To Your Heart's Content

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Things got a little hectic here. Had to open up a can o' whoop ass on some Chinese here and that got a bit messy. Basically, I moved out of my host family's place motivated by a desire for more independence and a chance to try to live on my own in China, understand the formalities, the system, the ins and outs, etc. It's been one problem after another actually but things are well on their way to finally becoming normalized. And so I am now living in my own place for about $185 per month. It's cozy and quiet, and relatively spacious but I had some serious problems to deal with before I felt comfortable living here. The policy of renting a place in China is friggin sickly inverted compared to the US. That is, the apartment was in shambles: filthy, ridden with putrid effluvium that I've only encountered in…well, let’s not go there, including the fridge, and so I spent two full days as a wretched housemaid scrubbing with some crazy ass toxic bleach that would be illegal to sell in America for its high content of whatever carcinogenic chemical (I’m exaggerating a bit, just a bit)! I lit some scented candles, left my dirty clothes everywhere (to give my place an American smell) and have now declared war on the cockroaches, those little bastards (that, ironically, spend a lot of time cleaning themselves). Water heater and washer were broken so I had to call my landlord and get him over to fix them, and at times he took his coming as a hassle, as if it were my fault! Plus I had to bribe some deputy house control officer to get my residence permit (this included a box of cigarettes). Well, almost everything is up to a passable quality except my Chinese roommate, which is another long story about the new generation of Chinese...

Most Chinese, not all, but most, who were born in 1980 or after are quite different than those born before, relatively speaking. The one child policy was adopted in that year and the method of raising a child in China thus changed, with the one child being the center of attention by all immediate family members and thus spoiled the hell out of. They get whatever they want, whenever they want, and thus in their mind not only deserve it but are entitled to it! Thus we hear they are called the generation of little princes and princesses. Most don’t learn to clean, cook, wash clothes, or learn any of the tasks associated with daily life since parents have only one wish for their child: to study and be accepted by a good university. In order to do this, they force their children to study incessantly since they first begin to read and write while taking care of everything else. And they save EVERY penny for their education. Well, living with one as my roommate has really opened up my eyes to how inconsiderate and ignorant these little princesses (my roommate is a woman) can be. The deal was she would only be here, in my spare bedroom, for three days a week. The first ten days I was here, she was here nine. I asked her to take off her shoes when she enters and wear slippers I bought—nope. She trudges from the bathroom to her room, across the kitchen, muddying my newly cleaned floor and doesn’t lift a finger or even notice it! This is just the tip of the iceberg and I don’t want to sound too critical here but I’ve had to call her parents twice, who claimed she was quiet and sweet, innocent and keeps to herself. Couldn’t have been farther from the truth and believe me, her parents were quite surprised with what I had to say…

Besides that, started working a decent job teaching Fundamental Business Studies and Critical Reading and Writing at a university here in Beijing and decided to study Chinese independently rather than attending a university. Saves traveling time and money and since my girlfriend teaches Chinese, we often help each other. Waiting to hear from law school and hopefully will be heading to SF this August! A lot more to say and write….will post soon….


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