Shanghai nights

You generally know you are not going to be staying in a country for long when you are teaching English abroad. Even allowing for this, there are those who expect, or desire, to be in a place for a shorter time than most. For me, I usually signed one year contracts and then put to bed the idea of what next for the next nine months or so, knowing that a plan would present itself, even if that plan was having no new plan. For others though, the full twelve months was one of many potential options. I once knew a woman in Shanghai who was constantly on the lookout for the next destination. Some evenings, she would even time herself packing everything away in case there was ever the need for a midnight flee, attempting to perform this task in shorter and shorter times.

In the end, she made it seven months. I was sorry when she was gone. We did English things together, such as get very drunk on a Tuesday night for no especial reason.

I have no intention of fleeing my life in NZ, but I do relate to the idea of getting routines down through practice. Some jobs call for it, for example the headshots I made this week for an educational institute in central Wellington. Some days you get all the time in the world, even pre-shoot visits to visualize shots. And sometimes you get given 5 minutes maximum before busy people have to do busy people things. So it’s good to be able to tip a bag full of speedlights and stands on the floor and have them popping within minutes.

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