Hard Choices

I hate contracts.

It’s like something I heard recently (and fully agree with) about kids. I think other people’s kids are great. Because, while I get to be crazy uncle Troy, tell them unfortunate stories, teach them how to swear and then disappear, their parents signed an 18 year contract with the little shits to keep them safe, fed and as non-retarded as they can possibly be.

That sounds like an awful lot of responsibility, I say as I inch slowly towards the door.

Oh right, China. So, here I am, minding my own business in the pretty slick university-and-entertainment-city of Changsha, when all of a sudden I pack up and head off for… A small factory-town. I generally don’t complain about housing, but I live behind a sweat shop.[1]

In front of me is a year-long contract to work 6 days/week as the only salesperson at an export company who actually speaks English. I would ride a bike to work every day.[2]

The alternative is to move to Futian City and tutor part-time with no contract while growing my own business interests and paying nothing for rent. On top of that, Futian City has A) rock climbing and B) foreigners.

I think this will heretofore be known as “that time I lived behind a sweat shop,” but it will end in me turning down the generous contract and keeping my freedom for another day.

And then I lived happily ever after.

[1] No joke. There are people slaving over sweaters 24/7 and there’s a wall around the building made of barbed wire and broken glass.

[2] No, not a motorcycle. It’s a bicycle that I’ve had to fix four or five times already. I actually kind of liked it until it started falling apart. One of the brakes only works if I screw it in a little bit before heading out, and even then it pretty much lasts until I get down the big hill from my hotel (which is really all I need it for anyway).

I know it’s short, just wanted to keep you folks updated. There’s actually more to say about my time in… I guess you’d call it extremely northern Bao’anqu… but I’ll probably write about it after I get home from declining the contract tomorrow.

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