Opinion / 首页Blog

I will miss my 10 unforgetable years in China

By Riz ( Updated: 2014-07-14 17:18

I landed in Beijing on April 1, 2004. I had little cash but big dreams. I had a keen desire to explore and improve myself. The fire that burned inside my soul infused me with an immense amount of energy and courage to face the world. China. I chose to work and live there because it's the biggest market for English teachers. I am from Pakistan, a country where people make fun of other people who speak and practice English. I was discouraged, laughed at and jeered at. I was paid a meager amount that barely bought me food. Schools and organizations lied to me and cheated me on payments. Some never paid what they had promised. Fed up with all that chaos, I left my dear homeland and made China my new homeland. My destination was Hunan Agricultural University in Changsha City.

This was, I would say, the best decision I have ever made so far. Coming to China opened up a whole new world for me. I was received by two attractive ladies at the Changsha train station who escorted me to my university apartment, fully furnished with cable TV and Internet access. My director took me to a luxury restaurant for dinner and I was Gambaying. with my new foreign and Chinese colleagues and supervisor. I felt loved and valued for the first time in my life. My health and skin tone improved with time and exercise. I had found a soul mate who loved me more than anything. We played pool in the evenings and enjoyed the spicy bbq in Changsha, especially that chicken my buddy Dave would call 'crucified chicken' as it was cooked on two straight sticks.

There were small pubs and bars all around the university where I would hang out with students and they practiced English with me and other English speakers. Leslie, an American teacher from Texas, and I were assigned to a teachers training workshop to enhance Chinese teachers’ English language. It was so much fun teaching together as a team. I miss that time so much.

I was given a blue book by the university that said ' Foreign Expert' on it. This improved my self-esteem further. I am very humorous by nature, so my students and colleagues enjoyed my company. I lived in Changsha for about 10 years, teaching at Web International Economic University, Agri-University and a couple more places. I was warmly received wherever I went. I am not a native English speaker but I sound native due to practice and focus on English.

In 2010, a rule was made that did not allow non-native speakers to be English teachers in China. My school at that time regretfully announced this news to me. I tried so hard to get my visa but to no avail. Broken-hearted, I had to quit China. I am in Pakistan again. I am again suffering the pains of living here among so much negativity. But, I am positive! I am trying to contact employers in China but my nationality is a big question mark. I miss everything in China.

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