Must Try Harder
So the end is nigh for my 'belated gap year' of teaching ESL here in China. I'll be ditching the red pen, the big cane and the marking of tests for a fine ballpoint and the writing of some seriously hard-hitting, thought-provoking and provocative blurb - all in the name of journalism.
The irony of me, of all people, becoming a teacher never failed to bring a smile to my face. On every school report I can ever remember were the words 'must try harder'. And try I did.
As I sit in the glaring October sunshine, the birds chirping peacefully in the background remind me of the enormity of the tasks ahead. They'll be no more 12.5 hour working weeks for me.
The only way is up as the saying goes, so I'll leave behind the sleazy suburbs of Changzhou and head north to the capital while chasing the Chinese dream. I've gladly accepted the highly coveted position of Nightlife Editor at Time Out Beijing, alongside another - equally fantastic - full-time writing and editing position for Panda Guides.
Covering the nightlife for one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world is one almighty slice of responsibility. Beijing and its assorted mix of party people, freaks and weirdos need me. They need someone not afraid to dive headfirst into a crowd of moshing lunatics. They need someone who can rustle up a good story after days and nights without sleep. They need someone with the stamina of a cheetah on a bucket-load of cocaine... and, most importantly, they need someone to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the city’s millions of educated masses updated on the coolest parties in town.
So I will head to Beijing, a city bigger that Belgium (a small country in Europe known for its love of chocolate), to take on possibly the most vital role in journalism the country has seen to date. I will try harder.
As George Bernard Shaw - the Irish playwright and journalist - pictured here, once said: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” Change for me, is about to come in one of the most amazing, and most spectacular, ways possible. Bring it on Beijing!
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