Late Friday evening I got an email from a local website that I have an account on. It was made by a former DEA chap for all of the local foreigners to talk with each other and get to know the city. It is a bit like Facebook with some message boards and some FAQs for us to figure out the city. The message I got from it was for the monthly birthday get together that the local foreigners celebrate. Everyone who has a birthday in the month celebrates it at The Red Garlic with anyone who wants to come. There’s a small free buffet and you pay for your own drinks. November has three birthdays so we celebrated them all. I met some other people and got a hang of how the local cliques work. There are:
1. The Brazilians. They work at a couple offices and factories to oversee paper products that are being made for things like cigarettes and bottles. They keep mostly to themselves since there are around 20 of them, but they do hang out at The Red Garlic and other foreign hangouts.
2. The Canadians. Apparently there is a particular school of Canadian teachers who have very special certification. They don’t hang out with the rest of the foreigners and have the others convinced that my countrymen think they are better than them because of their certification. The words “stuck up” were used. They don’t hang out with any of us and try to keep their distance.
3. The Catholics. There are two big schools in town. The polytechnic, and Wuyi University. Of the five foreign teachers at Wuyi, four of them are from a special Catholic group. They also keep to themselves and don’t associate with the rest of us. The fifth teachers is a the former DEA chap and he doesn’t even know much about them.
4. The Rest of Us. A composition of people from: Switzerland, Canada, the USA, Germany, Iceland, Britain, and a couple other places that I didn’t catch. We’re the ones who apparently don’t mind hanging out with anyone and don’t keep to ourselves. Some of us are teachers, others work for Chinese companies, and some of them are retirees that live here and teach Chinese to foreigners.
I find it really odd they are in a foreign country, eating new food, seeing new things, and they purposely avoid the rest of us. Seeing new people and things is kind of half the point. I personally find a group of my countrymen being pricks an insult to the rest of us and a personal challenge. I think I’m going to find out more about them. Maybe I’ll bring a white glove with me.
Iacta alae est et audentis Fortuna iuvat!