Last year, around Christmas, I wrote a post about this and that, and I mentioned my friend Paul, who works with me at training school I work for in China. At the time there were also other wonderful people around me at school. Some have since left, and others I just didn’t know as well, as I do now. Today is Thanksgiving, so I thought I would share a few things that I am grateful for.

You can say a lot about working somewhere, but there are many factors to consider, when you decide whether a place is a good place to work or not. I can prove, at least for myself, that this is true, because people, were the main reason I stayed at my previous school for as long as I did. Not money, not the job itself, but the people that I worked for, worked with and in some cases, the people in my classroom.

This is true, as well, for the place where I am working now. It used to be just one person, Paul, who made coming to work interesting and fun, besides the good moments teaching. Some classes are good, some are not so good, and they can be fun. It was the times in between classes, the lunch breaks, sometimes outside of work as well that made the working life interesting.

I have a Chinese girlfriend, it’s not like I am alone or anything. But it’s nice to hang out with other western people from time to time as well.

In the, (almost) year that has passed since my last post, we’ve seen some additions to our team and I have gotten to know some people better than before. And a new addition to our team has shaken up our dynamics and brought us all closer together.

There are especially three people at work, who make life at school fun, interesting and worth going to even when you otherwise feel bad. Sometimes students and classes will knock you down a bit, sometimes the early mornings or the late nights, but people around you who can bring you back up, is not something to take for granted.

Paul and Vince, they are my chicken friends. Now, in Chinese that actually more or less translates into “gay couple”. We’re not, we all have girlfriends (well, Paul and I do) but we spend a lot of time together, we joke, prank, and talk dirty. When either one of us has had a rough day or a rough class, we get a bear hug. For me, that’s more or less every Friday. I see these two guys often, at school, and outside. We’ll meet at Starbucks and grab lunch before we go to work or just have dinner a Sunday evening or Tuesday or whatever day we feel like it.

Then there is Terri. She is my supervisor at work, my boss, but she would never make you feel that way about her. Sure, she tells me what to do sometimes, but she never does so without telling me why and having a good reason. You know how people will be nice to you, if they want something? Terri doesn’t do that, she’ll come to you directly, be up front and honest and you say yes because you like her and want to be a good colleague and help her out. Terri cares about us, all of us and it makes her great at what she does. She’s never a boss she’s a friend at work, who needs a favor now and then. I have gotten a lot closer to Terri in the past year as well, and I am happy to be working with her. I could not imagine, what this place would have been, without her leading us.

My mom, dad and my sister. I love you. I cannot believe how supportive you have all been, about me moving so far away. I know it has not been easy, and I am not as good at keeping in touch as I should be. I love you and I miss you all so much. Along with the rest of my wonderful family. This year has been tough, no doubt about it. But I am confident we’ll make it to the other side, stronger than ever before. I am so thankful to have all of you in my life.

To my friends and colleagues. I miss you. Not a day goes by where I do not think about home and the life I had in Denmark before I moved here. I miss working at the supermarket, i miss the late night beers, and the going out. I miss the bowling tournaments that I used to kick ass in. I wish you all have a wonderful thanksgiving.

I am thankful for all of you. Every single one. I love you, take care.