Tag Archives: ESL

Eating Boredom: One Chunk at a Time

China Memoirs #8

The best and worst thing about being in another country is the onset of boredom.  No matter where you are, boredom can be a killer.  Currently it is morning in China, where I am teaching ESL.  My wife is passed out in bed and I… well I awoke with a feeling of being bored.  I mean… shoot!  I am in another country two days after the Chinese New Year!  Should I not be out having a gay ‘ol time enjoying myself raucously?!?  Frankly… I just have never been that type of man, and I am not going to start now :0

My wife and I decided originally to go to China to have a new experience with each other.  We literally got married the month before we left for China.  Most people thought we were off our rockers, but we took that as a sign that we were doing the right thing.  Being in China during one’s first year in marriage offers quite a bit of stories to be remembered.   We wanted to have an ADVENTURE.  I mean… our song for our marriage recessional (walking back down the aisle) was the theme song for Indiana Jones.  We knew what we were getting ourselves into.

One thing, I think that everyone forgets, that no matter where you are boredom can always sneak it’s way in. This time in China was to be considered like a cheaply paid vacation.  We’re not getting paid much here, but it is like 7 times that of most teachers and people living in China.  Essentially we live like kings and queens in some way.  Go on… be mildly jealous of us 🙂  On top of that we are paid a month’s salary during our one month vacation in China, plus travel bonuses if we stay the entire 9 to 10 months.  We traveled to the south of China where it was warmer on our vacation away from our teaching-ESL-vacation.  Now we are back having a vacation away from South China vacation on our teaching-ESL-vacation.  That third vacation can really offer some huge levels of boredom.  However, it is Sunday here in China.  We are currently 13-16 hours ahead of everyone in the United States.  If they had the Super Bowl here in China I would even have a party, but we have no TV to speak of… well we do, if you can fluently understand Mandarin Chinese 🙂

So now my dilemma is what do I do, now that I am bored.  Don’t  worry.. I could do:

  1. Taxes:  not sure if I will be able to file them in April, now that I am in another country… so that one may have to wait and file an extension
  2. Preparing for new standards of medical practice when I arrive home to the U.S.:  Not looking forward to this.  May have to wait for a sweet little seminar to give me all the goods on this one.  I could talk to friends.  However I need to wait at least 4-5 months to see how Obamacare really turns out!
  3. Traveling: the wife says no for now.  She is content with staying in our apartment, playing solitaire on the computer and watching movies.  We really are two old fogies… if only I had a cane and some serious gray hair, I could really complete the ensemble.
  4. Meditation: When you are bored, it is much harder to meditate… especially when you go to sleep at 2am in the morning and wake up at 10:30am.  Go ahead, feel bad for me… all you workaholics out there are really diggin’ that one, aren’t you?!?
  5. Eating:  This is ultimately what I was coming to.  I eat, when I am bored.  I usually eat so much that my brains pop out the other end, leading to buyer’s remorse and a really upset stomach.

This is where the challenge arises for me.  Boredom isn’t so bad when there really are things to do.  Eventually, a person like myself (being a physician with 2 doctorates) will find something to do.  I am not tooting my own horn, but it takes a serious amount of motivation to complete one medical doctorate, let alone two.  I am just a academic-glutton-for-punishment.  All-in-all, I will find something to do, even if it causes mild destruction to my body.  For me, it was eating foods to the extreme.  Thank God that I am strongly intolerant to wheat and gluten.  I also have a moderate allergy to milk and other milk products, so that eliminates a lot of foods that I can gorge myself on.  Also, any MSG products that are named in this list…


OR in this list… http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html  This is my favorite list, as it points out all of the food one wouldn’t think would have MSG in it.  The food industries of the world try to sneak it into everything!

OR in this list… http://www.msgfacts.com/nutrition/what_foods_are_glutamate-rich.aspx  This one is special in a way where it literally points out all the major foods with “free” glutamate.  These foods generally cause people problems with food intolerances. I would say, all those foods on this list are probably not the best for me, save for a few.

Ultimately, there are a lot of foods I won’t eat, because this body just spits them right back out.  BUT… there are still a lot of foods I can eat, and those I eat in ABUNDANCE.  It takes a man of true self-realization to maintain that balance (I am unfortunately not there yet, otherwise I would not be talking about this…).

So… what do I do when I get bored?  I eat.  Those that know me, understand that for me to eat, means nothing, because there is not much there.  If there is something sweet or salty to eat, those I eat first! Fortunately for me, everything salty in this country has MSG in it. That includes potato chips and other salty morsels of the same.  Those I can steer clear of. Things that are sweet in this country, primarily include Chocolate. Mmmmmmmm. Chocolate….  Gotta watch out for that chocolate.  Some has possible MSG in it, like Kinder Bueno.  My gut had a field day after eating that junk.  Dove does pretty decent chocolate here, so that isn’t too bad, unless one eats like 3-4 bars at time, plus other things.  It generally leads to a no-good situation and lots of abdominal pain.  There is also fruit… the fruit is abundant and fills up my tummy… FAST. Which is a good thing, but can still mess with my blood sugar.   Uh… woe-is-me.

Alas, here I am in China, debating on the food I will eat today.  Is it because it is Super Bowl Sunday here in China and I am already sensing my comrades-in-arms ready to do battle on their chili-bean dips, tortilla chips, guacamole (which does not exist in China), pizza, and every other delectable thing conjured by man?!?  That… could… be.

I am very sensitive to my family back home and picking up their vibrations is commonplace.  But could I also be picking up their desires to eat mass quantities of foods while watching men in seemingly iron-clad uniforms beat up on each other for the pure enjoyment of others???  This could be as well.

Enjoy Super Bowl Sunday Family!  See you soon!