Friday, January 11, 2013

I thought this day would never come...

Naturally everyone looks forward to Friday knowing that the weekend is right around the corner but I have discovered a new appreciation for the weekend while working here in China. I understand I don't have the hardest or most demanding job in the world and I am lucky enough to have such cute kids in my class to teach but I thought this day would never come.

Some times there are things in China that just don't make sense like if you eat an orange then you can't eat a banana because the vitamins will cancel each other out or how a woman is not supposed to leave the house or take a shower for a month after having a baby because she will get sick. The one that has effected me the most and the worst of all is the fact that if there is a government issued holiday then you get to enjoy your days off knowing that you'll have to make up for it by working on the weekend any way.

There is no way around it. It's just dumb. What's the point in having a holiday if you just have to work in the end. That trip in the middle of last week to Shanghai was not worth the 8 days straight that we just had to work to make up for it. I would have preferred to celebrate the new year on the weekend and keep my normal 5 day work week. The days have dragged on more than any others during my stay here. There are days that I love my job and days that I just feel like an English speaking puppet.

When I get annoyed that I am spending the majority of my valuable time in China inside the walls of a preschool structured like a slave camp, I remember the faces of my students and how much I will miss the cheering section I have when I enter a room, the swarm of hugs I get when I leave a room, and the laughs when I try to understand their Chinese and speak it to them. They are a lot of fun. Crazy but fun.

They are highly independent. I'm sure it has to do with the culture differences but it amazes me every time a kid has their toy stolen their first reaction isn't to start crying or pleading for an adult to help. They do one of two things: chase their enemy down and get it back themselves or brush it off and find something else to play with.

However, like any kid in America they love chocolate. There is a big difference between the amount of chocolate they want to eat and the amount they're given. In America parents would think very little about giving their child a fun size bag of plain M&M's especially if they hardly have sweets. That's why when I bought a little bag for each of my students as a Christmas present I thought it would be a nice treat. There are still little bags of chocolate in our classroom because the teacher will open a bag and give each child one or two M&M's even though there are plenty to go around. Maybe that's why the Chinese people are all so skinny. One afternoon I asked the Chinese teacher I work with, Judy, what two grandmas of our students were talking about and she said they were comparing whose grandson was fatter or looked better. China is a blunt society. They just go out and say it.

When it comes down to it. I hate the place where I work and how controlling they are of everything but I love the children and their sweet, fun personalities.

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