How long were you in China?
Not long, only about four months that first time. I’d planned to be there for a full school year. I felt extremely ripped off that I was not able to stay.
Why did you go to China in the first place?
For a few reasons:
My life in Canada was in a rut and I needed a new place, which was very different and preferably “faraway” in order to revitalize me. Most importantly, an inner voice guided me to China. I write about all this and my first few months in China in my first book which may be published later this year or next.
Where did you go?
I went to Harbin in North-east China, north of North Korea and south of Russia. Harbin is a remarkable city, I must tell you. In the winter, the city creates and hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festivals, probably the most fabulous event of its type in the world. Google it—I promise you “awesome!” See if you agree with me.
What did you do there?
I taught English at the Harbin University of Science and Technology during the week. I secured this teaching position before I left Canada. While in Harbin, I was asked to teach English conversation classes at the Harbin Institute of Technology on Saturdays. Needless to say, I was extraordinarily busy.
Did you like China?
Yes. China fascinated me even though at times it frustrated me. Like many foreigners living in China, I developed a love-hate relationship. Within about two months, though, I realized I was falling in love with the place. Love was far out-distancing hate.
Why do you love China?
Number one is the people. In my book I hope you will come to understand what I mean by this.
Will you ever go back?
I returned to China in 2008 to study Mandarin. Then in 2014, I travelled with a group of Canadian doctors to “retrace the footsteps of Dr. Norman Bethune.” That year was the 75th anniversary of the death of Dr. Bethune in China. A very special trip!
What motivated you to write this book? Writing about the accident must have been hard.
I was motivated to write about the accident to help me release the trauma still gripping me. Yes, it was very hard to write about but my quality of life was at stake. The accident’s just one part of my story though.
The bigger part of my story is about my love of China and its people. The feelings have been intense. I have been inspired to write by my own heart. If I can help bring understanding between China and other nations, then I believe I have contributed something beautiful to the world. Understanding at a heart level (as distinguished from a head level) helps transform perceptions. Transformed perceptions pave the way to a transformed consciousness which can ultimately help everyone and everything.