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Published: November 11th 2015
I've stumbled into this blog so quickly I did not even realize that I've left things unexplained. (And it feels lonely in the beginning, so I was not sure how much I should explain). So, there you go -
- I am living here in Nanning, Guangxi, China, for five years. I came as a writer with (renewable) tourist visa, and stayed a year in order to see what will happen. Then I studied Chinese, and then started teaching English. I've been teaching for 3 years now. The regular schedule goes like this - working from Thursday to Sunday, and then, free. If I stay in Nanning, I write. (And many times I do nothing, just read and think, and, akhm, eat). And at least once a month I go somewhere. The school is very nice to me and so they often give me an extra day. In four and a half days of free time I can go relatively far.
In many senses of the word, the living here itself is a constant trip.
Right from the start the idea was to get an impression of Guangxi and this parts of China. I knew my language will
never be good enough, but I also knew that if I see many places, I can compare things. I wanted to have map of Guangxi in some small part of my brain, tattooed there. Not really sure why - just seamed as a good idea, and there are many worst ones, so , whatever. In this five years, I really left the footprints all over Guangxi, and I do mean small places too - occasionally the villages that you sometimes don't even find on the map. I love this cultural stories that pop out of nowhere - how those invisible threads that hold people together in unexpected ways still exist. China is much much more diverse
then we usually give it credit for, and I guess I kind of developed a sense - or at least tried to develop a sense - for starting any opinion about China from the fact of sheer incredible number of diversities. After five years of doing this, the trips are almost like checking how much the place grew, and how many skyscrapers want to reach the sky now. Or occasionally, if the prices of handmade textile dropped or not. And so on.
I wanted to publish on this blog to see if my info can be useful.
And oh, xiu qiu. It is an embroidered multicolored ball, a symbol of Guangxi, or Zhuang minority. Usually the ball was handmade, and it was used as a kind of consent between lovers. (The girl threw it to her lover.) I chose it as a "nickname" because it is handmade, as my trips are, and multicolored, as Guangxi is; and because I'm thrown around Guangxi all the time, as an act of love.
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