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Trapped In Wuhan During COVID-19 | Jen Knight

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Last month

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Gen nine says that she won the in laws lottery when it comes to Chinese husband's parents but luck wasn't on our side this past January when a day after she arrived in her husband's hometown just outside of Wuhan for a Spring Festival celebration. The Chinese Government started shutting down all transit lakes into and out of the area effectively trapping her at ground. Zero of what would soon come to be known as the covert Nineteen Corona virus outbreak. She was as she easily admits terrified and filled isolated but what helped her feel less alone was participating in a study. That has china-based ex. Pats how they were feeling during the crisis and through two months of lockdown and plus two weeks of self isolation in an apartment in Shenzhen. Her notions of home have shifted. Or maybe she was just being made aware of a ship. That had already taken place. This is a really great conversation. And I'm thankful we were able to get this glimpse of what life was like for Ex pats in China as the global pandemic first emerged. I hope that you learn as much from her story is ided. Please sit back relax. Enjoy my conversation with JEN night. Gen night welcome to migratory patterns. Thank you so much for having me. Where is home so and I thought about how to answer this question. I came up with three answers. Three different places. One would be the place where I you know grew up and was raised which would be suburbia midwestern suburbia so a suburb of Milwaukee Wisconsin and a second place. That is home. Would Be San Francisco Bay area where I lived for eight years before I moved abroad and where my family is now. Located is in the North Bay and then the third place that I came up with it feels like home would be where I am right now. Which is my apartment in Shenzhen China? Where my husband is and my apartment is and jobs and life. I think in the first person with three answers. Oh really pretty sure. It's always interesting. Everyone's unique and I love how people will somehow work in where they're from originally some people you know there are few who like where I am now and all that stuff but I think the first TRIFECTA. I think if you'd asked me a few years ago it would have been just too but as I've gotten a little bit older I felt more strongly connected to my roots in a way and so I really wanted to add that third one in about where I came from because I think it's so important It's something that I wanted to leave behind when I left there at the age of eighteen nineteen. I was like goodbye. I Never WanNa see you again suburban Midwest. So let's talk about that so so suburban Midwest. Where exactly was that so it was in? It's a suburb of Milwaukee Wisconsin Like on the north side of town and it was it was a nice place to grow up and I've gone back a few times over the years. My family doesn't live there anymore. So the only real pull. I have our friends and people. I know who still live there but I found the last time that I returned which would have been seven years ago I think about. I felt I really felt the sense of home. It was so interesting so when you ask that question. That immediately came to my mind. That's interesting so you said you were looking to get out of there at eighteen. What was that all about? Was that Just sick of suburbia type thing? It's kind of an archetype in in the US. Yeah I was. I was always ready to get out from a pretty young age and my friend and I we just pointed at a map and there was Seattle and we had one friend who lived there who said we could sleep on his floor and we sold all of our stuff and bought backpacks and took the train for three days to Seattle the train. That's awesome. I love the train still was school. You were going to college or you just get out and I was just getting out. Although I ended up studying my undergraduate was in Washington state so I did live there for a number of years but interestingly it never felt like home so that is interesting so After so how did you get from? Let's say Seattle because that's kind of where you can set off on your journey. How did you get from Seattle to where you are now? What was that like? Well I my family had relocated to the San Francisco Bay area and I visited there one time before and felt really like a strong Paul to San Francisco and I went through some personal problems in While I was living in Seattle and I ended up packing up and moving and decided to relocate there and I just loved it I mean I had an amazing eight years living in San Francisco and I remember driving my used Acura over the Golden Gate Bridge like crammed with all of my stuff and I really felt that sense like this is going to be my home for awhile. Kinda cool this kind of cool so then you went to San Francisco. So what motivated jumped from San Francisco to overseas? That'd be fair. I Guess San Francisco can kind of feel like overseas from suburban Milwaukee. Well yeah so I made the first jump to Seattle and then from Seattle to San Francisco and I think San Francisco for me. I feel like I just had done it. I don't know how else to explain it. I just felt like I was John. Like I had done everything that I needed to do. There I had an amazing time. I met amazing people. I had incredible experiences. It's a beautiful place to live. There's so much to do. There was such a buzz. You know the entrepreneurial seen everything there when I was living there but I did feel like my time there was complete and I felt really unsure about what to do next and I ended up going to New York for a while and I went back to the Midwest for a while and I was really torn about my next move and sort of out of nowhere. The opportunity to teach in Shanghai came up and they said we have this job for you. You have two weeks to get here and I just went for it. What was the job? It was teaching in a school there but it was kind of a startup situation where I would be helping them. Start an American program within a Chinese school so it was a lot of curriculum development and teaching As well as some other like Adleman kind of stuff. It's a great way and so did you study to be a teacher when you're teaching in the US before you left. Yeah I had a California teaching credential and I got my master's from San Francisco State University so when I moved to San Francisco that was. That was the reason why was for a job that I got in Oakland Public Schools. So my background is very heavily in education is a teacher and I know what you guys do. So good on you for that work. Is You know you? Kinda got out at San Francisco. Probably right at the right time. It's just San Francisco to me. I've been there several times over the last few years last several years and San Francisco from to me feels like that really cool band. That sounded awesome but then sold out immediately and not quite as cool anymore. I love that analogy. Yes I could not agree more so so you hit China and did you say was shot high. Yeah Shanghai is where I lived I so for four years. Wow you've been bouncing all over the place where you did you. Did you go to Thailand for Awhile? Yes so after we were in Shanghai Shanghai four years we lived poop hat Thailand for two years and then we just moved back to China. Shenzhen last August. Well what great timing I actually right now. I'm pretty happy to be in Shenzhen overall right now I mean you know. Obviously we're this is the time of the time of Corona virus right now and it China. Ironically when the outbreak I happened so many people were streaming out of the country. And now there's tons of people who would love to be able to go back because they got a handle on it I it's Conan and argue at the methods but They've worked yes. Yes and I was at the epicenter of all of that so I I rode the roller coaster.