2015: No Autumn Anxiety!

Well, well, well! September 2015 was a month that has been eventful for sure! I changed my job, no longer do I teach at that training school because it's all about nursery rhymes and games in my new role. Getting down to the Optics Valley International Tennis Center to be a part of the Wuhan Open vibe! Blessed and very busy, this month has turned it all around! No, never again! 

Unfortunately, Guanggu Square remains a continuing construction site, when will all that crazy be completed? I remember getting off the metro at Optics Valley Square Station on the 3rd of July 2015 to witness a sight of pure mayhem, there were people in every possible direction and a sea of diggers that were tearing up the centre of Optics Valley Square. Things are progressing every week but throughout September it's been great to see more of the project come to life, hopefully some more news will be released about the new Wuhan Metro lines that will be making their way to the Optics Valley, Wuhan? I try to kid myself that I'm already used to the sea of people that walk the pavements of Guanggu Square to and from the metro but it seems to be getting busier and busier! The only time this place is quiet is when I walk back from Wuhan Prison during the small hours! Just like me, Guanggu is getting its act together with different projects and life changing movements. For real, I have made some massive moves this month!

Someone told me when I got to Wuhan that this Central Chinese city only has two seasons, one being Summer and the other one Winter. Backtracking to one of those September afternoons at work I noticed the temperature dip considerably, it felt like a shock to my system because the previous two months had served nothing but hot, dry sunshine. The beginning of September gave me three days off work to celebrate 'Victory Day'. That weekend was a big deal for the Chinese as they celebrated something significant from WWII. Myself and a good friend made the best of the that victorious holiday, for two of the three days we went around Wuhan to see Baotong Temple, East Lake and I even got to see the Yangtze River from a ferry boat. That unexpected long weekend was an amazing chance to paint Wuhan whatever colour we wanted, it was great to get crazy at Wuhan Prison and to find Beer Barn beside West Lake! Yes, through those September days in 2015, it was just what I needed! We're more than friends! Wu, get that! 

So, I parted ways with my original English teaching employer. I then gained employment at a Kindergarten in Guanggu, Wuhan at the end of August 2015. The school move was a blessing to me and that's all I'm going to say! I've been working at this Wuhan Kindergarten since September 1st 2015, I have to say that I'm loving every moment there because things are fun and very different compared with my previous job! I have embraced those early mornings and the bus commute has started to get easier, well only in the mornings! Trading a more formal way of teaching for singing nursery rhymes and playing games with flashcards has been a breath of fresh air! I had every intention to remain in China once my previous work placement didn't pan out as expected so I trusted this new situation, it is all going good. Waving hello and goodbye to the children is always fun, I love getting to know the families of the children, it feels great to be working with real people! Children always tell the truth without fault, they're cute as well! Okay?

I teach six lessons over the course of the day, the classes range from nursery to pre-school ages with a bridging class that I have first thing in the morning. I have the weekends off now and also benefit from having more National Holidays compared to my previous employer. I have moved on from that place and I'm enjoying each energetic class where I can just be silly and teach English at a very different level compared to before. In actual fact I get my dinner included at the school, I look forward to finishing my second nursery class in the morning so I can have my dinner and then catch a ninety minute nap before my three afternoon classes. Six classes might seem like quite a lot for one teacher but my lessons are from twenty to thirty minutes, I know those early mornings are worth something at least! The children are as cute as can be, some have the cheekiest of personalities but that's what keeps things fun! For the moment, yes I am loving being a Kindergarten teacher! It's been good, so I will see how the rest of the semester will be? 

I had never been to a real tennis match until I moved to Wuhan, China! Booking a ticket for the 2015 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open was definitely a gamble indeed! Falling on the 27th September 2015 I honestly didn't have a clue what bus to take, saying no to the bus I caught a taxi because my apartment is close to the Optics Valley International Tennis Center. Converting my ticket price from Chinese Yuan to British Pounds it only cost me £10.00 to see the matinee session of games at the Centre Court. World Championship tennis is relatively new to Wuhan as the first tournament of this kind was inaugurated in 2014 at the Wuhan Open. The newest addition to that Hubei sporting facility was the 'Whirlwind Stadium' that wasn't long completed before the tournament began on the 25th September 2015. Yes, I have to be honest the opening ceremony was completely bizarre, filled with typical Chinese gimmicks I witnessed. With my new job I was able to make us of that Sunday off work! Getting lost, M helped me out. Thanks! 

I stayed for the opening ceremony and six sets of the first women's tennis game of the day, during the ceremony a Chinese tennis icon made an appearance that certainly pleased the crowd to no end! That lady had to be no other than 'Li Na' a fellow Wuhaner and former world tennis champion who has become an ambassador of this Wuhan Open event, if I'm not mistaken? Playing at Centre Court was Varvara Lepchenko of the USA who was competing against China's own Saisai Zheng, it was a heated game that was played in the brand new stadium with Zheng taking an early lead but the American was victorious in the end! I was definitely rooting for China! When all is said and done I can't fault September 2015, even though starting a new job has been something to get used to again I feel blessed that I have been given a new beginning, a chance to start over again. I haven't finished with September 2015 just yet as there another post will be published about my Hanyang days of fun! It has been very eventful but I have loved it! 

September Slayed! 

Joseph Harrison


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