The weird and wonderful world of Chinese bureaucracy

This month has been very bizarre.This is a kind of continuing post from the previous one as we are still in limbo-in fact things seem to have just got more and more confused. All the teachers at our Uni except one who were offered contracts for next semester turned them down for various reasons.That one has signed but may just blow them off if he has a better offer.His girlfriend apparently wants to return to her province. Now all the other teachers (like us) who were not offered new contracts are peeved,mainly because nobody told us we are not being rehired.Various rumours circulated that maybe there will be a second round of hiring.Then there were rumours that they want to vacate all our apartments and give them to party hacks or people with “guangxi” (connections/proteczia etc) but all of this is just surmise.So all of us got annoyed and started looking around for other jobs. Meanwhile the school is advertising all over the Internet for new teachers.We can’t understand why A. they don’t just tell us who is hired and who isn’t and B. why they would go looking for more teachers if they have people here who are sane and sentient and are wiling to stay on.

It’s all very mysterious but apparently in Chinese culture it’s bad for to say no to people in person and better to just say nothing and let them draw their own conclusions. Needless to say we feel a massive cultural gulf in this situation and we don’t really undestand what we are supposed to do.We may go elsewhere or just go home.

Today it’s pouring with rain (although warm) and seems to match my mood.We are supposed to go away next weekend for a long weekend as it is Qing Ming (Tomg Sweeping Festival) but since D has not yet got his passport back from the police we can’t buy triain tickets yet.We are planning on heading down to Guangzhou and Huizhou,a city which our neighbour Shannon has much praise for,as he taught there last year. It may be our new home but the way things are looking right now everything is unclear.

Socially we have met some more nice people-a Chinese teacher called Michael who wants to hang out with us,Laura another member of our department who lives on the island with her husband and came to see one of my classes and David Liu also a deaprtment teacher who has tried to find out for us what is going down,but not with much success.

Last week I went for an interview at a place called “Xiamen City University” which was more of a Polytechnic or Vocational College.It was pretty nice but they have only one job there and they have small rooms for teachers and give only a little subsidy for an apartment off campus and flats in Xiamen are REALLY expensive to rent.

We have sniffed around Jimei University and Huaqiao University here in Jimei but nobody seems to know if they are hiring yet so it’s the same all over.

That’s about it for now.Looking forward to our friends Renee and Barry coming down next month to visit from Shanghai. Hope it stops raining by then.


XMUT sports day (when it wasn’t raining)



4 thoughts on “The weird and wonderful world of Chinese bureaucracy

  1. Nice post.
    I don’t think though what you describe is peculiar to the Chinese culture. I think it’s quite common in many parts: this “don’t call us we’ll call you” attitude and then you’re left to drawn your own conclusions.
    Happy Passover!

  2. Thanks for the feedback Leo.That may be the case but the peculiarly Chinese version is to avoid confrontation at all costs,to the extent that they never say no. They will only say “maybe’ In all situations.IT’s frustrating.

  3. Weird situation Ruth but my wife was unemployed for over a year here in the holy land and sent off literally hundreds of applications and got one reply. The rest did not even acknowledge that they received it. Sounds far better in China as things are not going to get better here even with Lapid in charge. LOL

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