WHO I AM
My name is Liam McDermott. I am a 25 year old expat from Ireland who has been living in Shanghai for almost two years.
WHAT I DO
I am an English teacher in a bilingual kindergarten. I previously worked in a training centre but after one year of hard work, I was determined to find another teaching job and get on that coveted Monday to Friday schedule.
On the side, I also help put together music festivals for the people of Shanghai and it’s surrounding cities. Last summer, we held Deep Forest Festival in a bamboo forest outside of Anji city. At the time of writing this, we are currently working on a skiing/electronic music festival in the Anji mountains. It will be China’s answer to Apres Ski events that take place in the Alps each winter season.
WHERE I LIVE
I live in a large apartment with a few friends in South Pudong. Unlike my former neighbours in Puxi, the vast majority of my current neighbours have not had much contact with many foreigners so it is kind of like being a bad celebrity. Not like a Brad Pitt celebrity, but more like a person who was on Big Brother a number of years ago and was kicked off for some sort of controversy. People in Pudong are very friendly but they do love a good gawk and a stare.
Two years ago I was at a major crossroads in my life. I had just finished studying and was faced with the idea of working in Ireland for the remainder of my life, or I could take a few years to see the world. I took the latter option and started to work on finding a job abroad. I got in contact with a recruiter who asked what I was looking for. Having grown up in the rural west of Ireland, I told him that I wanted the biggest city he could find.
A week later, he came back to me and said that he had jobs in Shanghai. I did a few interviews and a month later I was on a plane to China not knowing what to expect. My decision was pretty rash but it worked out better than I ever could have planned.
Connect with Liam on Instagram: @liammchurley