One quality that I really appreciate in a person is the ability to unapolagetically be yourself. And that is exactly what and who Andranik is. I first met Andranik four months ago when I moved to Shanghai and he is a colleague and someone I am happy to now call a friend. Besides fully and always being himself, he is a great conversationalist, gym enthusiast and can give the blue steel look just as good as any model. We love exchanging stories about our very fabulous and hilarious students throughout the day and searching for the best salad places in Shanghai in our off time. I asked if he would want me to take some professional and fun photos for him and we turned it into a morning of laughs, lunch and of course good lighting. After our photo shoot around Shanghai, we sat down over salads and rice bowls and talked life and all things Andranik.
Kaila: Where are you originally from?
Andranik: Vancouver, Canada born and raised.
Kaila: How would those who don’t know you describe you?
Andranik: Scary, fat and demanding. I come off intimidating. Note: Chinese students love to call Andranik fat because of his “scary muscles.” It is more like saying large…not meaning carrying excess body weight.
Kaila: And those who actually know you?
Andranik: Warm, caring, loving, driven and hard-working.
Kaila: What brought you to China?
Andranik: I have been year 1.5 years and China is so beautiful with an interesting culture. I grew up around a lot of Chinese people (in Vancouver) and I wanted to learn more about the country.
Kaila: What did you study in college?
Andranik: I studied anthropology because I loved history, science and culture and the subject was a way to combine all three of them.
Kaila: As a fellow anthropology major, what do you love about anthropology and what has it taught you?
Andranik: It taught me to look at the world with a holistic view of everything, patience and understanding of complex issues.
Kaila: What brings you joy in life?
Andranik: Making money. I am never happier in life than when I am making large amounts of money.
Kaila: What is the next thing you want to accomplish?
Andranik: I really want to get married and have a family in the next few years. That is my main priority right now.
Kaila: What do you hope your life looks like in five years?
Andranik: I hope I am married to a beautiful woman, have a daughter and am continuing my career as a teacher working in the International schools.
Kaila: What is a hard experience that you had that turned out to be really good?
Andranik: I would say breaking up with my ex-fiance because after I closed that chapter I was able to pursue my dreams and move overseas. She didn’t want to be a part of it.
Kaila: What makes you really laugh?
Andranik: My students! Children are fun to be around. They are pure fun, exciting and everything is new for them. Older kids and adults are more serious and jaded.
Kaila: What has surprised you most about Shanghai?
Andranik: How modern and the level of technology integrated into society. It is so easy for an expat to live here. I really haven’t felt culture shock.
Kaila: Okay, I am going to end with three questions I ask everyone. Just answer with the first thing that comes to your mind.
Where have you been?
Like countries? I’ve been traveling many different life times. Every year is different from the last. Every year is a different chapter of a book I am still writing. I am excited to find the conclusion.
Where are you now?
I’m really starting to enjoy life here as I am used to the culture, language, apps..etc. Life is easier. I’m able to live it to the fullest!
Where are you going?
I would like to stay in Shanghai long-term and meet my significant other here. But eventually I want to go back to Canada and take care of my family.