This blog, so far disappointingly titled In China, a phrase you should never start with, is about, loosely, my time in Kaifaqu, Dalian, Liaoning, China. It's a sequel, if you will, to another disappointingly titled blog. You'll find herein a lot on language, especially because I teach English and therefore find it almost impossible to get away from. I've also included two pages, "汉语" and "한국어," as a way to organize my thoughts on those languages while learning them (though currently the pages are in fact not organized and need a lot of work and in truth may be deleted). New content is added daily, or nearly so anyway.
Today marks two years in Dalian. I say I'll be here two more. Before arriving, I hadn't given China much thought. I didn't come here because "China's gonna become a world power, man" or because "you've got to learn Chinese if you wanna do anything in the future" or because "China's such a mysterious place nobody knows anything about" or any of those other made-up reasons. Nearing the end of my time in Korea—a country my father had always told me about, having himself been stationed there during his time in the air force—I didn't want to go back to the States yet. I sent applications out to various places, and the school I now work for was the first to contact me. Actually, I applied to the school as a joke, responding to the ad, which some third-party recruiter had obviously thrown together, only as a way to get me thinking about what was next. But the school turned out to be pretty good. Really good, in fact, and not just a place that tricked Westerners into coming and students into paying stupid sums for piss-poor product. (The name of my school is scattered throughout, I'm sure, but I'm not going to repeat it here.) I've since become part of management and find myself working with a staff of Chinese and North Americans.
I claimed, in a post titled "Part 1," that I had started writing online as a way to make some kind of artifact to go along with then-current projects—namely, "Exeunt Omnes." I wanted also to use some space, obviously, to write about my time in Korea and then in China. Posting every day became a way to keep myself looking around and to give myself deadlines. It's easy when you move to a new place to write all about it, but then you settle into the everyday of your surroundings, and they become invisible.
I've found myself at various times vowing to quit posting every day. "Now that I've been here a year" or "Because today is the anniversary of whatever" or. Since March of this year, 2011, I haven't been doing a very good job of posting every day, mostly for three reasons: (1) the disruption of service to the VPN; (2) exhaustion in general and not wanting to write after a long day of dealing with words and their arrangements; and (3) exhaustion specifically with regards to this whole project, to be honest, because posting every day can make you ride the obsessiveness in yourself too much.
That last point has manifested itself more and more in the past weeks and months. I've come close to deleting this blog a couple times. But then I get excited about typing away here, excited too that I can write these things to share and that I don't have to wait to refine them down and then wait for them to be published somewhere else. Finally, the fun of writing these lines, even if they're short and most of the time rugged, outweighs the not writing, so I will continue.
August 29, 2011
Now titled Michigander Moves from Korea to China, And.
March 19, 2012
Now titled Tim(e) in China.
July 10, 2013