Seven and a half years in China. Five years in TEDA. A break of three years in Manila. Two and a half years in Dagang. At the end of this month, we’ll be starting our third phase of life in China by making the big move from north to south, from Tianjin to Yunnan. Because we’re only bringing things that fit the back of our car, we can’t pack much but there’s a way to bring things through the virtual world. Take pictures of pictures, documents and whatever, put them into a word file which is faster than pasting them on power point, then upload the files online and voila! Instant cloud-like space! Limitless, accessible, convenient.
Starting life in China ten years ago, I studied Chinese at the Foreign Studies University during the morning and taught English in the afternoon. Since I loved writing, I decided a diary in pure Chinese characters would be the most sustainable way for me to learn one of the most difficult languages in the world. After filling eight notebooks with my everyday life in the Middle Kingdom, my Chinese is still mamahuhu or so-so but it takes me everywhere including Tibet and gets things done. Take for example today. I had to pay the penalty for a parking ticket by myself. No problem except for the long line. Having a bluetooth keyboard connected to my cellphone to type my blog kept me sane and productive.
I wish I can scan each of the diary pages and someday type them up part by part and publish a book in Chinese, but only a few pages are on the Slideshare link below. Aside from that, I’ve uploaded most of the articles I wrote for two expats’ magazine. During my five years in TEDA working in a company, I held a side job as writer, first for Jin Magazine and then switched to Business Tianjin when my original editor invited me to crossover. I was ready to tackle more serious business topics rather than culture and leisure so I jumped ship with Winner. Right before that, yuan fen happened. That’s Chinese for destiny.
For one of my last articles for Jin, Blair the editor assigned me to interview the owner of an outdoor sports shop. It was one of those given tasks I dragged my foot saying silently, “Aww, do I have to?” Usually when that happens, it pays to heed the higher authority and overcome laziness and hesitation.
I ended up interviewing my future husband about the outdoor activities he organized and joined one of his trips to the beach with the beautiful sand dunes. Desert meets the sea. Joei meets Jason and life is changed forever.
Here is the link to my portfolio of magazine articles, Chinese diary and other odds and ends: My Portfolio of Articles, Chinese Diary and Some Other Stuff
I looked for pictures of Jason and me before we were married and I ended up finding these on my friend’s Facebook page. My roommates and I organized a mean, rocking Halloween party which Jason attended with his nephew, Kevin. The picture at the top of this page is from our marriage certificate which comes in, as things do in China, a little red book, shades of Mao.