PART29, a spanner in the works


Wednesday, 25th, February, 2010.
I got up today at 9 o’clock after sleeping since 10 last night. It was possibly
the best night’s sleep I have ever had. We left the hotel and had some
dumplings at a little shop next door. We knew that Lily would call us in
advance before we left for Haikou so we went out exploring in Beijing. We got
on a bus and went to see Tiananmen square. As we approached I saw the large red
building with a massive painting of Mao zi dong on it. Also I saw the road
which the impressive 50th anniversary of the people’s republic of
china march took place. There was a sea of people and the sky was gray. The square
didn’t look all that big or impressive to me so we didn’t have a look around.
Instead we followed the crowd of people through and under Mao’s painting and
the large gate of the building. We emerged into a large yard where all the
solders who march and raise the flag in the morning train. Sarah didn’t know
about this place and we also found that we could go to the Forbidden City if we
walked to the other end of the yard. We got the tickets and went into the city.

 

Now it’s a nightmare to try and describe it
all so I would just tell you to have a look at some pictures of it. Not that
they would really do it justice. It’s just so utterly massive. It’s got many
expansive paved yards with big red palaces at each end and smaller ones on either
side. It was like what I imaged all China was like when I was a child. Curved
roof tops and wide red palaces with bronze and stone dragon’s everywhere. I
thought about all the kung fu films I had seen and was half expecting a ninja
to fly across one of the rooftops. It’s truly a place of legends, and few loos
as well.

 

After an hour of walking through the middle
up through the palaces, we looked at the endless sculptures and artifacts; I
was bursting for the loo. When we got to the end I ran to the crowded Loos. We
headed back down one of the side alleys of the forbidden palace to where the concubines
(or as Sarah said today by mistake “the cumcumberbines”) but to be honest I was
exhausted and it was all looking the same to me by then. Courtyard, palace, big
square, court yard….repeat…..Bigger palace. There was so much repetition of
similar looking palaces. I find that after a short period of looking at sights
I cannot take any more in. Like going to an art gallery, after half an hour I sometimes
just want to leave and rest my eyes. Maybe I need to train my self and become
more of a sightseeing coinsure.

 

Completely cream crackerd but very happy
and awe inspired we left and went to a large shopping mall and had a big lunch.
It was a big wok which you chose your own dishes and the cooks fry them with
loads of chilies. We were munching away at our big bowl and when we had almost
finished Sarah told me “there is frog and guts in it”. I was a bit shocked and
disgusted and remembered eating something which tasted like chicken but
certainly didn’t look like chicken. It must have been frog. mmmm tastes just
like chicken

 

Lily called us later and we went to the
office to meet her. We assumed that we were going to get given the details
about the school. When we arrived Lily was not there, but another girl unceremoniously
told me that the school in Haikou took on their old teacher and the job was not
open anymore. So we should choose another school in another province. For some
reason I was not surprised. Sarah and I sat there in silence for a minute.

 

I could actually feel my dream die. I could
feel the images of living by the sea side and teaching 40 middle school
students fade away. I know it sounds a bit dramatic but that is how I felt. I
then got up angrily and walked out the door. I managed to shin a glass table by
mistake on the way out which made the trackless twerp girl jump nervously. This
gave me a bit of satisfaction. I went out of the building and had an angry cigarette.
Puffing away. There was not relaxed drag of the smoke for me. Quick sharp inhaling
with pursed lips was what I was going for. I was standing there out side the
door and I felt like something was about to snap inside of me. A red mist was
creeping in from the outer rims of my eyes I was so angry with the company for
dragging me all the way out to Beijing, signing a contract and then shitting on
me. Then I noticed that a man was trying to open the door with a bike in his
hands. Like a shot I opened the door for him and smiled when he said thank you.
I had managed to unwittingly distract away my anger. Even so the problem remained
that I had been fucked. I had signed a contract for a job and then a day before
I thought I was going to go and do the job it was taken away. My only option
was to find another job now; all the other jobs which this farce of a company
had were in the middle of nowhere and now were where I wanted to teach. I tried
to make myself angry again but it didn’t work. I went back up stairs and told
the girl that I wanted the months pay which was promised in the contract if the
employees canceled the contract without good reason. She sneered at me and said
“we don’t own you money; there is not a school name on the contract”. BOOM! She
had me on that one. I knew something like that would happen. Fucking cheating Chinese
peaces of shit. This always happens in China. The better cheater does better business.

 

 The
girl went back to her computer and Sarah and I were left sitting there in
silence.  I had a great desire to leave, I
had a brilliant idea that we would go back to the hotel and steal the 1000 Yuan
deposit and then bugger off, that would teach them. I whispered the plan to
Sarah and her eyes opened wide in excited agreement. Sarah told the little toe
rag girl that we would consider another school but we have to think about it
for a while. We then made our way back to the hotel. My idea evolved further
more when I thought that we should stay in the hotel for another few nights at
the expense of the company and then take the money and cheese it. Ohhh I though
“what a Chinese way of thinking my Tim”, Yes your right it’s a bit creepy to
speak to myself. When we got back to the hotel Lily (our main contact from the
company) was there dropping another teacher off. She came up and was very
polite and apologetics about the situation much more so than the wench who was
at the office. Even though I was not won over by her apologies. “So what your apologizing!”.
The situation is still the same. I don’t have the job you promised me in the
contract that I signed before I packed my bags and traipsed all the way up to Beijing
before you shat on me. Imagine if I had come all the way from England and this happened.
Anyhow I told her it was alright and that I would consider another job but
could she let me have some time to think about it. I used the image of staying
in the hotel at their expense and them taking off with their deposit to help me
smile and show that I was not too annoyed.

 

After Lily left, Sarah booked two flights
to Haikou, We were going, no matter if we had a job or not. We started to salvage
the situation and laughed together about our plans. We were going and that was
that. I have other schools I can contact, also its going to be fun to job hunt
free style, not over the phone or internet. We are going to have a holiday for
two days in Beijing them go to Hainan.

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