Wow.. the end of the year .. and what a year its been…. I have had so much that has happened this year I wanted to do a kind of list of things that have happened the good, the bad and the ugly.

1) Started the year with the usual intent to do something interesting and exciting. So I became a shareholder/partner of the local bar in Bin Jiang District in Hangzhou city.  This was a good move and has proved to be a door for many things.

My Bar family

My Bar family

2) Beginning of the year I also got divorced.  This was one of those ugly things.. but it proved to be the best thing that ever happened to me.  I realized that I need to really consider my own feelings and happiness instead of focusing on making other people happy.   After the divorce I started dating and that was a whole lot of drama.

3) I got promoted at my school to Head of Student Management… but then after a month it was taken away and the position was eliminated.   That how things roll in china when you work for a Chinese company.  They will just move you up and down without a care to your career goals.

4) Started dating a guitarist and started learning guitar.  No matter how much of an asshole he turned out to be.. I still have to thank him for introducing me to the guitar… I am enjoying every minute of my learning experience.  Although I lost my free teacher, yYouTube has been a great help to me.

Brown Rice... Rock N Roll Baby

Brown Rice… Rock N Roll Baby

5) I started my own band Brown Rice… and sing rock cover songs at the bar.  I get a lot of  adrenalin from playing in a band and being the lead singer was like an impossible dream come true.  I may not be the new Joan Jett.. but I can cross that off my bucket list.

6) I became the Asst. General Manager of the bar.  Yes.. they saw the potential i had in management and the skill I have in advertising and marketing.. which I love, love, love…. that is the job I live for.   So I stepped down from being the lead singer of the band and became the band’s manager and bar manager…. while still teaching of course….(gonna keep the big money coming in)

7) I briefly dated a Chinese Biker… I am all about the wild and the crazy…. and dating a biker although short-lived was very exciting and wild..(that is basically why I had to cut it a little short… a little too wild) but made some wonderful new biker friends that will probably last a life time.IMG_5275

8) Big changes at my teaching job… the company decided to change locations to a town about an hour away from where I currently live.  I have to ride the bus…. to and from work.. an hour each way … everyday…. Makes me consider some career changes.

My first big tattoo... Black Orchids... (also my chinese name.. Hei Lan)

My first big tattoo… Black Orchids… (also my chinese name.. Hei Lan)

9) I got some new tattoos.. yep.. I am a tattooed bitch.. the cool thing about tattoos is that you can control what you want to put on your body.. and it doesn’t matter what anyone says… it’s very freeing.

10) Met the current man of my dreams….. Jet… a former gangster turn good… and a man who will do anything to keep me happy.  The sweetest kindest man.. I have ever met in my life honestly. If I was ever going to marry again… in the far, far, far future… this would be the man.

My man... Jet Liu

My man… Jet Liu

11) I decided to by an ebike.. yep.. after living in china for now 8 years.. I broke down and bought an electric bike.. that everyone rides here.. Jet taught me to ride it properly and now I am riding like a …. BOSS!

12) Found out that my recently divorced ex-husband remarried six months after our divorce.  Kind of quick?  Maybe that tells me that he had someone on the side.  He married a local Chinese girl… I don’t wish him bad luck.. but Karma.. my have other ideas.

13) I decided to do my own business here in China.. it is very complicated to know all the freakin’ rules here.. but with some very good “relationships” that I have formed over the years.. and my stud by my side….. I am going to get this done.  I have started putting together a clothing line.. for club wear.. ladies that are Divas… in charge of their lives.   People who are proud of their bodies no matter what size they are.  My new company is called “Dragon Designs”  I am going to be selling on and… and working on my own site.

My inspiration for my company name... Jet's amazing dragon tattoo..

My inspiration for my company name… Jet’s amazing dragon tattoo..

I am really trying to start preparing for my future retirement business.  Oh know I will never stop working and stop experiencing life.. I just can’t that would be crazy.  I am now deciding on which country to retire in.   I am thinking either Malaysia, Philippines, or Colombia, South America.  Whether I eventually marry Jet or not… that is my plan.   Why not come back to the states? Well, I have realized that my life has improve tremendously since I move away… and I feel less stressed and less overwhelmed.   I love my country and I will never give up being American… I love being American.. and I will visit my family as much as I can… but  for me… living abroad is a good thing.  And from what I can see on the news these days a little safer.  I hope to bring my kids to visit me when I retire… for now I will visit them in the states every year or so.

So that’s kind of my life in review over that past year… there has been some crazy moments.. and some great  times. I have met many great people and did some great performances, like when I dresses as an avenging angel on Halloween.

Halloween 2014.. at the Bar... great performance

Halloween 2014.. at the Bar… great performance

What will the New year bring?  Hopefully… more love, joy and happiness.  I also hope there will be great success in my new business venture.  I have learned to live life to the fullest and not to worry about what others say about you.. but… Honey…. You only have this life.. make it Amazing…..Boo

Until Next Time…..

Due to this G20 Summit the entire Province of Zhejiang is under the watchful eye of Big Brother. It seems that this summit on peace and environmental safety has caused many people many problems. 

No only the fact my friend from Xinjiang got kicked out of the city, foreigners are also being checked and double checked, local people are being asked to leave; all shops and supermarkets are closed and there are tanks and military on every corner. 

At first, I thought this was to promote the safety of the countries leaders that are coming to China for the Summit, I do want Obama protected, but now it is clear that it is obviously a show of power. Chinese government wants other countries to see how powerful this military is. Why do I say this??? There are no guns allowed in China for civilians and most crimes are committed using knifes, so why would you need hundreds of tanks driving around town??  …..Right, to show power. 

This has destroyed many people’s lives. Small businesses and factories all have to shut down, schools also shut down, anyone living on the 10th floor or higher must leave, all foreigners are randomly searched, no packages to be delivered until after the summit, no one is allowed to visit Hangzhou and if you leave it’s difficult to get back in. All bars are either closed or have to close early, all restaurants must close, and even no taxis. 

My friend was even denied the renewal of her spouse visa and she is married to a Chinese man. She is being forced to go back to America after living in China for 7 yrs because she will not have a visa to stay. 

I understand the safety measures to protect the leaders but is it worth destroying people’s families  and careers?

This is the first time since I have lived in China that I truly see what a Communist/socialist government is really like.  

Hopefully, things will go back to normal after this G20 mess, and people can get thier lives back. 

Hopefully, people can recover from this major setback in their lives. My heart goes out to those local Chinese that are just trying to survive. The Summit is only officially for two days the 5th and 6th of Sept. I think….but it feels like they are preparing for war. 

This is not the China it used to be or is it?

Until next time…..

As you know a visa is required to stay in China. To legally work in China you must have a working visa and to get this visa you need an expert certificate that needs to be sponsored by an employer.  

Usually this process takes about 15 to 30 days to complete. But because of the G20 summit everything has changed. Now, not only do you have to provide the original copy of your degree you also have to provide a non-criminal certificate that proves you are not a criminal in your country. If you do not have these certificates you will not be allowed to work in China.  This process now takes 30 to 45 days and it doesn’t matter how long you have lived in China, it’s mandatory. 

So, good points, they are check teachers for a better quality education for their students. Bad point, it’s harder and harder to find qualified teachers. 

Schools are stuggling with these new rules, since many foreigners need to return home to get the newly required documents and then decide not to return.  

Good point, real teachers are able to make a difference in these students lives and not be hired just on appearance. Bad point, teachers are asking for higher salaries because of the extra hassles and many schools can’t afford to pay these teachers higher rates, therefore the students that need the help most won’t have it available to them. 

I may decide to switch to a spouse visa. No China doesn’t really have a green card system and when you are on a spouse visa you are not allowed to work for any company. So I would have to only do business and depend on my husband for financial support. (Not something I am used to). 

But it beats what happens if you violate the working visa law. Your punishments range from jail time, fines to banned from China for 10 yrs. (yeah, they aren’t playing) or all three. Depends on the mood of the judge and if your horescope is favorable that day. 

My current visa is valid until February next year. So, I am cool for now but lord knows what the laws will change too next year. 

China changes its immigration laws as often as I change my underwear so you never know what hoop we need to jump through next. Hopefully, things will calm down after this Summit. It just seems like the whole world is going crazy. 
Until next time…

Life behind the wall

Find out how life can be for a Black American woman married to a Chinese man behind the Great Wall of China.

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March 2013

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