Betwixt and Between in Beijing

Trip Start Jun 03, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I set my alarm at 7:20 so I could go down and get breakfast. It wasn't too hard getting up since I had slept off and on all day yesterday. I threw on some clothes and went to the cafeteria. They had a couple different sections of food for the different groups. Mine didn't have anything good, so I passed on it. I made some tea in my room and had a couple rice rolls.

I am in a total funk today. I don't know how much of it is culture shock and how much is just the situation, but it's probably a combination of both. I still haven't heard anything about teaching. I finished the nearly 600-page autobiography of Richard Branson. Good book, by the way. I washed a couple shirts. Had lunch at the cafeteria which was completely FULL of people. Never seen it so busy. This new group of kids is huge. They even opened up a little "store" in the cafeteria where you can buy cold drinks and goodies, so I got a cold jasmine green tea.

My family called today. I was so glad. It was good to hear from them. They said I should come home if I don't have any teaching assignments. I had already thought of that. I definitely don't want to sit around here. I didn't come here to sit in this dorm room. My adventurous side is not even coming out right now; I just feel stuck. I don't want to stay in the dorm room, but I don't want to go out on my own either.

Ada sent me a message and asked if I want to go to the city where Confucius was born this weekend. She had told me about it on our trip to Xi'an. Her cousin lives there and wants Ada to come see her. When Ada told her she was doing things with me, she told Ada to bring me too. I wasn't sure if Ada wanted to take her up on it or not, but I guess so. I told her, "Yes! Let's do it." I guess it's only a 2-hour train ride from here. I would like to see another part of China. I think we will leave on Friday and come back on Sunday. I hope they don't decide they want me to teach on those days. If they do, I might have to tell them I already have plans, especially if it's for the boy that forgot about the class (that I was supposed to start teaching this week). I'm not in the mood to be jerked around.

I went over to the office to see if there was an update on my teaching situation. Not a sole was in either of the offices. So I came back to the room. I'll have to try again later.

I kept myself busy playing a game on my phone and reading the book I bought about the Terracotta Warriors. I finally decided to go back to the office on my way to the store. I wanted to buy some ramen bowels rather than eat at the cafeteria.

I couldn't find Gloria, but I found Gaga and Cathy. Gaga went and found Gloria for me. Apparently there are no students signed up for classes right now. I told her that Ada and I are going to travel over the weekend, and then I'd see if anyone has signed up for the third 10-day session. If not, I'm going home. I miss my family, and there's no point in staying here if there are no students to teach.

Gloria looked positively crushed, but she said she understands. She also said they didn't expect the lack of students. Apparently a lot of the local students who often take "foreigner classes" have gone abroad this summer. Sigh.

She asked me how long I'd wait to see if students sign up--a week? I said, yeah, about that. I'll see how things look when I get back from my weekend jaunt with Ada.

I'm torn between wanting to go home to my family, and wanting to do what I came here to do--teach.

Ada and her friend, Sunny, came by at about 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. and we went to have dessert at Joy City. We ended up at a restaurant called Jiaedian. We had the following: Domon small balls, Yang Zhi dew (both fruity), and Jiao point taro round 3 (a Taiwan specialty). Yeah, I don't know either. Shrug. It all tasted good though.

It was nice to get out of the dorm. It really lifted my spirits. She also told me that she has a friend that is interested in getting private lessons from me. So that also is good news!

Ada got our train tickets for this weekend. We'll leave Friday and come back on Monday.

Tomorrow, I am going shopping with her cousin, the one that is getting married next month. We're going to some sort of mall that sells knock-offs, I think. Should be interesting. I definitely need to go to the bank in the morning to get some cash. I wish I could get paid now for the teaching I've already done! I won't get paid until the 10th of August.

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