Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for March 14th, 2010

Construction in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


This building is new, been working on it for maybe 3 months. they way they work here, it will be complete within 2 more. I wonder how safe it will be?

Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »

Grampa Tai Qi

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


In Beijing it is odd, but you always see these septuagenarian and octogenarians about on the sidewalks, crouched down, balancing on one leg hands waving. They are doing tai qi in the streets. When I first arrived here I thought it odd, now I am used to it- mostly, it is still funny to see a solitary figure one leg like not so elegant flamingos. I guess if I stay here long enough, that will be me one day.

Posted in Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »

Beijing Bike Repair- working in the Streets

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »

Do this or Else…Dating in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


Remember China is a crazy place, lots of rules, lots of history and lots of customs. In Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, the dating scene is more like the early 60’s in the states. The provincial towns, however are really behind, like turn of the century. In later blogs I will tell ya some stories, but for now, check this.

  • –If your girlfriend’s parents discover that you are involved sexually with their daughter, there may be ‘hell to pay.’ Chinese parents are often extremely protective over their ‘adult’ children and you could find yourself in serious legal and physical danger. I have heard stories about enraged parents who have taken matters into their own hands if they feel that their daughter’s honor has been somehow compromised.
  • –If the local police happen to notice that a young lady is spending an inordinate amount of time at your apartment, they may suspect that she is a hired prostitute. I have heard stories of foreigners being deported on the basis of that very suspicion.
  • –Impregnating a Chinese girl is a serious matter in China. Do not assume that because you are a foreigner that you will be able to just leave the girl and let her ‘fend for herself.’ Passports of foreigners who impregnated Chinese girls have been blocked before so don’t count on leaving the country.
  • –For most girls in China, having sex is a sign of a serious relationship that is headed towards marriage. While there are always exceptions, most Chinese girls do not want to be simply used as a ‘plaything.’ Thus, engaging in sex should never be taken lightly.

Posted in Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »

Mao in China- the Enigma

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


In China, you dont hear much bad about Chairman Mao, and I know of few if any people who haven’t lost family members directly or indirectly due to his rule. In China they call him their George Washington. At first i thought they said nothing negative as they were worried about the Chicoms coming to their houses and dropping bombs, and maybe there is some of that. But for the most part, I think they are sincere at least in their respect for him. They say, “No Mao, no China.”

Posted in Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »

University in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


This is the best law school in China, at least for modern judges etc. This is part of the older facility, before being renovated, it looked like the Marcy projects in NYC.

Posted in Photos | Leave a Comment »

In China, not Smoking Can Be Dangerous to Your Health- Local Officials Told to Smoke

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


Actually, they were told/ordered to smoke only locally made brands, the press got hold of it and they have since backed off.

“A county in rural China has backtracked on an edict that government employees must smoke only locally made cigarettes after the order was reported in a newspaper.

Officials in Gongan county in the rural province of Hubei were encouraged to smoke over 230,000 packs of locally produced cigarettes a year, the Hubei-based Chutian Metropolis Daily reported.

The newspaper reported that officials who smoked cigarettes from outside the area would be fined, prompting an outpouring of criticism.

The Gongan government subsequently stated on its website Tuesday it has reversed the edict, but did not say why.

The posting said the rule was introduced in March to crack down on cigarette smuggling and provide aid to local brands. It also suggested that greater revenues through the cigarette tax would swell government coffers.

China is the world’s largest producer of cigarettes. There are believed to be 320 million smokers in the country.

Posted in Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »

Kiss Bow or Shake Hands- Warmth in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


Chinese are pretty warm, once you get to know them, but at first direct skin contact in greetings, ie. hugging, shaking hands, can be nerve racking for them. Especially for those from villages, this can be a problem. I have some colleagues from small villages and the rule was if you touched a woman, she should be the one you marry… no shit.

So, that may be an example from a town, but in general, Chinese dont like contact with people they dont know, dont expect them to hug or share your effervescent mannerisms/mores.

Posted in Cultural oddities, Let me educate you... | Leave a Comment »

Everything is Negotiable in China- EMS

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


I just tried to mail a package back home. Should be an easy exercise right, call EMS, FEDEX and voila they come it is done. Not in China. Here everything is negotiable. So, the guy shows up, tapes the boxes, etc. He is offering guidance on how to pack etc. like we learn all our life lessons from some townie sub-contractor for a local delivery service, who will give it to EMS. So the guy gets done, I ask how much, he say, how much you want to pay…no shit, like friggin FEDEX is flexible on prices.

So I am like, “easy, I dont want to pay a thing- I mean if you are asking.”

So we start to negotiate, China is crazy like that, they know the bottom line and think foreigners dont so they usually start with some crazy price and see how much we talk them down. the process can take tons of time and energy. I played my ace card, called my buddy, a Chinese lawyer, when the delivery guy tried to charge me 100RMB for his time and energy  when I refused his crazy price. After the lawyer set him straight we negotiated a decent deal. This is life in China

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities, Let me educate you..., Product Quality, Ranting in general | Leave a Comment »

Mating Rituals in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 14, 2010


From same blog as below:

  • –Be honest with your girlfriend about your intentions. If you are only going to be living in China temporarily, make sure that she understand this. Do not lead her on by giving her false hope for the future. Doing this could cause trouble for you later on.
  • –PDA (Public Display of Affection) is still highly frowned upon in many parts of China. Kissing and even holding hands in public is considered improper by the older generation.
  • –Going to visit your girlfriend’s hometown is often seen as a serious step towards marriage in China. If you are invited to visit your girlfriends’ hometown during a holiday, be careful. Accepting the invitation may send the wrong message to her and her family.
  • –In traditional culture, the fewer boyfriends that a girl has before marriage, the better. Ideally, a girl should marry her first boyfriend.
  • –Having multiple girlfriends in China is never a good idea. As I wrote about earlier, acting ‘the playboy’ in China could have serious consquences on the status of your visa.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »