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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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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 »

American Poet in China,American Professor in China,Beijing Olympics,Cancer Journal,Censorship,Charity in China,China Book Reviews,China Business,China Business Consultant,China Cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,China Humor,China Law,China Photos,China web 2.0,Chinese Education,Confucius Slept Here,Entertainment,Expats,Guangzhou,Guangzhou China,Hainan Island,Hong Kong,Hong Kong Blogs,In the news,Intercultural Issues,Just Plain Strange,New Blogs,Photos,Teaching in China,The Great Firewall,The Sharpest Guy on the Planet,The Unsinkable Ms Yue,Travel in China,UK SEO EXPERT,Weird China,中国,中文

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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

5 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

7 responses so far

Love and Asian 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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The Himalayan Quiz

First, the Himilayan Quiz: Test Your Knowledge

1. What’s the highest mountain in the world?

2. What are three of the names for Tibet’s highest mountain?

3. How do you pronounce the English name of Tibet’s highest mountain?

4. True or false: George Bush says that the tallest mountain isn’t shrinking, the Chinese (see (Yao Ming)) are getting taller.

Climb in Tibet:

One of the most creative executive leadership programs available in China is now open internationally to managers and corporate leaders. Along with Chris Barclay, CEO of (Altec) China, ten participants without pumping big iron, but a clean bill of health, can also breathe Sir Edmund Hilary’s rarefied air. They will be able to ascend to over 6,000m of new managerial heights. Altec, a back-to-back winner of China’s HR Managers’ Award for Best Training Company in 2004 and 2005, has led thousands of workshops for over 450 multinational companies. Barclay began mountaineering leadership treks by taking Nike’s leadership development team into Tibet in 2006. Altec has a number of proprietary outdoor teambuilding programs that it conducts at breathtaking Yangshuo (YSMR) Mountain Retreat in Guilin, China.

But the Tibetan trip, complete with some touring days in Lhasa, is by far the most exhilarating transformational program in their broad repertoire. Altec, in conjunction with top guides in Tibetan mountaineering, is offering a two-week executive leadership trek in Tibet. The climb has been specially selected so that aspiring mountaineers will have from now until the end of May to train and prepare for the trip of a lifetime using an online conditioning program developed by Altec. The trip will include food, lodging, executive leadership training. Just add airfare and you’re on your way to Lhasa to hang with the Tibetan mountaineering school. The same guys now preparing for the Olympic torch relay will be there, too. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds will benefit an important charity, the China-US Medical Foundation. (CUMF) You can find all forms of information you’ll need for the trip here. (Tibet)

Answers to the quiz: 1. Guess again—it all depends on how you’re counting. While Everest is commonly called the tallest mountain in the world, it has several competitors. Everest, with a height of 8,850 m, is trumped by Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, which has a height of 10,203m—if you measure it from its base deep in the Pacific Ocean. Measured from sea level, Mauna Kea stands at around half of Everest’s elevation (4,205 m). And if you want to talk about distance from the equator, Ecuador’s Chimborazo tops Everest by 2,168m because the Earth bulges at the equator. However, Chimborazo is only 6,267m above sea level. 2. Naming Everest: Qomolonga (yes, try saying it five times fast) is the transliteration of the Tibetan name and means “mother of the universe.” The Chinese refer to Mom as “Shengmu Feng” (“Sacred Mother Peak”) or “Zhumulangma Feng,” which literally translates to something like “Pearl Solemn Clear Agate Peak.” The peak actually has no ancient Nepalese name (the people of Kathmandu never named it), so in the 1960s the Nepalese government named the mountain “Sargarmatha,” a Sanskrit term meaning “Head of the Ocean.” 3. Named “Everest” by the British surveyor-general of India, Andrew Waugh, for his predecessor George Everest, the name was first pronounced “EAVE-rest” instead of the Americanized “EV-er-est.” 4. Could be.

Asia,Asian Humor,China Business,China Expats,China Photos,Expats,Tibet

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Not the Least Bit Inferior

China Law Blog has a post up entitled, China HR: Do You Look Fat Today? It is a fun read…
BIG MOUNTAIN
One of the things you will get over VERY quickly in China is the need for validation by students or colleagues. The Chinese don’t give one another a break, so don’t expect one for yourself.

Sure, they will hand you a compliment, but…. Even with all of the fawning that goes on with a new male or young female teacher there is always an addendum.

Here are but a couple real ones with more to come….

“Your classes are less boring than the last teacher’s…”

“I will tell you the secret: many students think you are very handsome, including me. But, you have no muscle. Just do some more exercise. Do you love Tennis?”

“Here is the name of the girl who is in the hospital. It would be nice for you to call her, but don’t say anything. It might upset her.”

“Maggie, you are very pretty, but with a big bum.”

And even the the most recognizable foreigner in China, DaShan (pictured above), has his moments. From the Chinese media in Shenzhen: “…not the least bit inferior to top Chinese performers.”

Asian Humor,China Business,China Editorials,China Expats,China Humor,China Photos,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Teaching in China

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Craigslist in China

I will not use Craigslist again. Sadly, It has become the new phishing ( the term for those who scour the web looking for emails and personal to perpetrate frauds) ground for every Nigerian scammer on the Internet block.

EVIL INTERNET
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China Editorials,China Expats,Expats

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Snakeheads, War Crimes and Hairy Chinese

This is a recaptured post from December 13th, 2005. It fits with a discussion in progress at Cal Poly’s MBA Trip Blog

Trouble is brewing once again between China and Japan:
Chinese State Council Premier Wen, Jiabao cancelled an annual meeting with South Korea and Japan stating the reason was Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s five visits to Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine. This is the shrine that honors fallen soldiers and also houses WWII class A (the worst) war criminals. Wen told reporters, “the main reason for the impasse in China-Japan ties is that the Japanese leader won’t treat the history issue in a correct way …”

During my fifteen years in Japan I winced many times at Japan’s almost blind allegiance to the notion that the Chinese were inferior. It is not uncommon to hear Chinese referred to as lazy, dirty and uncivilized. And when hard line Japanese have had a bit to drink they are oft to talk about “Ketoh”, Hairy Chinese: Westerners. We are then only distinguished from the Chinese by arm, leg and facial hair.
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China Expats,Expats,Intercultural Issues,Japan,War

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