A Day in the Life, a Ghost Story

Taken right before I left the house

View outside my window

What I wake up to every morning. Seven floors up, and ready to go.

Take the Bus

I spend about two hours a day on a bus. I get a lot of reading done.


The majestic five floors of the middle school.

My desk. I drink tea and lesson plan while the other teachers around me yell about math. Also, they get very upset if the teapot is empty. Found that out the hard way.


Essentially, my day starts early. I ride the bus, I teach, I eat noodles. I eat lots of noodles. I teach some more (at PSofD of which I refuse to photograph for fear that the tortured spirits of former teachers will appear in the picture), then I ride the bus more. I lesson plan, and I read until I fall asleep. Rinse and repeat. But, Hark, tomorrow is Saturday, a day of rest.

I’m losing my voice because apparently teaching requires a lot of talking. I’ve been drinking tea and hot water with lemon, and I’ve been sucking on throat lozenges like they actually taste good. Trying not to talk too much, but that has proved pretty impossible since it happens that I am quite the talker and surrounded by many fascinating people.

Also, I’ve been reading quite a bit of 19th century fiction while on the bus. Let me tell you, people chattering in Chinese is quite the background noise while reading Anna Karenina or the Bronte sisters. I had an older gentleman sit down next to me yesterday, for it was the last empty seat on the bus, and he leaned over quite close, invading my now irrelevant (thanks to China) personal bubble, in order to get a glance at what I was reading. He scanned the page with his eye (it happened that Kitty was rejecting Levin), and he sighed deeply, as if he knew the distress of the novel though I am quite sure he didn’t know any English at all. At the next bus stop several people got off and he quickly shuffled over to a different seat. He glanced at me over his shoulder, gave me another sigh, and tilted his cap over his eyes so that he could sleep undisturbed.

This is the reaction I get quite a bit.

Intense curiosity, long bouts of staring, a sigh, and then they turn away, only to look back again.  As if I could have disappeared in those few seconds between glances. One of the words for foreigner means ghost, and I am learning why.

Thanks for reading,




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