When I first started working in China, my students laughed at my name. A day or two later, as I talked with my manager, I was told that my name had been a bit of a problem in the hiring process. “Our last teacher was called David,” he told me. “The Chinese didn’t want us to hire another one.”
I thought this more than a little strange. If my name had been “David Hitler” or “Kim Jong-David”, then it might have been a little more understandable… But even so, I couldn’t imagine why my name – surely one of the least imaginative a parent could bestow upon a child – had been jinxed by whoever came before me.
Then the stories came out, albeit slowly. My co-workers – a friendly and talkative bunch with whom I can discuss just about anything – were very reluctant to acknowledge the existence of “Crazy David”, as he was known.
I learned a few things about him that began to explain why he was so intensely disliked: