Thursday, November 05, 2009

My first post in awhile...

...is just to prove to someone that I'm Drew (not Andrew) Link and I've been talking to her on gmail chat thinking that she was Melanie Landry for the last hour.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Re-chronicles

What the H, am I right?  I mean, a whole year since an update?  Even though I swore that I would start updating in short bursts and not make each post an epic one filled with comics, movies, and or witty soliloquys?  Well, F that.

I guess it also is kind of moot, since the purpose of the Chrons were to keep the fam informed of my various nefarious deeds in China, and since I'm sitting in my mom's living room writing this post, I doubt she wonders what I'm up to.  So now that I'm back in the North Carolinic state and not adventuring around parts of China, my life must be boring, right?  YOU BET!

But, I've been reading back-logs (or blogs... awesome, I came up with a new word) of my posts and I like reading them.  So if I make a little post here and there that has a dash of tedium, you - my esteemed viewer - can just freaking deal with it.  There I said it.

So yeah, I'm back in NC.  What of it?  The coming back part wasn't what I expected really.  There were a lot of things that happened in the last 2 freaking days of being in Beijing that made me really doubt my decision to leave.  It made it nearly impossible, and I spent the whole 24 hours or so that I was in the Vancouver airport thinking about everything that happened.  I got home on my birthday.  And even though I was really happy to see everyone, I could have easily just gotten right back on a plane to Beijing.  I even wondered in passing how easy that would be.  A part of me still thinks about just ditching this incredibly lame job search that has reaped so few rewards and just going back to China where they actually want to hire me.  

That said, a part of me wants to stick it out and get a job.  A "real" job, as some might say.  One that might prepare me for the future more than living day-by-day on wages of a foreign teacher.  After all, I'm highly unsure of what kind of Drew I want to be.  Do I want to be teaching and living abroad forever Drew?  Do I want to be steady job and a house Drew?  Hell, I even saw my cousin's tiny baby this weekend and part of me wants to be Papa Drew.  I don't even know!  There are too many parts to reconcile.  

So while I look for jobs in America, (mainly in Washington because I think Seattle is a rad town)I also look in Beijing.  I'm hoping that something will just guide me in a direction, mainly in the guise of a job offer.  But maybe I'll just have to start making a decision my own damned self.  See?  This is where chronicling helps.  It might actually make me realize what I actually want out of life.

So there it is.  I'm home now, I'm looking for jobs left and right.  Learning the meaning of the words "let-down" and "perserverence".  All the while riding this whole election roller-coaster and being totally bummed that I can't afford all the awesome games that are coming out.  I am enjoying being home, but I also miss the sense of community in China.  I never thought I'd hear myself say that seeing as I rarely understood what people said to me.  A big part of that probably has to do with living in a city.  But any sense of community doesn't match up to being with family.  That's something I missed a great deal in Beijing, and it's good to have that back.  




Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dave's travel blog

There are just two reasons for this post:

1.) I'm kinda drunk, and I wanted at least drunk-post. Tonight is night 4 of the Scary Movie Week-a-thon, we watched Army of Darkness and Shaun of the Dead. Two of the funniest horror movies out there. And fun to drink to while watching.

2.) To link to Dave' Reidy's travel blog in India. It's a fantastically written and informative blog about life about working in India. Dave and Laura are awesome, and I'm not just saying that because I've drunken too many whiskey smoothies. But it helps.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scare-a-thon 2007


Lookie, a new e-chron postage. Who knows, maybe this will rebecome a regular thing for me.

The past weekend we went to a park to help make things pretty. I know I do a super job at that, personally, for the crusty pizza boxes and filthy socks that I'll probably wear tomorrow are organized in a very feng sh-way... heheh, get it?

It was a fun time, although it wasn't nearly as involved as last year's excursion to the outskirts of Beijing, or Jingy-town as it likes to be called. Nevertheless, it was still a joyous romp. I attended to see my Alaska class hard at work doing good for the environment. They really put their backs into it. In fact, I have some grossly outrageous photos to highlight some of the best samples of child-labor one is likely to see.

Our plan that day was to do some good for the world (clean parks, help old ladies cross streets, reunite puppy orphans with their families, etc.) and then go take some spooky pictures at an abandoned theme park that I read about in that's beijing. Unfortunately it became more of a recon mission, as we weren't actually able to find any of the buses that were supposed to deliver us. All the better though, we spent the rest of the day playing a 20-questions-ish game until said game erupted into a fiery religious debate. Too bad it seems like it's almost impossible to say the words "religious debate" without being preempted with the word "fiery".

I've made it a goal of mine to try to watch at least one scary movie per night after the October break leading up to Halloween. Of course, I keep to that oath more-so than I keep to more productive oaths like promises to visit friends on weekends or trying to workout or eat healthy on a regular basis. The result has been some weird dreams that tie most genres together, such as vampire werewolf zombies fighting ax-wielding maniacs. In essence, this means it's working.

This week, we're having a spooky movie scare-a-thon. Every night leading up to Saturday will and has been one scary movie party. God I love Halloween.

In other news, as some of you may or may not know, Dan Hubball will be visiting Beijing very soon. The date is rapidly approaching, and I'm trying my best to prepare lots of China things to do. I hope he brings Ribena though. I mean, I like him and all, but I'll be danged if I don't also like sugar-flavored black currant juice a whole crapload as well.

More to come. By the way, all the photos from the day can be located here.

PS: I just read Dave Reidy's blog. He's in India now. Mumbai. He got malaria. He's sick, but it sounds like he'll pull through. So... Mom? Dad? Wanna meet in Mumbai over February break instead of Canada?

PPS: I wanted to try the video uploader through blogger. If you can see it, this video is a 3d-itized version of the Great Wall photo from a year ago. Can't link to the original, because blogger is blocked AGAIN!
video

Friday, October 19, 2007

Something wicked this way comes.

First of all, I want to thank you guys for keeping with the blog and checking it from time to time and all. I can't read or comment on my own blog, but I can still post on it. I want to say things to you guys and respond and all, but I can't. I'm considering moving the old e-chron to a site that can be viewed in China, but most major blogging sites are blocked in China (Which is what this update is all about). I'd be endlessly appreciative if some of you guys could e-mail me sometime just a short e-mail so that I have ways of contacting you. Especially Maile and all the guys who still check this site from time to time from the old WoW days. It's drewlink@gmail.com.

Anyway, on to business. Things are going fine here in Beijing. Work keeps getting more interesting and has been adding up quite a bit. It's good work though. Interesting, with lots of variety. Variety is good. I remember working at some other jobs that shan't be named that basically involved 30 minutes of work supplemented with 7 and a half hours of watching Homestar Runner cartoons and reading every bit of trivia about Star Wars from imdb.com, all while trying to dodge the boss as he walked by the office. That got old, quick. I finally feel like I'm doing something that I can actually enjoy, and that might actually look good on a resume. I might even be able to qualify for the 2 years of HR work needed to certify as a PHR guy, which would make me glad that if I choose to continue working in the field, I won't have to take that godforsaken test any time soon.

Life here continues to be interesting as well. As the Olympics draws nearer, hilarious new commercials keep popping up on Chinese TV that show Beijing as a happy place with cars stopping for pedestrians and friendly shopkeepers smiling, utterly delighted by being graced with the presence of neighborhood friendlies. The sky is always blue, with rainbows shining down upon God's green earth, with unicorns frolicking in the streets! Oh what a magical place!

Now, what's weird is that anyone who lives in Beijing knows that this just ain't the case. Cars often *speed up* when they see a pedestrian crossing, even if you have the green light. And shopkeepers tend to scowl at the presence of foreigners (unless you live here, then they think everything you say in Chinese is side-splittingly hilarious). So... these ads don't work for locals.

Ah yes! It must be targeted at people interested in coming to visit! Of course! Except... huh. Well I guess anyone who would be shelling out the dough to come see glorious Beijing would be of the right mind to investigate the place. They might check blogs of people who post about Beijing or whatnot, as I did. When I looked up information back many months ago, guess what I found? Lots of people... *lots*... complaining about traffic, pollution, etc. etc. So, I guess the informed potential visitor might more readily see these posts rather than buy in to the pink-bordered, disneyland advertisements sponsored by Beijing 2008. Hmm...

Well, I guess it would be all fine and dandy, but NOW I wouldn't be able to really show you what I mean! Recently, there has been an all-out cyberwar declared apparently! Youtube is now blocked, so I can't find the commercials so that you may bask in its absurdity, and major search sites are now redirected to the highly censored Baidu website! That in combination with other actual *world-wide* reports on environmental issues (sorry, the link for this site no longer works for me, figures!) and every blog on the internet being blocked, it's very apparent that China will do anything to convince you that Beijing is Candyland. And by the way, the health report I mentioned says that 750,000 premature deaths in China can be linked to the pollution of it's cities. Granted, the report was mainly talking about other cities in China that are *far* worse than Beijing. But the *reason* this report was censored was either because: a) Chinese officials thought the report was already too wordy and bulky, and/or b) these reports would do nothing to inform the populace, it would just cause social unrest. Darn. I didn't look at it that way!

Alright, so maybe I'm peeved that I can no longer watch Star Wars spoofs or video game instructional videos, but all the news about this internet campaign has happened in the *last week*. And it just further validates my conspiracy inspired belief that the repairing of the cables in Taiwan after last year's earthquake was stifled because there was a huge flurry of activity on Baidu and other Chinese sites as a result. GrrrAAH!!

I'm all for Beijing trying to make a good name for itself before the Olympics. I *want* them to do well. I *like* China (mainly the people). Sure, they can be rude. Everything about China is expanding rapidly... almost too rapidly. But why do they have to execute executives almost immediately after being convicted for turning a blind eye on what paints they use for toys? Sure this was bad, but this was a harsh move that makes them look almost barbaric. Why do they have to feel like they need to lie to get people to come here? Why do they have to censor *everything* on the internet and keep people in the dark? Why do they have to block all other websites in order to improve the traffic of their own? The way to compete in business shouldn't be about blocking access to other alternatives. It should be about making *your* alternative the best one! Oh! Guess what else is blocked here? WebMD! W...T...F?!?

Like I said, I do like it here. I like living here. It's neat! The people here are good people! But they have a long way to come to impress the world, I think. And I hate to break it to them, but it won't happen by the time 08/08/08 comes around.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Back in China

Here I am, after a month of relaxation and enjoyment in the US. I ate a whole bunch of stuff while I was there, too. Everything that's sweet in the US is just so much more sweet than anything in China, and as a result I ate them. Ate them all up. I was pleased to find that 3 of the Chinese teachers here commented on how fat I've gotten, and that I can no longer really fit into my pants that I left here.

I can already tell that I've begun to lose what I gained almost instantaneously. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, honestly. This kind of weight fluctuation might upset my homeostasis or something like that.

The time I spent at home was awesome, although I did nothing really while I was there. I just relaxed. It's easy to get lost in a loop of doing nothing around there, which was fine for me. But now that I'm back, I've started to think about why exactly I'm here.

This enters my mind nearly every day. Why am I here? Not, you know, here on this Earth. But literally, here in China? Some days I think it's because of the challenge, some days because I want to experience a vastly different culture, and some days I even think it's because things are often so absolutely absurd here that I can't help but laugh at it... to myself. That's right, sometimes I think I'm in China just to laugh at it. That makes people who come here just to some exotic Asian action seem more justified than me! Ok, maybe not.

I have never settled on one answer, and another thing that I constantly think about is that if I go to an interview, be it job or school, I know they're going to ask something similar. Why did you spend 2 years in China? What am I supposed to say? To find myself? To grow as a human person on this world? Or should I say that I'm impulsive and get bored often of one place to the point where I can't stay there for more than 2 years in a row without getting jittery. I'm sure they'd love to hear that when they ask where do I see myself in 5 years? "I have no freaking clue... um... South Africa? Maybe? Somewhere where this company ain't, I can tell ya that!". Yeah that will look really good.

I just hope that by the time I do interview somewhere, I'll have figured out what the hell I'm doing here. I mean, I think the problem is that there are too many reasons why I'm here. They keep coming to me, and every time I think of one, it's accurate and true. I can only think of a handful of reasons not to be here.

Anyway, classes start tomorrow and it should be exciting. I can't wait to see last year's bunch, and the new lot as well. I'm sure it will be a very interesting year.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hot dog!

Well, it's summer. And it's hot as heck. It's a different kind of hot than I'm used to. I'm accustomed to the heat that hits your from the sun, and then does it's damage. I'm not used to the city heat, which isn't so bright, but just gets trapped in the layer of *ahem* "fog" that's in Beijing and just, ya know, kinda cooks you a little. It stays hot at night, which is highly discouraging.

Let me be honest for a bit as well... I haven't updated my blog in awhile. Like, two months. I have excuses at the ready. I *love* excuses. I'm full of them. They're the lifeblood of any fella out there who calls himself a procrastinator. But these excuses are good, because I think I'm over them... you'll see what I mean.

I like the comics. I like drawing. I like taking pictures and videos. But now that I've drawn two whole comics, and put pictures up, I feel like I *always* have to do that. In order to make each entry scintillating. After all, some people may read this and think, "Ooh a webjournal about life in China! It must be chock full of interesting tidbits of travel, like www.wherethehellismatt.com and his excursions around the globe!" Lemme tell ya, there's a big difference in travelling in China and living here. When you've been here for nearly a year, it becomes a home (Not *the* home, don't even think I'm calling it my home, Mom!). Thus, it becomes something that isn't as romantic as it started out. Sure, it's still quite exciting, and there are still things that shock and fascinate me about how different they are from the U.S., but I feel like I have to constantly prove how wonderful and full of uniqueness living in China is. I can't always do that. Especially when I spend most of my time working, playing video games, and trying to watch as many movies about zombies as I can.

So, anyway, enjoy those excuses, k?

Next year will be quite different. It sounds like I'll be teaching less, and working on highly interesting projects. This is intensly exciting for me. Also, I hope to cut out this whole "work-a-full-day-on-freaking-saturday" BS that I've done since October. I really, really think that was a bad idea in retrospect. Sure it was more money and all, but it made me dread the weekends. And dreading the weekend is nearly blasphemous in my opinion. So, screw it, I say. I want my Saturdays back.

Alright, as you can see. No pictures. No comics. Just boring text. Thanks for playing.