If anyone would have told me around this time last year that in twelve months’ time I’d be teaching English at a variety of colleges in China, I don’t know what I would have done.
Maybe I would have broken out into laughter, or started to feel severely dizzy with a troubling pain between my ears.
But fate has its twisted little ways at times, and since my wife was denied entry to what I have since come to call the “Schengen zoo” twice, and my dream of forming an acoustic trio consequently had to be put on ice, after 3 decades of raking in a living with my guitar I’ve had to change professions, along with continents and locations, and have since become an English teacher in China.
Sometimes we get to a point of stagnation in our lives where we think we know and have seen it all. But then the great Celestial Wizard (I have to be more careful with religious sounding vocabulary these days…) waves His magic wand, takes us out of our familiar environment into a totally new & different one (my definition of China: same earth, different planet) and sits us in front of His great big celestial record player to the sound of the 70s tune by the Canadian band Bachman, Turner, Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet.”
Mr. Know-It-All becomes Johnny Clueless, and has to prove all over again whether he ever really meant a thing about all the things he preached to others about learning from life, leaving it all behind and the whole “follow-the-great-Celestial-Wizard” sort of spiel.
Things can get awfully silent around folks like that in these situations, and that’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while.
Besides, life is a lot busier for English teachers in China with a fraction of the wages for musicians in Europe, especially during rainy season.
My wife told me today (and as every man would, I love it when she does), “You’re my hero.”
Not that I actually feel heroic, but in this case she was right: I had just approved myself as a super hero. Remember “Aquaman”? - The superhero who commanded the element of water?
Well, that’s who I felt like today (for the second time this month, by the way), after just having been drenched within seconds during a sudden torrent while riding my e-bike home from College. Drenched to the bone we found shelter under the roof of a hotel entrance (along with other unlucky bikers like ourselves), and were soon off to get a little more soaked before we finally got home…
Getting drenched in China is a great thing to happen to folks who used to be fed up with their semi-organized, neat little lives in way too organized countries…
It’s as if Big CW (Celestial Wizard) grabbed a gigantic bucket of water and emptied it out on your head, saying, “Wake up, dude! You were only dreaming!”
Yes, I once dreamed that I knew something about the world I live in, and have waken up to the refreshing fact of my utter ignorance in a part of the world I knew next to nothing about.
So, if you should ever feel intellectually bloated and feel as if there were no more challenges, no more new worlds to conquer, don’t be fooled! You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, and there’s always room for another “super hero” in China!