Remember four months ago when I updated this blog after an ummm... two month absence? No? I don't blame you. I'd say you can just look right below and check it out, but don't do that. You'll just see another in a long line of empty promises where I say I'll do something, and then I find myself taking a 1/3 of a year facebook break.
I promised an end to this blog. A final chapter so to speak. It's been more than laziness... I've really been unable to write this. I just don't know how to sum it all up in any worthwhile way.
I could fill in the blanks on what went down at the end - in that mysterious period between Shenyang and when I got home, but that's already old news. (Besides, it wasn't really all that exciting - a lot of goodbyes, a little bit of crying (not me though, cuz I'm mad tough)).
I could provide a recap - like a clip show or something. But I've always hated clip shows and felt like they just were filler. Besides, this is a blog, you can read it all in like five minutes if you were so inclined (and by all means, do).
So no. What can I do to really close out Year of the Rats the way it deserves to be finished?
Well, if I could blow up the internet, believe me, I would.
Instead, I'll start with a very long list of thank yous.
To Louis, Tommy, Beme, Harry, VCD, Aaron, Kirsty, Laura, Vicky, Bianca, John, Aarty, Simon, Marie, Winnie, the DVD girl, the hostess and wait staff of the Local, Snow, Archie, Grandma and Grandpa, Gil, Matt, Marian, James, my C13 class, James Bond, Strong, Cheryl, Mel, Kim, Matt, the other DVD guy, Tiffany, Jesse, I-55.
I'm sure Corey would agree, and remind me of other people I missed on the list. So I'm sorry to whoever (whoMever) I forgot. I thank you as well, just you know.. without actually remembering to.
So the thank yous are out of the way.
My year in China was a lot of things, but all in all, it was a fascinating, exciting, and often funny experience that I wouldn't trade for anything (except maybe a restaurant in New York that has North Eastern Chinese Cuisine - that'd be a good trade right there).
Speaking of home, it feels a lot... tamer now. That's probably not the word I'm looking for here though. I love New York, but god damn do I find myself missing China.
I've been watching the Olympics and listening to the blabbering on the TV, and wishing people actually knew what the hell they were talking about. I'm not defending anything, and I'm not getting into politics here. Besides, that's not the China I experienced (no tanks ever tried to roll over me... phew!)
I experienced a China filled with people who had hopes for so much more than they had. And unfortunately, in many cases, their hopes led them to a classroom led by me. How horrifying.
The job was never the reason I went. I went for the experience, plain and simple. The fact that I wound up loving the job was an extremely nice byproduct though. The kids were extremely hilarious, and made every day interesting (this is of course written nearly six months later where in hindsight nothing was ever boring.... riiiiight). One of Corey's kids actually puked when he got called on by her for an answer. Don't think that ever made it to the blog. Consider this your blooper reel.
So I'm rambling. But at least I'm writing. And this will be the last you hear from me.
About my year in China at least. I'm writing other stuff, which you can see at www.shawnabraham.com, and Corey as you know, is taking pictures of other stuff (at www.coreytorpie.com), so check those out and stay semi-up-to-date.
I'm not done with China though. I'll be back. I wish I could say when, but then I'd lose my open ending here... the kind of ending that leaves you thinking... about something or other.
I'll be back, and I'm sure the place will look nothing like how I remember it - especially considering the insane rate of growth. Hell, the DMZ will probably be a 43 story mall by the time I return to Dalian.
But at least I'll always have... the year of the rats.
Ha... I'm not really going out like that. Toooooo cheesy.
Thank you for reading this blog, and being interested in what I had to say. If anyone has any questions, feel free to post them here, today, tomorrow or next year. They'll go to my email, and I will respond. A blog like this was the only tool I could find when I was looking for information on Dalian before I left, so I know what it's like.
And I know how much fun you're going to have. (Yes you, person who is reading this blog eight months from now in the hopes that something online will give you a descent idea of what the hell Dalian is like - or what China is really like (and no don't listen to Bob Costas).
Sorry I took so long to write this, especially cuz this rambling was definitely not worth the wait, but at least I got to say goodbye, in a nice and wordy manner.
So until next time,
- Shawn Abraham (and Corey Torpie)
(Nothing says goodbye like a horrifyingly bad KTV picture - aaaaaaaaand I'm gone)