New Year Nightmare

Happy. happy new year to you all, dear readers! I can write that a week into the new year without my hands trembling or breaking out into a cold sweat. It took me that long, my dears, to get over the trauma that is New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands. I like celebrations as much as the next person. I like going to parties, I like drinking on occasion, and everybody who knows me, knows I love eating. What I do not love is walking through a war zone and being terrified that I’m going to lose my hearing. Or that someone is going to actively throw a lit firework at me. On purpose. Not because their aim was bad. But because their aim was very very good. It seems that New Year’s Eve is a time for people in the Netherlands to be imbeciles. They actively block first responders from getting to where they need to go. In Arnhem, two people died as a result of smoke inhalation when they were trapped in an elevator because it caught fire as a result of two boys setting off fireworks.

Don’t get me wrong. It was pretty. But pretty doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to walk home, and the sound of the noisemakers tightens your spine and hunches your shoulders to a place where the next day you are sore from trying to stay calm. Nope, New Year’s Eve is not for me. At least, not if I have to go outside. The irresponsibility shown by people was astounding. As we were walking home, you could see the remnants of firecrackers. Still. On. Fire. I guess people were too drunk to throw some water over the fireworks and make sure that they were completely out.

I started teaching with VIPKid on Thursday. And it was great to see a few of my students. But I had opened up next week classes as well. And I have become one of those teachers who is complaining about low bookings. I know that I complained before Christmas, but now it has gotten to a point where I am now concerned about getting another job either online or off. Of the 30 hours over six days that I opened, 16 1/2 hours booked for the week. And on Sunday, my booking dwindled to one. One. That’s never happened before.  When I first started VIPkid I was opening between 76 and 80 slots a week. I would book all but 10%. Those days are long gone. I have a feeling that this trend is going to continue.

The good news is that I’m starting to teach a class on 21 January for the English Center and that will run till March 5. I also have returning students: one in Amstelveen and my real estate guys in the middle of the city.  I was hoping to start with my Japanese students as well but after two emails to them, with no response, I think that unlikely. What’s worse is that I think that Felix does not want to take lessons anymore. He had started being flakier in November and then, of course, I left in December. When I contacted him to ask him whether he wanted lessons in January he said he was going to Columbia for a week and wasn’t sure about lessons in January. I suspect that he doesn’t want lessons at all.

That is the nature of my business, unfortunately. I am heading to Greece for a week in the middle of the month and after that, it’s full steam ahead trying to figure out what’s next for me and Inkreadable. Let’s hope this New Year’s nightmare does not continue and become a whole year nightmare.

That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

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