Lives Now: China
Umm.. it’s especially very umm.. weird. Cause I think uhh.. when I look back, I think I lost all my memory before I was 8, you know. It’s weird. My parents said I was a very, how to say, pretty outgoing. I would like sit at their porch and when everybody, like every villager would pass us by I would just call them, say hello to them. But uhm.. then I don’t know why, then my kinda personality became more introvert. Mmm..
I used to be pretty mean, you know. Umm how to say, it’s like hmm… like this… Before I had my first period, I was like living a life without conscience, you know. Like that I just completely act by, I don’t know what is that. When I look back at that girl, I cannot believe I was that. I used to say very mean things to boys and umm.. this is completely different from who I am now. I.. now I’m pretty shy, like uhh.. I feel uncomfortable, when I.. like if a group of people are talking, I feel uncomfortable talking, because I don’t have confidence. I’m not sure, you know, if I say something right. Umm.. and, but.. my childhood was like very different. I don’t know why hahah. I don’t know why, but it certainly changes.
About my childhood I remember, kinda.. maybe a clear memory is umm.. I was umm.. trying to learn swimming, then uhh.. theres this little river in front of our old house. Where kids we’re just swimming there. I wanted to learn too, but I think I almost drowned. So.. after that I was very afraid of water, very afraid. So when I was young I couldn’t wash my hair with my face facing down, my face had to face upwards, so this water wouldn’t get in my eyes or mouth.
I was pretty much a regular kid, very bad at math hahah, but good at english and chinese, and very bad at phys.. uh.. P.E. I went to school when I was 8 and umm.. I was a very dumb kid, I remember. Like very humiliating experiences. I remember our teachers wants to teach us how to… like how to mm.. know the clock. To know what time it is on the clock. I used to be very dumb, I’m a kid you know. The teacher would umm.. like, ask me to the front and said: “Now Myra, what time is it?” I just don’t know, because I am very stupid. Then I remember this butcher, this very mean butcher in the school there. He passed by and he said.. he said to me, like “You can look pretty on the outside, but very dumb on the inside. This is 8 o’clock you stupid kid.” Yeah.. umm.. that’s a school thing, kinda.. So that was very humiliating. And I remember our kindergarten teacher was also kinda mean, my mother used to give me some kind of peanuts, you know in a little bag, so I can carry them to school to use as snacks. And I remember she just forced me to hand them over and to distribute them to other kids. That was just, very humiliating. When I was in 1st grade, there was this teacher who was very harsh on students, and he really hits kids, you know. Like umm.. girls, he would grab their braids and umm.. for boys he would hit on their head and on the chest. I remember one time he kinda pinched me very, very hard and I couldn’t move for like almost 3 or 4 days. This teacher, later I kinda learned that she.. she kinda had a tough life, you know.
I remember there was in junior high. The teacher, he umm.. he would want us to do a dictation, you know. So when he was in front of us saying these Chinese words and let us to write it down. So I just, I didn’t remember and he hit me very hard, tss, like that. That was very embarrassing and it was kinda hard, you know. That.. that left me very.. very bad memories about teachers, you know, how they could be harsh on students.
So I am a teacher now.. so.. just. uhh.. about these memories and the experience. I was very detested, when my parents wanted me to be a teacher. But I.. umm.. but I was major in that kind of teachers college. And umm… seems like that’s something I should do then. So I passed the exam and became one. Actually, nowadays when I’m a teacher, sometimes after.. like, afterwards I think about it. I’m actually, sometimes I’m harsh on them too. And I couldn’t help it. I was just.. of course.. the umm.. you know before the laws.. there was no such law and parents don’t care, like uhh.. this culture.. parents often hit kids, you know, if they aren’t good. If the teachers kinda sometimes hit them, the parents won’t care about it. I think it’s a way to teach them.. in china, but that’s before.. long time ago. But now it’s different, parents are more like umm.. about regulations.. but still umm.. like small ones, you know, like kind of a slap, a light one, but not on the face.. so that the students will be fine. Now the situation is, parents have more and more.. they just don’t agree that the way teachers treat their kids, like 20 years ago nobody cared. So I was.. since after this law, of course I cannot hahah, but also I just sometimes, I cannot control myself, really.
I went to college away from my home town, it’s a little bit far, but still in the same province. So.. I was 20 or 21 when I went to college for 4 years. Now when I look back uhh.. when I was in the situation I just couldn’t understand this whole situation and I’m not in a good shape, you know, or.. good.. I was.. I was not caring and loving, you know, not understanding when I was in college. Mmm… there was this uhh.. you know, it was pretty shocking in my whole college life, how do you say.. It impressed me kinda.. a lot. The first thing is, you know in China, I have this.. hepatitis. So in China it used to be very harsh on this, like if you have this you cannot.. you cannot like uhh.. work as a doctor or as a nurse or something. It’s still the same, but people have, like kinda strong prejudice attitude. But now it’s better, mmm… but still kinda, you know. Uhmm… My.. I remember, I was very afraid of this physical test, this umm… this test, like body check, you know… Physical check, yeah. I was very afraid, what if people just found out I have hepatitis and uhh… Because our teacher kinda said that if you have some, like a.. because it’s contagious, right. It’s a contagious disease so probably you’ll need to drop out. Soo.. I was very afraid about that check. But then I did it and I was just feeling unsettling.
And I did one very stupid thing, I just kinda.. hah… When I went to have lunch with my dorm mates, I was thinking uhh.. I couldn’t just give my hepatitis to them. So when I eat.. when I… we’d use chopsticks in china, so to pick up some food from the shared plates, I’d use the bigger end of the chopstick and not the part that I eat with. So they are very curious, you know. And umm.. I told one of them, I said: “You guys are very great, but I’m afraid if what they check I have this hepatitis, I might have to leave you.” But then this girl told another girl umm.. and those two went to this, kinda monitor of our class and said: “We don’t want her to be our dorm mate, cause she has something pretty contagious. We are afraid of getting it.” And this… no not a monitor, sorry, this head teacher. And this head teacher is very corruptive, he used to… oh weird… I remembered umm.. in the very beginning he would have us do this kinda, background.. like, background survey.. like uhm.. whats kinda like the most powerful, something something, family member in your family. Now I realised it’s uhm.. maybe he’s looking for this student that he can.. he can.. for example, kids from the south of the province were richer, that’s true, so.. and uhh.. like this english apartment, so several kinda like… several students, would be minister or something.. uhh.. in a high position umm.. They said, he would give those apartments to students, either from local or students parents who like bribed him. So he’s very good at that. So he sees this situation and wanted to.. get money from my parents. So he called my mom and said umm.. and he exaggerated things, like “Now her dorm mates don’t want her to be in the dorm, you must come here directly and just take her out.” My parents were very.. very horrid. So they took a… they drove all the way to that place and it’s pretty far and expensive, cause they need to pay those toll roads. So they came here and… So my dorm mates were pretty much like, kinda.. don’t wanna talk to me or something. Pretty cold and umm.. my parents came here and umm.. that night.. according to my dorm mate they didn’t say that they don’t want me to stay in the dorm, but the head teacher said, that they don’t want her to stay so you better take her out. He exaggerated things. He kinda meaned that either, just like drop out or this alternative… my mom said that he implicated that he wanted money. But haha.. my mom is also a very harsh woman. They said to him “Look we are not afraid.” Because I didn’t bribe to get into the school, I passed the test and I got into the school so nothing illegal, he can’t just drop me out. After this like, kinda quarrel or something then.. he finally, this head teacher like gave up. But this left this seed, like.. how do you say.. this tension between me and my dorm mates. They were of course not that friendly anymore and.. especially the girl who I first told. I kinda assumed her to be my, like.. good friend, but then I realised that she did this. So I was like uhh… I kinda cut the friendship, I didn’t want to talk to her or something.. So that happened. That was that one time, but then at some point we kinda got back together and kinda became friends again. But then haha.. I don’t know what happened, but then on this 4th year, we had a very bad relationship, we.. just… we didn’t get along in a real way.. Cause I always, like umm.. like I said, when I was in college, I didn’t know how to let things go. I hold it, like I would think “Oh she is someone who betrayed me” You know, that kind of feeling. Now I look back, it’s.. it’s.. Now I understand. If I knew someone like that, I would probably do the same thing. So mmm… that was very immature.
When we we’re in junior.. uhh.. the 3rd year, there’s this one very outgoing, sexy dorm mate. Who took us to the bars, you know. We never went to these bars, but she took us there. That’s the first time for our… Oh and this is very interesting, our dorms have those very strict regulations that they would check on friday, saturday and sunday night, just to see if you are there. If you are not there they would say that we have the right to drop you out. This severely violates the regulation, because you have to be in the dorm. But, you know.. for this umm.. for young couples, of course they want to spend the night, you know, outside or like.. go have fun until pretty late. So what do they do, they would have a student from another dorm to fake to be sleeping hahah.. or have someone hide in the toilet and they would be like “1, 2, 3, 4, 5.. oh where’s the next one?” “Oh, she’s in the toilet” Hahaha.. Yeah, so she would take us to those bars and.. that was very uncommon and our dorm was like umm.. regarded by other class mates as very.. very bad girls hah.. Cause we would have make ups and you know, some of us would dress pretty provocatively and uhh.. went to the bars and umm.. just didn’t come to the dorm haha, yeah..
First I worked in an umm.. english training centre for like 3 months, I was about 24 years at this time. There umm.. I could say I was very sensitive.. I just felt like.. when I was in the training centre I felt like umm.. people just weren’t nice to me, because umm.. usually they have this um… like teacher and this learning assistant for the student, but like umm.. most girls they are to be the teaching assistant, but I was already a teacher there. So I guess they kinda feel a little bit jealous or something, because I had almost graduated. Some of them, I felt like… but I don’t know, I’m a very sensitive person or could be, but also it just felt that people aren’t nice to me. I remember this one.. we had this meeting as a kind of warm up, to get us all closer and uhh.. we had to pick a number and whoever get the same number, they give each other presents. So I remember this.. this girl from Suzhou, you know. Who is umm.. I’d say when we passed by she seldom smiled at me and uhh.. we exchanged the presents and I think I chose a very good one for her and when I gave it to her, I remember her giving it immediately to another person, just like “ah you can have it.” It kinda really breaks my heart.
But yeah thats… oh and also.. like another person who plays a very important role in my spiritual life is this umm.. this colleague, she’s a devout buddhist. She does everything, like seems to me very considerately, very loving, very caring, just… just like you, really. You guys are very peaceful and calm and umm.. take care of others, do things very precisely and correctly, so.. and I… weird, during that time I was certainly interested in stuff like religion, I was never a believer, truly a believer. So I kinda talked to her and I asked about her religion and she told me she’s a buddhist. She said she had this weird dream, that umm.. in the dream, somebody told her that.. she could be the king of the world and in the holy book the king of the world is the Buddha, you know. So she… took it as a sign that she would devout herself into buddhism. And just once you have this idea, everything just comes to you. And people would just be nice to her, whenever she needs some books, somebody would just give it to her. And I.. when I was with her I felt like, really calm and peaceful. I tried to be vegetarian for sometime, that was really wonderful. So thats actually kinda like my foundation or something, you know. That… she kinda put a seed in my heart, that I would also like to try this, very nice… Mmm.
After the 3 months there my parents said that “You must come back to get prepared for this teachers exam.” And I wasn’t having a good time at the training centre. 1. I was just feeling like people weren’t nice to me and 2. the working time, it’s from 9 am to 9 pm, so really long time and umm.. oh maybe not, mmm.. 1..2.. different time. One is from 9 am to 6 pm and another one is from 1 pm to 9 pm, so different shifts. And the weekends are the high time, because people can come to the training centre. Not a very healthy lifestyle, I used to be very tired to get to this dorm that they provided for us. So not exactly happy times, so my parents demanded me to… I went back home to have this teachers test. And umm.. I didn’t pass it in the first year and I kinda prepared and umm.. then I passed it on the second time.
Then I became a teacher at this school in my home town and I’m still working there. Ahh.. I actually did something that I really hate, I slapped a student in the face, this one time. I am a small person, so people don’t usually take me seriously, really. So.. so do the students, and the students are really tall. They’re in grade 7, so they’re about 13.. 14, something like that. So yeah, the first class that I took, there are tall boys.. really tall. They think I am very small and don’t take me very seriously and also I was inexperienced and I… I was not used to such hard work, like get up really early in the morning and umm.. You could say that I was incapable of being a teacher at that time. I.. I was just very slow, but yeah I just graduated. A lot of homework I didn’t mark and I quarrelled with my parents a lot at that time. Because, ahh… it’s like through my life all those big decisions, why would I listen to them. When I… after I passed this teachers exam, they would have this list of schools that I could choose, because I passed the exam as number 2, so pretty good score. So I could choose almost any school I wanted. I wanted to choose the last one, like this umm.. not a very strict school. Where I can just go there and teacher don’t care about the grades, but my parents… *sigh* forced me to choose that.. the kind of good one and it’s close to my home. Very harsh. I have to choose that one. Till this day I still regret why I chose this school, because in my life I want an easy life, I don’t want… I don’t want that. I don’t want to work that hard. So ahh.. once again I would listen to them. So, not really independent. Kinda like.. relying on.. forced to take the decisions my parents wanted me to take. Either this school thing, the job thing ahh.. and now they really want me to get married.. but later. But yeah.. So the school umm.. Like why I didn’t stand up to myself and just say that I want to choose that school. So I kinda like put those feelings on my parents, like uhh.. you are the guys who forced me to this miserable place. Because they have this kind of master sifu hahaha, this kind of experienced teacher who we can all learn from and uhh.. I didn’t get along well with her, because she did everything precisely and perfectly and I’m the opposite, slow and.. ill prepared, just casual. Something she doesn’t like. So I didn’t get along with her. She’s a teacher also at the same school. So.. bad with my parents, bad with her and also I didn’t have control over my students.
So this one student.. I think he kind of wanted to show that, I’m not afraid of you. So before we go to lunch as they have to queue in a line. And he would always move and.. and talk with someone in front of him and umm… just never be quiet. So I said: “You be quiet.” And he just didn’t want to. Then I asked him to go to… I said: “You stay, no lunch for you.” So the whole time as I was at lunch he was waiting and of course he was very angry. When I came back I realised maybe I went too far. So I asked another student to take a lunch pack for him. But that time he was very angry, he didn’t want to take the lunch. So I told him to come to the office with me, but he didn’t want to and uhh.. I tried to grab him and he… he cursed me in a very bad.. the worst curse in chinese and I couldn’t… I just slapped him on the face and he slapped me back.. on the head. I guess I was not tall enough otherwise he would have slapped me on the face hahahah.. slapped me on the head. I was bursting into tears, I was like oh my gosh.. I couldn’t.. that was bad enough “wuaah” so I went to the office aand I cried haha.. to those experienced teachers. Umm.. then I was very coward after that. I couldn’t confront with this student.. Weird, I’m a teacher, I should have this power. But when its… the students already like, didn’t obey what I said. So after this happened, the students are very smart, they sensed my weakness, you know. They never listened to me after that. So this very… unsuccessful first year. So on the second year the school changed me to other students, new students. Now everything is better.
I came to India… because I certainly was interested in yoga and umm.. after I came back from a trip to a place near tibet. I stayed in this hostel, in Shanghai and.. this boy who slept near me in the dorm, we kinda exchanged conversation and he was from India. A very interesting boy. Worked in Germany for 10 years, he’s a german teacher. So I explained to him that I wanted to learn yoga and we became kinda good friends and he said that: “Yeah, come to India.” and I said: “Okay I will, next winter.” So that’s why I came and now I’ve been here for about a week and I will stay for about 2 weeks more. First I was in Mumbai for 4 days and then I came here to Goa. I think I like India..
My passion… mmm… Right now I think umm.. I kinda want to find.. kinda similar to yours I think, to find this peace in life. Spiritually enlightened and peace in life. To think less, just kinda stuff like that. To live really healthy and peaceful life. But also I mmm… would like to see more about the world. Especially here, you know. I came here and.. met you guys and I read this book. I feel like I was really… this experience opened up my mind. I’m not that narrow anymore.
I’ve used to think it’s the smile of the heart.