“Tai Hu” is Chinese for “Great Lake”. It is a large lake in north-western Zhejiang Province and south-western Jiangsu Province. To the north is Suzhou, a place which in the past was known as the “Venice of the East” due to its many beautiful canals, merchant culture and fabulous wealth. The emphasis is “on the past” as the canals have largely been filled in and, other than for what has become in effect a motley collection of tourist traps, the grand houses and gardens of the past have been levelled to make room for generic neo-Stalinist concrete blocks. T0 the south is Huzhou, a city with just as rich a past as Suzhou but none of the glamour and fame.
Today the Huzhou manager visited me unannounced. The principal of the primary school ordered my transfer and replacement with a teacher currently in southern Zhejiang Province. The order was not a dismissal nor was it based on character or ability. Most students and teachers have mentioned that they simply thought that I was in the wrong position although they recognised that I was sincere in my efforts. The Huzhou manager offered me a choice of schools — high schools an universities — located throughout China and hinted that a pay rise would be acceptable to the company as a manner of apology for the inconvenience caused.
I gave them an ultimatum. They could send me to any of the following places:
- Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
- Taitung, Taiwan.
- Tainan, Taiwan.
- Hong Kong
Should none of these locations be remotely possible I requested that my contract be paid out in full to the end of the original year and arrangements for my repatriation to Europe be made. They offered me anywhere, anything else in China — anywhere from Jilin in the frozen norths of Manchuria to Zhuhai or Shenzhen, the last towns on the former Sino-Lusitanian and Anglo-Chinese frontiers respectively. I re-iterated my conditions: Taiwan, Hong Kong or Japan. I will not be subjected to this degree of back-biting, back-stabbing, defamation and general incompetence with impunity.
11 thoughts on “Living With the Han Should be 7, but used that already: Scorn, Back-Biting and Bile on Tai Hu.”
Through European eyes, you now seem to have whip-hand but does that necessarily mean much in China? I hope you can push home your apparent advantage?
Janus: I am playing hard-ball with them. They either give me what I want or I leave and my request to be paid in full is reasonable considering the situation. The chances of my having to move to another province are very high and I am unwilling to consider it at this point in the year. I am considering starting an earlier training programme in Spain if finances are cleared.
Good for you, C. You will feel immense relief when you escape!
Janus: I have informed my godmother of the possibility of my making an early return to Germany and what the new plan is. I am currently researching training schools in Spain to see which ones have the best reputations. It will likely be in Madrid although I am willing to work elsewhere in Spain or Portugal. The company are nervous now because they right cocked things up. It turns out that they needed lecturers in history and industry, both which I can easily do and German-language instructors.
Fekkem! Get on a plane and come back to the real world, although finding gainful employment in Iberia is not easy and very, very bureaucratic as more than half the workforce are safely ensconced in the non-productive, pen-pushing, bean-counting public sector for life and have little to do other than make life difficult for those who aren’t.
Ozinho: I’m not looking to move permanently to Iberia. I’d like to spend a few years working there for the experience and learning the languages. After finishing my certificate in industry I’d like to see about working in commodities, tea and coffee and figure Spanish and Portuguese are among the best languages for the coffee and Japanese for the tea.
You could do worse than working in commodities. I did 30 plus years peddling vegoils, travelled the world, used my French and German to best advantage and even learned the Bislama of Vanuatu and the Pidgin of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Cymbeline on the Dark Side was/is the only other speaker of PNG pidgin of whom I am aware on t’Interweb. She wrote she was brought up on Bougainville or possibly Buka, both two of my favourite Pacific islands. Despite Sheona’s dire warnings I shall still be shouting for Samoa later.this afternoon. Shirts, necklaces and ceremonial tusks are on prominent display here.
Brits won! Naeh naeh naeh naeh naeh! 😎
From the little I hea
Try again! From the little I heard at the end of the match, it seems that Samoa gave away a lot of penalties, OZ. You’ll have to speak to them. Put the tusks and things back in the cupboard.
But the Scots kicked the penalties – which England couldn’t manage against semi-pro Uraguay!