So let’s start talking about NEW stuff!! 😀
I realized that I should explain my name. I am ChelseaCoconut because it is cold as FUCK in Beijing right now. Maybe I will shorten it to BJ from now on. I actually have a T-shirt that Joey haggled for me once at Yashou that says, in the style of I ❤ NY, I ❤ BJ, which has gotten a lot of immature reactions from my oh-so-mature friends :p
Anyway, I dream of coconuts, and one day of living someplace warm. Philadelphia, Ithaca, Beijing, they’re all just covered in wind and snow and runny noses and misery. I don’t give a fuck if I look like a leather bag when I come out from Miami after 20 years, it will have been entirely worth it.
Anyway so I’ve been in Beijing for a week. Flying over was not a hassle, unlike when I flew over in August last year and was almost arrested for leaving my damn bag unattended for thirty seconds in Detroit. Fuck Detroit.
I’m in Beijing right now, in a fairly small apartment with one other girl, XJ, a consultant at IMS, probably in her mid-twenties and she still has terrible acne (I bought her some Neutrogena from back home as a gift, which I don’t think she used). She’s currently been gone almost my whole time here, since it’s about to be CHINESE NEW YEAR and she went home to Hebei to be with family. She’ll be gone until the 31st. She thinks that my IQ is right around 7, as the bathroom sink doesn’t work and I think I sleptwalked and turned it on and then when I tried to turn it off (completely overflowing by this point) I was too dumb to realize that the handle just wasn’t completely off. Anyway. She now thinks that I am a moron. I am forbidden from using the stove or really any other appliance. I bought a rice cooker. We’ll see if she throws a fit when I get back.
I’m kind of being unfair. She seems really nice. She bought me some slippers to walk around in because, as is Asian style, no shoes are allowed beyond the foyer. She is terrified of roaches, as am I, and I intend to keep this place very clean.
Oh yeah, and all of her beauty products are in the freezer right now. I don’t get it. Yeah the apartment is too hot, but hot enough to melt lotion? I don’t think so…
She has a giant Hello Kitty doll hanging on her door. Her English is pretty good. She’s so Asian. This whole country is so Asian, whoda thunk? I pretty much live off food at 7-11 and off of rice in my rice cooker because I am saving up for something and also because I don’t want to go outside in this horrible Beijing wind, which is probably super polluted. Going vegetarian is going to be so easy. So will starving.
Still can’t drink tap water here. Must boil or bottle. We have a giant jug of purified water with the little red and blue taps underneath like you see in offices in our house. I have a TV in my room that doesn’t seem to work right now although I tried it before. I sleep on the floor, on a Korean-style tatami mat, and it’s surprisingly comfortable. I can’t buy a bed yet because no one is shipping right now because of the holidays, but I think I might just not. Our bathroom sink as I said does not have a drain, for all intensive purposes it’s a really high-up pool for leprechauns. My roommate has the nice room, but she pays more per month, 2800Y to my 2200. The gas stove does not like unless you help it out with one of those little ignite sticks. We have a nice balcony on the outside, with a view of a golf course and a smokestack. Pollution here in general is indeed pretty bad, with a yellow haze on the city on its worst days and a funny smell on its best. All I do is cook rice. I love it. If only I had some butter.
I can’t wait to go out to a club again soon. Not today, because I’m not going by myself, because that’s sad. When I went out to clubs last semester with my friends, I was a surprising hit with black guys. Like that one night when K danced with that one Korean girl. Haha good times.
Also I just want to record the awesomeness that happened over this past break on New Years. I went over to Cait’s and she made truly incredible food, and I brought shrimp poppers that surprisingly everyone really liked (and sugar cookies that I made that didn’t do so well hehe) and I ended up getting my midnight kiss from Dante, my old boyfriend, and ended up sleeping on the floor with him and her old brother 🙂 SPOONING! LOL ok I’m actually really regretting writing this down, so embarrassing how happy this made me 😛 but anyway. It was a good last hurrah for my friends back home.
The sun is out now actually though, that’s nice. More later on life in China.
Anyway enough about that silly stuff.
China is, simply put, nothing doing right now. Not until Chinese New Year on the 23rd, anyway. I don’t really have friends yet 😦 I know Tom, Kurt, and Kenny are here, but they all went home for the holiday, so I’m going to be alone for a little while.
Which is why…..
I am going to JAPAN.
On the 27th-31st, I am hitting up the technology capital of the world. It’s around $900, counting hotel (I didn’t think of getting a couchsurfing account until it was too late), but honestly I think it’s still totally worth it. I am so excited. I’ve met several friends (also on couchsurfing) and hopefully the language barrier won’t be too much of a problem. I can’t wait.
I’m keeping it a secret too, from my father because he is unnecessarily concerned about me being near radiation from the earthquake of last March (which is unfounded, as NYC has higher radiation levels than Tokyo and I don’t plan on going north anyway), and from my friends, since I’m already hyper-sensitive to being accused of wanting to be Asian. This trip is for me and me alone 🙂
It was also done because my Chinese F (访问) visa expires the 16th of February, and it’s a multi-entry one, and I didn’t want to waste it. Since I am getting my new work Z visa through LEAP education, the place that I will be teaching at, and there’s no guarantee that they will get me another multi-entry or give me days off to take trips, this is really my last chance, maybe my only chance, to go to Japan. I come back on the 31st and I start work on the 1st haha. I’m staying at the Chisun Inn in Asakusa, and arriving at Narita on the 27th. It’s supposed to be very close to the Ueno Zoo and Sensoji Temple. I can’t wait to see if they actually have squirrels for exhibits there.
Oh yeah, I quit my job at CGTI. They were offering me 5000 a month, which is roughly five bucks an hour, which is ROUGHLY jack shit, even in China, because even though in China that’s more than enough to live on, that is WAY less than any expat should take. And I refused to listen to all my friends and family who told me that, because I’m a stubborn idiot. But the breaking point came when I went to work last Thursday, and got there early, around 8:30 AM. Someone was in my old desk spot. There was a photo hanging up of all the CGTI members in which I was not present. The email list tacked to the wall did not have MY email there, even though my email has been made. As I sat there eating my dumplings and taking this in, I realized that for once in my life, maybe I shouldn’t just take this lying down. I should go find a company that will actually appreciate my skills.
And I walked out.
I might not have done that if I weren’t about to start working for LEAP education. They are paying me 6000 Chinese yuan for the first month, 7 the next, and 9 forever more. It pisses me off that even with training in the first two months, I’m STILL making more than I would be at CGTI, and I have NO training in this English teaching schtick whatsoever to begin with!
The future is bright. Teaching English is only from 3-8 on weekdays, and then one of the weekend days. Not bad, and I still have time to do things during the day.
AND I’m going to Japan. I thought about it and I realized that if they have offered Japanese in my high school as well as Chinese, I probably would have taken Japanese. I just have the biggest super secret obsession with Japan.
I’m the luckiest little expat alive.