Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for September 1st, 2011

China’s Infrastructure Bursting at the Seams

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 1, 2011


Beijing has about 19.6 million people. This is quite a lot of humans to house in an area once controlled by fat little men with nothing better to do than build walls to keep out civilized folk. But now the tell tale signs of the massive amounts of humanity are showing. Travleing by car or taxi is nothing less than an adventure and yesterday I witnessed no less than two accidents in a one hour jaunt that merely covered 5 miles.
The subways too, should be declared inhuman by various ngo’s who look after such things as in Beijing they pack us in like sardines, twenty deep in cars built to hold much less. Although China has many people, the problem is that 80% of them live in the east meaning that everywhere you go are throngs of people spitting, shrieking into cell phones, showing their stomachs and cutting in front of you to get a cab.
They predict that each year for the next ten Beijing will add 500,000 more citizens. I shudder to thing of what it will be like then.

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Water for Elephants and Chinese Too-Living in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 1, 2011


I’m reading a great book called Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The story line is great and her use of character and voice are incredible. Although I’m only 50% done I’ve found it to be a great read.
The story is about an old guy who talks about his days in the circus and his love for a woman. The setting and phraseology capture the images of the time- depression era etc. I got it at a discount for 2.99 on kindle.
The funny thing is that as I was reading it and the carnie atmosphere I thought of this place. A carnival is basically what China is. The land of smoke, mirrors and cheap trinkets all ensconced in the loving arms of ne’er do well workers and roustabouts whose only desire in life is to catch a peep of little Missy Langworn’s bloomers and possibly a shot of some boones farm to boot. My apologies for disparaging carnies vz my comparing them to modern day chinese, the carnies deserve better.
But the Chinese do not. Upon arriving here, and you should, by the time you’re eyes are accustomed to the NoX and soot, you will be immersed in the land of carnies, a place that morals forgot. Everywhere someone is trying to pitch something to you, an idea a feels good product or a ride and inevitably if you allow it you will get ‘taken’.
The souless way they approach life is seen in their treatment of each other, children and worst of all animals. If the pursuit of a nickle were sport, they’d be light years ahead the rest of us. By selling their beliefs/souls for a buck they’ve carved out a niche in infamy for themselves and if after coming you take stock of what you’ve seen you will be appalled or at least saddened. for just like those trinkets stuffed in the Cracker Jacks hinterlands , what you get here does not work as promised. Lawyers who know more about marx than law and business owners who know neither all shepherded by ‘leaders’ who by virtue of their ignorance and bloodlines guide the sheep along by the nose doling out enough crumbs so as to forestall a crisis. You will see a people who by virtue of actions and beliefs fail to reach the term civilized but seem more on the brink of anarchy.
My recommendation is that if and when you come you expect nothing and you’ll not leave disappointed.

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Pimping for Praise- Self Conscious in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 1, 2011


China’s government media mouthpiece or one of them, is the chinadaily. It’s got convoluted reporting dished out Chinese english style rendering it good for bringing on the haha and little else. A daily ration of it, however, also serves the purpose of giving humanity a glimpse into the dark cave where a soul of china should go.

On Wednesday Aug 31 the print version ran an article about some chinese guy who runs hurdles and lost. The article in and of itself is poorly done but par for the course. What I did find interesting, however, is how the Chinese in their self-conscious style, always try to implicate themselves into the action it were.

For instance in the event a non-chinese won but the chinese made sure to make the race about them. The chicom reporter interviewed an American named Allen Johnson and proceeded to pepper him with questions about the chinese hurdler and not the race. They asked him if the chinese guy ran well, could compete for the championships and can he win a gold in london…. wtf?

yeah, here’s this guy whose just blazed across the finish line and some putty faced chinaman stuffs a camera and mic in his face and then in chinglish asks about the competition. Actually I am not surprised. During the X games they did the same to Shaun White. After having a killer run White was stoked and being a nice guy allowed himself to be interviewed. The first question out of the chicom tart reporter’s mouth (no she did not congratulate him on his run) was what he thought of the Chinese team. White looked shocked for he’s accustomed to speaking with civilized folk and then nonplussed he tossed his hair and gave a big shout out to the chinese.

Upon witnessing that event and now reading the other, it is so painfully obviosu how little the chinese think of themselves, why else do they always pimp us for praise?

For instance, when you come to china you are sure to hear about and be questioned over the huge gaping divide (the wall), and a host of ancient dictators who laid the groundwork for their contemporaries to control this place with an iron fist. Of course do not attempt to engage them on discourse surrounding ancient empires for if its a history older than the USA they are not interested. The age of Rome and what Egypt and India’s predecessors did is of no accord to them, they merely want you to know about China and know they have dedicated years of their lives devouring things like “Friends” and “Prison break” so they can try to hold a human conversation without appearing like okies- at which they fail.
The impact of all this is that one is constantly prodded to praise or comment on something, anything Chinese just so our hosts do not get pissed.
Message to china, if we really like something here we’ll tell you about it……

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