Wuhan, China: Retrospective

Living Abroad – Learning Abroad – Loving Abroad

Lived behind #TheGreatWall for 8 months working at a government ran university. Eight months behind the GreatWall for what should have been a year long contract…. face to face with the great facade.

Learned that Wuhan University of Science and Technology and the Chinese government is full of shit on more levels than we can name. We learned that their Ministry of Propaganda (an actual governmental agency) works hard. We also learned what the term “developing country” signified.

Loved getting it in and surviving (winter with no heat, very little in recognizable foods to eat, attacks on our bank account, reprehensible living conditions, last-minute demands of employer,  censored and unreliable #TheLeast, it was the lack of employer connectivity that lead to the abandoning of our original plan.) Enjoyed meeting the expat community at Wuhan University of Science and Technology (WUST) and a few locals. Love the schedule of our classes. Loved learning the etchings of a new language. Loved existing inside a true community,  even though we were not a part of it, they were a community….a tribe, a people that did not welcome outsiders. We loved teaching inside the community and the students at the University. There was no way we would renew our contracts though.

 

We moved across the globe. Black newly-weds, off to see the world.  We are Nomadic Wander, witnesses to the beauty, the tragedy, the sublime, and the absurdities across the globe. I gotta tell you, China turned out to be the later of the these. We thought that we were prepared for the culture shock of squatty-potties, a foreign way of life, being black where we were myth and legend….

Understanding their people, their current culture and, their way of life in general was our original intent but that was abandoned when we experienced what they live day to day. It was perverse and dramatic, in my eyes. I did not want to understand their culture any longer. The lure and lies dissolved in a pool of truth and experience.

In short we knew that China was the inverse of what we understood about life but nothing could prepare us for what we experienced. Our university appointed apartment was smack dab in the middle of a filthy, densely populated, smog-filled city where no one had a fuck to give or the time to consider why.  We worked for an employer that did not give one damn about us, our comfort, our adaptation, how we taught our classes, how we graded our classes…all they wanted was a U.S. college graduate to be there. This attitude of theirs sent the last American teachers packing 3 months into their contract. Ordinarily I would love this but we had A LOT of pertinent issues that needed to be tended to. We didn’t meet our boss until the 3rd week of working there.  This country is developing. We were coming around to understanding that this meant their practices toward retaining a skilled work force, having a functioning plumbing system…food safety, disease prevention ….everything is developing. China was 3rd world through the 70s and just made it to be a 1st world country in the late 90s. Which means their people and systems are still very underdeveloped.  In my eyes today, in comparison to Europe, the Americas….and just about every other civilized place that I have been

Wuhan is a ShitHoleCity, Wuhan University of Science and Technology is a ShitHoleSchool and the Chinese government laid these turds. I am sure there are many just like it throughout the landfill landscape of China….

We worked hard to get there and actually teaching in China was a good experience but living there suck dirty ass crack.

Here is our experience timeline:

  • Moved to China
  • Pull-up to our apartment in shock at what the building looks like
  • Tour of university with Grad student and had lunch in a dirty canteen #theteacherscanteen hahaha
  • Day 2 met another grad student to take us to secure residency card 1 hour into the trip Apryl receives phone call asking why has she missed her first class and telling her she must make her classes later that evening and make-up every missed class of the semester up to this point. The administration had no knowledge or sy
  • Grocery shopping…store didn’t accept any of my 5 credit cards (need a China acct)
  • No bank account 45 days and 4 trips to the bank (filled with the most drama). We came to understand that this was the China way. Nothing is easy and nothing is straight forward.
  • Sewerage backed up in bathroom and kitchen. No help, repaired by self. Bathroom pipes were never properly repaired.  Never.

So this story goes on for miles and miles but by far my main issue with the Chinese is the hyegiene. Collectively as a society the Chinese don’t give one damn. Restaurants, food vendors, garden to table farmers all set up shop on in nasty alleyways with overflowing garbage. It smells like room full of fat dudes with deadfish in their pockets doing hot yoga.  -and everyone is complacent like everything is okay. I watched a 5-6 year old child walking with his grandfather pickup a cigarette but and start playing with it in his mouth. Grandfather saw him.

  • Identity stolen and over 7K yuan stolen and not replaced from out of the uninsured bank account that we were forced to use. I believe the funds were stolen by a segment of the government, who runs the schools and the banks (went out on our own & found a different bank not associated with the University)
  • My bathroom was permanently out of order -and I will leave it at that. It was gross and the University that we worked for could not fix it. We got a membership at a local gym and took public showers for our stay there.
  • Our reception was a student taking us out to eat, on our dime, to nasty ass public canteen.
  • We were invited out to dinner by our University to a filthy restaurant… we declined
  • Continual internet issues (vpn interrruptions completly shutting down) make my living off the web difficult to say the least but by the Grace of God we did it.

This is the place that we moved too. The shit aint made-up or exaggerated.

The original plan was to live and work around China for 2 years but there is no way on my good God’s green Earth that I would expose my wife to anything else that this place had to offer. Ohh, the young and ignorant  o__0.  We were appalled upon arrival. Driving to our home and seeing all of the smog and the spirit of the city in general…nopeace. Prior to moving we solicited pictures of our apartment and it looked drab and maybe a little scary.  Also, in all of he research we did Wuhan was spoken about as the Chicago of China. It was said that the pollution that plagues Shanghai and Beijing was not a big issue in Wuhan. We did not understand China’s propaganda machine. The continual self-perpetuation of itself. You know, say it and it will be. Build it and they will come. In other words they paint a picture and push it out to their people and the world and people believe it except, I only did from a far. When I walk up on a lie and see it for what it is I am left with disdain.

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