It is difficult to express exactly what it means to be a white person in a lesser known Chinese city. You are both celebrity and minority, you are a joke and you are a commodity, you are exotic and yet also a nuisance.
What it also means though is that you get approached to do all sorts of exciting things. A friend of mine has a job as a senior branding consultant for an Egyptian Ad agency because he isn’t Chinese, countless numbers of my friends teach English on the weekends for cash and a number of others have internships that require them to do more than just get the coffee.
It was not exactly surprising then when a number of us were recruited to judge English language debates at a Ningbo High School. It was apparently the provincial finals of a national competition and its hard to come by…
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