You know.. I thought that by this age in my life I would be settled in a job that I would be thinking about retiring from.. and have my home just about paid for and …baking cookies for my grandkids…

But life just is not the same as our grandparents …. in today’s world nothing is really stable… the housing market… the job market… everything is a mess…. in the states.

In China, for a foreign person, it is the same… you do not know where you will be from one year to the next.   You cannot buy a house without a local Chinese person on the title and at least 40% to 50% down, you have to find an employer that will treat you decent and renew your visa  or you cannot work.. things are just as unstable.

So, what do you do?

My husband and I are in the process of planning what we will do in the next five years… because these days a five-year plans are all you can do… any longer is too unstable.

Here is the situation…. My contract will be over in about 6 months… and I have been at this school for 2 years.  Due to some strange management and changes and the lack of professionalism.. I want to leave this school after my contract.

The issue is … what to do after you leave?…. Do we plan to go back to the states?  or Do we take an offer to open a school with a friend and stay in China?

I am told the longer I stay in China the harder it is to adjust back into the American way of life.  Most people who are expats say the same thing… you become kind of person without a country.

You do not feel American anymore.. but you do not feel you are Chinese either.  We are different in many ways… Kind of fish out of water.

I guess… I feel so much loyalty to my country that I just cannot become totally Chinese…but.. when you live in China.. you need to act like Chinese to fit….adopted their way of thinking and actions.

I am also afraid that if I go back to the states.. I will remember why I left…(smile)…

Overall.. life is easier in China.. … no real debt…everything is pretty much prepaid, or paid in cash.  However, it is harder to get things because everything is paid in cash.   The two things people finance here are houses and cars.. but you have to put deposits of 30% to 60%…depending on what you buy and who you are.

What do I miss about America… convenience… things are easier… things are more available to you… you can pick up medicines that actually work, you can order food after 10 pm and they will deliver it, you can wash your clothes and dry them in a machine.. not hang them up, you can get where you want to go quickly not fight thousands of people and you can eat things that taste like they are supposed to taste.. not only looks good.

I miss my people… when I say people .. I mean American people… We as Americans think differently… we have fun… we laugh.. we enjoy life.. no matter how difficult it is.. we can still smile about something…. we share common experiences… and thoughts… Americans are really special people…. I have friends from so many different countries… and none of them have the same views on world and life as the American people.  We are a breed of our own… and I like that…

What to do … what to do?

I am told the economy is still bad in the states.. and the job market is still horrible… so going back.. means.. struggling to find a job, home, and even place to settle.    Not to mention how hard it will be to get my husband’s papers to come to the states with me.

However, in China.. you have the staring and pointing… the inequality of women and men…. the under the table dealings… the keeping face..(which is really keeping up with the Joneses).. and the who you know…. to get things done.  Corruption is all over the place… you cannot avoid it.

Give me your opinions about this situation…. Do I stay or Do I go?….. If I stay.. do I make it permanent… If I go.. where do I go?

Why do things have to be so difficult….

until next time….