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Addicted to Mediocrity: Education in China II

Several years ago, there was an American dentist who was well known in alcohol recovery circles. He was frequently invited to speak about his circuitous and hard won arrival at sobriety because he was easily one of the most entertaining speakers ever heard on any subject. One story in particular remains with me: Having been told of the death of a colleague, and to preclude public contact while “paying his respects”, he visited the grave site where his friend would be laid to rest. As he leaned over the six-foot deep hole to bid a heartfelt, albeit inebriated goodbye, he fell into the hole. Unable to extricate himself he simply laid down for a brief nap.

When mourners arrived and gathered for the lowering of the casket there was a collective gasp of horror when a figure attempted to rise up from the grave. The dentist mused, “A normal man would have been embarrassed.” But, habit had been a great deadener and he was beyond shame. It would be many years later that he actually reached a “bottom,” deeper than the aforementioned six foot resting place, that acted as a catalyst for recovery. More on this in a bit….

Two weeks ago, amidst finals, I had to quickly return to my office to retrieve a forgotten document; en-route, I passed the classroom of one of the younger Chinese teachers. The brilliant and beautiful Ph.D graduate of one of the top schools in the world was asleep at her desk while her students chattered, used cell phones, applied make-up, read books, dozed, and smoked cigarettes. It looked more like a scene out of Chalkboard Jungle, Stand and Deliver or Freedom Writers, but without hope for a happy ending. In retropsect, the most astonishing part of the experiece was my lack of surprise and concomitant emotional indifference. I guess I have seen this too many times in too many Chinese and expat led classroom–while the teacher was awake.

Students in China, unlike students in Japan, are no longer adherents of Confucian principles. Since the days of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, where teachers were shamed, beaten, jailed and even killed (1966-1976), reverence for teachers is, at best, an arguable ideal. The average Chinese college student in many schools (there are exceptions), who thinks himself respectful, would still manage to incur the wrath of most American Professors because they have not had modeled for them the manners and etiquette expected of a western scholar.

Last week the Chinese media and the Internet were alive with rumors of this incident captured on film:

Stories abounded about the perpetrators, whose names and school were quickly made public on bulletin boards nationwide, and they had to be secreted away because a bounty had been placed on them. Allegedly 100,000 RMB (about 120,000 USD or 5 years of a school teacher’s gross salary) had been offered to the person or group that would literally beat them into respectfulness. The students, who finally apologized to the teacher, reportedly are back at school and neither the school or the teacher will further comment.

What is most disturbing to me, other than the physical attack and threat of harm to the teacher, is that the scene is all too typical of what many pedants are asked to endure in China. The industrialization of education has led the spoiled offspring of one-child families (Little Emperors), especially the newly prosperous, to believe that they have a right to lord their rich consumer status over low-paid, poorly prepared, and administratively unsupported educators. Teachers are expendable, and salvaging tuition is a higher calling.

Many of us who have been here for several years manage our classrooms with strict discipline and genuine concern for student well-being. Eventually, our sincerity is believed and that, in turn, generates a certain measure of respect. This allows for a reasonably manageable classroom where the handful of students serious about language acquisition and cultural gain can actually glean something useful.

In some rural schools, where teachers might be as paid as little as $50.00 USD per month, educators sometimes resort to brutality against students in a quest for control. There are laws against such behavior, but they are not often enforced. The students, I beieve, are rebelling against a system heavily reliant on memorization, humiliation and devaluation of self. I do not absolve abuse teachers of any negligence or liability by believing that their behavior is part-and-parcel of a dysunctional system. “Chinese education has a long history of corporal punishment,” says Thomas Gold, a University of California-Berkeley sociologist who studies China. Teachers’ “social status remains low, so they may be taking out their own frustrations on laggard kids.” I could not agree more.

My last school, the one where I just resigned, caters to wealthy, underachieving children from privileged families. The school virtually sells advanced (and unaccredited) degrees to business and government leaders from the mainland; accepts known plagiarized theses from students who may or may not have attended classes; admits almost any undergraduate (these programs are accredited) with a healthy bank balance; hires raw mainland talent, looking for a foothold in teaching, at a fraction of the wages paid by government established schools, and with only ten-month teaching contracts containing no provisions for retirement; they protect a registrar who holds American and Chinese Passports and the deanship over five departments who brags about hiding his income from the IRS via a Hong Kong bank; they pad their website faculty list with professors from famous universities who are not active teachers; have investors on their board with government ties who shower the school with land and facility donations; and have a turnover rate for staff that is higher than the local McDonalds. The teachers, though better paid, feel no more self worth than those in rural environs.

It is hard for students to command respect for an education entity, such as the one I left. It is blatantly greedy and inept. But, many, many other Chinese schools, especially privatized ones, have also abandoned functional educational models in the pursuit of profit. And with only 1/3 of graduating seniors assured of work this year many students cannot muster the motivation to respect a system that does little for their future, less for their net worth and still condemns their teachers to social contempt.

It is no wonder that 40% of my former school’s Freshman class applied for transfer. And 20% of the best, brightest and ethical at the school were accepted by other institutions and thankfully will leave. Others wish they would have followed suit because they will be left behind with an even further demoralized and unruly student and faculty population. Only 40% of those students educated abroad will return to China to share the skills they will acquire. My guess is they will avoid the teaching profession if possible.

Any normal system would be embarrassed. It is necessary to examine ways to curb profiteering, improve classroom conditions and teaching methodologies by educating educators and then rewarding them accordingly. It is time to foster respect for those entrusted with educating China’s new managers.

In a country now increasingly pressured to compete globally in business–via skills and quality and not price–while tariffs, environmental concerns and increasing production fees lower profits, one would think China would sober up and ask for a ladder to be lowered to rescue a system now forty years stranded nearly six-feet under.

China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Macau University of Science and Technology,Teaching in China,The Internet,Videos,中国,中文

14 responses so far

Continuing Education Classes for Expats in China

One thing I do miss about America is the grand amount of community and continuing education available to virtually anyone and much of it for free. I was stumbling through Illustratrator’s newest release on MAC yesterday and bemoaning the fact that even a book on the subject would be hard to come by or too expensive to ship or pick up in Hong Kong.

Coincidentally, two colleges contacted me about the possibility of low-residency Masters and Doctoral programs and Continuing Education. One school is based in the UK and one is in the US. Both have good reputations and a comprehensive offering of courses. Both asked me if I thought they could be successful in China with the expat community. I answered honestly that I hadn’t a clue, but that I would ask you.

Let me know your thoughts and please feel free to add a response or two to the poll.

{democracy:2}

Asia,China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,China web 2.0,Chinese Education,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Expats,Intercultural Issues,Teaching in China,The Internet,Travel in China,中国,中文

6 responses so far

# 1 Martian SEO Expert

will this seo martian pron get me locked up Oiwan

I am not at the top of the rankings as a Martian Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert in the universe, but I might be after this post! The algorithms that govern what is and is not registered by search engines like Google and Yahoo! are shape-shifters: They catalog combinations from blogs and websites that can mystify, amuse and swindle you. For example, I am #1 in Google for Adult Pampers Makers even though I can’t remember mentioning diapers on this blog. I am too old to remember using them and too young to worry about them just yet. I believe, like Robin Williams, that diapers are like politicians and should be changed frequently because they are both full…

But, I digress…

I know about this listing because someone searched for the term, and my analytics program identified from whence they came. There are other authentic one-hit wonders for which I rank highly, though I am clueless about why people searched for them or why I showed up tops. They ALL beg for an aside, but I am resisting, thinking that you can use your imagination: Pocket Fisherman Diagram, Moscow Prostitute, Pig League Facials, Plentiful Breast Pictures, Professor Asshat, China Olympic Athlete Blog, There is the sex that americans admit to, Hairy Chinese Women, Wedding dress Market Report in China, I had my hepatitis shot, but the test says I have no immunity, Naked nurse teaching in China, Anais Nin commerative coin, American Prostitute Self, Naked nurse teaching in starbucks china, quota of America to China, You Tube Hong Kong Free Sex Video, How culture affects the way we use utensils, and Cartoon Photos of a man being massaged among hundreds of others…

Some SEO “Experts” list some of the keywords they claim to have earned in Google’s top ten rankings. They claim that these listings attest to their prowess, and they use these words to convince you that they can move your blog, site or company into a position where you will get more hits and gain international fame and fortune. Most of the words are like the ones above: once in a Martian moon sighting you will get a hit. Some seem remarkably credible like “UK SEO Expert.” He sounds, or can make himself sound, like the marketing go-to guy in England–that is, until you do some research on Submit Express and discover that on any given day there are ZERO searches for that term.

Far too many Chinese SEO firms prey on clients using this strategy. And most businesses, woefully unaware of SEO methods, are bilked out of thousands of dollars every year. The cost for a “hot word,” one with search results in the millions (think “Buddha,” “free buffet,” or “online video game”), is staggering: the top ten in Google is 20,000 RMB a year ($2,500 USD). A “cold word” with low search returns (think “delicious rat recipes” or “Japan learned everything it knows from the Tang dynasty”) will pull 10,000 RMB ($1,250 USD) from your wallet.

So “UK SEO expert,” at 2 million returns, would cost you 20,000 RMB and bring you absolutely no traffic. I’m always suspect of the word expert anyway: in bomb school, an expert was laughingly referred to as a “former drip under pressure”–never a good thing in explosives. It was a surefire way to tell someone was not what they purported to be.

I have many great search results I’m proud of, but were someone to actually come to them, I would worry about their mental health or my ego. I am number one for “American professor” in Google, hands down, and I frequently use this in lieu of a business card when I forget one. I am also in the Google China top ten for “American blog” (out of half a billion returns) and number 1 for “handsomest American in China” (move your Canuck ass over, Da Shan!) and ridiculously #1 for America’s Best Blog. In all humility, I found I rank quite high for “China blog about nothing” and “Lonnie isn’t exactly the sharpest guy in the world,” which isn’t exactly what you’d want when you are trying to build up your China business consultant site that’s already number 1 for “china business consultant blog” in Google, Google China and Yahoo.

If you are really interested in a legitimate search engine marketing provider, drop me a note at [*santini47@yahoo.com *]–spambots, eat your heart out (thanks R)! I’ll turn you on to the likes of Fili, Ryan, CWM, or someone else who will be able to get their hands out of your Paypal pockets at some point. And if you’re considering marketing to Martians anytime soon, you know where to look…

FYI: I am doing SEO work or global marketing lectures free for nonprofit groups or companies who agree to donate my normal fee to the China Dreamblogue project.

By the way, with this many links in a post, doesn’t it look like Dan Harris wrote it?

American Professor in China,Asia,Asian Humor,Asian Women,Beijing Olympics,cartoons,Censorship,China Business,China Business Consultant,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Expat,China Expats,China Humor,China Olympics,China SEO,China web 2.0,Chinese Internet,Chinese Media,Gratuitous Cheesecake,Greater Asia Blogs,Guangzhou,Guangzhou China,Hong Kong Stars,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Internet marketing China,Japan,Just Plain Strange,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,SEO China Expert,The Internet,The Sharpest Guy on the Planet,Top Blogs,UK SEO EXPERT,Uncategorized,Weird China,中国,中文

6 responses so far

The funniest man in China….

Who:

Attended Cathedral Chorister School, Durham with Tony Blair ?

Who was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Comedy Performance in 1982 for the 1981 season?

Who once crashed his MacLaren F1, a supercar valued at more than $1,000,000, into the back of a stationary Mini Metro, valued at around $600 USD (the damage was not severe)?

Who was one of the guests at Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles (you would have to have a sense of humor) wedding ?

You know you have been an expat too long when you can discuss, in detail, such trivia about the above referenced English comic, and revered Black Adder member, Rowan Atkinson.

And he has a new movie out:

Mr Bean in China

Ms Yue, a child of the revolution, does not know who the Beatles were, my students would not know Winnie the Pooh from the Pope (he looks like a really old bear, but with a hat, ae?), but even teenage girls would trample Justin Tiberlake enroute to getting a look at Mr. Bean’s mole-like mug. I am headed to the movies tonight to see what all the new fuss is about despite being offered the DVD version by every Chinese person I know. I might even do a review.

I once wrote, in a now lost post, about the Chinese sense of humor. Yes, it has its subtleties in speech (They love and study word play), but good physical stunts are valued over a talented tongue (sinocidal: hands off!).

And it is not just because of language (or my not being real funny) that I have to exaggerate body language or vocal tone to get a class to smile. Here are some examples of some pictures from that lost post that have endured on the net because they still tickle the national funny-bone here in China:

computer addict china

toilet humor

china humor

chins cupid

34.jpg

35.jpg

Asian Humor,China Expats,China Humor,Chinese Media,Confucius Slept Here,Entertainment,Humor,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Just Plain Strange,Personal Notes,Photos,The League of Extraordinary Chinese Women,The Unsinkable Ms Yue,Weird China,中国

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Confucius slept here…

Confucius Slept here

I happily recovered another older post and will revive an idea I started to develop about a a year ago:

This is the re-start of an ongoing, intermittent series about the daunting task of adapting to China and the Chinese ways of culture and business. The working title: Confucius Slept Here: Meditations on China for Western Newcomers is a series that will look at individual and business norms, mindsets, cross-cultural paradigms, language, and customs in the context of my circuitous path to acceptance in the Middle Kingdom. This will be old hat for many of you. and no doubt it will like the SEO series I have started: Some of you have travelled far beyond the material presented. For you, I hope to solicit feedback on how to better present the material that could one day, with much work, become a primer for visitors to China. It is for the neophite or would-be expat.

Long ago one of my Tae Kwon Do instructors was infamous for teaching three to four hour long classes to to black belted students. I was one of the charges that found myself doing “simple” front punching or blocking for an entire period of training. My master felt that without constant re-examination and practice of the basics that had been essential to development we could not be good teachers nor could we be good citizens in a global community of TKD practitioners at various levels of the art. We had a responsibility to keep revisiting what had brought us to the sport and we were mandated to pass on what we could to those following behind us.

It is no different for me in SEO or in life adjustment is Asia. If you can learn one thing from my stumbling or my limited success then I am happy. I am, after all, a teacher by job, vocation and calling.

I am no expert on China, but now having lived 17 years in Asia, I realize how different China is even other Asian cultures. My time as an expat has given me some sense of what is needed to survive personally and professionally.

As I said the musings will be random though I hope to pull them together at some point as a real book with a more linear structure. Note: This will concern life in the mainland and not Hong Kong and Taiwan though will include unavoidable/salient issues relating to both.

First Things First:

THINGS TO BRING TO CHINA

These are things that you may want to consider bringing and items that you do not want to carry along regardless of what your mother, or neighbor stuck in the cold war, says:

1. A camera. But, unless you are the next Ansel Adams or have a need for a fancy rig, leave the big bucks at home. Bring a digital or film camera (there are tons of places that will put your pic’s on disk for little of nothing) that will take decent pictures. Use one that you are not afraid to lose or have lifted at a train station.
2. Bring an extra battery for any of your cameras. And pop for a a 220V charger while you are here. Anything you have that is 110V is liable to fry like an egg.
3. Medical Travel and Baggage Loss Insurance. Pay the few extra bucks! I have lost my luggage three times enroute to China (the U.S. carrier lost them all) and, even with insurance, only recovered about half of my losses. Medical insurance will ensure your evacuation to the U.S. shoud it be needed.
4. No-Doz if you are a coffee addict. Coffee is incredibly expensive and often not available in restaurants. Except fot the Thai restaurants the stuff you buy in the Jiffy Marts here is not very strong. You WILL get a case of Mao’s Revenge and it will be because of withdrawal, not the water.
5. I guess that #4 means bring some anti-diarrheal medicine as well….
6. Deodorant.
7. Dental Floss. Toothpicks are available at every restaurant.
8. Aspirin, if you prefer it to Tylenol, as it is hard to come by in other than miniscule doses.
9. Yuan/RMB. Two reasons: The dollar is free-falling against the Yuan and you will wait until retirement age in line to change money at most banks.
10. English Novels, Magazines or anything you want to read to pass the time. Hong Kong is about the only place with anything. Most stuff in China that looks English will really be Chinglish or government approved news and commentary–get over it: we have spin too.
11. The phone numbers for the English speaking/Western Medicine Doctors residing in the towns you will visit. You do not have time to be hand-signaling a Chinese physician no matter how good he is. The U.S. Consulate in those areas can provide these numbers. There are plenty of them but, they charge Western rates so:
12. Bring your credit card. China is 85% a cash economy but, the physicians do take plastic.
13. The numbers for your Embassy or Consulate. If you strangle a street vendor and get arrested the U.S. State Department can pretty much only come visit you (they are worse than useless) but, you will at least get a visitor. Keep the number in case you need a document notarized or need your friends interrogated by Homeland Security, prior to a visa, if you invite them to come visit you in the U.S..
14. It is better to bring the contact email and phone numbers of your government representives. Your Embassy may act more on your behalf if you call home first. Diplomats hate extra paperwork.
15. A couple of pens. The pens here are not the ones they export.
16. A muzzle on your need to spread the word for any religious or political views. It is against the law. And you SHOULD be spending your time learning about the culture you want them to replace before you preach about yours. The climate is changing but, don’t push the river.

Forget About:

1. Toilet paper. They use it here too. BUT, do buy packs of tissue at a local store or you may be, uh, cleansing yourself with currency: most of the toilets in public areas do not have T.P..
2. Antibiotics. They sell them at local pharmacies and besides: unless you are a physician you shouldn’t be self medicating! If you do have medications that you take regularly bring plenty and bring it in the prescription or OTC container or you will need the phone number for #13 above.
3. Stationery. They are literate. And they make 90% of the cutsie stuff they sell at Walmart.
4. Mailing envelopes. And don’t do anything dumb like send valuables. The postal guys in your country will steal it because it is easy to blame on the Chinese.
5. Clothes that need Ironing or lots of clothes. They do not have dryers and you can buy anything you need here at a fraction of the cost in your homeland.
6. Any pre-concieved notions about this country. It will shock, bewilder, and wonderfully amaze you daily.

Asia,China Expats,China Humor,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Personal Notes,Teaching in China,Travel in China,中国

9 responses so far

The best short-bus blogs

DUMB BLOGS

The other day I was not tagged as one of five thinking blogs by the Silicon Hutong or the China Law Blog. Imagine that! So, I am tagging other five blogs which don’t themselves purport to be smart, but are regular reads for lots of folks anyway.

I have tagged China and non-China blogs and call them short-bus blogs because it seems we cannot yet ride with the big kids..

1: The Platypus Society Cap’n Platy is a panic most of the time. He takes nothing seriously and is a breath of fresh bandwidth. He has successfully set a record for losses in the Weblog Awards for best humor blog to the most subscribed to in the business. Cap’n is the lovable pyromaniac little brother you can’t disown. Check out his Random Acts of Stupidity section.

2. The Humanaught: Few have done more for the China Blogsphere than this guy. He needs a job that gets him off the computer a few more hours a day. He seems to have more irons in the fire than a sword sharpener for the 300. That he can read Chinese impresses this dullard as much as it make me jealous. His recent conversation with the new ethnocentric cyber-buddy Xiao I made me blow cloves through my nose. Here is a sampling:

Xiao I

Ryan says:
你认为日本人好吗? (Are Japanese people good?)
小i机器人 says:
世界上最坏的 (They are the worst in the world)

洲人好吗? (How about Africans?)
小i机器人 says:
非洲人都黑漆漆的。(Africans are all dark – exact translation’s a bit weird)
Ryan says:
非洲好吗? (Is Africa any good?)
小i机器人 says:
没有呀。我怕遇到食人族。(No way. I fear encountering cannibals.)

Alright, so it doesn’t like Africans, what about my countrymen?

Ryan says:
你认为加拿大人好吗? (What do you think about Canadians?)
小i机器人 says:
酷,当然比谢停峰还酷。(Cool, of course. Cooler than [HK singer] Xiè Tíngfēng.)

3. FiLi’s World: This guy is fluent in at least three languages: Chinese, Geek and English. He has forgotten more about technology and the China Websphere than I will ever know. I will be using his most recent post on Baidu SEO Basics as a point of reference next Saturday as I dumb down (for me, not you) his well researched China Search Engine Marketing Basics.

4. Mask of China: Dezza just keeps getting better. He could take spectacular pictures with just a box camera. Based in Hong Kong he chases after its crazy political contradictions and injects wry humor into posts about life in the mainland as well his new home ( and new baby) in the former colony down south. Dezza has been on my blogroll since Mao was a corporal.

5.The Peer-See Blog: This movable feast of words is a 12-gauge shotgun approach to blogging in China. There may be a recipe, a film review or a Bronx Cheer over the coverage on the Starbucks threat to Chinese culture at the Forbidden City there. A blog with an occasional bite there are always wonderfully inventive posts like this one:

Single Asian Female Seeks Spanking:

Single, Asian Female seeks American couple for LTR – and maybe some light spanking 😉

I am a cute, young Chinese girl.

You are educated, married, and between the ages of 30 and 50. You must also be well-endowed and generous with your assets 😉

Please no singles or psychos. And definitely NO FATTIES.

If interested, contact China Center for Adoption Affairs

If a Tree falls

This is by no means a full list of all the Bozos I could have loaded onto the short bus. My apologies….

All aboard!

Asian Humor,Blogroll Diving,China Expats,China Humor,Chinese Internet,Expats,Greater Asia Blogs,Hong Kong Blogs,Humor,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Internet,Top Blogs,Top China Blogs List,中国

11 responses so far

China CEO: Voices of Experience

China CEO

I have had a rich cyber-life these few years. I have had the chance to dialogue with some extraordinary people. I have not had occasion to shake their hands or to look into their faces because they are Internet acquaintances. I now count some 20 people as “real friends” though I have yet to hear them speak except via VOIP.

I am grateful for my time recently with Professor Chris Carr of Cal Poly’s MBA program. He is every bit the informed, intuitive, and gracious teacher I had envisioned over the months we connected via blog comments and emails. He was here, flesh and blood, to scout out learning opportunities for 30+ MBA students at Cal Poly who will visit here in June as part of an ambitious trip to immerse themselves in China’s business and social culture. From what I have seen, if I can be so prosaic, they have the experience of a lifetime ahead of them.

An added perk for me was Chris making good on a promise to bring a copy of China CEO: Voices of Experience by Juan Antonio Fernandez and Laurie Underwood. Amazon is still just a rain-forest here and the area bookstores nearby rarely have material that I want to read: it is censored or just not in stock. So, I am thrilled when guests coming bearing literary gifts. Come back anytime Chris!

The book is filled with dozens of insightful advisories for doing business in China. Professor Fernandez and Journalist Underwood have a well constructed, predictably pedagogical text about how business is done and should be approached by would-be expat executives.

The authors mined the information presented from 20 American, European and Japanese Fortune 500 executives and 8 “high profile consultants.” The average interviewee in the book had was about 50 years of age, had 23 years of experience with the same company and five years of expat time in China out of a total average of 15 years abroad.

The book details:

Qualities of a Successful International Manager in China
Managing Chinese Employees
Working with Business Partners
Winning Over Chinese Consumers
Negotiations with the Chinese Government
and Living in China among other offerings wherein Guanxi, IPR, Cultural Adaptation and other expected challenges are discussed. The enormous scope of the book limits greater detail, but the reader will still glean many important tips from its pages.

It is a must-read book for the executives or foreign service types being posted here for the first time. The chapters on adaptation strategies for new expat families and managers alone make it worth the cover price.

It is likely not a useful book for the young traveller/adventurer. It is not, as it purports to be, a guide to establishing and managing businesses in the Middle Kingdom. It is effectively written by the power elite in China. Most of these CEOs, personable and kind as they might be in life, likely don’t interact much with everyday Chinese citizens and long ago forgot what it feels like to be an entrepreneur or specifically a China Expatrapreneur.

It is an exceptionally well outlined text and would be a perfect prepackaged course for an MBA or DBA introduction to China. It will make you functionally conversant in the language of expat businessmen and is an worthy primer to read while on the path toward greater fluency.

I am now waiting for a book that looks over the impressive heads of the CEOs of Bayer, BP, GE, Coke and Siemens–all interviewed in China CEO–to the grass roots leaders who are part and parcel of the China most of the rest of us know or will likely come to abide in. I am hoping for a supplemental text that will chronicle the stories of the likes of Chris Barclay. I think the West and China is hungry for, and and in need of, a book about the cultural groundbreakers who came here with little more than a command of English and a love of Asia and who succeeded personally and professionally.

Asia,China Book Reviews,China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,China web 2.0,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Intercultural Issues,中国

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The Sinocidal History of China

The funniest guys in the China blogsphere have a must-see post for you guys. It has been up for a few days, but is timeless. A preview:

2500 BC: Chinese scientists rename the fatherland “the motherland” after determining the sex of China.

1600 BC: The great Yu, last of the Five Legendary Rulers, promises to eradicate bad habits such as spitting and queue jumping within the next five years. “China is a developing country” he reminds critics.

770 BC – 476 BC: The Spring and Autumn Period occurs in China, and is only brought to an end by the invention of Summer and Winter by Chinese scientists.

1969: The dreams of Man are realised as Neil Armstrong takes his first step on the moon. China responds by stating it too will place a man selling lamb kebabs, t-shirts, and musical lighters, on the moon by 2040.

China in Space

June 4th 1989: According to the official records of the CCP, on this day the sun was shining, so Deng Xiaoping decided to have a nice picnic with his friends out in the countryside. On the way home, he saw a cute kid selling homemade lemonade by the roadside, so he bought six glasses for only one yuan each, and then gave the kid a shiny button to take home.

Enjoy….

Blogroll Diving,China Expats,China Humor,Chinese Internet,New Blogs,Top Blogs,Top China Blogs List,中国

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A Chinese New Year Resolution: Teach in China

Guest Post by David DeGeest

“In China many families live in extreme poverty. This is especially true of the mountain villages of the Guilin/Yangshuo area of Guangxi Province where many farm families live a meager existence on a bit of land. They struggle to pay the school fees for their children to go to the local elementary school.”

–from the Volunteer English Teaching Program

 

China teems with travel wonders and travel woes. I had made plans with friends to head to Vietnam for the Chinese New Year and ended up, because of visa troubles, in Yangshuo, Guanxi province, home of the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat and the unbreakable Chun Li.

Yangshuo

While the trip was a cascade of logistic mishap after mishap, the beauty of the karsts and the uniqueness of the people I met–from a Guangzhou leather factory owner to a crew of Dutch HKU students–all gave me reason to be thankful for my fiasco.

During my stay in Yangshuo, I had the good fortune to meet Laurie Mackenzie, a man who, like me, is an accidental expat: he decided to come to China on little more than a whim. A retired professor and former officer in the Canadian army, he’s been here for five years building a network of schools and volunteers to help poor villagers and children learn English skills. But he is not on a mission of religion, Americanization, or exploitation–he is on a mission of heart.

Laurie MacKenzie

Yangshuo is dense with tourists almost year-round, and its offers of spectacular scenery, excellent mountain climbing and hiking trails, and good-quality, inexpensive food and lodging draw tourists not just from China but all over the world. By offering economically diasadvantaged children and families English lessons and opportunities for sometimes-shy Chinese children and adults to interact with foreigners, MacKenzie opens up economic possibilities for these families and children. MacKenzie also works tirelessly to secure donations that allow for these students to purchase the basic resources they need for school–pens, paper, books, and other supplies. “Poor schools do not have resource materials,” says MacKenzie on the Volunteer English Teachers website. “Classroom equipment is a sheet of plywood painted black and some coloured chalk. It is often impossible for parents to buy the note books, pencils etc. that every pupil needs.” MacKenzie, his wife, and his volunteer staff of Anglophones from around the world do everything they can to help these motivated children realize their potential.

VET Chinese Child Choir

Children at the VET schools learn oral English through games, songs, and activities like choirs (as seen above). I end this article with some words from MacKenzie about why he chose to begin this work and why he continues:

“The cycle of poverty can only be broken through education. Poor peasant farmers struggle to pay the annual school fees for their children to go to primary school but very, very few can afford the higher costs of sending the children to Junior Middle School or beyond. We know that if the children can learn to be comfortable with foreign visitors and speak some English they will be able to get work. Volunteer English Teachers are committed to helping these children realize a better future. “

Asia,China Editorials,China Expats,Chinese New Year,Expats,Holidays,Personal Notes,Teaching in China,Yangshuo China,中国

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Maybe it was the Chinese tea….

Chinese medicine

China Hands, the expats who have spent several years here, all have one or more stories about questionable medical care in China. One visit to a traditional hospital and a diagnosis of “Palpitation of Hyperactivity of Fire due to Yin Deficiency,” or “Deafness Caused by Exogenous Wind-Evil,”or any other kind of malady for which you might be prescribed snake bile as a cure, is enough to spook any newcomer.

I have long been an advocate of Mind-Body and Non-Traditional Medicine. The iatrogenic (In short: and illness caused by the treatment of an illness) issues caused by many Western drugs had me looking for other solutions. After reading, in Surgeon-Writer Richard Selzer’s book Mortal Lessons, about the uncanny diagnostic abilities the Dalai Lama’s personal physician, Yeshi Donden I was, and am, convinced that there are a great many Eastern healers with skills we sorely need to learn.

But, for all the stereotypical Hollywood hype like Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and its sixty-second healings of fractures, poisonings and such China has a long way to go to return to its traditional roots. Medicine, like everything, has industrialized and mediocrity and greed are more easily diagnosed than illness.

The unsinkable Ms Yue was told that her X-ray showed no abnormalities and they prescribed some herb to help her with some lymphatic pain they attributed to one of the four elements or Feng Gunk or something…. But, a month later she visited the formidable Zhongshan University Hospital in Guangzhou and was told that her X-ray revealed major calcifications indicative of late stage breast cancer.

Another friend nearly died last year when told that his double pneumonia was a simple cold while I was diagnosed with “fatty liver” (they think most westerners only have bad liver scans due to excessive drinking) when I actually had contracted Hepatitis A. In every instance we paid for useless medicines in addition to the questionable diagnostics. With the new industrialism has come cut-backs in medical funding and socialized health care benefits, so the doctors and clinics are looking for ways to make the rent. And they are doing creative diagnostics and treatment for big bucks while many average Chinese are considering suicide in lieu of expensive treatments.

Reuters, via China Digital Times has a great story about the decline of routine Chinese medical care. “A group of Chinese reporters came up with a novel idea to test how greedy local hospitals were — pass off tea as urine samples and submit the drink for tests.

The results: six out of 10 hospitals in Hangzhou, the capital of the rich coastal province of Zhejiang, visited by the reporters over a two-day period this month concluded that the patients’ urinal tracts were infected.

Five of the hospitals prescribed medication costing up to 400 yuan ($50), the online edition of the semi-official China News Service (www.chinanews.com) said in a report seen on Wednesday. Of the hospitals, four were state-owned.”

Me? I see a western MD in Guangzhou then go to Hong Kong to stock up on tried-and-true medications (many of the ones you buy in stores in Guangzhou are fakes) and make sure my medical evacuation insurance premiums are paid up….

For those of you interested in a medical text that does a good job of integrating Eastern and Western approaches take a look at Traditional Chinese Medicine by Professor Chen Keji, MD.

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The Darren Russell Murder…

An American, a teacher displaced by an unethical recruiter in Guangzhou, China needlessly lost his life here two years ago. It will be officially Spring soon and Darren’s family will celebrate once again without their son as the season opens to the warmth and promise of a new year.

I did not personally know Darren. But, I have come to appreciate, admire and care deeply about him, albeit obliquely, through his impact on those around him. He was genuinely cared for by students, associates and of course his those related by blood and shared experiences.

It is my understanding that there is new information/developments in the case. I will report them as soon as I can. In the interim please brief yourself on the case here:

Darren’s memory is held aloft by his family and a cadre of friends who have not idealized him in his death, but have done what true friends and caring families do: they simply continue to love Darren Russell and they are fighting for justice in his case.

Visit his Site and please sign the petition that may protect other sons and daughters in China and other parts of the world should they one day need the kind of assistance that could prevent another tragedy. Click on his image to see the memorial maintained for him:

DARREN RUSSELL

Asia,China Editorials,China Expats,Expats,Homeland Security,In the news,Teaching in China,中国

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China Blogroll Diving…

Occasionally I go blogroll diving. It is akin to dumpster diving, but instead of selling my treasures on Ebay I get paid through a good laugh, some new insight or a a fresh post to share. And I come out of the whole blog experience smelling a lot better….

This will be part of an ongoing series featuring little known websites and blogs based in, or writing about, China that deserve a look. There is some wonderfully creative stuff going on out there/in here….

A Black Man in China

Black Man in China

It’s a podcast from a Cleaveland Ohio expat. Be sure to watch “No size fits all” where he spends the day hunting for clothes here in OZ….

broke.gif

Second on the list is a humor site that often posts Chinglish sightings and occasionally other China nonsense. From hairlarious.wordpress.com:

1. In a Beijing hotel lobby:
The lift is being fixed for next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.”

2. In a Shanghai hotel elevator:
“Please leave your values at the front desk.”

3. In a Hangzhou hotel:
The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid;

4. In a Jilin hotel:
“You are very invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

5. In a Wuxi dry cleaner:
Please drop your trousers here for best results.”

6. Outside a Tianjin clothing shop:
Order your summer suits quick. Because of big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.”

7. In a Xian tailor shop:
“Ladies may have a fit upstairs.”

8. In a Guilin hotel:
“Because of impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.”

9. An ad by Kunming dentist:
“Teeth extracted by the latest methodists.”

10. In a Hangzhou zoo:
“Please do not feed animals. If you have suitable food give it to the guard on duty.”

11. In a Taiyuan bar:
“Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.”

12. In a Huashan temple:
“It is forbidden to enter a woman. Even a foreigner if dressed as a man.”

Also seen on hilarious:

Enjoy!

For a great non-China related site head over to the very funny Internet Class clown Cap’n Platy, the sharpest guy on the planet, at Platypus Society

Asia,Asian Humor,China Expats,China Humor,China Photos,Chinglish,Confucius Slept Here,Greater Asia Blogs,Humor,Intercultural Issues,The Sharpest Guy on the Planet,Videos,Weird China,中国

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Expats Syndrome

Expats Syndrome

As a former military brat, soldier, student, itinerant teacher, and lecturer I have spent more time outside the borders of my country than within them. I can speak with authenticity and authority on the perils and promise of an expat’s experience. Thirty-plus schools, and 640,000 non-transferable credits, in my lifetime should get me some kind of special certification.

I stumbled onto Robin Pascoe’s site today and was happy to see that someone had created well-written order out of the chaos that is life spent in temporary quarters. Her books: Raising Global Nomads, A Moveable Marriage, and Homeward Bound offer advice from a veteran of culture shock.

Her work, geared more toward married females, is full of wit and wisdom worthy of a read. She has a collection of articles on her site written for the Korea Times that you’ll find entertaining and subtly instructive. She has a gift for the written and spoken word and has parlayed it into a business that includes lectures to corporations and groups on Parenting, Marriage, Relocation, Going Home, and Learning to Write.

She is not for everyone: Her stories are gleaned from a privileged life as the wife of a Foreign Service Officer and she often addresses the corporate and consular functions. So, it is not likely you will relate very well if you have endures soul-numbing depression as a young volunteer in rural China, self-destructive antics after losing your emotional compass in an intercultural marriage or agoraphobia brought on by the sudden affective vacuum created by a loss of most things familiar.

I recently asked a business owner, a Canadian expat in China for 20 years, what he missed. He replied, “Nothing!” with great conviction. HE should be giving seminars! I have days where I ache for anything wholly American. Some days I would settle for a Ronco Pocket Fisherman or the 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator ads in lieu of the whole of CCTV. I become so wistful that I would wish upon a star were there actually stars above Guangzhou. And other days I am so depressed that a dark corner of a basement would suit me just fine if only there were basements in Guangzhou.

Thank heavens for other Asian Bloggers, expat sites, writers like Pascoe, Bootleg DVDs (Ya, ya…I will find a State-sponsored church and whisper a confession) and, of course, Skype.

Hmmm, I like the idea of a writing workshop. I know this blog, my personal jounal and the manuscript (Confucius Slept Here) keep me, uh, san-er. So, I might try to make something like that happen in China if there is an interest. And one thing deperately lacking in the Middle Kingdomn is an inexpensive counseling/mentoring refuge for individual expats and especially those in cross-cultural marriages…I am going to have to look into that as well….

American Poet in China,Asian Humor,cartoons,China Expats,China Humor,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Guangzhou China,Hong Kong Stars,Intercultural Issues,Personal Notes,中国

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Sick Day

Sick in China

I will be in bed for the next 48 hours…Out of the reach of a keyboard….

In the interim here is some pic’s of one of our “Fellows” this term…let’s call it, “You know you have been a China expat too long when…”:

You can actually look contemplative wearing a garland…

David DeGeest in wonderland

When you break into a Travolta song from Saturday Night Fever because you actually bought it for 100 yuan less than the storekeeper wanted…

DeGeest as John Travolta

YOU actually believed that you kept drinking Guinness ‘casue you claimed you would look really, really, realy good in the “free hat after six pints”….Really!

David O'Leary DeGeest\

Back with SEO info’ soonish…If the Leprechaun above doesn’t murder me first….

OMBW

China Expats,China Humor,Expats,Humor,Personal Notes,Photos,Travel in China,Yangshuo China,中国

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China Business Daffinitions

Due Diligence is a great blog for anyone wanting the inside scoop on how to travel China on less than a million dollars a day in legal fees. I was rooting through their archives and found a truffle (Hey! It is the year of the pig and I am partial to analogies) I wanted to share. It is a series of definitions that, while hilarious, contain important insights:

Expatrapreneur – Westerner who starts a new business in China. Usually involves a number of business plan rewrites, false starts, mental breakdowns, racist rants, cries for help, fits of despair and alcohol dependency. Potentially your best bet when looking for local professional service providers. Look for foreign run ops that have been on the ground for at least 2 years. Many foreigners burn out early, so make sure that your choice of consultant or service firm is in it for the long haul.

Dot.CN — China’s internet industry. Venture Capital firms are said to be chasing after start-ups in Beijing and Shanghai with buckets full of cash. Company’s are being started with no business plan or earnings model. Investors are valuing companies based on multiples of anticipated revenue because there are no earnings. In no way related to the Dot-Com boom in the US during the 1990s because it can’t happen here. (See GRAVITY — Myth of )

Gravity — A mythical, non-existent force reputed to pull high-flying things back to Earth. Does not apply to China or things Chinese.

Continue Reading….

China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,China Humor,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Intercultural Issues,Top Blogs,Top China Blogs List,中国

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Zaijian

chinglish

Books have been virtually replaced by blogs. But, puns aside, many of them showcase the transformative elements Pablo Neruda* suggests as essential to written art in Ars Magnetica:
“From so much loving and journeying, books emerge.

And if they don’t contain kisses or landscapes,
if they don’t contain a woman in every drop,
hunger, desire, anger, roads,
there are no use as a shield or as a bell:
they have no eyes and won’t be able to open them….”

Here I have I have tried to smooth the stubble of memory, share poetry, attempt humor, journal my social conscience, and reconcile my longings while shoutng to you in some far-off room. I leave here absolutely bewildered that anyone, other than my long-suffering friends, ever returned to listen. I am grateful you did.
Continue Reading »

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The Great China Stock Market Whodunnit

Why did God create stock analysts ? To make weather forecasters look good says Dan Harris at China Law Blog.

China Stock Market

I normally don’t comment on economic news. I leave that to the pros like China Law Blog, Due Diligence China and the others in my blogroll. Mine is a simple site where I hope you learn more about the Middle kingdom obliquely, through my ordinary and extraordinary experiences. Besides that, I am just a poor teacher with stories whose knowledge of is limited to saving enough money to treat my DVD addiction and park at Starbucks once in a while. So, here is my two Kilobytes worth on the recent China stock market slide that caused a worldwide ripple:

I was having dinner in the countryside with a couple of 20+ year China Expatrapreneurs who own a factory in China right about the time the Chinese stock market “corrected itself.” Man, I must have lost 5-6 bucks in that 9% fall. Hey, I told you: we teachers don’t have much to invest.

The market fell 9%, rebounded 4% and then slumped 3% again yesterday. It is like watching a financial rodeo…

Interestingly enough, the two men, at that moment, were talking about the coming collapse of the market. They certainly view this burp/hiccup as a an early sighting of the four horseman of China’s financial apocalypse. They see Shanghai as a propped up and desperately polluted credit bubble-economy build less solidly than a proverbial house of cards.*

Diligence China says “Don’t do something, just Stand there!” while others claim the end is near. The writer at The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid says Al Gore did it. A great new blog, Ich Bin Ein Beijinger speaks for the it’s an over-reaction contingent. I belong to the “keep a refundable plane ticket handy because huge change is coming, but what me really worry” school of expat thinking. My dinner crew is packing up to head for South America to buy up sugar cane reserves to capitalize on coming industrial starvation diets due for some countries when the oil crisis becomes insurmountable.

Here is what I do know: China lacks competent middle and upper management and the schools preparing the new ones are doing a mediocre job at best. I know, I have worked at several schools that graduate BBS, MBA, MPA and DBA students. Some, like mine, are waking up to the need for new cirriculum design and market savvy teachers.

It has been easy for China to keep growing because it has the cheapest lemonade stand on World Trade Avenue, but will now need marketing acumen they have not learned because they have been busy counting cash. I liken them to my teacher friend who has been here four years and has to wave a taxi driver to the rightor left because he is too lazy to learn the language: He is in for a shock when white faces are a less valuable commodity in this educational community.

Increases in labor costs, tightening of the housing markets, an artificially inflated market with too much American capital in reserve, yuan revaluations, still unbridled corruption, rising middle class unemployment, growing social unrest, WTO pressures, intellectual property rights and the government’s poorly thought out public speculations are a small part of why the economic outlook truly is darker than the Pearl River in Guangzhou.

I don’t claim clairvoyance like the author of The Coming Collapse of China, but I can sense a coming change of social and economic weather. Be it earthquake or famine I am in this for the long haul.

I suppose I am of a new, but less idealistic breed of, useful idiot. I am here to help as I can, but, I have no illusions, as many did during post-Maoist China, that reform is coming or that this is a superior social construct. I am just a teacher who would like nothing more than to see the lives of some of my rural students, who know and care little about politics and governments, improved by my efforts.

Had I money to invest I, like my friends, would not be standing idly by. I would instead be researching the market for a safer home. I think the Chinese equivalent of the dot com bust is just around the corner.

Asia,China Business,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,Environment,Expats,In the news,中国

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English, Chinglish and now Yue-Yinglish

I am one of those people who actually enjoys tests, especially those that challenge my verbal or reasoning skills. In basic military training, sometime not long after the time of muskets and canon balls, we new recruits took a language aptitude test. It was basically an examination that determined whether or not we could make sense of an invented language. It asked us to extrapolate from one bit of seeming gobbledygook to the next and then build sentences based on recurring patterns of subjects, objects and verbs. Such is communication with the unsinkable Ms Yue.

MSYUE

I wish I could teach my students the secret of true communication that Ms Yue has mastered. Too, I wish I could help self-absorbed colleagues understand that a lack of established vocabulary is not a lack of intelligence or sophistication and does not have to hinder a conversation. Ususally I chide the expat, who knows bupkis about what is being said, for not honoring someone who probably speaks two-and-a-half languages fluently and several dialects within them, for being so ethnocentric…

Ms Yue could understand and explain Quantum Physics given enough time! Mu Mesons and Quarks might translate into something pretty hilarious, but if you were humble enough to enter her world you might actually learn something new.

Ms Yue is the bravest person I know and not because she is emotionally fighting cancer better than any patient I have ever seen in battle. But, it is because she has a fierce determination to learn, and then connect with, new worlds of information and adventure.

In contrast, my students, in the middle of a speech, will look to classmates to rescue them and find the right word for a sentence while Ms Yue will simply invent one. The students seek to have a command of English vocabulary; Ms Yue already has a command of communication skills.

One student last week stumbled through a date and ended up saying one-nine-seven-oh for the year 1970. He got the exam’s highest grade as much for his creativity, sorely lacking in Chinese college students, as his boldness. He did not reach out for help; he solved the problem himself.

Some very simple examples of Yueyinglish:

Check in = Exchange
Ki = Ticket
Laundry = Clean
This (while pointing to her heart and then mouth) and this , no same = Untrustworthy
One more = Do it again, repeat an act
The near = close to
Me the = mine
You the = yours
Where = what and sometimes who and how
You me together = we, us
The man = him, he or any person of male persuasion. The ultimate personal pronoun
Later = then, so or after
Crazy = funny, nuts, ridiculous
You wait me = Wait for me
No way = impossible, not, no
Try Try = Eat it you foreign wimp
Boy love the boy = transsexual, drag queen, effeminate man, gay
Open = take off, turn on, make use of

Now your test:

I laundry the ki so later check in no way.
I washed the ticket so there’s no way to get another one.
Together you me you me watch where the boy love the boy DVD?
Which Queer as Folk video are we watching together this time?
You the soup the pig meat xue try try no way? Try try.
You are not going to eat the pig’s blood soup I ordered you? Get over it!
The before the no same the man drink the coffee house the near wait me?
Are you going to meet me close to the place where your untrustworthy breakfast partner lives?
Open the shoes. Close the den.
Take off your shoes and turn out that light.
Where the crazy?
And what is so funny?

And all of these are accompanied by perfect facial gestures, sound effects like Cantonese tsk’ing (used for everything from displeasure to amazement), and exaggerated body language.

She bade goodbye today to a visiting fellow from Grinell College in America, a young man the age of her son, that she had come to care about and look after as though he were one of her own. Some problems, out of his control, with his visa are taking him home much sooner than expected. So, with sadness and anticipation in her voice that could bring tears to a native Yueyinglish speaker’s eyes, she simply said:

Later, one more, China. You try try, Ok?

Safe journey David. Please hurry back.

**********************************

Have you visited my renter this week?

Asian Humor,Asian Women,China Expats,China Humor,Chinglish,Intercultural Issues,Personal Notes,The League of Extraordinary Chinese Women,The Unsinkable Ms Yue,中国

2 responses so far

China Expatrapreneurs: A call for articles…

China Expatrapreneurs

I received several emails after my last post on China CEO expressing interest in helping put together a text on grass roots business leaders in China. We would tell their stories complete with insights as to how to succeed in small to medium ventures in the Middle Kingdom.

If you know if an expatrepreneur that should be included or want to contribute to the project please let me know. You may email me at santini47 at Yahoo.com or you can leave a comment below.

It would be done in a fashion similar to anthologies with rights reverting to the author upon publication/ And if there is any money to be made we will share in royalties or agree to donate them to a suitable charity.

Hop aboard!

Asia,China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,Chinese Media,Expats,In the news,中国

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Looking for Love in All the Wong Places: Internet Dating in China

A dear friend of mine recently came to China to meet a beautiful woman that he had corresponded with for several months. The meet-up was a bit of a bust*: they needed an interpreter 24/7 and most of the expats and Chinese who met her came to the same conclusion that was confirmed a couple of weeks after my buddy returned stateside.

LOVE

 

His intended was picked up in a raid of, um, entertainment businesses in Shenzhen and couldn’t write for a couple of weeks as they don’t have DSL in the provincial jail there. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. OK, so it was funny and I have tortured him since it happened.

To go back in time a bit: I was startled last year when one of the staff directors here asked why foreigners seem to be attracted by the Chinese women that the natives find unappealing.

I wryly replied that he should consider it a blessing.

Lots of men look Eastward to find relationships. They frequent inter-cultural dating sites for a number of reasons: some good, some bad.

The women who use the Chinese dating services and chat services are, by and large, good women in search of an honest and lasting relationship. Most of them are divorced or highly educated and that puts them on the outs in many Chinese social circles. It is like American thinking not so many years ago.

Unlike some countries, the women here are not looking to sleep their way to an American visa. They come from proud families and are deeply rooted in their regional cultures. That does not mean that they will not relocate for the right relationship or the promise of a caring life together with a special someone. I have known several women who have followed their hearts to America, Canada and elsewhere.

Following are some general musings, concerns and comments on online love searches for Chinese women. A later post will list services and their ratings by friends and associates that have found their soul mates via the Internet.

Most Chinese make about $80–$200 U.S. dollars a month, so life is short of frills for many of the women on the net. BUT: don’t send any money unless you have been here to visit or unless you have enough knowledge to discern the truth of a request. There are scammers on the net, albeit a lot less in China than in other developing countries. Come here and meet the lady for which you are falling into cyberspace. The worst you will get is a great vacation.

My friend was asked by his cyber-paramour to pay for English lessons and a small operation. The fee requested seemed small to my American buddy but would have bought the girl a full-time tutor for a year and gotten her more plastic modifications than Cher and Phyllis Diller combined.

NEVER send money for a plane ticket unless you have verified that your beloved has a visa in hand. I know of two men who spent several long hours together in a Denver airport unknowingly waiting for the same girl. It is a long and winding road to a visa, even a fiance stamp, now that Homeland Insecurity is involved. Be in this quest for the long haul. And don’t be frivilous: a fiance visa is a once in a lifetime deal for a Chinese woman. If you decide not to marry after the trial period your Asian siren does not get a second chance to find Mr. Right.
Continue Reading »

Asian Women,cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Internet Dating,Japan,Personal Notes

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