News from China

Are you usually overworked there?
It depends some weeks are worse than others, this week we have summer camp at our school, so we have lessons from 9 to 1 then we have to go to some outing, and then few more lessons in the evening.
Do you have some assistants to help you?
I have a few and they are the good ones.
What do you mean by “the good ones”?
Well you know after few years of teaching I’ve had many kinds of assistants, so:
The good ones are the ones that don’t make your job more difficult, they help you control the student and prepare some activities or materials for them.
The bad assistants come in different shapes actually, some they get very low pay so they don’t care about the students or the classes. Some they think they are the teachers, so instead of helping you they want to teach the classes for you, some resent the foreign teacher for some reasons, they think they steal their jobs or they get higher salaries than them or are not qualified enough, or they don’t know the students language or culture, so it can be hard working with them.
Sounds a bit like the doctors/nurses relationship, they should be working together but end up inconveniencing each other.
I guess you could say that.
And I want to ask, why aren’t you vegan anymore?
I don’t know actually. Even though it’s been a few years since I abandoned it, I still have ambiguous feelings, or… how to say it? How to explain? Ambivalent ideas? Conflicting opinions.
It’s hard to put an idea into words while knowing that your decision and your actions could either save or condemn billions of animal lives plus human ones because of the ramifications of either decision.
The basic idea behind my decision to abandon veganism was that freeganism would save way more animal lives in the long run.
Veganism is a well-known word nowadays; it refers to people who are against animal cruelty or exploitation so they try not to contribute to it.
Freegans, on the other hand, eat, wear and use things they find for free, mostly because they have been discarded by other people. So living from the scraps of society means a massive reduction of your impact on the environment and the animal suffering of course.
Vegan products are usually more expensive and hard to come by, but ultimately it may have been the extremist zeal vegans usually display, judging you if you only agree with them 99 instead of 100%.
So yeah, I would wear leather boots or jackets that had been thrown away or given to me by someone who doesn’t need them anymore because it’s just the right thing to do and I would eat the road kill or meat I found on the bin because it has been already discarded.
And what do you think about superfoods?
I actually discovered them this year, well I knew they existed, but never had the chance to try them out. Because I had no money or didn’t know how to find them, but at Chinese local markets and Taobao I was able to find goji berries, maca, azai berries, bee pollen, royal jelly, spirulina, basil seeds, and many others. So this year I’ve been trying them and have been working alright for me.
Are you still counting calories and such?
I do actually, just don’t know exactly why, either because of OCD or because of trying to apply the results of every scientific study I read about. I have to consume an exact amount of fats, proteins, and carbs according to the necessities of that day. An exact amount of BCAA before and after exercise, and to the mg accurate quantities of vitamins and minerals, no less than what I need and no more than what my body can absorb to avoid wasting some.
Isn’t that too much? What happens if you miss some or you consume more or less of something?
Probably nothing, just me getting paranoid.
But what’s the point? Most people just eat whatever they want and stay healthy anyway.
But you know I’m not most people, I do what I want and I try to want what is good for me. If I can choose, then why not choosing something that’s good?
How about alcohol?
A few glasses of wine or beer once or twice a week has been proven to be much better than no alcohol at all.
Have you played any good games lately?
Toradora portable for the last few months, can’t seem to get over it somehow.
Watched any good movies or shows?
Oh! Computer broke early this year, and somehow it felt like I would be wasting a lot of time on it if I decided to get another one, so I just left it at that.
Read any good books?
Just 2 on the last few months, les misserables and the 3 musketeers, both amazing, last week I started reading david copperfield but didn’t quite get into it yet.
And how about that motorbike trip.
Yes, maybe next time we can talk more about it.
I heard you have a dog now.
That’s right.
As cute as it gets, it’s been an amazing experience seeing her growing up from a puppy, we go for a run around the lake and she waits for me while I exercise.
Is it a nice lake?
Well, it’s nice for Chinese standards, but that’s not saying much really.
Why do you hate China so much?
Just the smokers, it’s too much.
People smoke a lot?
Well official statistics say 75% of Chinese man smoke, but for people living in china we know it’s closer to 92%, they smoke always and everywhere, every single eatery, or café, supermarket, internet bar, hospitals, busses, taxis, cinemas, elevators, even at the school I work at people smoke all the time, of course it’s not my first time to work or live in a hostile environment and I know it’s part of Chinese culture, and I understand it’s not peoples fault, I know government promotes and often enforces the smoking of processed tobacco in public places particularly when children are around and especially government run institutions, like schools hospitals, and police officers. I know doctors, teachers and policemen’s can’t choose not to smoke because they will get fired, I know 20% of Chinese government income comes from tobacco, so I understand all the social and economic ramifications of smoking in China, but it’s really just too much. For them, it’s normal because they don’t know better, but for us it’s still hard to put up with, no matter how long have you been in China, you never quite get used to it.
It seems like you know a lot about smoking in China.
Yes, I also know there are like 4000 chemicals released into the air every time they light out one of those things they smoke, and few hundred of those are carcinogenic and some are even radioactive and I have to breathe them every day because “it’s Chinese culture”.
Well, it’s their country, they can do as they please, you are an intruder, can’t complain.
But I’m a guest here, I should be treated with the respect I deserve.
What makes you think you deserve any kind of respect from anyone?
I don’t know, maybe you are right, I don’t deserve anything good from them. If the current Chinese government killed 45 million for no apparent reason during the great leap forward I should actually be thankful they haven’t killed me yet.
Are you trying to deviate from the subject to make a point? Straw man argument?
I have failed in my crusade to find allies to join me against the smokers and the Chinese government, so my last hope is going off topic or self-pity.
That’s pathetic, why so much negativity? What’s the point of it? There must be a bright side to it all, I know you can find it, and I know you know how to be happy, you know how to be in control of your emotions, you can turn them all around with your love, with your smile, your passion and your rational and critical mind, but you are just using this media as an escape route to let some steam off and write down things you can’t tell anyone because you can’t use Facebook anymore and you are the only foreigner in your city, so you feel lonely. And even though isolating and alienating yourself is actually one of your specialties, some of your readers don’t want to hear your rants, they just want to see Bruce’s “dere” side.
Did you just call me Bruce?
Yeah, that’s your name while in China right?
Oh, right, but I got so used to it that I may use it in other countries as well.
Haha, alright, Bruce! So when do we get to see it?
See what?
Your “dere”side”?
Dere as in…
Oh, you know, as in that tsundere thing.
Tsundere? but you are not in Japan anymore, how come you remember that otaku word.
Maybe some things just stay with us.
Hmmm, but otakus… :s
It’s just a word man! Don’t read too much into it.
Man??? Now you are trying to sound cool to make it up for your hikikomori ways?
Yeah man! Sup man, hos it goin dude!?
Read you again soon?
Yes 🙂


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