Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for November, 2010

I Had a Broom and a Dream- Product Quality in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

I had a dream that one day all brooms would be equal. That from the power and glory of He who guides us, we were all endowed with certain rights and abilities…but alas, I am wrong. 

Two days ago I brought a broom, but I live in china, and fear that their definition of a broom may differ greatly from my own. The ‘broom’ appeared to be your standard fare, it had a handle made of a combination of toxic metals and lead no doubt, and on the end it had these things that looked like bristles and when pulled across my linoleum floor, it did a wonderful job of sweeping away the fine Beijing silt- for a day.

What started out as a dream or a wonderful odyssey on the road to a clean home was dashed as yesterday that wonderful broom gave up the ghost, went kaput, it gave its life in cleaning my floor, but is now dead-it no longer works.

At first I was upset with the broom, I even went so far as to curse it and thrust it to the floor in disgust. But now, in calmer times, I see the error of my ways and have come to respect that little broom who gave its life to me and my humble abode.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘hey bill, the pos broom only lasted 26 hours, what a crock of crap!”

But I would say to you, bite thou heathen tongue! Think of the trauma that poor broom went through to be a part of my life and more importantly , think of all the road blocks set before it on its way to being a fully functional part of my daily cleansing chores.

Firstly, it was made in China, if this does not explain all, then let me elaborate. This poor thing had a handle made of metal stamped so thin, it was almost translucent, then, it had a little ‘plastic’ end upon which were mashed bristles. The ‘plastic’ was probably equal parts hope, formaldehyde, and cardboard, with a dash of epoxy, just to keep it together. the bristles were, heck who knows, but suffice it to say, i think it is not the material we get back in the old homestead.

So, now you can see how I commend that noble broom for withstanding the rigors of a few minutes of cleaning, what could i really expect? I now pity all brooms that I find in China and may start a collection thereof, just to relieve them of the ugly life before them.

Posted in Product Quality, Ranting in general | Leave a Comment »

I Love the Internet

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

I mean I love unobstructed use of the internet, as in I can access all those bad sites like wordpress.com, and even reply to comments on my site now….

Posted in Ranting in general | 3 Comments »

Chinese and Dog Years

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

Have you ever noticed that Chinese do not wear well with age? I’m not being negative, just making an observation. I think that in general (forgetting the 1 child policy generation who to me seem very anemic and sickly), in general younger Chinese have good skin, and tons of energy. But when they hit their late 20’s, it seems as if physically they hit the wall and hit it hard. There are two reasons that I say this, the first is that when I visited the US I was surprised at how well the women 40 and above looked, they carry themselves well, are physically fit and pretty attractive. The other reason is that in China they will always ask your age, so i will reciprocate. I am usually astounded to hear that a Man who looks like my 70 year old father is only 38 or 42, its crazy.
Then if we look at a typical Chinese woman over the age of 30, its as if the weight of the world bows her shoulders to the ground, every pain, every horrible consequence of her existence is hacked out in the worry lines and crows feet that Spackle her face.
In caveat, I would like to say that this is not 100% true, but I would settle for 99.999993.
Then I got to thinking about dogs. I love dogs and remember how we were taught that a dogs life, if expressed in human years is his age times 7. Thus he is 2 doggie years and 14 in human years. This myth is supposedly not true and it is much closer to the fact that for a dog, the first two years are the equivalent to 10.5 human years and then 4 every year afterwards, but you get my point.
So, I have devised a scale for the typical china-man. Please remember that my lack of respect for many of the spoiled little obligatory one child, ‘burndens’ or children as they are called, may not apply to this scale. (oh yeah, this is not emotional, only physical)
Typical chinaman actual age billyscale
5 2
10 6
15 9
20 13
25 17
28 23
30 43
33 45
40 55
45 62
50 66
55 75
60 in a home somewhere with a pack of others of
indiscernible age

Mind you , I am no scientist so please dont quote me on this, but if you’d like, feel free to prove me wrong.
And China has some beautiful older women, but they are gobbled up by the foreigners…

Posted in Cultural oddities | 2 Comments »

Tu Tu Has a Disorder

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

My rabbit, shown here, has a dark secret- I fear. I think she may have an eating disorder. I have taken no classes in animal husbandry, and no little to nothing about rabbits/hares, but she is bizarre. Quite often when I go to her room, she is lying in the middle of the food I have scattered for her, Jabba the hut style. If she’s not doing this, she hordes it, eats in private. Both, Im quite sure, are behaviors consistent with some type of eating disorder. I will continue to monitor the situation and keep you advised.

Posted in Ranting in general | 1 Comment »

My Friends are Leaving Cina

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

I love it when my friends leave China, or I have bittersweet feelings thereof. I envy their good fortune, but am sad for my loss.
A good Aussie friend of mine just took off and I went to the airport with him. He was all smiles, I was too, after all, I had a Dark Cherry Mocha from Starbucks. But as that long sleek plane entered the Chinese gunk they call the air, I kind of felt like you did when you were a kid and maybe you did something wrong and stood by the door peering out as your family all loaded into the big Ford Fair lane to go and do something fun, while you were made to stay home and clean the bathroom…yeah it feels just like that

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I love Comments

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

Comments make me laugh, and I like to laugh. Even the comments from the angry Chinese guy (sorry they got blocked, but your government will not allow me access to wordpress, so I cant accept your diseased rants) who repeatedly tried to bash me, but his Engrish was a little sub par, and left his messages nothing more than a pile of doggie poo…ooops,,
But really, I love your comments, even the angry ones, I dont really care. Like I said yesterday in my birthday post, Im just sitting and observing, like I have a God given right to do….

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Yellow Massage for a White Man

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

In China, or Beijing at least, if you want a massage with the extra special ending, you must ask for a yellow massage. The name ‘hwaang se de amoo’- or yellow massage, is what you must utter to that innocent woman who is mashing down on your butt trying to ‘entice’ you into upgrading to the “oil massage” or “full body love massage”. just ask any businessman, or Wal-mart purchasing rep, odds are, they’ve all had a few.

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »

HAHAHA- Reply to a Comment

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

Because I cant respond to comments any other way, I have to do it like this.

The the comment:

The average daily temp here in Guangdong Province is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s winter so the Chinese here dress in three layers with long sleeves. Of course the girls still dress like prostitutes, the concession is tights/nylons with their (fake wool-lined) short shorts or invisi-skirts.

The only thing I can do is pick my fat arse up from the floor from laughing so hard!!! Thanks for the comment!!!

Posted in Ranting in general | 2 Comments »

Chinese Think I’m Odd

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

Chinese think I am odd, although not for any of my idiosyncrasies, but the simple fact that its November, nay almost December and i have the nerve to wear a ….short sleeved shirt. By the looks on their faces and surprised expressions, you’d think i showed up in cowboy boots, a ‘bannaana hammock’ and nipple tassels. The other day some older guy looked at me and exclaimed “wow, short sleeves, aren’t you cold?”
I slowly walked over to him, wiped my greasy forehead with his tie, gave him my back while hacking up a huge wad of phlegm, spat it in my trash bin, then proceeded to make a call. (well I didnt really do that, I think what I id was to say something weak like, “haha no, i got enough fat on me to block out the cold.”
Anyway thats what Chinese are like, they hate to see someone different. Whats all the commotion about , you may ask. Well its the end of December and its China and in china there is an unwritten rule that during this time of year, you must wrap your body in cheap knockoff scarfs, jackets and goofy looking hats, irrespective of the actual temperature. By some unwritten rule of china, each member of their society must bundle up to the fullest, it is after all, fall/winter.
To me this makes no sense, in my office they keep the temperature at a cozy 78 degrees- Celsius, leaving my face an oil slick and rendering me sterile for the near future. To me, the few minutes of cold I may endure while walking to work, is nothing in comparison to the hell I would endure while working in my gulag/office/pizza oven while wearing long sleeves. And, if I ever did get cold, I’d just throw on my hoodie, but then again, chinese dont do hoodies.

One day I tried explaining my philosophy to a Chinese and his reply. “But its winter now.”

Posted in Cultural oddities | 9 Comments »

Communist or Mafia, You Decide

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010

I am bored, or I was/is/am/usually are bored, so I began to think, and when i think, its either happy fun stuff, or stuff about the ruling communist party of China…

Then I was thinking about the mafia or the mob, and how closely it paralells the ruling communist party of China, so I decided to pursue this line of thought further. AT first I wanted to see what differences may arise between the ruling communist party of China, and the mafia.

2-mafias are illegal?
3-mafias have a strict hierarchy of rules and laws which are sacrosanct and not open to deviation
4-mafias have ethics, at least within their ethos, twisted as it may be
5-mafias have a written code of conduct that must be obeyed
6-the mafia began in fuedal times, thus is older than ruling communist party of China
7-mafia dons give to charities
8-mafia dons enjoy good food, only poisoning it to make a point
9-mafia dons have style
10-mafia dons are decent looking
11- mafia dons have a bit of panache or class, although their actions are pretty bad

I may have left out a few things, but feel free to add upon this….

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities | Leave a Comment »