Friday, August 26, 2005

I thought that I would have to wait until classes started before I would get anything really worth mentioning, but no, China decided to be upfront with its weirdness. My phone rings in the apartment, and an unidentified man on the other end asks for "Sophie". Apparently he was wondering if she wanted to do any voice work. I explain that I am not Sophie and that no one of that name lives here. My best guess is that Sophie is the English teacher who lived in my flat before. Anyway, the man, who never tells me his name goes on to ask if I am a new English teacher. I explain that I am, and we have a little chat, him asking me things and me lying.

Him: How many teachers are there now? Have you met any of them?
Me: I don't know, I just got here and haven't met them.
[there are 10 of us, and I've met 4 thus far]
Him: Do you know your schedule? Would you like another teaching job?
Me: I don't know my schedule, I'll have to get back to you.
[I don't actually know my schedule, but our contracts pretty explicitly state that we shouldn't have outside jobs]

Then the already strange conversation took a complete left turn. My answers to him this time around are completely true.

Him: Are you white?
Me: Ummm....yes
Him: Would you be interested in modeling for commercials?
Me: No.

The conversation went on a while longer and basically consisted of me saying in various degrees of politeness that I didn't want to be a model. In some ways I regret telling him that I was white. Maybe I should have agreed just to see the advertising campaign fail. Seriously, I can't imagine that my being white is enough to endear me in the hearts of Chinese consumers, as I'm also ugly. Maybe he wanted me to endorse Big Clumsy Lao Wai Cereal or something.

Throughout the entire conversation, he never told me his name.

There you have it, when I woke up this morning, I had no idea that I would be offered a modeling job. I don't think I'll ever understand this place.

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