I Almost Worked for a Cult 29

Mao, Mao, don’t commit forgery!

Documents required to work in China that we had:

  • Degree scan
  • Police certs
  • Full medical
  • CV
  • Written references
  • Photos of us together (weird, but ok)

Documents required to work in China that we did not have:

  • AIDS tests
  • Chest x-rays

AIDS tests. Ok, they might be difficult to obtain. Where would you start to even find out how you’d get one done in Korea? It seemed to me like the kind of thing they’d deport you for over there.

“Hello, I, a foreigner, would like to apply for an AIDS test please.” I pictured two strong men injecting me with a heavy sedative and coming to in Heathrow. Why Heathrow? Well, the cunts would more than likely assume I was English, like everyone else in this country did.

The school had supplied a further medical questionnaire to be filled in by our doctor that would answer some fairly specific questions about our medical backgrounds. They were looking for history of debilitating diseases, mental health problems in the family, and counter-revolutionary tendencies. Ok, I made the last bit up.

I was going to have to engage an agent back in the home country to help us with this. Double O Mammy. Well, my mother. She was going to ask the family GP to fill the documents in for us and try get a negative AIDS test while she was at it.

It was a huge disaster. Mam tested positive for AIDS! Ah no, the doctor was terrified of creating an international incident, and would not fill in the forms without speaking to myself and herself first. I suspected there wouldn’t have been an issue if a large sum of cash was involved.

We were at an impasse. If an Irish doctor wouldn’t help, and a Korean doctor was out of the question, well then maybe forgery was the only answer?

I could mimic the signature of the doctor that had signed our original medical documents. However, my colouring skills did not include the ability to mimic a stamp from their surgery. Also, how the fuck can you forge a chest x-ray? Herself was good at art, maybe we could get some black photographic paper and white paint and draw a skeleton.

No, it was a ridiculous idea. The documents had to be brought by a family member to the Chinese embassy in Dublin for approval. We’d be hanging them, it wasn’t worth the risk. I can’t imagine my mam doing well in a Chinese jail. Dad on the other hand, he’d probably end up starting and coaching a GAA club made up of political prisoners.

No, the Chinese dream was over. Cambodia, we’d try Cambodia.

Next time: We try Cambodia

I Almost Worked for a Cult 28

Hey! China thinks you’re cool.

Things were looking up! Job offers were flying in from all corners of the orient.

A school in China had emailed herself during the night. They wanted to speak to us as soon as possible. We were to Skype Francis, the principal, at ten o’clock Korean time on the following Monday morning for a brief chat.

We had also received some mails back from Cambodia and Korea. None from Japan though. That upset me. I always wanted to be big in Japan. Like respected big, not large. I could be large wherever I went…

We spent Sunday chilling locally. No massive expenditures. We’d extended our stay in the guesthouse for a further seven days, giving us the deadline of having a decision made by then.

Deadlines. I hate deadlines. You give me a time and a date to complete a task, I’ll get it done. It’ll ruin my life, but I’ll get it done. Time is something that makes an absolute bollox of me all of the…time. Like if I have an assignment to complete, I might miss work. Or if I’ve a big project due at work, I might miss pints. I’d hoped to meet this particular deadline, but something told me it may not be one that I’d hit.

Francis called us on Skype the next morning at ten. We were using herself’s iPhone 5c to do the call. We’d a pretty good Wi-Fi connection in the guesthouse. For the call we had set up one of the beds like a couch. I shaved again for the interview. Looked like a giant baby with a hormone disorder. For all the previous interviews I’d worn my full suit. Trousers and all. For this one I decided to be a bit more casual. Shirt and tie with boxer shorts. Business casual, or business sexy? I wasn’t sure which category my outfit fit in to. Anyway, the guy would only see my head.

Francis was Dutch. He’d worked in the school for three years and his wife and child lived with him. His office looked like a modern day university lecturer’s office. There were no weird religious iconography, no stains on the wall, just rows and rows of proper looking books! He asked us the regular interview questions, a few personal (but not probing) questions and then asked us what we required from them if we were to take the job. That was the first time anyone had asked us that!

We told him all we required was an apartment, wages (obviously!), help setting up phones and a bank account, and clear instructions regarding our working hours and holidays. Francis laughed at this request. He said of course he’d provide us with all the relevant information. Moving to a foreign country was scary, and he’d make sure we had everything we needed before agreeing to come aboard.

We both let out a collective sigh of relief. This seemed legit! Francis was bemused by our reaction. He asked if something had happened us. Rather than be negative, we just laughed and kept schtum, telling him that info was sometimes hard to get a hold of. He smiled, knowingly, and said he’d email all the required document on to us after the call ended. If we got the job there, got settled and had a few successful weeks under our belts working there I’d gladly fill him in in all that happened to us after a few pints. I just wasn’t prepared to scare him off just yet!

Herself opened the email that Francis had sent. She read the contracts first. Money was decent, holidays were good, and the hours weren’t too bad either. We’d have our own apartment close to the school, and there was no mention of ridiculous extra-curricular requirements. Chinese lessons would also be provided! This looked great!

Now, their requirements for us. Fuck. We needed a full medical with x-rays and blood work from our doctor to be stamped by the Chinese embassy in Dublin. Bollox.

How would we get around this?

Next time: Mao, Mao, don’t commit forgery!