Post Number: 362
|Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 7:46 am: |
I have an opportunity to take a position with a High End audio company that is headquartered in Germany and whose manufacturing and marketing is based in Hangzhou, China, a city of about 7 million about 125 miles southwest of Shanghai The company is owned by a German citizen of Spanish/Portuguese descent who has lived in China for 15-20 years. The guy is a brilliant engineer with a well-developed and implemented business plan, and the components the company makes are spectacular. This is not a startup, and I have a great relationship with the owner.
He wants a native English speaker with extensive professional writing experience (I've written for the most prominent high-end audio magazines and websites in North America for the last 15 years and was trained as an attorney) to handle marketing materials and someone who can do developmental/evaluative listening and represent the company at audio shows, primarily in Western nations. Salary would be Western scale and moving expenses will be covered by the company.
I am 50-something with no close relatives, no girlfriend, and few friends. My cat passed away last month, so there's nothing to keep me here, My sole experience with international travel is a couple weeks each in New Zealand and in France. The logistics will necessarily be involved, but I've never been able to get and keep a decent job in the legal profession despite an Ivy League law degree. I am a geek - audio, music, cartoons, etc, and geeks are not welcome in any part of the legal profession where you can make real money save for patent law. and I am no engineer. I don't see myself having a lot to lose.
Do any Alembicians have ideas or experiences they would care to share?
Post Number: 430
|Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 7:52 am: |
Sounds like a fantastic opportunity and great adventure! May I suggest you contact the local University or Colleges and see if they teach Chinese as part of the language department? They may be able to introduce you to people to speak with.
On the audiophile front, what pen name did you use?
Post Number: 363
|Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 8:13 am: |
My IRL name is in my profile. I have written for The Absolute Sound, Stereophile and the website The Audio Beat for the last 17 years primarily reviewing High End components and, on occasion, music.
Post Number: 101
|Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 8:17 am: |
Never been myself, but several in my company travel there on a regular basis for business and they usually stay several weeks at a time.
According to them, the biggest hurdle is food.
Apparently, there are some "interesting" deviations from what western individuals would consider to be edible.
Other than that, I've also heard the driving can be challenging. The rules of the road there are more like guidelines that are open to individual interpretation.
If you're up for an adventure - I say go for it!
Post Number: 1449
|Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 8:24 am: |
My cousin and his wife (with 2 small kids) did a year teaching in rural China; out in the sticks it was, by American standards, primative, but they loved it - a few months after they came home, they went back for 2 more years.
(Message edited by cozmik_cowboy on April 16, 2013)
Post Number: 961
|Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 6:29 pm: |
Sorry about the loss of your feline companion, they can leave a big hole in your soul.
All I know about living in China is from a co-workers statement about his son who moved there for business reasons. I don't recall where he is living, but his initial reaction to the culture over there was that there was practically no crime or civil disobedience.
Sounds like it could be a unique opportunity.
Post Number: 2075
|Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 12:57 am: |
Did some Wing Chun training over there a few years ago, totally different from our western approach but I loved the place..embrace the culture which like all countries has it's good side as well as it's bad side.
Personally I would jump at the chance of such an opportunity..life is just too short to cram it all in(unless you are absolutely rich!)
Post Number: 176
|Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 4:39 am: |
How about a hybrid job with 1/4 to 1/2 time in China. You could probably do most of the work anywhere via the net. I kind of think it would be a fun place to visit, but I'm not sure I would really want to live in a city of 7 million. I like the outdoors too much and hate congestion.
Good luck with this! If you move, make sure to post up some photos.
Post Number: 364
|Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 8:33 am: |
I am a total city boy. I live in a metro area of more than 3 million now, though the congestion is of course nothing like that you find in China.
Post Number: 237
|Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 8:36 am: |
I had some Wang Chung, back in the 80s... Sorry, couldn't help the joke :P
Post Number: 645
|Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 6:30 pm: |
I've been to Beijing for work. It would be difficult for me to spend an extended period of time living there.
The guy who was my primary contact while I was there grew up in the Beijing area and then went to college in Canada. He then spent the next 15 years in Canada and the US. He'd been back to China for just shy of a year and he couldn't stand it anymore. He moved to Vancouver, BC shortly after my visit and he has no plans to ever return.
Post Number: 1507
|Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 9:03 pm: |
I say go for it!
My cousin went through a rough patch when he was 17 after his best friend was killed in a car accident ca. 1983. My uncle finally sat him down and told him "Enough wallowing around, what are you going to do with your life?" From out of nowhere, he replied "I'm going to China to teach English." So, he, being close to 6' and blond, blue eyed, etc., not knowing a word of Chinese, took off to some incredibly remote place in the interior of China to teach English to Chinese English teachers. This being before China had opened up much, the teachers had all learned English from watching movies from before the Revolution, so that meant gangster movies and the like from the 30s and early 40s. My cousin ended up doing really well and helped organize a porcelain factory, which exported enough to help fund schools, hospitals and other infrastructure for the Chinese. Now, he lives in Viet Nam, but it was obviously a great jumping off point. Weirdly, my uncle's second wife's family (his step-mom) started the opium wars and were the model for Taipan and other books of that ilk. They still have amazing artifacts at their estate in Scotland from that time. Lots of stories there (including my aunt escaping from China when she was 8 after she and her family were placed under house arrest during the revolution).
Friends in China story #2: Back in the 90s, I played in a band in Boston and we had some young fans. One of them was a high school kid (whose dad started one of the major schools of Shiatsu, the only Westerner to have done so. He grew up fully macrobiotic) and he ended up getting in trouble with the law. So, as part of a plea deal, he told the judge that he was going to college, so he got off pretty light. Only trouble was, he wasn't admitted yet. So, he came to me for a recommendation letter. I wrote him a glowing letter (knowing, of course, that he wouldn't let me down). He got in, did his time over the summer and ended up graduating with a 4.0 in Chinese and then moved to China to study Chinese medicine. I lost touch with him, as the emails I sent were bounced back. Fast forward 10 years. A keyboard player I played with moved to NY and joined up with a salsa band (again, weird dichotomy, blond-blued Texan playing salsa with the Puerto Ricans and Cubans and getting into some crazy back alley business in NY. Ended up running the band!) and they go on a tour in China. He loves it, and decides to go back on his own 6 months later. Gets to Beijing and heads into a bar where he hears some music. Sits down and this American dude comes up and they start talking. He mentions he lived in Boulder and the guy says "Boulder? Do you know Edwin and Dawn?" Unbelievable! How many people in Beijing and my keyboard player friend runs into the guy I wrote the rec letter for a decade previously first thing!
Anyway, China seems really cool. I'd go.
Post Number: 238
|Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 4:18 am: |
I did some Wang Chung, in the 80s.... Sorry, couldn't help the joke :P
Post Number: 239
|Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 7:08 am: |
... and for some reason the message above was a sorta-delayed double post. Please ignore it (besides, it was a terrible joke :P )
Post Number: 259
|Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 8:17 am: |
It's OK, jc--after all, the imperative back then was that EVERYBODY had to Wang Chung.
Post Number: 104
|Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 10:01 am: |
...or they'd be punished with Chung King...