These are selected messages from what Edward sent to me - his father - via his laptop, modem and international telephone call to my house. All going on during the Tienamen Square Crises in China.
Begin section 1 of 4 of file "DAD"
July 10, 1989
Just to let you know up front that I tested negitive for
hepetitus. However last Monday after you called I broke-out in a
really bad rash. After a lot of typical antics that occur around
here I got to the hospital and got treatment for the allergy and
a blood test for hepetitus. The Doctors still could not offer
any explaination as to why I was sick or my allergy but all seems
to have gone away and am still a little tired but am getting
If I have time I will enclose another file about going to
the doctor in China. If it isn't there I didn't have time and
try for next time.
My there journal file is a brief editoral concering
alternate points of view coming from my constantly "evolving
opinions". You may not wish to put it online. If not, don't
The letter from Regina Odasz did not come through last time.
I don't know if you forgot to capture it when you packed it.
There was an error when I did a "PKA/V" and "PKX". All the files
seemed alright, though. I did seem to get the meaning of what
she wants to do. If it where anywhere but this school it would
be a great idea. That is something that I tried to introduce to
them repeatidly but they just aren't interested. And I am not
goning to give this school any more time than what is required.
I get angry with myself for having that attitude but right now
that's the only way I can get by.
I sat down one night and typed all the things I could think
of that where relivant problems here. When I finished I
generated about 4 pages. I have tried to be patient but they
just don't get it here.
One example of the BS I run into. I wrote in a brief
letter, about half a page of very simple words, some of the
things that I wished to explain to the school: problems and
suggestions. One of my suggestions/requests was to discuss my
teaching schedule for next term. A week later, today, a teacher
told me my schedule without any benefit of discussion or opinion
from me. Nor did they offer any suggestions for teaching.
Another example that about sent me through the roof. I
called Zhu Lei, the Foreign Affairs Officer in Da Gong, the one
you told me to contact. I asked him which hospital that
recommends that foreigners to go to because I might have
hepetitus. He was very concerned, told me a hospital, but asked
why I hadn't approched the school. I told them that I couldn't
get appropriate help. He said he would call the Principals
Office at the school that day, which he did.
Later that afternoon I went to the Pricicpals Office to see
what they where going to do. They had gone home. I called Zhu
Lei back and asked if he had talked with them. He said he had
talked with both Principal Yang and Principal Wang. Zhu Lei told
me that they both had talk with me and I said that everything was
OK. Not true. I hadn't talked with either one in weeks. Zhu
Lei told me that the Principals told him that they would see me
that day. Well like I said they both left and I was in my room,
100 meters from the school, the entire day.
I have to fair and understand that maybe there was a
misunderstand, or miscommunication. But I am pretty sure what I
have told you is accurate.
The teacher that I told you about before, Patrick Dallas,
met with the same BS and he warned me carefully. In fact the day
after I met Patrick (I believe because I met him), he was told to
My opinion of the leaders of this school are very afraid of
making mistakes and getting "caught' or getting in trouble. So
"cover-up" is a way of life here. Such as telling Zhu Lei that I
told them everything was OK, when I had not talked to them at
all, and everything wasn't OK.
The "common" people here are for the most part friendly and
want to help but they have little "power" to do anything. And not
much gets done unless Principal Yang gives his say so. And he
thinks everything is fine and is willing to cover mistake. When
people report to him they are very afraid of him, and they should
be, so people always tell him that everything is fine, even if it
isn't. This includes my being as explained by others.
End Section 1 of 4, file "DAD"
Begin Section 2 of 4, file "DAD"
My situation here isn't dangerous or unsafe for that matter.
I just cannot depend on this school for anything. I know my way
around Dalian pretty well so I can get what I need. But
essentially what that means is that it takes a lot of my time,
especially from teaching. And because of all this crap I really
am not interested in doing any more than I have to. I have
repeatidly tried to use the structure that they gave me. I have
tried communicating directly. That didn't work. I have tried to
give the people, including Principal Yang, my very polite and
well choosen feelings and opinions, but if it's bad news he
doesn't want to here. Like one teacher said, "he isn't acustomes
to hearing anything bad".
I have talked with other foreign teacher, before they left
China, and there situation is nothing like mine. They get alot
more than I get. Less time having to teach. Better living
conditions. More responsive and responsible action and
interaction. etc. etc. etc.
I'm fine. I'm just tired of fighting everything, even those
things that don't normally involve problems. Patrick Dallas told
me that teaching in a high school is a lot of fun... just not
You can put this online. Yes, the conection with home via
telecom is very helpful. Not so much that I am feeling down and
depressed and it brings me up. No. The telecom is a link with a
way of life I understand and simply helps maintain a normalcy
that I can relate too when other things are so clear.
When something "pisses" me off (I laugh here at the thought
of what makes me angry and my word usage to discribe it to you:
pisses). So, when something "pisses" me off I can come back to
my room and express it in writing and that helps organize and
clearify my feelings and ideas. Helps put things in prespective.
So, don't worry. I want to do many of the things that have
been suggested. It's just this school is a battle ground of
childishness and bickering and lack of interest. I no longer
wish to play there game. So for now please keep the suggestions
coming but until I can find another school or job for next year I
don't think much can or will be done with this school.
Speaking of a job. I asked last time if you could help with
that task. When I asked I thought you might have get lucky and
have a connection or something. Now I am asking if you have the
time to actively prusue it. My contract isn't finsihed here
until Jan 30, 1990, but I can't wait until then. I don't have
much access to the people for the thigs I want to do. I don't
really wish to teach conversational english. I want to work at
either a University or Company in the area of computers and or
science. I can help teach scientific english, including
assitance with translation. I would perefer doing teaching and
assiting the development of telecom at a University.
So if you can 'crank it up' online please do so. I am
willing to travel to just about anywhere in China if I have to;
or Asia if nothing is available. I am also willing to work
pretty cheap. You can speak for me as you need but I can supply
you with any information or letters that you think are necessary.
It's just at my level I don't have the right connections. My
problem is that I meet the people that are really interested.
But they have little or no power to get me further involved. And
as everywhere in China unless you are talking to a leader and
underling isn't usually going to speak up, at least not very
loud. Otherwise, it could be his butt in a sling.
You might want to contact Princeton in Asia and explain what
I want to do. As you know, Barney Williamson won't know much
about the telecom concept but he does contact with a lot of
schools in China and Asia he might suggest some with addresses or
he might even be willing to contact some. Although his program
is suspended now I believe he might be contacting schools for the
future school terms. If he asks about this school and whether he
sould send another teacher. Tell he should think very carefully
and get a teacher that is very independent and previous Asia
teaching experince would be a great help. Right now if all
somebody cares about is getting to China then maybe here, but
that's about all...
End Section 2 of 4, file "DAD"
Begin Section 3 of 4, file "DAD"
Tell Mom I hope she is feeling better from blood poisening.
I hope she didn't have too much trouble. I know that you where
the perfect husband attending to her every need... See things
aren't so bad here that I have lost my since of humor. No matter
how bad taste it is.
Actually, even now as I think about what's going on this is
pretty silly. It reminds of one of those movies of what else can
go wrong/you can see it coming -- but you still surprised when it
happens. A Wood Allen imitaing Shakespearian sarcastic humor
with the irony of an ancient Greek tragedy or comedy; I haven't
figured out which yet.
I think this is a repeat: tell Mom that the correct saline
solution arrived but she need not send any until I give further
notice. When I do ask for more I will ask and that I will
probably recommend surface/sea mail; therefore, I will give her
enough lead time. She said that Also was closing. The saline is
available at K-Mart and Target. If that still poses a problem
then call my eye doctor for his advice. His name is Dr. T.W.
No news about my jacket yet. But I still haven't given up
hope. I still don't see anyone in the Dalian Post Office with a
nice new American Jacket. The only thing I can think that might
halt it is if any put something with the jacket that would make
trouble. Like literiture or pictures... I doubt it, but...
Speaking of mom. She wrote me and said that she received an
"unpaid check" from the Bank of China via American Express. Let
me explain. When I got my first phone bill you said that you
would cover the $100. I went to the Bank of China and used my
American Express to get $100 plus a .50 service charge. I was
going to write a check and use the American Express to endorse
but the Bank of China just gave me the money with only my
American Express, no Personal Check was used, just a counter
check. The number mom asked about, 071476718, is my pasport
number. I have since done this again for $140 about a month
later plus a .70 service charge. Therefore, Mom should be
receiving another notice. I don't think I have used the card
otherwise, but I have been really busy and I might have.
Please tell Mom that you are/where going to cover those two
costs for me.
Second, they way Mom described that notice from American
Express the way I got the money was not correct. On each
American Express statement theirare some 800 numbers for service.
If she could call them with the American Express card number at
hand and please ask American Express people what is the proper
way of getting money from the Bank of China using my card. I am
not sure but either they give me cash with my card or I use the
card to endorse my personal check. Or maybe some other way.
Additional, when someone does call American Express could
they inquire how I could get my replacement card safely when the
one I have expires this fall. I really don't want to have you
mail it to me unless the US Post Office can fully insure it with
out any loss to myself if it gets lost and used. If American
Express can the can mail it to me, to the Bank of China, or there
is a Holiday Inn that they might be able to cooperate with. What
ever you think is best. American Express suggested going to (I
think) the Bank of China and getting a temporary replacement card
for use in China. I don't want to do this because of the hassle
you can get using a replacement card.
It is important that I get the card, simply put, it is my
lifeline in case I meet serious trouble and have to leave China
Does Mom read what I send you online? If she doesn't
because of the hassle let me know. I am planning on writing here
direct via telecom, but maybe you could print some things out for
her, I know she doesn't always like to use your system, I don't
want to be more of the trouble.
Concerning the EVAN.COM and CANADA.COM. I think they both
worked but I am not sure. I got these two files but you didn't
tell me what to do. When I typed EVAN and EVAN.COM something
happened but I wasn't sure. Later when I did a directory I
noticed a file called EVAN that I didn't remember seeing before.
Then I looked at them via Word Perpect. Correct me if I'm wrong:
when I see a XXXX.COM file I just type XXXX and this creates a
text file, or what ever, for me to look at.
End Section 3 of 4, File "DAD"
Begin Section 4 of 4, File "DAD"
If you could send me a few 3.5" disks. I am not hurting but
I have backed everything up and that suck up a few disks and I
have some left and they are in Dalian but the supply is not
consistant (they aren't available now, for instance). They also
cost about $10 apiece! The last shipment that David mailed of
Word Perfect 4.0 came through fine, but I recommend sending the
disks individually or small groups.
Also, small packages can delivered to this school. This
means I don't have to go 1 hour into town to get it at a post
office that may or may not be open where the person at the
counter may or may not want to help me where I have to pay 1.60Y
for a package they may or may not have been opened by customs.
If I send you some files for people online, like Becky,
David, etc. and I label them as private will they get to them
without anyone reading them... including you? Nothing personal,
I just wish to discuss some things with people that I don't want
everyone to know.
Is Liz Dempsey still online reading my journal stuff and the
mail that I sent her?
Today is a beautiful day. A calm breeze blowing outside
with moderate and comfortable temperatures. As I work I listen
to the BBC on my shortwave, my window is open and I sit here in
my shorts and flip-flops enjoying such a nice day.
Even with the lack of ability that this schools constantly
demonstrates I ws visiting with a teacher when she turned around
and gave me two containers of two different kinds of peanut
butter. I have been looking for peanut butter for months now. I
was told by an American teacher that peanut butter can be found.
It will just show up one day by the thousands. One container is
peanut butter with a lot of sugar. The other is my favorite:
just simple peanut butter, very little added.
Reguarding the first container and all the sugar it has. I
always thought that only Americans had a sweet tooth that isn't
satisfied. As a nation I am sure that China doesn't consume as
much sugar as the US. But as individuals, when a Chinese has
access to sugar, that consumption is just as much as any
A dish that gets served up occasionally is wedge sliced
tomatos. In America I would expect maybe a a little salt added.
No not in China. Literally a pile of sugar is pour on top. With
five or six tomatos would call for about a cup of sugar.
It seems that food here is has good a quality that it could
be so everything is usually cooked. And when it is cooked it is
cooked a lot. Often destroying much of the nutritional value.
But just as in the West, the younger Chinese seem to be
getting bigger and taller then their parents before. I think
that the reason is that the food they are getting when they are
going is better quality and greater variety. A Chinese teacher
from another school told me that Chinese in Dalian are taller
than most Chinese. He explained that they where taller because
they ate seafood; and seafood contains a lot of zinc which helps
in making people taller. I am sure that a smiliar result can be
found in many other costal cities in China as wele as elsewhere.
Another interesting fact about Dalian. As far as northern
cities in China go, I was told that the people in Dalian where
very fashion concious. As I am able to tell this seems true. A
friend even joked that the young people will spend more money on
clothes than food!
My friend also said that he liked Dalian because the women
in Dalian where very pretty compared to other cities and his job
requires to travel all over China. I think I agree with him. As
a young man I can quite an enjoyable time just going downtown to
So, life in Dalian can be good for one reasonor another,
it's just this school doesn't got it... So I'm taking my time
Anyway, i close it now. I have a lot of other work to do
before you call tonight. Talk to you later.
Ed in China
End Section 4 of 4, File "DAD"