When I became an English teacher I didn’t want to go to China. I knew nothing about China, wasn’t interested in China. I wanted to go to the Middle East, but after a few enquiries, my lack of professional teaching experience seemed to be a problem. Chinese universities didn’t seem so fussed, not, at least, the ones I applied to.
There’s a bewildering array of information about teaching English in China: where to go, where not to go, who to work for, who not to work for, anticipated terms and conditions of employment versus what you’ll actually get, how to run away at night if it all gets too much.
In the end I ignored the returned teachers’ forums and shut my eyes, circling my finger above the map, dropping it on Huhahaote, the capital of Nei Menggu, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Province and found a third tier college and applied for a job.
It all happened very quickly and I soon set out on what were to be two of the happiest years of my life.
Life was simple, people were friendly, the work was challenging in many ways but also very rewarding, Hohhot and China more broadly were fascinating and I learned a great deal. I never once considered a midnight flit.
I think joyful experiences are worth writing about, don’t you?