Ain't No Gamedays : My Chinese Life

By crystalanghorne
Jan. 19, 2017

? China China China....

A few of my friends asked me if I was doing ok over here because I hadn't posted anything in months. I've just, honestly, had nothing to post lol. Then I get into moods where I'm just like, I'm not posting anything. If you look at my instagram, it's 90% clothes, traveling, and me being social, which is nonexistent here. I haven't put on clothes since I've been been here, I haven't put on makeup since I've been here, I haven't painted my nails since I've been here. Ain't no gamedays. BALL IS LIFE!!!! I played basketball, read, and watched TV shows. I even randomly decided to cut out alcohol because I'm a social drinker and since I had no social life, well, might as well cut out the booze too. I went to the mall/movies 4 times with my translator and that was the extent of my social life.


I didn't come to China with a plan of reading THIS much but I'm glad it happened. I read 12 books and the whole bible (yes, I said the whole King James Version Bible) in 3 months. I watched a lot of good shows as well. My books and shows gave me the structure that I needed. In a place where I had so much time to do nothing, it was necessary for me to keep a reading schedule that gave me small daily goals. Goals other than just my countdown here in China. I've never been one to countdown days overseas until you get home, but China changes you. I did a weekly countdown instead, I think that made the time go by quicker. 


The games also made the time fly by. We played 34 games in 3 months and as the foreigner, I was playing 40 minutes a game. (Yea China is going to get their ????????????worth). There wasn't that much practice time which is always great because they love wasting your time in practice. The travel made it go by quickly as well since we were always on the road. I can never complain about WNBA travel again after having 16 hour travel days. (I probably will still complain about WNBA travel).


List of my books and TV shows if you to check them out 


?BOOKS

Forty Million Dollar Slaves

The Souls of Black Folk

Women, Race, Class

The New Jim Crow

Blink

How to be Black

Tina Fey : Bossypants

Real Estate Investment

We Should All be Feminists (A short novel)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

The Trespasser

Drained


 *Currently Reading

Sister Citizen

The Good Girl 


?SHOWS

Narcos

Atlanta

Orange is the New Black

Breaking Bad

House of Cards

The Bible

This is Us

The Affair (only the 1st season)

Insecure

How to Get Away with Murder

Luke Cage 


Even with my reading and shows, China was still extremely hard at first. The lack of a social life, the isolation of not having another American to talk to, the bad internet. I don't know what was worse though, the not having another American or the bad internet. 


The internet wasn't bad all around, it was the social media. Apps like Snapchat, twitter, YouTube, Instagram are blocked in China, so you have to get a VPN app to hide your IP address so you can use them. The thing is, with the VPN, its extremely slow, and the only thing worse than no internet is slow internet. It made me reluctant to use social media because I would get so damn frustrated and that is NOT what social media is for. It would take 10 hours just for my story to load or it wouldn't load at all, or a video wouldn't play on twitter or photos wouldn't load on IG. It was upsetting. I was so close yet so far away. But I guess it was a sign to be more constructive with my time, which I was.


The not having another American is just STRAIGHT UP IMHUMANE!!!!! I mean, I now realize how much I just enjoy the small talk on the bus, or someone in practice that you can talk to. Even in Europe, I could chat it up with some of the European girls in practice, but here, it's total isolation besides my translator, and she's not on the court with me. I eventually started bringing my headphones and listening to music during shoot around and usually the 1st hour of practice. The 1st hour of practice is usually just shooting drills, I take my headphones off when my coach starts talking (don't worry, I keep it classy ????). The fact that I had no one to talk to was making me miserable and luckily my coaches didn't bother me about it. (Oh and if you couldn't tell, the not having another American, is the worst part).


 Eventually, I got use to it. I've never been the type of person who needs people around me, I'm fine going to the movies by myself or going on a trip to Egypt by myself lol. But, butttttt, China.is.different. You have to be a strong individual to make it out here. And I'm not trying to come off like I can handle any and everything now, but this lifestyle isn't for everyone. It is the most extreme case of isolation I've ever experienced in my life. I sometimes get worried that I'm too comfortable being by myself, but the fact that I still crave social contact lets me know that I'm not becoming a sociopath.


All in all, I feel like I've become a better person in China. I mean I almost fought a teammate early on, but even that was something that I think I needed, as crazy as that sounds. (The rest of my teammates were actually all sweethearts). I've learned a lot about myself on and off the court in this short span. But more importantly, I was reminded of some things that I FORGOT about myself. 


But now it's time to go home!!!!! I'm so excited to just live life. I took my social life for granted before I got here lol. NO MAS!!!!!! I should be back to posting in no time. But, I'm not going to be posting #gamedays anymore, I said that last year and still ended up doing it lol, so we'll see. I think I still might blog randomly, but it won't just be about gamedays, but we'll see how that goes too. 


Thanks for reading my blog as always and I hope you enjoyed my little Chinese life story.