To an alien familiar with China, it is of no secret that working as a part time teacher or even getting acting/modeling assignments are great ways to earn a fast buck. Of course, Europeans and Americans and the likes are also open to dating/getting married to (probably rich) Chinese men or even women who crave for the fantasy of the white skin. Yes, such immense obsession that this potential superpower has with the actual superpower; it is absolutely, most certainly, ridiculous. But this blog post is not about how the Chinese are fascinated with other humans that do not even remotely look like them; or how desperately they try; dye their hair blonde or use not only various cosmetics to turn their skin whiter, but also plastic surgery to get a pointier nose, chin and bigger more “western looking” eyes – You get the picture.
Since the past ten years, the need for English teachers in China has increased by a tremendous amount, and even so for Native English teachers. There are several advertisements, several agencies providing work visas, a salary from anywhere between 10k to 20k, along with several benefits.
|Example of AD looking for A Native English teacher|
In 2012, it was just another ordinary day as I was walking out my form building in BLCU, Wudaokuo and a woman came to me, took me to her group a few feet away and told me she wanted me to let her take pictures of my face profile. If they needed someone with my look they would get in touch. I let them take pictures and a few days later I got a call then an email and the next thing I know I’m getting my make-up done for a pharmaceutical photo-shoot. I had a good set of foreigners with me; this was a new experience for some. But for 12 hours we were in it together and it was tiring but pretty amazing. To be honest, now that I’m back in the city, I do feel like going for more photo-shoots. It was good money about 1300 RMB for 12 hours and then again around 500 more for 3 or 4 hours.
|A bunch us students from BLCU at the photoshoot in Tianjin for a 12 hour shoot|
Teaching English is new to me, and this time around that’s what I got to focusing on. The following are a bunch of my personal experiences. I want to be able to share these with others in my shoes, living and earning on the side here in China.
|Sino Education Building|
The Classic Case of the Brat
So one bright morning, I go to the Sino education office located about 35-40 minutes, including the fifteen minute it takes walking to the Weigongcun subway. I reach in time and I find out I need to wait out ten or fifteen minutes for the kid to arrive for her class. This cute girl was nicely carried in by her mom. I didn't think much of this then but I’m beginning to understand why I’m bringing this into light right now. A room full of funny looking chairs and props were kept for kids to play around with. The Kid’s mom was… oddly older for a child around 4 or 5? She had the skin of a 50's lady –dark spots and no glow, absolutely. But, anyway, enough with how much noticing I took interest in. I was introduced to Angel, her name was the only anything angel about her though. Angel wore a nice bow around the head, would not sit still for even a second. But somehow, even I don’t know how, we got from A to well M as far as alphabets are concerned. Her mom, and another office member and I spent about more than half an hour trying for her to stick to her seat and interact with me. The only thing she was concerned with was A. freedom to jump around, B. that her mommy stay in the room. How this delightful session ended was with Angel crying her throat out behind the comical chair she sat/hide behind, and this is after her mom left the room for the student teacher interaction to take place. I was not going to move my ass. I know better than to run around a spoilt princess crying for attention. I might not be painting a pretty patient picture of myself here but the truth is if you were there, you’d agree with me. Later, after the duo left, the office assistant Alice told me that because Angel’s mom already had a 18 year old son, she was the more focused on and therefore loved more. No wonder.
Irene- the real teacherI met Irene through my sister. My first impression of her is my last impression of her. She is a professional, smart and polite Chinese lady who runs her own chain of English teaching offices around Beijing. She also gave us a good teaching rate per hour unlike other agencies that make it an almost never ending process for you to get to the point where you start earning what you well deserve. So far, I enjoy working for Irene and sharing this with my sister. I don’t think I can forget how she always somehow manages to bring in “I see’, or ‘we’ll see’ in a conversation.
If you like what you read, watch this space for more!
[All images are self clicked]