I Think I'll Make a Good Gringo
by Ronald J. Schuver
(Huai'an, Jiangsu, China)
Let me say right up front that one of my reasons for making the move to, I hope, Cuenca, is financial. I am on SSDI and that goes nowhere in the US. I have been living and teaching English in China for four years and I have become accustomed to very inexpensive food, personal items and just the necessities of living.
For those of you who read this and see me as another prospect for real estate investment, keep on walkin’ brother. If you can get me a 2 acre plot for about $100.00, let’s talk, but I am not interested in being a land baron.
I am very, very happy with a small apartment near some quiet beauty. A studio apartment suits me just fine.
I have also built a philosophy that, at first, I am a guest. If I see something that goes against Western culture, it is not my business to change it. I either avoid it or just see it as a cultural difference and part of the adventure.
It's not my place to tell others how to live and do things right... even if they spit on the floor in hospitals and restaurants. I am here in China to teach college students English and not how to be an American.
China is not my home and I never intended it to be. I have always been a guest and not a resident, and I behave accordingly. I am hoping that Cuenca will be home though.
I am doin’ the Rosetta Stone thing and working as hard as I can to speak Spanish before I get there. I find it to be so presumptuous and rude when someone visits another country without the common courtesy of at least learning to say, "hello, thank you, good-bye, what do you think of nuclear proliferation in countries with unstable governmental controls...", just the simple phrases. They expect the natives to speak English or Finish or whatever.
My first trip will be a trial. I want to see if I can fit into the community. If all goes well, the second will be the move. I am looking for a place to call my home. It's time for me to settle and relax.
I am so thankful for some unbiased info. Thanks, and thank you for the space to vent.
Oh, I’m 58 and single.
Ronald, I think you'll do well here. To be honest, probably 80% of the expats here make an effort to fit into the community. Not all speak Spanish, but they at least are friendly and don't scream and shout at Cuencanos when things don't go their way.
I hope you find Cuenca to be to your liking.
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