Chinese Rocks

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Abstract

In 2005, disenchanted with his middle class Canadian existence, Robert McDonnagh quits his job and moves to China to begin a career as an English teacher. Over the next 5 years against the backdrop of the Beijing Olympics, the blizzard of 2008, the Wenchuan earthquake and the 60th anniversay of the PRC, McDonnagh's journeys takes him from the ancient capital of Beijing to the booming Pearl River Delta to the jungles of Sichuan. In the process he discovers that not only is China not what he thought it was-but neither is he.

General information

Chinese Rocks - Book Cover.jpg
Author Peter Baird
English title Chinese Rocks
Publisher BookBaby
Date of publication 2013 exactly on 2013/01/22
ISBN ASIN: B00B8X1R6O (find this book)

Subject of the Book

This book focusses mostly about the following subjects:

Rock


General Information

In 2005, Robert McDonnagh finds himself bored by his droll middle class life in Canada as a shipper and receiver for a grocery wholesaler. After a series of personal issues culminate in a break-up with his longtime girlfriend, Cathy James, he opts to quit his job and embark on a career as an English teacher overseas. His decision resonates with Cathy, who proposes they begin their careers together in China. A recruiting agency places them in jobs at a training center in the industrial city of Handan. Despite the vast cultural differences, they are quickly assimilated into the community and take to their new jobs so well that at the end of their one year contract they are offered a contract for another year, which they accept. Shortly after signing their new new contract, Cathy discovers she's pregnant. Following the completion of their first contract, they return to Canada for a visit and have vastly different reactions. Cathy finds she's homesick and missing her family, while Robert feels out of place and misses his "home" in China. Upon their return to China, Cathy endures an emotionally trying pregnancy, but eventually gives birth to their son, Tyler. Seeking better opportunities both personally and professionally, Cathy and Robert move to Beijing after completing their second contract. Robert takes a job at a prestigious aviation and aeronautics university, while Cathy is hired to teach at the attached middle school. Midway through their first year in Beijing, Cathy's parents come for an extended 3 month visit. During their stay, Cathy realizes she misses home and her family too much to continue her ex-pat life and decides to take Tyler and return to Canada. After the departure of his girlfriend and son, Robert sets about attempting to build a new life for himself. In the process, he struggles with alcoholism, drug abuse and a series of dysfunctional associations with younger Chinese women, but finds a home in the Beijing underground rock scene. As he nears the end of his fifth year in China, Robert is informed that due to an obscure policy about hiring foreign teachers who have been in China for five years or longer, the university can no longer continue to employ him. In the process of seeking new employment, Robert realizes that his time in China as hit a high point that he can't get back. He also realizes that his time in China has ruined him for conventional life, and rather than returning home, he opts to move to Thailand and continue his teaching career.

(read other articles by Peter)

Bands mentioned in this book: Joyside, Subs, Suffocated, Thin Man, Twisted Machine, Yaksa, AK-47, Brain Failure, The Grinding Ear, XTX, Su Yang, Hang on the Box, Cui Jian, 24 Hours, Carsick Cars, Snapline, Re-TROS, Queen Sea Big Shark, Hedgehog, Guaili, Jet Laggers, Flyx, Demerit, Rustic, Coldcase, Raging Mob, Ourself Beside Me, Nanwu, G-Eleven, Wu & The Side-Effects, Fruit Salad, Gumbleed, Red Bucks, Ziyo/Free the Birds, The Reason, Frosty Eve, Septicaemia, PK-14, Second Hand Rose Band, Overdose, Angry Jerks, Defy, Girl Kill Girl, Jason Kills, AV Okubo, You Meiyou, Black Cat Bone, Shentou, Xiao He and Glamorous Pharmacy, Tang Dynasty

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