Wednesday, 26 December 2012

I am granted my freedom

A great relief! I have not been asked back to my job teaching at a local high school.That means I don't have to leave.The decision has been made! The door is opening. I see a small slot of light.It is the teacher waiting in her room.The room is fragrant,like Christ,like blessed Allah himself.
I am on the plane to Wellington.I meet a lovely woman called Liz, who notices that I am reading The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle. We talk easily about this way of being-some call it mindfulness,others Zen,still others (like myself) living in the present.It turns out she is using it in her practice as a counsellor. This goes out to you Liz, very nice to have met you. Bless you in your work.
Then I am in Queenstown, strolling the promenade, hearing the Spanish,the American, the Mandarin. I  excitedly tell a Chinese family from Shanghai that my great grandfather Huang Ah Poo Hoc Ting came from Shanghai. They look at me as if I am trying to sell them something,seeming somewhat surprised to strike up conversation with a New Zealander.
Which reminds me of a story.I had an art student a few years back,a recent migrant from China.I told her with great pride that my great grandfather was Chinese.She looked at me suspiciously and blurted out  "You don't look Chinese!"
This is my great grandad (on the left) and my great grandma Ellen Snooks

Me posing in front of a random glacier,showing my obvious Chinese genes
Its a strange place Queenstown. Not unfriendly,I was quite happy with the place. You do get the feeling that tourists 'own' the place. In the sense that they feel at ease there and dominate the public spaces. I met 2 kiwis in a week of shopping and encounters at various kiosks,information centres etc.Just interesting to observe-no judgements here.Actually I prefer their attitude to the sense of entitlement that kiwi shop owners often project.

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