Well! I just had a phone interview with Mr. Gao just now; surprisingly he was quite prompt; early, in fact. I’d expected him to call late, but he called at 10 till 9; which is 9:45 A.M. there (he had told me we’d speak at 10 A.M. his time). Mr Gao was in the hospital for something bad he had eaten and did not have much time to talk, but wanted to touch base anyways, which is pretty professional. His English is what struck me first; his accent was fairly similar to the English you’d hear from Chinese immigrants here, however the precision of it was remarkable. He spoke incredibly carefully and precisely; it was hard to understand him at first because it was so stop-start; each syllable enunciated sharply, so it made conversation a bit weird because I could never tell where the sentences ended or begun, or when to interject with my own speech. And he seemed to be reading from a form letter at times and would sound like an automated call from a bank when he did, which was kind of funny.
I was worried at one point when I’d explained my desire to travel and see more of Asia; I called China a "stepping stone" to the rest of Asia. Mr Gao mentioned then that most of his teachers renew contracts for the following year and he prefers commitment from his instructors. But didn’t really give me time to respond, as he switched right over to a new topic. Form letter response? Unsure..
It went well; Mr. Gao said he was very satisfied with my pronunciation and accent and said tomorrow when he was at work he would email me the contact, which would (hopefully!) explain the job in full detail. He said either November or February are the start dates available. Well right now, December I plan on being in Delaware for my brother’s college graduation and Christmas with the family, so that’s a "no." But February is nearly ideal, really! January might give me some time to stop by in Buffalo, too! (though I’ll have to try and pick up a transcription gig or something in the meantime to keep the $$ flowing) Well…Making progress with my China goal! Shit…Can’t believe it might actually happen! I’ve done some research on Jinan, too. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL city, inhabited for over 4000 years. Large, too; 5 million people. Climate-wise, I’d guess it’s similar to Maryland/Virginia, judging by its placement and latitudinal range. Which is pretty much what I’ve grown up in; moderate summers, crisp spring and falls, and moderate winters.
Better start back up on the Mandarin lessons!