Well, today was my last proper day at work. Tomorrow I've just got to finish clearing my desk and then I'll no longer be able to call myself a "lecturer". Shame really. I was getting quite used to the shocked looks I always got when I told ppl I was a lecturer. ;) Now when they ask what I do, I'm gonna have to say "oh, I'm between jobs at moment, I'm taking some time out to go and find myself", and ppl will say, "wow, that's so interesting" before turning to their friends to whisper "bum!". Nah, I'm just kidding. Actually most locals here react quite interestingly when I say I'm taking a year out to go travelling. The responses range from:
"Wah! You must be very rich ah?", to
"Wah, you ang mo's very strange lah! Why you want to go round asia? It's very poor you know? Why don't you go to europe or the states?"
But I guess at the end of the day, I'd think an asian was pretty weird if they told me they were planning on going backpacking round the West Midlands! ;) And of course the irony of it is that one of the big reasons why we all do go travelling around asia is because it iS very poor, and we can AFFORD to travel it!
Another thing that I often hear from locals here is "Wah, you're so lucky! I wish i could go travelling like that!", and then when I say "well why don't you?", they look at me like I've just suggested they go and slap both their parents in the face, urinate on the family heirlooms, and use the granmother's ashes as kitty litter. Which, considering the response they would probably get from their parents if they did decide to go travelling, is maybe not that bad a metaphor! ;) Of course not all families are like that, but family responsibilty is definitely a huge thing out here. There's an immense amount of pressure to find a respectable job and settle down so that you can provide for your parents in their old age. So to just selfishly decide to go and see the world would most likely be frowned on by most traditional parents.
Oh well, I'm very grateful to have such understanding parents! And don't worry mum, I'll still find a job that pays loads of cash eventually, and then buy you that mobile home to go travelling round in when you retire! :)
wow, that was some ramble! night night.