Saturday, February 24, 2007

Welcome (back) to Whitby. *shudder*

I might as well accept defeat and move on.

I've gone through all the stages of grief and the last one on the list is "blog". So here I am, telling you that I cannot go back to China.

Car crash. Lightning bolt. Baby crying. Whu-hat???

I won't go into great detail and admit to you all that I'm a terrible criminal with dark evil thoughts and a labyrinth in my basement, but close enough.

I picked up this job in China knowing that it was a sketchy deal, but once I got there this small concern became miniscule compared to the great times I was having. I was working in China illegally (technically, although I don't like to consider myself a total criminal) and I didn't even care. Work Visa who cares. As long as I could enter the country, have an awesome year long experience and exit the country with a clean record I was cool with it. Work visa, who cares? Unfortunately for me the Chinese Consulate in Toronto cared, because when I visited them last week to get this sketchy non-work-visa of mine extended for my intended re-entry into the country, they stopped me. The jig was up. The Chinese women who work there mean business, and I tell you, I haven't been stared down like that in a looong time.

"Excuse me while I deliver your 'request' to the head office," she trotted off, giving me a side long glare the whole way out.

She returned with her superior, likely the head of the Chinese Consulate, and the two proceeded to explain to me that what I was doing was illegal and it was their duty to tell me that if I get caught I face deportation, imprisonment, a hefty fine, etc.

I know for a fact that hundreds of English teachers do their thing overseas without a proper working visa. They take this risk all the time because it's actually not much of a risk. The authorities overlook it all the time. I was hoping they'd do the same for me for the extent of my stay, but it seems the authorities in Canada aren't as willing to bend the rules for little old me.

What to do now? I'm hoping my employer will have some sort of plan worked out by next week, as I've called her twice so far and she's taking her sweet time negotiating my future. In the meantime I've admitted defeat in my heart. The government of China wins this round, I'm afraid. I've started looking for work in the GTA half-heartedly, and it's slow going. It's cold outside so I don't feel like going anywhere, I'm slightly depressed so it's hard to muster up the motivation, and I keep thinking that this thing with China might just work out, so I'm a little bit hesitant to proceed with full force.

It's a messy situation I've gotten myself into. I was willing to give up this life in Whitby for a full year and now my escape has been cut short so I'm left to continue with the life that I intentionally shafted. Who wants to eat the cake that they threw to the ground? It's not the best metaphore I've ever crafted but it's exactly how I feel.

The one positive thought I have is "only 6 months until university". Let's hope it cleans up this mess I've made with my life.


Blogger Dyanna said...

Hey Steff, I know u've probably heard this before but I'm going to say (type) it anyways... I don't think u made a mess of ur life at all not even a little bit. I know its got to suck BEYOND ass that ur trip was cut short, but at lease u went at all? Barely anyone gets to have the experience u had and think of it this way... one day u can tell ur grandchildren how u were thrown out of china by the government for being a criminal. And u can also have the dramatic return someday. I hope u feel better, and I'll do anything to help and take ur mind off it :) and who knows maybe it will work out after all :)
"Don't worry by happy"

February 25, 2007 at 5:06 AM  
Blogger Dyanna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 25, 2007 at 5:06 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

aaaaaaaaw *blushes*

February 25, 2007 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Cassandra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 26, 2007 at 3:06 AM  
Blogger Cassandra said...

I'm gonna miss you, kiddo! :-( It's going to be so weird with you not being there. I only wish we could trade. Hey, wanna change your name to Cassandra? :) Call me sometime okay? *HUGS*

February 26, 2007 at 3:07 AM  
Anonymous The Humanaught said...

As one who just recently got on the right visa, and has a passport full of the wrong ones (with all the re-entries and extensions I had to make), it's really not much of a hassle to get back.

If you really want to go back to China, and your boss can't do anything to help you... just go in through Hong Kong, get yourself a visa there (most travel agents can do it - and it's cheap)... and you're set. Get yourself an F-visa, or Business Visa and though it's technically illegal to "teach" on the visa, you are allowed to "lecture" ... it's a definite grey area.

Or move to Spadina... same same.

March 10, 2007 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Ellipsis said...

I am really sorry to hear about your adventure being cut short. But on the bright side, university life is very intense and demanding; and I am sure you'll do just fine in it.

Just try to think that everything happens for a reason, frustrating to process sometimes, but it is helpful on the road to optimism.


March 22, 2007 at 12:10 AM  
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