My article about living in China
By: Daniel Otero
Living in China for the past seven years, I often find myself confused. There are often a mire of emotions which set between love and hate.
When I originally came to China, our country [the U.S.] was dealing with the Global Economic Crisis of 2008. Although well educated, I knew eventually I’d find myself out of work. Then I decided on something radical. To come here and teach at a local University in Nanjing (Jiangsu Province), after all, this crisis was caused by bankers back home and other than losing my job, I found myself homeless. I came here not with the notions of an American society, but to learn from an ancient one and once I learned, go back with new abilities: language, culture and work. Plus, I received other benefits of being here: people, travel and great cuisine.
Coming to the ancient Middle Kingdom, I got more than I bargained for. I fell in love with a wonderful-young woman, received the daily love of students and friends whom will be forever in my life, even after I’ve left China.
I mean, I love China for the way Chinese swarm around a foreigner and try their best to help the newcomer adapt into their country.
What’s lately breaking my heart is how my compatriots treat me. When I contact newspapers and publishers, I’m often treated with suspicion back home. As if they are caught in a Tom Clancy spy novel or we’re back in the 1950s Cold War. Instead of keeping an open mind which people in the publishing business ought to do; I find myself shunned, rejected or people simply/rudely don’t answer my e-mails from abroad.
Oh, that’s right, I live in China! Country which America received ninety-percent of its clothing articles, yes, even the caps for the Donald Trump campaign, “Make America Great Again!”
Like when I was promoting my book, “Galician Memories” this past August, 2016 and I contacted editors from a certain Mississippi newspaper. Yes, they offered me an interview and as soon as told them I was in China, the line literally ‘went dead’. I never heard from them again!
It really hurt my feelings, since I do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
I write for several columns in the country. No, I’m not the greatest writer, but I’m always willing and open-minded enough to hone my skills.
The two biggest reasons to be here are for love and to bring cultures together in peace. Sorry, I don’t know if it sounds too corny, but it’s the truth!
It’s easy to talk human rights from a couch in Boise, Idaho, when things in the real world are entirely different. Look how we treat our African-American and transgender population, it’s despicable and appalling! We’re a nation that ought to be embarrassed at our addiction to drugs and food/obesity. Not only African-Americans suffer our inhumanity through racism and prejudice, it can get rather complicated with the transgender community. The American-legal system incarcerates troubled-children. Something we deeply criticize certain African countries for doing.
Now, with all I’ve stated, “I’m proud to be an American”. I’m just an old-street kid from New York City who did something productive and positive with his life. Shouldn’t this be enough?