Living The Dream or Is All Just A Dream? : Memoir

Am I living the dream or am I just dreaming? I dreamed of becoming a writer and travelling the world as I wrote, and I’m still not there yet. I am teaching English in Prague after teaching English in Beijing, and if you were to believe the dismissive reports from mainstream media about their views of teaching English you’d think I had the most depressing poorly paid job in the world. But I couldn’t give a hoot. I never wanted a career in the traditional sense. I didn’t want to be in the office all day with a manager breathing down my neck. I didn’t want quarterly reports or reviews where I had to pretend that I actually gave a shit, or sit in on annual sales meetings and then clap and cheer because a profit had risen or fallen because the cheap plastic products that were being sold were more popular than never before.

Teaching ‘per se’ is a song or a dance, an honest conversation between yourself and the audience. Have you ever tried faking it for sixty minutes? Try blagging your way through a class of twenty-five school kids and watch their heads drop and you’d be a strange human being if you could keep that up for a further eleven weeks. Teaching English abroad is a dynamic job and doesn’t own your life so you can get out into the new fascinating culture and have great fun. But where is the dream? I’m still writing away but yet to hit the jacket pot but as I say my life feels more like a dream and you have to hop to different locations if you want to experience the dream-like nature of the world we live in.

Teaching English Abroad
Teaching English Abroad

Imagine going to sleep every night and dreaming you were in the same house, in the same town, and the same people forever. That would be reality and it’s fine for some people. Some people have families and a definite future and I respect that. They have saved with their pensions and they consider themselves secure for the future. Unless of course you are the fifty per cent of the poorest who only dream of a pension or a house. I’ll always remember my father who kept on talking about how he was the most insured man in the area and when he retired he passed away eight years later. Now I’m thinking, saving money for 25 years and then getting only eight years out of it sounds to me like the insurance man won.

My mother now is the most insured person in town and she is eeking out a living walking up and down the high street to the same shop, and then back again, to watch the same television programmes. Now I don’t want to appear to be dismissive and I too may end up like that but at least I want to see the world first while I can and surely in my last ten years I’ll need less to get by and would be content resting at home. Maybe I’ll watch a few programmes, maybe a walk up the high street, stopping to smell the roses, and if approached from the right angle it should all be roses. Once the finality of death is accepted and you are not consciously or unconsciously avoiding it then the final approach should be a majestic leap with time slowing down day by day. A return to baby days when shit tasted as good as shinola and each moment was a burning sun.

Reading and writing in Beijing
Reading and writing in Beijing

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