Avoiding politics

I try and avoid politics here. Partly because if I didn’t, most of my posts would be discussing politics, but also because, being so far away from everything, sometimes I feel a little disconnected with the realities of life back in the UK. Besides, politics is for my Facebook page.

The one time I did engage in politics on here, was in relation to that fateful day back in June, when it was the EU referendum vote and Brexit won the day. A lot has changed in the six or seven months since then. A lot. This Friday, the new US President will be inaugurated, ushering in a new and very uncertain world. And yesterday, British Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech on Brexit.

I would define my politics as progressive. In some ways, I’m also a pragmatist. In that film and discussion I was part of, for those students who asked me about feminism and LGBT rights in China, I said as much. Sometimes you have to make small steps before big ones.

So whilst I was, and am, a remainer, in the sense of the EU referendum, I am also a realistic and, I think, democratically, the ruling could not be reversed without some difficulty. I was hoping that Britain would at least remain in the single market and allow a degree of free movement of people, so it would be easy to visit the continent. But, once again, my hopes appear to have been dashed, judging from what Theresa May said about her priorities for negotiations.

Now, I don’t know how the long and complicated negotiations will go. Being British, I hope that they go well and do not leave people worse off. There have been comments by various think tanks, economists and the likes about what a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit might look like – people working until 70, for example, retiring later. People like me.

It looks like the British government are pushing for ‘all out’ Brexit – meaning severing all ties with EU, at least in terms of membership. And it looks like the country will not remain part of the single market either. This is depressing, and sad. China is not a multicultural society; yet many students here, who are looking to study abroad, are interested in meeting people from other cultures.

I can now only hope that a Britain outside the EU is successful. There are no guarantees, good or bad. No one really knows whether the country will diminish or be stronger. As ever, I can only hope; hope that the country does not wither and die or disappear into nothingness.

Speaking of change, I received my contract yesterday, for the university position next year. I admit, I do sometimes get excited, engaged, and interested in positions such as this. It will be a lot of work, much more than I do here. I will also have far fewer holidays than here. It will be a ‘proper’ job. And it may well crash and burn, and be terrible. But equally, it might be good. I will be away from Beijing – further away from the capital and all the infrastructure I’m used to. Yet, I’m hoping that I can put in a concerted effort and improve my Chinese. Only time will tell, as with anything.

For now, it is holiday time. I’m avoiding colder climes this winter. Instead, in a couple of weeks, I’m going to Vietnam, and then returning via Hong Kong (where I haven’t visited yet). Then, after a brief stay in Beijing, I might have another short trip to Seoul, depending on money and time. A break is always good; a chance to recharge batteries, rest, and recover. Get ready for the next challenge, the next fight, the next problem. I also need to visit Shanghai, at some point. I still have not been there. Next semester will be a changeto this one, with one less teacher. I don’t know yet whether we will teach extra classes, or if we’ll drop a grade. But what I do know is that it will be different.

Before I leave for holidays, one last thing…. I have to plan the next semester for Senior 1. I’ve done this, using the textbook we have available (some topics are better than others), and I have sent it to my managers for their input. All sorted. Now time for a break!

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