That just happened! My wife and I are living in China, Behind the Great Wall. Got certified, applied, interviewed, accepted an offer, tap-danced for the Chinese government a lil bit …. and boom! We have an Asian zip code. It was not that clean or clear of a process but we are no worse off for the taxing journey.
We got to Wuhan, China located in the Hubei Providence on October 22, 2017. From jump we knew that this was not going to be a vacation. I think we were both hoping that the adventure would be in the vein of a long vacation…but no. The pollution greeted us as we exited the airport. We were greeted by one of the We had a lot of opportunities that we walked away from. More importantly we accepted a job opportunity with a state run University. I will tell you why we chose Wuhan. Why we chose to work for Wuhan University of Science and Technology, a branch of the Chinese gov’ment, and what our first impressions have been.
Wuhan seemed to be the most authentic major Chinese city. Most Westerners have not heard of it. All of the Chinese know it and it is rapidly becoming what Beijing and Shanghai used to be. What I mean is, it seemed to be the most unsullied (#GoTReference) by the Western world. Beijing and Shanghai both seemed to be full of English speaking folk. and their people seem to really embrace the white way of life, which is so boom(!), those are the majors. I put together a list of some other factors that were considered.
- We teach at a University and not a pre-school or primary school. I love the kids but ahh….yeah you get it
- WUST provides a free furnished apartment with a new bed, new furniture, and a flat screen
- WUST gives employees free Mandarin classes and Chinese culturral tours
- Reimbursement of finances incurred in relationship to the job in Wuhan
- They purchase our ticket home or to our next destination. -Not a reimbursement, they pay for a 1 way plane ticket after our contract ends
- We work part-time, with excess time to be newly-weds and explore The East. Standard 3 day weekend and over 40 paid vacay-days
- We can work with each other on the same campus (some schools didn’t allow this)
- It is a major burgeoning city & a central hub for travel throughout China
WUST University allows us to teach college kids on a college campus, it is part time and it is sweet! Now that we are here let me give you the low-low. The apartment is free but it needs some work. Generally you get what you pay for but sweat equity does count….
- Bathroom: a disaster area but we are greatful that it dosen’t have a squatty potty. It took a full day of deep cleaning to make it acceptable for us to stand naked in there. It still requires some detail work, but it is functional now. Let me tell you a lil shumthin about the shower though…. hahaaaaah, there isn’t one! There is a shower head coming out of the wall and a drain in the floor, thats it! Whatever though, when in China…
- Bedroom: I love it. It is spacious with tall windows. They supplied a new bed but the bed is hard aaMF. I mean falling into it the wrong way could be life threatening. Interestingly enough, we do sleep good on it.
- Office: no complaints, it is a 2nd bedroom that is pretty big with 2 large wardrobes, a desk, a couple of high-end routers and a Lenovo desktop computer….. not that I will ever use it -the block is hot baby. We are in China with big brothers, big brother yaknowhatimean! (more on that later). Everything seems like bait on a hook to me, but I am a black man from America……so it would.
- Kitchen: Small but workable. -No oven, no microwave – I am currently trying to finesse those items.
- Living room: is our spot. it’s where my wife and I chill the most. The sectional is not that comfy but it’s home so we are making it work.
There is a different standard of living here. A cleaning person cleaned our home but that mug was still filthy through our eyes. All of China that we have been exposed to so far has an interesting dynamic working. They build the new and the beautiful but they do not take care of it. Most things seem run down and used up. There doesen’t seem to be any continuous maintenance and their standard of living reflects that. I also have to remind myself that they are a developing country. They are not developed but are in the process of developing. Imagine living in America in the late 1800 or early 1900s this is about where their standard of living is in some parts of Wuhan. They haven’t risen high enough to look down their nose at anyone yet. The boom in China happened quickly and a lot of people were left behind. . Live in the dosen’t seem to be a high standard of living. The more I learn about their governing /government philosophies the more I think I understand. I am gand of course there are different cultural norms. Like, there is no such thing as a dryer. It’s like we are living in an episode of Good Times. Everyone hangs their clothes out to dry, we are in this apartment building that looks sketchy af. But you know…we growin and whatnot lol. The bottom line is, I have been too comfortable for too long and it is time to get out of my comfort zone and grow. I’m looking forward to experiencing it all with my wife and I am currently embracing also, but it is a lot …..got-damit this is not the Chinese food I was expecting! I haven’t seen any egg-fo-young, not General Tso’s chicken….I will likely be loosing a lot of weight in the coming months. I have been cooking my American styled dishes, but that has to stop too…..okay that will be another blog eating in the mainland….Peace for now and later.