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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 Amazon.com and taobao.com… 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

Decisions Made…

So after much deliberation and many meetings. I decided to stay at the job I am at. As my good friend told me

Better to stay with the devil you know than deal with a new one. 

So, my current boss aggreed to my demands and I basically just took over the department and I am running it the way I see fit.   

Why? Because I thought about the costs of moving to another city, the pain of adjusting to a new city and I am not one to run away if things get tough. 

I just put on my big girl panties and told him the T. (Truth). I can’t live on this salary and you are not going to work me to death. I also informed him that a persons skin color doesn’t determine their ability to teach.  


I think I scared him a bit. He wasn’t ready for me to be honest and direct.  But now they know, I don’t play. I was professional and direct….. and lucky!!!

Why Lucky? Lucky that I have the skills to back up what I say. As they adage goes ….put up or shut up…

I still have a lot of organizing and training to do with my foreign teachers and I still need to hire many more, but I know I’m headed in the right direction. Thank you for all the advice. 

Until next time. ..

Dilemma: Ethical or Logical

For the first time boys and girls I need some advice….I know right??? I am always giving advice to everyone but now I need some. 

I am currently in a position in Yiwu as you all know, however, I am not quite happy with the situation. Let me explain, I accepted a job half the salary I was making due to the fact that I was going to get the chance to make commission and work part time at my old place of employment during the morning.  I was supposed to be in a management position and to send students abroad to study. Plus have them renew my visa. 

However, things have changed. I am currently still working for half the salary but my visa cannot be renewed because they waited too long. I am in management but I am managing the foreign teachers hand train the Chinese teachers on how to improve their English. I am teaching everyone from VIP business students to Ielts students to esl kids. I am handing out flyers and balloons to 3 yr olds and expected to find white, native speaking teachers.  These are not the things I was told I would be doing when I was hired.  However, the boss of the school is very kind and the teachers all seem very nice (although inexperienced) they really need my expertise and experience. 


However, it is causing jet and I to stuggle financially. He works long overnight hours loading trucks but it isn’t so stable. Depends on the factories and when they need people.  

So here is the issue, do I break my contract and find a higher paying job in another city or do I tough it out until my current visa expires? 

Logically I need find a place that will be stable and can transfer my visa. But ethically I made a promise and contract with this school? 

Help me….my conscience is killing me!!! 
Until next time…

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