The Beijinger magazine has an online classified site that can be a fascinating window into the interaction between the expat community and native Chinese. I looked through two days’ worth of classifieds today, and besides the usual selection of English instruction, Chinese instruction, personals (and some creepy mixture of language instruction plus personals), there were some ads that caught my eye:
- “Blonde hair dye kits bought in Australia. Extremely hard to find in Beijing.”
- “Be a character in a videogame – looking for expat teenagers & adults. Stormglass, a video company targeting audiences in the USA, is currently seeking Beijing expats to appear as characters in a videogame.” The ad describes the characters: Tim, 14-15, male, honest; Malcolm, 14-16, male, sinister; Dr. RS, 30s to 50s, male, sneaky; Dr. JS, 50s to 60s, distinguished scientist. It also says that the “roles primarily demand posing for still photos before a green screen.”
- “White guy needed for boardroom meeting. We are looking for white actors to sit through boardroom meetings. There will be around ten meetings each lasting about 5-10 mins over a four-hour period. You do not have to say anything or do anything apart from sit there, so this job is pretty laid back.” The ad offers payment of 500 RMB plus lunch. “I am ideally looking for white males or females who are over 30 (preferably 40+).
- And then this: “hello, we are a model company which needs urgently white foreign models (female&male) based on our fast developed business need, the salary is at least 5000rmb per day. If u are interested in being high-paid models, pls send us your resume and following info to email@example.com.
“plus, we welcome those yong people who are new in this industry but have very outstanding appearance, spirit and personality, we do not mind if you have no modeling experience, as long as you are passionate, dedicated,potential and smart, we are happy to find more talents and fresh man to join our fun team which leads to our team members' brighter future and surprising financial reward.”
I don’t think I need to offer any commentary at all here.