I taught a class to a new student today. I was told she is very picky about her teachers, but I wasn’t told why. I was informed that our class would be held at the Capital Mansion Club, a very swanky place in Beijing that’s often considered “a place where deals are done.”
I arrived to the place and two of this woman’s “assistants” came to greet me, saying she was running late due to finding a new store she liked. They asked me if I knew her or her husband, and I said I had no idea. After 15 minutes of chitchat, she walks in surrounded by a bodyguard and 3 more assistants… kind of like the guys in Entourage walk around. Apparently she is the wife of some famous Chinese pop/movie star, and I could tell.
It’s not every day you see such surgically-enhanced women unless you live in Las Vegas or Las Angeles (or frequent strip clubs). She’s about 45 years old, dressed in the nicest clothes I’ve seen on a Chinese person, and her face was shrouded in oversize sunglasses. I was told by her assistant that her husband’s one rule for English teachers is they can’t tell her how pretty she is.
Her English was very, very basic, but she wanted to learn phrases so she could be social and host. Our first order of business: how to eat at a restaurant. After teaching her the basics, she insisted that I teach her alcohols. Except we’d learn by doing. She ordered shots for her and her entire entourage as well as myself, and then made us drink them. After each, I was supposed to announce the type of booze and name. We drank vodka, tequila, 2 types of whiskey, rum, gin (shots, yes), and baijiu – all while chasing everything down with red wine. Our total bill was about US $650, which she paid without blinking an eye.
Anyways, that was at 11am this morning. I think I have a new favorite student.