After having spent the last three or so weeks back in Denmark recharging and refueling, I am starting to get myself ready for traveling back to China to continue my work. Chongqing will soon be the city in which I have lived the longest in China, the record currently is Luoyang, in Henan province where I lived and worked for 2½ years. In total I have spent 5 years in China at this point, and I have lived and worked in various places over those 5 years. I started in Beijing for 1 month, during my TEFL training, then I moved to Changsha in Hunan province for 5 months for my teaching internship. After getting my certificate I spent another month in Beijing and then 2½ years in Luoyang, and then finally 2 years here in Chongqing. It has been an exciting journey and I have learned a lot about myself, about teaching, about the world and I have met some of the most incredible people.

Because I have always moved around so much, I have had a hard time feeling at home anywhere. This all started when I was 16 and went to Australia for a semester during high school. While I was away, my parents moved to a new house across the country so when I came back after my 6 months there, i returned to a new home in a different part of the country. But, I was half way through my school year and I wanted to finish it so I decided to stay in the area and I lived with my Sister in Copenhagen and with my aunt and uncle in Haslev for the remainder of that year. Finally, I moved back in with my parents to finish my third year of high school in Esbjerg.

After finishing my third year, I decided to move to Aalborg in Northern Jylland for college. I spent three years living there, studying and working at a local supermarket where I have made some of my closest friends. Friends whom I always try to come and see, whenever I am back in Denmark. After my three years in college I moved to China and that is where I have been for the past three years. So, as you can see, I have been moving around quite a lot, and honestly, I am starting to feel like I am rootless. I want to find a place to live, settle down, have a family and stay. I don’t mind moving small distances, like inside the same city, but I do not want to move to a completely new place and have to start over, which is also why I have not accepted otherwise very interesting and well-paid jobs from other places in China.

When I return to China, I will be starting my 3rd year at Wawii Edu Power Centre, the training school that I have been working for since I arrived in Chongqing. I like it here. The school isn’t perfect, but then again, nothing ever is and I am doing what I can to try and make it a better place, not only for myself, but for everyone here. I was originally planning to resign after my second year but when our previous supervisor, Terri, resigned her position to move to Chengdu, the foreign teachers were leaderless for a time and there wasn’t much structure to anything anymore. I decided to apply for the position of Foreign Supervisor as I had done at my previous school, and I have decided to devote my time and energy to making the school a better place for not just the foreign teachers, but also the Chinese teachers and the staff. The school has potential, I want to help make the school everything that it can be.

But coming back to China is going to be strange. In the past two years I have met some amazing  people, and sadly, they are not all here anymore. Some I have simply lost touch with, others have finished their work and are now going back home or are moving to other workplaces or other jobs. I feel a little bit lost and sad and I honestly do not really know what to expect when I move back. But I have always made it through and I am sure I will, this time around as well.

The thing that saddens me the most, is my closest friend, my brother, my bro, Paul. Paul arrived in Chongqing just a few weeks before I did and it was like we instantly clicked when Terri first showed me around the school and we met. Man, we even had the same slippers on that day, ABC brother! Paul and I became instant chicken friends, and in China it translates into 鸡友 or JiYou which is a litteral translation but actually means something along the lines of a gay couple. Now, we’re obviously not gay, Paul recently got engaged and I have also had a girlfriend for the majority of my time in Chongqing but we did also play it out a bit at school much to the amusement of our colleagues and also ourselves. We hugged and laughed made comments about each other in a way that Chinese haven’t really seen before and when new teachers arrived at the school, it was like the top of the list that Paul and I we were, … special.

I have learned a lot about life from Paul. You don’t really know the half of it, brother, but you have changed my live in a way incomparable to anyone else. I have never had to ask you for anything and I have always, always been able to rely on you 100% whatever the situation. You’ve encouraged me, you’ve comforted me, you’ve given me advise and you have shown me things I didn’t really notice before. Like, how there is more than one kind of coffee, and how climbing is actually easier than it seems. Sure, we have different interests, and we didn’t always do everything together, but having you around when you come to work and you’re just not “feeling it”, has been a life saver. And when we both finished our first year, we had decided that one wouldn’t stay without the other. You’ve given me so much Paul, you’ve brought so many happy times and good memories into my life and I can only hope, that I have scratched the surface on giving some of that back to you. Life hasn’t been as good while I was a home because I knew when I would come back to China, you wouldn’t be there and when I go back to work and start getting busy, you won’t be there to back me up, to tell me that I am doing the right thing or shake me up when you think I am about to fuck up.

I miss you. I’ve almost got tears in my eyes as I am writing this, because despite everything I have, China is going to be a lesser place without you in it, and I am holding you to your promise that you’re coming back to visit soon, and I will do my best to come and see you in Ze Ztatez whenever I have a chance. You’re only leaving China a few days before I come back. I land on the 29th in the evening and you leave on the morning on the 28th. Daymn. But, friendship beats distances and time. I know that I have made a friend for life in you, whatever happens. I know I can count on you, and I want you to know, that I’ll always be here. If you ever need anything, I’ll be here. And I damn well expect to ride a nice car when I come see you, you cannot just show me a car like that and not give me a ride!

Much love, brother. You take care, keep your head high and remember, Chick’s before ho’s… before chick… fuck it. Take care of yourself when you get back, enjoy your time with your family, get that degree you want and land that job. And tell me everything!

Here is an overview of the places in China where I have lived.

Beijing

Beijing

Changsha

Changsha

Luoyang

Luoyang

Chongqing

Chongqing

Similarly, for Denmark

Vigersted

Vigersted

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Haslev

Haslev

Ølgod

Ølgod

Aalborg

Aalborg