Shanghai university wants me to teach Ukrainian language
Suddenly I got this call from a friend of a friend, who works in Shanghai. A Chinese guy with Russian name Lesha said they need a teacher of Ukraininan. First I was like “WHAT???!” Who the hell on Earth would like to learn Ukrainian – the language which is not even as spread as Russian, yet probably is as difficult to learn as Russian. For me, a Ukrainian guy, who’s mother toungue is Russian it sounds VERY rediculous. In my brains it sounds like “Go to Shanghai and teach some stupid or crazy Chinese, who by chance decided to study one of the most difficult yet the most useless languages in the world”. So I was surprised. I was surprised even more, when Lesha asked me if I know how to act. I know he saw my short film Roof Story, where I use nunchaku, stick and some acrobatics, so I’d expect him to propose me a job as an action star or something like that and the last thing I’d expect is to see any connections between acting and teaching. So I asked him directly – “you want me to teach Chinese students acting” ? He said “No”. Then I started to realize that thing, which is all about China. They like shows. Apparently, they’d like to get a foreign monkey(me) in their camp, let the monkey do some useful job, like teaching, and at the same time rise the prestige of the university, organizing shows, events and evenings.
For those of you who didn’t study in Chinese universities – performance is something that foreigners almost have to do. Taking part in all sorts of parties, concerts. Everything. They call you in the morning, when you’re still in bed and notify you, that there is a concert in 2 hours and that you need to prepare. They don’t care what you do, or how you do it. You just need to go out there and show your face. So, I suddenly realised what they needed and still said “I’m interested”, because I still know nothing about the salary and the contract terms. Anyway, speaking the truth, I’m pretty satisfied with my current job, and my current life in Shenzhen. So only a very good chance or opportunity would make me want to leave everything behind and move to Shanghai. Which is for me, the guy, who never been there, a dirty city with lots of foreigners (laowai). I don’t know why, but I got this image of Shanghai in my head. I might be wrong, but still I first need to go there and feel the city, and then make conclusions.
So, speaking short, it was an unpleasant surprise: expect a call to participate in a tv-show, and instead to get a call from someone who wants you to teach unuseful stuff. That’s the thing. I can be passionate about teaching, yet can’t be passionate about teaching useless stuff.