Yesterday afternoon, I had a job interview at a Singaporean-owned English academy, to do training and prep for Chinese students who’ll be studying overseas in English-speaking countries. My prospective boss asked me two or three basic questions, then told me I was too well-mannered to be pureblood American, and maybe one of my parents is — you guessed it — from England?
Mr. Singapore also told me he doesn’t hire men teachers because they make trouble with the girl students, he wants young women with good moral characters only. No men, no divorcees, no Australians. (I have no idea what Australia did to get on the naughty list, maybe it’s just hard to reclaim your reputation as an ex-penal colony.) It was everything that an American job interview can never be, with blatant stereotypes and personal questions, but his honest comments were somehow refreshing.
I met up with Stick at a nearby coffeeshop afterwards. “This is one of the first times I’ve been downtown without you.” he said. “I think I could get a new girlfriend in twenty-four hours.”
“Yeah, I walked around a bit while I was waiting for you, and girls kept coming up to ask me where I’m from, and how long I’ve been in China, and if I wanted their phone numbers. You should be on your best behaviour!”
“My best behaviour? You mean like putting my dirty laundry in the laundry bag instead of on the floor?”
Hey, I didn’t say I had good character.