Character Studies

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.

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8 Responses to Character Studies

  1. tintdude says:

    I would be careful meg. Those Chinese girls are green card hungry vicious dragon ladies.

  2. Peter says:

    Felt the same thing on my own body the two times I were in China:

    With the missus I was just gazed at and “helloed” at, but alone I became some sort of celeb and a hot one too. My mirror tells me something is not right in that regard.

  3. john says:

    Yeah, Chinese girls have reputation for green card sickness.
    But you rarely see any Chinese guys desire things like that.
    The girls like American guys and think Americans are simple, naive, and they can drive their American dream by grabbing one, while American culture praise true love and freedom, so often most Americans live in such value that would easily think the girls love them, but the girls just want to get out to have better life like Thomas Hardy novel ‘Return of the Native’ portraits.
    Tragedy, and Chinese culture, love is deeply connected with security.
    that’s main difference for the two culture now, in current economical difference of two nations, maybe after 100 yrs, it will change, people do not slave their love and life under money.
    I pity them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Not only that, there are many young couples arrived to US, that wife wanted to settle there, but husband wanted to go back, or otherwise, some were with their children, and they divorced and separated for their own reason or children, that all family had to suffer that, and no one could escape this turmoil. Chinese called that American Reconstruct, that they had to restart everything from 0, even from language, but in US, they would never step into mainstream due to their language, education, finance and other value difference, they called it Lost in America, and they could not go back, for they could only live and struggle day by day and imagine tomorrow would get better, when their children so called ABC grown up and adapt to local culture, left them, they were total abandoned by China, America, their children, and the dream that once they had now a bubble shattered. I’ve seen this a lot, in the small town of US, in the big city of China, every street corner of Brooklyn and Queens that filled with Latino music, in hunger of African child… the whole world is the same, as earth rolls around.

  5. meg says:

    If they were after a green card, joke’s on them, Stick’s not going to propose!

    Peter – With or without Stick, I feel like Paris Hilton here… people keep taking my picture but I’m not quite sure why I’m famous.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Chinese girls want the white boyfriend for now but they marry the Chinese man forever.

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