Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for August 3rd, 2011

Photo Over korea

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 3, 2011

Photo over Korea

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Photo of Beijing Skyline

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 3, 2011

Photo of Beijing Skyline

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You Don’t Get China But I Do ‘I Read all About it on the Internet Thing’- Ignorance of China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 3, 2011

…..Rant warning……

I’ve bought tons of books for my Kindie lately and am quite happy. The more I read the less I type so China too, should be happy. But what i noticed while poring over books to improve my understanding of this wonderful world was the fact that many people do not ‘get china’.

I do not mean those jackasses who after spending five days at the Hilton in some ‘A’ city in China then return home to their wives and parents cooing about all of the friendly Chinese and how modern she is. ‘hell its just a matter of time till we all speak Chinese!’ they ejaculate.

These morons, to me are worth little less than the muck I scrape from my tongue with my morning toothbrushing. Although to hear these ‘experts’ talk, it is me or those of us who remain a little ‘cynical’ who ‘dont get it’. To me there is a special place in darkness for these idiotic sots, but there are lower forms of mental malfeasance.

Say one bad thing about the center of grunge and you dont get china, you are a racist especially when addressing those who’ve never stepped foot here. They all play that ‘race card’, kinda like the whole Obama deal. Call him an ass-bopper and you are a bigot and no amount of ‘no no I’m really not. aside from the fact that my best friend is black, i belive that hundreds of years ago my ancestors raped their slaves, so for all I know, I have black in me…” will assuage their machinations that yes you do not like Obama because you are not black.

What does this have to do with China you ask? Because to hear sooooo many people tell it, there are sooooo many of us who just ‘dont’ get it’. Read the book ratings on Amazon.com and you will see what I mean. For instance, Timmy Tiitlesmouth from Racine WI has a Chinese girlfriend and thus what a guy like JM Troost has lived and learned is of no consequence. At least Mr. Troost made the effort to come to China, a thing Timmy thinks he’s acomplished while invading the naughty zone of a trick from Shanghai.

But Timmy is not alone. Berry Butmunch from Centerdale, IA with the ability to recognize 358 chinese characters- gracias Iowa Community College night courses thinks that Todd Swarthmore, with no less than four Chinese startups under his belt, does not understand the true china. Berry relates all of this as he violently pecks away at the Smith Corona typewriter before him (Trixie his stepsister/part time squeeze later translates it to internet speech for the man). No, no Berry has read so much about the rise and the glory of China that he is nothing less than HA Giles himself. All of Todd’s claims about endemic corruption fall on deaf ears as Berry remembers the time he had to give up a half oz of good indie bud to Seth Gladbrick the local sheriff, all to get off on a DUI charge. “hell corruption is ev ‘a’ where;” he chortles, knocking Trixie from his lap.

I could go on about such ignorance, but I think you can feel me by now. Those of us who have done time in the penitentiary called China do not really ‘get it’. The bribes, the laziness, the cars, the racism, the ignorance, the nationalism, the foolhardy and the good we have all lived through is for naught. After all, those people have read books, hell they’ve practically memorized the ten most recent emperors and can tell you that yes a true Han person has a cleft in their toe and or fingernail meaning that they are the ‘real chinese’, so how can they be wrong?

I have come to embrace their ignorance and look upon them much like I looked upon the local cadre in charge of Housing and urban development as he rammed a finger up his nostril during a panel discussion, unaware a question was coming his way. Some may have thought it funny to see this pan-faced fella with his thumb hanging from a now oval shaped nostril, bug-eyed and embarrassed as he wrenched it free, and indeed titters were heard. But for my part I merely shook my head and thought, someday these folks will learn about the real china. But till then they can rest assured that so many people will have an opinion, no matter how untrue..

(btw the pic is a shot of me before writing the rant, I feel much better now…)

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Manners in China- WTF? Tips from J. Maarten Troost

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 3, 2011

Here are travel tips from J. Maarten Troost who wrote

Lost on Planet China: One Man’s Attempt to Understand the World’s Most Mystifying Nation

“Manners are important in China. How can this be, you wonder? You have, for instance, experienced a line in China. Your ribs have been pummeled. You have been trampled upon by grandmothers who are not more than four feet tall. You have learned, simply by queuing in the airport taxi line, what it is like to eat bitter, an evocative Chinese expression that conveys suffering. This does not seem upon first impression to be a country overly concerned with prim etiquette. But it is. True, hawking enormous, gelatinous loogies is perfectly acceptable in China. And a good belch is fine as well. And picking your teeth after dinner is a sign of urbane sophistication. But this does not mean that manners are not taken seriously in China. It’s just that they are different in China.”

“To really see China, go to the market. Any market will do. This is where China lives and breathes. It is here where you will find the sights, sounds and smells of China. And it is in a Chinese market where you will experience epic bargaining. The Chinese excel at bargaining. They live and breathe it. It is an art; it is a sport. It is, above all, nothing personal. If you do not parry back and forth, you will be regarded as a chump, a walking ATM machine, a carcass to be picked over. And so as you peruse the cabbage or consider the silk, be prepared to bargain. The objective, of course, is to obtain the Chinese price. You will, however, never actually receive the Chinese price. It is the holy grail for laowais–or foreigners–in China. Your status as a laowai is determined by how proximate your haggling gets you to the mythical Chinese price. But you will never obtain the Chinese price. Accept this. But if you’re very, very good, and you bargain long and hard, and if you are lucky and catch your interlocutor on an off day, you may, just may, receive the special price. Consider yourself fortunate.”


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