Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for December 14th, 2010


Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

If I were a dog, I’d want to be a boxer. To some they are ugly, but to me beautiful. They are pretty energetic and not the brightest but have a great personality.

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Ancient or Modern China?- Book I Read

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

I read a great book called “The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)
Its free on Kindle and very good. The fascinating thing is that this guy worte the book in the early 20th century and much of what he observed is still practiced today. I guess that makes sense, but it is comforting to read the book and understand this place a little better.

“The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)”

Considering how squalid many Chinese homes are, it is all the more astonishing to find such deep attachment to them. There exists in the language a definite word for home, in its fullest English sense. As a written character, it is supposed to picture the idea of a family, the component parts being a “roof” with “three persons” underneath. There is, indeed, another and more fanciful explanation of this character, namely, that it is composed of a “roof” with a “pig” underneath, the forms for “three men” and “pig” being sufficiently alike at any rate to justify the
suggestion. This analysis would not be altogether out of place in China any more than in Ireland; but as a matter of fact the balance of evidence is in favour of the “three men,” which number, it may be remarked, is that which technically constitutes a crowd.

….From this story it will be rightly gathered that the Chinese mostly sleep on the ground floor. In Peking, houses of more than one storey are absolutely barred; the reason being that each house is built round a courtyard, which usually has trees in it, and in which the ladies of the establishment delight to sit and sew, and take the
air and all the exercise they can manage to get. Another blood-curdling story is that of four travellers who arrived by night at an inn, but could obtain no other accommodation than a room in which was lying the corpse of the landlord’s daughter- in-law. Three of the four

– Highlight Loc. 1321-25 | Added on Monday, October 25, 2010, 12:46 AM

The day itself is devoted to calling, in one’s best clothes, on relatives, friends and official superiors, for all of whom it is customary to leave a present. The relatives and friends receive “wet” gifts, such as fruit or cakes; officials also receive wet gifts, but underneath the top layer will be found something “dry,” in the shape of silver or bank-notes. Everybody salutes everybody with the conventional saying, “New joy, new joy; get rich, get rich!” Yet here again, as in all things Chinese, we find a striking exception to this good-natured rule. No one says “Get rich, get rich!” to the undertaker.
The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)

Chinese soldiers are often stigmatized as arrant cowards, who run away at the slightest provocation, their first thought being for the safety of their own skins. No doubt Chinese soldiers do run away–sometimes; at other times they fight to the death, as has been amply proved over and over again. It is the old story of marking
the hits and not the misses.

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Beijing Cabbies- The Good, The Bad

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

I love Beijing cabbies, but I understand they may have a bad name here in China. They are supposedly abrupt, rude and cold. I would have to agree with all of these statements but would state that when taking a cab, I’m not looking for a life-mate, nor words of wisdom. I want the guy driving the car to know where he’s going, to shut his hole and drive there. If I want to engage him in light banter, then so be it, but as I am footing the bill, I would like to make that decision.
hmmm having said that, I better explain. IN Beijing, imho, you will enter the cab and the driver wont smile, he’ll acknowledge you with a grunt and then take off. Is this rude? Maybe so, but hopefully my happiness cup was filled elsewhere so to me its ok. But, BJ cabbies will talk, if you desire. They will tell you about Mao, Obama, their city, the government stealing their houses, the good the bad and the ugly- but you must ask. BJ cabbies, imho, are also very honest. What they lack in friendliness, they make up for in spades in terms of knowing the roads and getting you to your destination. Go to Shanghai and get a cab, the guy will battle with English and never know where he’s going, if you dont bring a map, you’ll wander aimlessly till you give up and walk. Chongqing taxis are great, they drive fast, but have limited English skills. Places like Mexico and Brazil, the taxie will turn 5 minutes into 15 while jaw-boning about the weather, illegal aliens and such. Other south American countries, its not as if they are trying to cheat you, they just live a slower life.
Taking all of this into account, give me a BJ cabbie any day. Listening to him arguing on his cell phone, with ‘cross-talk’ playing in the backgrouind, watching him sip tea, then hack phlegm out his window is a small price to pay for what he actually can provide.

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America Say Goodbye To Your Pensions-20% of Chinese Companies Listed in USA Stock Market Accused of Fraud

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

Many Americans are betting their retirement and pensions on the stock market. China now has companies listed in the American Stock Market and being Chinese, they may do things different-they have a different definition of morals, ethics and cheating. More than 20% of all Chinese companies listed in the USA stock exchange have been accused of fraud.
I say kudos to them, we dont really need our hard earned money do we? This is pretty scary and if we allow it, then we are fools and deserve it.
China does not play by the same rules, check your portfolio, talk to your brokers….

“More than 20 of the Chinese companies listed on the United State’s exchanges have been accused of fraud, China Business News reported Monday.

About 80 percent of Chinese companies listed on the US market meet the nation’s standards, but 10-20 percent of the firms provided false information, the report said, citing Stephen Paul Monticelli, president of Mosaic Investments LLC, a San Francisco-based company that has invested in Chinese firms over the past five years.”

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Fine Dining in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

Im from Iowa, but have traveled a bit and been to some decent restaurants. Dont get me wrong, in my heart I’m a greasy spoon kinda guy. I like french fries covered with greasy stuff that clogs my arteries and makes me happy. But when I go to a “fine dining establishment” like the one my company treated us to in Beijing, I expect a level of professionalism. The restaurant in question is a steak house by the silk market (digression- silk market, proof that china will never obey intellectual property laws).
Anyway I went to the place and will now describe what New York City or London have/dont have to worry about.

In most fine dining establishments I have visited, there is a man like this waiting to greet you.
78035386, Thinkstock /Comstock  Images

He’s probably English and has a name like Ogglesmythe or Snifter and uses words like “that would be fine sir” and “an excellent choice, If I may say so”. He has an elegant gait and pleasant demeanor, and when he talks, it makes you feel as if your haughty uncle is addressing you. He is quick and professional and was trained at some academy for men of his class.

Upon entering this steak house, you will soon be greeted by a Mr. Dung, .

He is happy to have left his village and will fall all over himself in taking care of you. The guy will have limited English skills, but will really make you feel good . He will earn in one month what Mr. Ogglesmythe earns in a day , and probably works harder. His training included five days of confinement in a metal cage where he was told that if he drops plates or pisses off the customers, the owner will send some knuckle dragger to his village and his family will be beaten.

The guy will cover his body with a uni-size tux, bought to accommodate the body of anyone who happens to be working that day, and when he points out the meal choices, you notice that his gloves are odd, but you cant put your fingers on it.

<em>Mickey Mouse</em> Costume  <em>Gloves</em>

AT the NYC place a gaggle of foreigner chefs will hover over your food and make sure that it has the appropriate temperature , look and feel. They will argue over the amount of salt, peppers and exotic spices which when mated with the meal will provide your taste buds with the finest mixture of taste and sensation, leaving you satisfied for days to come.

AT the Beijing diner, the food will be no less tasty , actually moreso, and your “chefs” will be pleased that you have enjoyed yourself. Galancing at them in the kitchen fills their hearts with warmth as they love to please foreigners. An added bonus is that while satisfying you with a job well done, they ensure that they will not be sent back to their villages for ‘re-education’

The meal arrives and wonder how Chinese stay so skinny. Its a monstrous hunk of beef that looks like it was carved from the body of a mastodon. The thing is so thick, they have to cut it with a chain saw, splattering yum yum juice all over you. You look around and your peers dont seem to notice, they are buried nose deep in its meaty goodness.

The check is handed to you and you notice a ten percent gratuity has been added. In China you dont tip, thats the rule. the gratuity merely serves two purposes: 1- to give the place an air of legitimacy and 2- to put an extra 10%
into the pocket of the greedy owner.
You will walk out and the entire process will be reversed, the people will fumble with your jackets, thank you for coming and treat you very well.

Actually I jest, today I merely felt creative. The actual place  I went to was  the wang steak house in Bejing and aside from being too pricey, it was quite good. The problem is that all food in China is great so I cant see paying 100U$ per person for someting I can get in any Chinese store for about U$4…
The steak was great, however.

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China Aiding the World- In Destroying Her Rights

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

Here is a snippet of what the rise of china means to the world and human rights therein.

from the ft.com
“…Chinese influence at the United Nations is one obvious example. It has recently sought to prevent a US-backed probe into war crimes in Burma. Behind the scenes it has also been cleverly forming alliances to stymie the UN’s Human Rights Council, with Chinese diplomats spearheading efforts to limit the mandate of its “special rapporteurs” tasked with investigating specific human rights issues. Beijing also formed coalitions to block the expansion of the “universal periodic review”, an audit all states are supposed to undergo.”

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Santa Kicked out of Tianenman….

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

The chicoms dont allow fun in China…

from this site

“BEIJING – DOZENS of mainly foreign residents of Beijing dressed up as Santa Claus as part of a worldwide weekend costume parade got a lump of coal in their Christmas stockings – ejection from Tiananmen Square.

The group was taking part in Saturday’s SantaCon – a worldwide event that sees people don Santa’s familiar red suit and white-brimmed hat and make merry in cities around the world including the Chinese capital, two revellers said.”

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Swarzenne-Panda-Austrian Born Panda

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

Pandas Rock

Austria-born panda cub officially named Fu Hu

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Backbone of China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 14, 2010

This guy is the back bone of China. To me guys like this, the old man on the left, represent the good of China.

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