Leaving… and returning

Finishing up the school year often fills me and my colleagues with a certain level of dread. Not because we don’t want to have a holiday, or because we don’t know how to spend our free time, but because of paperwork. If we are staying in China for another year, then we have to get our paperwork sorted. By paperwork, I mean renewing our documents so we can remain another year.

When we first arrived, you may remember, we were delayed by a month or so because of paperwork and waiting for the right documents to be issued etc. Last year, it was relatively painless, because we were simply renewing our work permit and residence permit, rather than going elsewhere to work. This was the worry this year. I was told it may take a long time to get all my documents sorted and the time taken to issue the relevant permits can also take a while.

As it is, this has been a relatively quick process with no real problems arising (despite my concerns). What’s more, I now have more idea of what will happen next year regarding classes and where I’ll go etc. What I’ll be doing exactly, is still a little hazy, but I’ve got the textbook, which looks modern and decent (certainly compared with what is used in RDFZ right now), so I can look through that and try and adapt lessons over the summer.

As I prepare to leave my accommodation, RDFZ and China for the summer, I have copied some of the photographs and videos of the team over the past couple of years. I’m not in a great number of them, as I’m not that photogenic, and they often happen when I’m not around. Still, these are a reminder of what we’ve achieved over the last couple of years.

I’ve had to pack up my stuff this week. It’s only when you do that, that you realise how much stuff you actually have! I’ve been ruthless and thrown out a lot of stuff, but working out what to keep is difficult. The family of one of the kids I teach have very kindly agreed to store my things at their house over the summer.

Mostly I’ve managed to put things in a few bags-for-life, and in my suitcase (I have another to take home).

It’s been very hot here recently; unbearably hot. Still, it makes the campus look nice in the sunshine, even if it’s a little too stuffy and hot to stay outside and admire it for long.

And finally, this morning I took a trip to the north of the city, on the Changping subway line, to where I’m going to be working next year. I didn’t go onto the campus itself, but just went to get a feel of how far it was from the subway etc it’s about a five minute walk away).

So, with all that, it’s time to say (temporarily) farewell to Beijing and hello to Blackburn!

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