Although the gym is closed so I cannot hit it hard during my time off like I’d want to, experiencing Chinese New Year here in China is an honor and a privilege. Here in Guangzhou, the locals have gone all out decorating the city and illuminating buildings with special patterns to welcome the Year of the Monkey. Imagine Christmas back in the States but with ten times the craziness and far less convenience, and maybe you will get an idea of what I am experiencing here for this holiday.
A long-time local friend sent me a message on WeChat about going to the Flower Market, which is located around Tianhe Sports Center. Having nothing else to do in the evening, I decided to accompany her. At the very least it would give me a new experience and something to write about.
The story behind the Flower Market is that single people will often buy flowers for the new year in order to have luck finding a significant other. Of course, as with everything these days it seems, there is money to be made as well. My friend told me that she once set up a stand selling flowers at the market, and netted a 4,000 RMB profit for three days of operation, after paying the 1,500 yuan rental fee. This is not a bad haul at all for a few days, especially comparing it to the monthly salary of the average English teacher here.
Flowers weren’t the only things for sale either. One row of stalls sold festive lights and other decorations. Some stalls sold little hats for kids to wear, and of course, there were plenty of food stalls. The food ranged from candied fruits, to standard barbecue, and even food from foreign countries and cultures. Seeing a stall operated by a few Brothas from Somalia that were dancing to some Neyo song, I decided to pitch in ten kuai for five skewers. I guess that this is another example of cultural appropriation or something.
I am happy to support some Brothas, but I must say that the food was disappointing. Maybe I’ll hook up with some Hunan or Sichuan girls and turn up next year to show them how spicy barbecue is supposed to be done.
Getting out allowed me to explore my surroundings a bit more too. I passed several restaurants, shops, and markets that I often overlook since the typical day here consists of me going straight to work, maybe having a bite to eat, then going straight home. I will certainly have to take the time that I have off to explore this city more since the gym is closed (unless Ms. Changsha comes to visit; I’ll be getting plenty of cardio if you catch my drift).
Changing My Outlook for Chinese New Year
The good thing about living in China is that if you already gave up on your resolutions for the Gregorian New Year, you can still make the change for Chinese New Year, or at least you can do it with grandeur. Of course, anyone that has read any personal development material should know that we can decide to make the change and put forth effort to do so at any time.
My journey to this country started off on a bad note, mainly because my mind was focused on negativity. The potential negativity that a heterosexual Black man can face in the Far East, and really, all over the world, is undeniable. However, the negativity that I fostered was primarily in my mind. There are some wack-ass things that I just can’t bring myself to do that are considered “fun” in the workplace, such as buck-dancing, but compared to many other people, and the job that I had last time that I came to China, I have a pretty decent deal. I still know that I cannot do this forever.
As far as the social life is concerned, I really shouldn’t worry about it as this point. I need to ground myself to get used to life in Guangzhou and start getting more income coming in. I have a few good friends here that have helped me tremendously, banged two local Cantonese girls so far, and talk to new girls online almost every day. Most of these contacts probably won’t yield any fruit, but it’s good to know that there are at least some possibilities.
As I have written in 32 Shards of Thought, I need to stop focusing on negativity. The world will likely have enough of it to throw at me anyway, so there is no need for me to manifest more pessimism that will cause me to act in self-defeating ways. It is hard to avoid stepping on these landmines when they are all around, and in some cases, I must tread through these minefields because the job is pushing me to, or there is information that I want or need that is wrapped in layers of negativity, true or not. I will probably have to take a break from some YouTube channels at this time; my VPN has been bugging anyway and there is a lot to explore in this city with my time off.
There are also several people going to bat for me and helping me out with getting set up here. As selfish, narcissistic, and Machiavellian-esque as I am, a part of me almost feels as if I owe it to them to fight this battle and strive for success. Of course, I owe it to myself too.