Tuesday, March 13, 2012

AHHHHH! ( aka Chinese New Year Post #2 postponed interrupted by homesickess)

I am SO homesick right now.  You know how they talk about "blind rage"? This feels like "blind homesickness". UGH. SO heavy. I said on Facebook that it's like that feeling you get when you have to pee after a long road trip. The closer you get to the bathroom door, the harder it is to hold it in. You KNOW what I'm talking about. You can be fine just riding along in the car for 4-5 hours ... but once you get up and you see the door, it's like your bladder gets crazy and it feels like you have mere seconds before an accident is bound to happen!!!!

This homesickness kind of popped up out of nowhere. I've been fine ... a lot of times... really great here  for the majority of the year in terms of feeling "settled in" and "adapted" and all that. At the beginning, the first two months were definitely challenging. But July was awesome  for many reasons ( lychees, Lisa, swimming pool,  warm weather... etc. ) and since then it's all been ... good with a sprinkle of frustrations here and there. I've picked up a lot of language too ... which I'm proud of and which will definitely help for the next year.

But now that I'm wrapping up my year - esp this past week - out of the blue it's become... "difficult" and "frustrating". I KNOW one reason for my frustration is the... lack of "prior planning" ( a term that my Dad likes to use, I can hear him in my head now saying it... lol) regarding my "leave date.

My F visa ( the thing that keeps me living/working here legally) expires on April 3rd, 2012. Originally my boss said that she would be able to extend my visa for the month. She said that it would be "no problem" and that I could work until my school contract expired for the year ( on April 24th).

BUT when I went to her last week and was talking with her about my airfare and buying my plane ticket home ( the school is covering my airfare), my boss mentioned that I MIGHT be able to go home earlier. IF they hire this new teacher who she's interviewing ( and who I'm pretty sure will work for the school, the teacher is going for the week long training in Beijing next week I think) - there will be no need to keep me through the month .... and she will save money ( oh "money.. money.. money"... always about the money...) by not having to pay the fee to extend my visa.

I was caught off guard with this news and told her that we had to book my flight SOON because I was looking online and saw that #1 flights are getting expensive and #2 flights are getting a little ridiculous in terms of layover time ( a 13 hr layover in Shanghai? or ANYwhere? NO THANK YOU.).

My boss told me that she still "didn't know" and that she would tell me next week. ( tomorrow). I told her that I "thought that everything was settled" ... and that this is very frustrating and unorganized and that if I have to stay at a hotel because she decided to change the plan and there are no flights with layovers that are 4-5 hrs or less ... my school WILL be paying for it. Because I don't want to. I shouldn't HAVE TO. I'm the one who is TRYING to get ready/prepared early here.

This is her first year running this school and while I've had my share of good times with my classes (and socially with her at times), I've learned for the future that I want to work at a school that has been up and running for at LEAST 2 yrs. Being a foreigner in a new country for the first time is HARD ENOUGH without the added anxiety/frustration/moodiness of a boss who doesn't really know what she's doing. My Chinese co-workers have said that she is moody and is slow to make decisions/often changes her plans, so I'm not the only one who has seen/felt this. It's not a cultural thing.

Right now my mind is a million miles ahead of my body. It's a little speck that is slowly disappearing on the horizon in front of me. I can kinda see it ... but I've gotta squint.

When you are confronted with a big change or something unsettling ( like that initial "culture shock/homesickness feeling of moving to a new country) you naturally CRAVE something familiar/routine. I know that's kind of what happened initially and that's what's happening now. Everything was "fine" in general from July to now.

I just want a taste of home. The two to two and a half months at home will be ENOUGH.
ENOUGH to get my fill of just, GOOD, PURE, LOUNGING - stretched out in my Dad's good ol' lazy boy chair and all! (lol) catching up with the fam, laying around watching "mindless" Bravo and TLC shows on tv, going to hot yoga and dance, being with friends - eating,drinking, just catching up, using English regularly with people my own age and older, etc. etc. I'll still have QQ and can use QQ on my computer at home to keep in touch with Lisa too...

It will be enough time to be happy ( and not have to worry too much about $$) and at the same time enough time to get excited for my NEXT year of teaching in Taiwan.

I'm just feeling it right now. I'll be good. I'll be ok. Tomorrow I'll approach it ( the conversation with my boss) slowly and easily and without getting too worried, caught up in it all. Mentally ready to either leave on April 2nd or April 24th ... and being fine with EITHER decision. But even if she did pay for me to stay overnight in a hotel somewhere, I'd really rather have a 4 hour layover. Even if it's a midnight flight. I don't care.

a safe flight, a 4-5 hr layover. That's all I want.

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