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Blogging in China

I just joined up with Living in China, which is... kinda hard to explain. It's a collection of blogs and opinions and thoughts and knowledge and experiences and everything about being in China. Another woman has also recently joined, named Johanna, and I find it amusing because our names are almost the same. *smile* I look forward to reading her blog, to see what her experiences over here are like.

Reading blogs over here is what keeps me in touch with what's actually going on in China. I can't read the papers here, I don't have a working t.v., and I can't find an English language newspaper. Until very very recently, I didn't even find out how to get around the Great Firewall, and I only use that sparingly. So, when my parents called all concerned because there was an earthquake in China, that was the first I'd heard of it.

It's hard to explain to people who haven't been online how important online communities can be. I've defined myself by online communities since I first went to college. There was GMAST-L and MAGE-L when I loved mailing lists, the Void and AugMUD when I was into MUDding, even the forums for PTG PTB were a place where I could "talk" to people with similar interests. When I started up Fade and took over Noc, I made the forums as important as I could, because I liked the community feel of that.

Here, I feel so isolated. Paul and I often compare our co-workers. My school, to be blunt, is better than his. The students are better educated, my apartment is a lot nicer, my pay is even better. But his teachers are always pulling him into their community. Here, I feel like I'm an interesting specimen, someone to occasionally talk to, someone who can make you laugh quickly, but not someone you'd spend your free time with. Part of that's because they work such long hours, some of it's because of my shyness, some of it is just the language barrier. But I feel isolated here because of it.

So, yeah, I've found another community here. Part of me is afraid I'll just throw myself in and turn my back on my attempts to make more friends here at the school, but then, even at the height of my internet addiction in college, I always had friends IRL that I talked to, so maybe not.

I just need to stop being so damned nice about it all, I think....


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