I crossed the Pacific yet again. It was a last-minute purchase, Shanghai-Seoul-San Francisco on Asiana Airlines. It isn’t the worst airline I suppose. The last days in China left me deflated and exhausted – with a slight chuckle at an especially brutal attack by the gods of irony.
There is no need to discuss why I am once again in California, that much has already been said. However, there was a sting I have not mentioned – one that I wasn’t intended to receive. On the Monday of my last full week in China I was returning from supermarket. The school where I had worked was across the street. The head teacher arranged for a welcoming parade for their wonderful new teacher – she’s American so she has to be perfect and walk on water. The entire school had to stand for her, music playing, Chinese and American flags flying – and they proceeded to march for her. Yes, they had a welcoming parade for her. Seeing that felt like someone tearing off a scab and rubbing salt into the wound. The following weekend I actually saw their angelic, god-like American. I could smell her before I saw her – she’s as averse to bathing as the SNP are to economic reality. She is taller than me, larger than me – all 5’9”, 12.5 stone of me. She has a horrid tattoo and is from South Georgia and speaks with the most hideous southern drawl. She is far worse at the job than I was. Her reputation is as fragrant as she is. But, she is an American, the gift of the gods to the earth, so everything is wonderful now.
There are a few details that the man who arranged this nightmare for me will have to sort through once he arrives in China, but I am largely done with the place. I was accepted into one of Spain’s better training programmes and am set to start in March. As strange as it sounds I rather like this type of work. Even more strangely, I enjoy working with children. Save anything terribly unpleasant happening I should be fully integrated into the working world of Madrid by May at latest.
Since arriving in California things have largely been very pleasant. I was immediately accepted back into the fold of things and will by the end of this week be back to my old habits. I can’t say that I’m especially energetic or happy at the moment, though. I am also not sure I made the right decision in leaving China – despite all evidence supporting my hasty departure from the dragon’s den!