MY CHINESE ODYSSEY By Selwyn Perry
The offer of a teaching post at a Chinese university arrives in the post one morning like a bolt out of the blue. After a four month wait for a reply to my letter, I had given up expecting to hear from Beijing. I wondered to myself why I had sent the letter in the first place. I am taken by surprise. The invitation to teach at Sichuan International Studies University is accompanied by a contract which I am asked to sign and return forthwith. What seems to me more remarkable is that I am invited to teach British history, English literature and sociology in addition to writing and speaking English.
With Tienanmen Square still fresh in my mind, I wonder whether this is a genuine contract. It seems to me incongruous that a country that had recently cracked down on its students for wanting more freedom and democracy in government should invite anyone to teach its children British history. I mull over this for a while. Has the western media misrepresented China. My wife says if you go they will kill you...
National Library of Australia
ISBN 1 876331 67 4