Or SIRKOLAMLIC for short, if you will.
Actually, no. You will not. Don’t say that. Ever. It just sounds bad. And possibly contagious.
You might think this new little series is for you. You know, so you can find out all about the wonderfully fabulous things that exist in the fine country of China.
You’d be wrong.This series is totally for me.
You see, sometimes while you’re living in a foreign country you forget about all the cool stuff about the country you’re living in because you’re too busy thinking about all the annoying stuff – like the fact that China keeps on giving you Black Lung. And the fact that China is totally making you fat by force-feeding you all of its dumplings.
So I’ve decided to start this series as a reminder to myself of all the things I really like about my life in China. Because there really are a lot of things I like. I just kind of forget about them when China is trying to kill me. And when China is making it pretty impossible for me to be able to fit back into my pants.
So without further ado, I give you my very first installment of Stuff I Really Kind of Like About My Life in China. And because I’m pretty sure this series will soon progress into a non-stop discussion about dumplings, I thought I’d start off with a totally non-dumpling related topic: my new bad ass fashion accessory, fingerless gloves.
Enjoy!I’ve always wanted to be a bad ass.
Unfortunately, I don’t really have the demeanor or physique to pull off bad assery
I was always too worried about my permanent record to skip school or break the law.
Motorcycles and heavy metal music scare me.
And I simply don’t have the thighs to wear leather pants.
The only slightly bad ass thing I’ve ever done was get a tattoo – a teeny, tiny one on my back. I was twenty years old at the time and working at a bar in Dublin and feeling like a total punk. My mother had always told me she would disown me if I ever got a tattoo, but what did I care? I didn’t need my mom! I was an independent woman! I was on my own in the world! If I wanted a tattoo, I could get a tattoo!
And, then, I didn’t tell my mom about it until I was thirty. Because that’s just how wimps like me roll.Even though I know I’m really not a bad ass, every once in a while I’ll buy an item of clothing that kind of makes me feel like one.
There was the pair of ridiculous platform shoes I drooled over for two months in London until I finally bought them. They were impossible to wear, and I could only have them on for about twenty minutes until my feet would start to spasm, but, man, for those twenty minutes, you did not want to mess with me.
There was the pair of skinny red jeans that I was able to wear for the approximate two minutes of my life that I was skinny.
And, then, there was vintage maroon leather jacket that made me feel just like Samuel L. Jackson. Even if it made me look like a couch (albeit, a totally bad ass couch).And, now, I have a brand new pair of fingerless gloves.
I always wanted a pair of fingerless gloves. I imagine this has something to do with those mesh fingerless gloves Madonna used to wear. That and my minor childhood obsession with becoming a hobo when I grew up.
But, you see, I could never really justify wearing them before. I lived most of my life in Buffalo, where it snows a lot and fingers on your gloves are seen as kind of a necessity — not so much a decorative item.
Besides, in order to pull off fingerless gloves as an adult, you really need some kind of hardcore job where you’re battling the elements while having to participate in manual labor — you know, like as a bike courier or teamster or street urchin pickpocket.
Seeing as most of my jobs have involved decidedly unhardcore tasks like teaching verb tenses or creating mail-merge documents, I’ve never really had a good excuse to wear fingerless gloves.That is, until I moved to China to teach.
You see, in China, teaching is kind of like camping – but without the regular source of heat. (Because apparently bonfires in the classroom are really frowned upon here.)
As you can see from the photo below, my classroom bears a striking resemblance to the one-room schoolhouse in Little House on the Prairie – except, again, without the regular source of heat.
My classroom boasts very few modern conveniences and most of the conveniences are not actually very convenient. Only half of the lights in my classroom work. And they only work on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons after three.
During the winter months, both myself and my students spend the entire class period bundled up in winter jackets, scarves and hats – looking like we’re ready to tear up the ski slopes and not, say, the present perfect continuous tense.
Rather frequently while I’m not looking, my students will open one of the windows to create a typhoon-strength wind that blasts through the classroom. I think this might have something to do with feng shui. Either that or they are all participating in a fun new game called, “Let’s Give the Teacher Pneumonia.”
While I can’t say I particularly enjoy teaching in this kind of environment, it does give me a handy excuse to rock out my brand new pair of fingerless gloves like the secret troublemaker that I totally am.
I bought this pair at the 2 yuan store. That’s like 30 cents, guys! Because, nothing says “bad ass” like “bargain shopper”.
And while they may not look like much, I have to say, they really have a way of transforming my usual business casual look into, what I like to refer to as, “bad ass casual.”Not only have the gloves given my boring teacherly attire an extreme makeover, they’ve also magically transformed all my boring teacherly tasks into activities much more befitting a hooligan such as myself.
As you can see, the difference is immense. I bet you didn’t even recognize my hand in all fingerless glove photos! I bet you were all like, “Whoa, check out the new hand in school. She looks like trouble, that one! I wouldn’t want to run into her in a dark, unheated classroom.”
I’ve got to tell you guys, I’m really digging my new thug look (even if it comes as a result of no central heating).
I think I may have to trade my puffy, winter coat in for a leather jacket.
I’m seriously considering upgrading from my teeny tiny back tattoo to full-sleeve tatts.
And I’m totally buying a Harley and bringing it in to the classroom with me next week. (If only so we can huddle around the exhaust pipe for warmth.)What about you? Do you have an item of clothing that makes you feel like a bad ass? Do tell! Because sharing is caring… sharing is also totally gangsta, yo.