Life Behind The Wall

Thoughts and Experiences of a Black American Woman in China

2014: Year in Review

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…..

Featured post

Jet’s Hometown Trip

Well, boys and girls I decided to change my visa to a spouse visa and to do that we had to travel to Jets hometown of Yancheng in Jiangsu Province.   Now if you remember Jet is an orphan, so I have never had to deal with in-laws. However, I have video chatted with his uncles, cousins and paternal grandmother, kind of. They don’t speak normal Chinese only local dialect.  This was the first time I will see them face to face. 

Since it was a remote village the only way to get there is by bus. We figured it would be about 8 hours to get there. We got on the bus and luckily there were only 9 other people on the bus. Unfortunately, it meant they noticed me as the only foreigner on the bus. My husband was asked the normal nosey questions. Where is she from? What does she eat? Does she like China? How much to travel to America? And the dreaded Why did you marry a foreigner?

My husband was polite and answered all the questions. I stayed quiet until one rude guy said my husband was lying and I was from Africa. I then said to the asshole in Chinese “are you stupid there are Black people in America. You don’t know Obama or the NBA?” That shut him up and made the whole bus laugh. 

Nine hours later we arrived at the small town close to Jet’s village. There are no hotels in his village so we had to stay an hour away. We stayed in a four star hotel because foreigners are usually not allowed to stay in the cheaper ones. Our plan was to go the next morning to apply for my new visa. 

The next morning we went to the entry-exit office.  We were told we didn’t register and we needed to go to Jets village to register with the police station. 

It seems we needed to catch the short bus on the side of the highway and take it to the village. This bus was packed. But I did find one empty seat. Hour later we got off and had to walk 30 minutes to the police station. When we finally arrived they said we didn’t need to register there the hotel would register for us. So, we had to walk back to the spot to catch the short bus back. 

While we were there Jet suggested we visit his grandmother. So we walked for an hour down the highway too meet his Grandmother.

She was very excited to see me. She wouldn’t let go of my hand. She spoke a lot, however I didn’t have a clue what she was saying. 

You can notice the smog in the photo, that didn’t help. Finally, the short bus arrived. This time there was no place to sit.  We had to stand for an hour to get back to the small town. 

We returned to the office and explained what the police said. Then they checked with the hotel. It seems the hotel neglected to report me to the police. So they got in trouble,  5000 rmb fine for not reporting. That also meant we were delayed another day because we had to wait 24 hours after the submission.  

Due to this mistake my husband demanded that we get a free night. Finally, the next day we were able to get the visa application submitted. The next morning we got on the bus to head back home. This time it was crowded but they still recognized me; calling me American Flower.  

We started back thinking it would be about 9 hours but it ended up being 12 hours. I felt like it was never going to end. When we got home I was exhausted. But that is how china is, you think it should run smoothly and it never does.  

Until next time…

Never say it can’t be done…..Bitches!!!  

Boys and girls I have had quite the weekend.  Well this weekend from hell is finally over. 

It started Thursday when I got a stupid head cold. Then went to work from 12 pm to 9 pm after that I was feeling to sick to do anything. 

Friday morning at 9 am I went to the studio to record finished at 11:30 am. Got to school at 12 pm and worked til 9:00 pm then went to Latinos Bar to work 9:30 to 2 am. 

I took a part time job at the bar so I could network with people since I am new in town. Just waitressing three days a week. 10% commission on every sale. Easy 500 to 1000 a day if busy. I figure three days a week. Thu, fri, sat isn’t a lot. 

Saturday had to be at work at the school at 9 am. But it was the 10th anniversary party for the school so I need to make sure our performance was decent and we were all dresses like Disney characters and take photos with people. Over 1000 people. 

I was princess Jasmine. Not one of my proudest moments.  Wasn’t a lot of darker skin princesses to choose from. Jasmines was the easiest to create. 

Changed clothes and  left there at 9:30 pm to work at Latinos Bar from 10:00 to 3 am. And here we are right now laying here thinking “how am I alive?”  OMG I almost forgot I made some business sales inbetween all that mess.  

I have to say through it all, my husband was right there to support me. He taxied me everywhere made sure I didn’t forget anything behind, reminded me to eat and drink something and when I got home. He helped me by rubbing my feet and making me tea.   I tell you what….. I love this guy. 

So, for anyone that doesn’t believe that women can do anything…..come and walk in my shoes awhile. 

Until next time.  

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