Monday, 5 April 2010

I'm Alive....

Just to prove I am indeed living
....because you may have thought I was dead considering it's been almost 11 months since my last blog post!

I'm sure you can guess the reason for my absence by just reading said previous blog post.  Just one thing stopped me from writing pages and pages of more drivel:  The Great Firewall of China.  I did try to use a proxy server (a computer network that will connect to websites on your behalf making it look like you are in another country), but found that the terribly slow speed and lack of security was too much of an issue to ignore.  After a few failed attempts at logging onto Blogger I very quickly learnt to live without blogging in my life.  I could have tried an alternate website, but the fear I had of other blog sites being blocked put me off.  You see, Blogger was just the beginning of a new internet crackdown in China.  Twitter and Facebook soon faced the axe, and even IMDB was blocked at one point.  It seemed no site on the planet was safe from the over-sensitive internet police of China.

"How can you be writing this blog post now?"  I hear you ask (oh no, that's just the voice inside my head).  Well, two weeks ago I managed to climb over the wall and escape to the safe island state of the United Kingdom -- which really means I've come back home.  It was not an easy decision to make by any means, but I felt the right time had come.   Almost 3 years in China had flown by so incredibly quickly, I could very easily see myself staying in the same position in another 3 years, and then 6 years, and then 12 get the idea.  Another factor that was calling me to leave was because I had finally decided on something I genuinely would like to study and do as a career.  I was just torn as to whether to stay in China for longer or not.  The itch to make a change became too much and I took the plunge of leaving the life, love, and friends I had made.  Now, back home with my family in Manchester, England, I am starting on a brand new path by studying two subjects that will lead to the career I really want:  Counselling and Hypnotherapy.

The most difficult part of leaving was having to part from Kimi, my girlfriend.  She had known for a very long time that I hadn't intended to live in China forever, and she was a big deciding factor as to whether I should come home now or not.  Luckily for me she was very supportive and understanding about my decision.  Now we are working on the long arduous visa process so that she can finally come and live with me here.  For the next 12 months we have planned to make sure we see each other via holidays.  She will come on holiday in summer and I will go on holiday back to China at the end of the year.  It is by no means a perfect solution, but it's the best we can do considering the circumstances.

That's pretty much my life updated.  Next blog post will be sometime in 2011 then....

Not really!  In fact I have a host of subjects I would like to write about over the coming months.  As mentioned above, I will certainly be updating progress on Kimi's move to the UK over the next year; I will continue to write about China as I still have almost one year's worth of stories to look back on (which was also the reason I decided not to start a completely new blog); Also, I would like to document my progress with regards to studying, job hunting, and living in the UK -- something which is quite removed from life in China.  But the main reason I have decided to start writing on my blog again is the same reason I started blogging in the first place: to keep a diary.

In all honesty I have sorely missed doing this, just writing about anything seems to rattle the dust from my mind.  I look forward to more blogs to come.  

P.S.  If anybody is reading, then I hope you like the new design -- it took me bloody ages!!


I.S said...

Once again, it's good to have you back and to know that you're doing well.

When did you get back?

Chris said...

Thanks I.S, I'm really happy to see you're still here too.

I should have added this to my post...I'll do that now. I arrived back in the UK just over two weeks ago. Now it feels like I never left in the first place!

Sunny Sweet Pea said...

Welcome back!! To the uk and to blogging! Look forward to reading all about your adventures!

Mabel said...

It's good to know that you can go back to the UK now, hope you will do well on your studies!

Chris said...

@Sunny Sweet Pea, thank you :-) I look forward to reading your blog again too!!

@Mabel, and thank you to you too. So far I'm really enjoying studying again. It's actually quite fun!

Crystal Tao said...

Is it really so hard to get visa in UK for your Chinese girlfriend?

Crystal Tao said...

By the way, regarding design of your frontpage it's wonderful. But would you mind to make a little change? How about unhiding that picture on the left side which shows you and your girlfriend? She seems to be so nice ))

Chris said...

Hi Crystal. Thanks for checking out my blog :-)

Ah, I see the picture...oops, she's covered up by my cat, hehe. I'll see if I can change that (if Picasa will let me). Thank you for the compliment also!

As for the visa, oh, it's a horribly long process. We're currently applying for a visitor's visa, and that's bad enough. It's just that the government asks for sooo many documents. She needs an invitation letter, bank documents, proof of her job, proof that she can leave her job and return to it, my father's proof that he owns the house, 50,000RMB in the bank, and so on and so never ends. But for her to come and live in the UK is another story, and one we're starting soon (I need to start making money for that one, lol).

That was a long reply!!!

Chris said...

@Crystal, I just tried to find the collage file I used to edit the front page picture...and I deleted it so I'm just left with a JPEG I can't change :-( I will have to change it when I have a free day so I can do it again (took me ages to do it :-S).

Crystal Tao said...

I know that laws in every country are different, but here is something you could try out.
I guess that to get visa - she has to go to Beijing (or Shanghai) to bring all kinds of documents. And then go there one more time to get stamp in her passport.
Try to check - if there is such item which would allow you to submit the documents from YOUR side based on the fact that her hometown is very far from the embassy? I suppose it would be much easier to get permission in UK.

Chris said...

Thanks for your comments Crystal. That is a great idea, I never thought about it before. I will certainly look into it, if we can do that it will be ideal.

My only thought that it might not work is from my experience in China. I could never apply for a visa while in China, I always had to apply for it at a Chinese embassy outside of the country (crazy isn't it?).

Thanks again, I'll look into it!!

Elwin said...

Hi Chris,

Nice seeing your new post.

Shame that i didn't get a chance to meet you before you leave.

Let me know when you come to China again.

Keep in touch.


Elwin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris said...

Hi Elwin, thanks for dropping by :) I was also sad I didn't get to see you again before leaving. The time just flew by didn't it? I will definitely be back in China sometime towards the end of the year. I hope we can meet up then. Will you be back from Australia then?

Great to hear from you, hope everything's OK.

Speak to you soon,