anything other than their own personal lives. They
It's what surrounds the city.
grow up here, they accomplish nothing, and then they die. There's no real purpose for most of their lives. I don't know, I've seen so much BS from the locals, being rude, being disrespectful, being unfriendly that I just flat out don't care about them. Although this weekend I climbed a mountain and at the top there was a Buddhist temple, and they were in service when I was there. So I hung around and watched and stuff, it was nothing but old ladies. Some of them came out of the temple and they smiled at me real big and seemed happy that I was interested and watching them the way they always watch me. Of course I drop a "nin hao" in there and they are happy that I talk to them in Chinese and i'm trying. Some of the old people are ok, but most of the middle aged people are just trash. Again this is me speaking from what i've seen, obviously there are some exceptions and not EVERYONE is horrible, but most people that i've seen are. A good example is when I needed to buy a blanket b/c it's getting closer to winter. I went
I live over there somewhere. As you can see the weather sucks here. It's not pollution.
with my friend and we went to one place, the boss said 120yuan. I dunno, it seemed ok to me but my friend said it's too expensive. We went to another place and they said the same. Then we went to one last place and I didn't go in, I just stood outside out of view from the boss, and he sold us the same blanket as the other shops for 40yuan. Great. My friend also complains every time I go shopping with her because she has to pay more money for everything b/c i'm there. Such friendly people we have here! It's BS. But it's to be expected. I'm just not used to having it happen to quite the same extent as other places. In fact, this is the ONLY place in China i've had a big problem with this.
The weather here just straight up blows. It's cloudy and foggy and nasty every day. This week was like a miracle and we had nice sunny weather for a week. But there are less than 20 sunny days per year on avg here. Guizhou is known for having a huge number of minorities, having no money, and having
Left to right: Kris, Me, Michelle, Yang Li. Kris is married :(
horrible weather. So it's enough to make anyone want to live here. Anyway it's getting cold fast here and we're getting a bigger and bigger outbreak of Swine Flu. In my city 6 people have gotten it. Then the weather got nice so I guess it didn't spread very well. In Shaoyang more people got it and they closed the schools........again. Fun stuff.
So i've been just wasting time as best as I can. I had a long weekend this week because the students had monthly exams, so I climbed some mountains and stuff. There's also a rock climbing competition going on in the town. I have no idea why as there's only like one mountain that is climbable in the city. They built a big rock climbing wall in the park outside my apt and I have a nice view of it. The opening ceremony they had a hot air balloon and the dude didn't even take off, he just lifted himself 20 feet off the ground several times and landed again. Successfully wasting a lot of gas. Mission accomplished. He also kept forgetting to release the gas, so sometimes the balloon would deflate and almost smother a
Rock Climbing Festival
It's right outside my Apt.
ton of people. Just now we went out to watch the competition and we found a foreign girl working there. So when it was finished me and the other foreign teacher (Shana) went to the railing giggling like schoolgirls in anticipation of talking to this new foreigner. It's a funny thing to watch foreigners who've been out of contact with other foreigners for so long. We get really goofy and awkward and we become like the Chinese. Just stop and stare and don't know what to say. The only difference is we can effectively communicate. She was busy working and cleaning up the climbing stuff when she noticed us and was just like wtf? Other foreigners? We chatted for a few minutes and got her # and probably hang out with her later. She's Italian which I totally called. I said "She looks Italian" and they were flabbergasted that I called it so accurately. I just wanted to use "flabbergasted" in a sentence.
Recently I sent an e-mail to the Buckland teacher representative telling her of my situation and how I don't like being here. I've given it a chance, and bad crap just keeps happening here making me
Rock Climbing Festival
Up close. The basket on the womans back is use to carry around her baby. There's a little seat in there so the baby just sits and rides around like a portable car seat backpack.
unhappy and I really don't want to stay here for a full year. Also, Shana is leaving after this term to go back to the States so there'll be a new person coming in and I don't feel like messing with it. So I said I want to try to go to a different city. Owen called me up and said that it will be no problem. So hopefully I will get out of this dump and into something better. While checking the buckland website today I noticed there was a listening for Shaoyang and said "URGENT NEED TEACHERS IMMEDIATELY" so of course I sent the Buckland Rep a e-mail asking if I could xfer there either before term is over or after, whichever I don't care. I would just love to go to my old school again and see my old students. So i'm waiting to hear back from them. I'm not holding my breath though.
SO that's all. Here are some photos that i've taken recently here. There's not a lot of interesting stuff going on. I did meet a really cute girl who spoke English well and was real nice, but then I found out she
Elaine and Shana
At the festival.
was married. Like wtf. Figures. Oh well, off I go!
There are more photos below