The Valentine Yeti is known to his mom and dad as Neil Foster.
Like the Yeti, he is large, occasionally hairy, and possessed of sporadic wisdom. Like the Yeti, he can be found in the East, and makes the odd appearance in Chinese home videos.
Born and raised in South Africa, he nonetheless claims a stunning mongrel ancestry, and has enough Irish in him that he’s an EU citizen. He was educated at some fantastic schools and universities, and thrilled his teachers and lecturers with a virtuoso display of apathy and feigned interest. Leaving behind a wake of crushed and disappointed educators, most of whom said “Neil could do better” at one point or another, he did what everyone his age was doing. He started smoking, grew a goatee and went into IT. Easily distracted by the promise of shiny salaries, and possessed of enough self-confidence to truly believe himself capable of anything, The Yeti bounced through a few jobs. As one would expect from a near-mythical and reclusive creature, none of the jobs fitted particularly well.
The next step was selling everything he owned, bravely holding the hand of his wife (girlfriend at the time) and leaving for the sweltering summers of Taiwan. Becoming an English teacher was something that he actually enjoyed and what was meant to be a one year trip persisted… becoming something else entirely. Almost six years later, the Yeti and his wife looked across the waters at Ireland, deciding that a change of scenery would be a good thing. Life for a year in Dublin taught the Yeti some very important lessons. Firstly, he was destined to teach, and that office jobs were no longer the way forward for him. (And unless he can get into publishing, that is likely to be a life truth.) Secondly, selling things over a telephone is a soulless existence, one that is populated by incredible people doing an insanely mundane and thankless job. Thirdly, when American banks start to fold, it’s time to consider job security.
Back in Taiwan again, the Yeti and his wife celebrated the fact that they had missed their certain dismissal and retrenchment by only a month. Timing was everything, and they were more than happy to weather the global recession in an economy designed to harbour white people with teaching experience. One year slipped into two, which slipped into three.
But. The Yeti and his wife stare once more across the waters. This time, their destination is the home of the language that they teach. England beckons. Time will tell what life holds for the Yeti, but it is likely that come what may, you’ll get a taste of it on these pages.
The Yeti has had articles published in a magazine in Taiwan, and has had a short story published in Ireland. He writes everything from Drama to Science Fiction, and sometimes likes to combine genres just to confuse people. He is a full-time teacher, and a part-time writer, although basically everything in him would wish that situation reversed.
Yeti may be contacted at TheValentineYeti (AT) gmail (DOT) com or through this blog.
The Yeti also Twitters under the name of ValentineYeti, and can be found in the Facebook group “The Valentine Yeti Blog”.