My name is Stuart, currently found in China in Fujian Province. I’ve been in China for four years now. Why am I here? Because four decades of life in the UK was long enough: long enough to know the struggles of living without money; long enough to appreciate the liberation provided by disposable income; long enough to know that my first love would never be mine; long enough to learn the value of friendship; long enough to know that it was long enough.
After a tragically nondescript first 30 years, it was blackjack that finally breathed life into my wallet and flexibility into my routine. Ultimately, this resulted in my entry into a murky, degraded, hedonistic underworld of seedy nightlife and raging debauchery. That’s right; I went to university.
Between my first and second years at the University of Birmingham I traveled for six weeks in the Far East. It was either that or a weekend in Paris. Beijing got the nod because of the effort they put into producing entertaining English signs, whereas the French stopped signposting in English shortly after Agincourt.
China was a fantastic experience that summer, and I went back for more in the spring of 2004 and made many friends, particularly in the city of Luoyang. It felt like home, but also very exciting and challenging. Even before boarding my return flight in Shanghai I’d decided to make a clean break from Britain. All that was left to do was plan a final assault at the blackjack table, complete a teaching course, and skip town before my creditors discovered which way east was.
This blog will draw upon my teaching experiences and recount anecdotes from life on and around campus, but will readily leap at the opportunity to dabble in the sensitive, the intimate, and the controversial. With this in mind, names may sometimes be changed to protect the innocent.
Replies are both welcome and appreciated. Commenters must respect opinions not consistent with their own. Personal attacks, discrimination, shit stirring, and topic derailment will not be tolerated. Apart from that it’s a free for all. Enjoy.
Updated to say that I’m currently in Australia with wife and daughter, Ulyssa.