Another rambling post on recent musings

Just a few quick comments today.  I’m in the middle of a couple of posts that require a bit of thought, so I’m not finished with those yet.   Yes, I realize the quality of writing on some of my previous posts isn’t that first rate.  Yes, I do care.  No, not enough to proofread them sometimes.  

Once again my wife is off to lunch with her Chinese friends.   This time she’s going to the clubhouse of one of the uber rich ladies she knows.   Her friend lives in a house that saddles up to a golf course.   The house is $1.5 mln.    So if you hear me talking about a house that is nestled up to a golf course, and it’s “only” $1.5 mil, you know I live on neither coast.

This friend is similar to the other one,
and has a husband that “is in business”, ie he spends all his time back in China leveraging relationships(which I guess is a talent onto itself), doing what he does while probably going to KTV 4 times a week while keeping a girl half his age.   Yep, it takes one to know one, and his wife either doesn’t have a clue, or more likely just doesn’t care as long as the money keeps rolling in and she can continue to have lunch with her friends.

I had to explain to my wife a couple of things.  First I need to explain that it just annoys the hell out of me to see my wife continuously be so impressed with these people and their “hard earned” lifestyle:
First, dear, if the house was not on the golf course, but simply across the street it would lose 20% value.

Next, the only reason she is inviting you over is that spending a certain amt of money at the clubhouse per month is req’d for maintaining one’s membership. 
Unfortunately, she’s not driving our Civic over today.  I finally had to move up in the world a bit.  Now I’m driving a 1 month old Lexus…(poor man’s Lexus, an ES 350 so……there!!)  
The car is in my name.  I get a kick out of asking her everyday why she drives “my” car so often.

Harvard and the Chinese

Once again, I was told of some govt official from China whose grandson got in.   It’s long been an unstated policy to let the children of certain Chinese officials gain entry to our top schools in America.   I have no idea if it’s the same in the UK or Australia?   Its’ all about prestige.   What irks me is when Chinese tend to think those same kids got there via merit.  I doubt it.  It’s much harder for an American kid to go to a top notch school than it is for a Chinese.    Why is that?  Simple:  How do you validate the recommendations?  Volunteer experience?  I’m told it’s all made up, and still living in China, I believe it.  I’ve never seen a high school kid in China focus on these things. 

I told my wife as she was on her way out the door driving “my” Lexus the above is a classic example of that old early 90’s mantra 和平演变 or “change through peaceful means”.   Let’s be honest though:  the intent behind the slogan is more like “evil intent behind friendly help”. 

Chinese kids in America

Let’s give kudos to the parents of Chinese kids in America though.  They not only know the game, but have damn near mastered it.   One mother that hopes to send her daughter to Harvard(and has talked of such) actually sent her daughter to NYC for a week of community involvement just so she could put it on her daughters resume.   I’m very impressed(and surprised) at how far in advance the mothers have thought of how to best bolster their children’s resume.    While we’re focused on football season, and family drives up to the mountains their kids are in Chinese school on Sundays taking SAT Math. 
Even the local, large Indian population has gotten involved in the act.  They send their kids to Chinese school as well. 

That’s what is nice about America, I think.  A lot of the rivalries between nations just doesn’t seem to be as intense back in the States.  Such is the insecurity of how their children will fare in our society, I guess.  It brings the foreigners together, in a good way.   Still, to beat a dead horse, I see nothing in terms of EQ development.  It’s all achievement oriented. 

When I was a kid, a “foreigner” was the Vietnamese population from the local refugee camp, that had been integrated into our society.   Well, now it’s the Indians and the Chinese.   Should I be surprised?  I’m certain other Western countries have the same two countries’ best and brightest overwhelming the local population.    And it’s a good thing.  Zero sum at that.   America has a much brighter future because the other countries still haven’t figured out how to keep their best and brightest happy. 
The truly talented won’t be happy at Peking University, or Qinghua….they want to compete with the best, and the best aren’t at 北大.

My wife and giving Face to the Piano Teacher
Our 10 yr old daughter was learning how to use ppt last night.  She has the creative gene in her like her dad, and got a bit carried away.  Bottom line…she spent closer to 40 minutes on it.  Once my wife noticed that she just came unhinged.   You see, as a result my daughter neglected both her piano and violin practice for the evening.  Well…..when my wife wants to make a point she’ll go on for several minutes. 
Of course the real reason she acted this way, is the Chinese piano teacher will look unfavorably upon my wife as a parent if our daughters lessons aren’t up to snuff.  To the piano teacher’s credit, my daughter did make the State Competition last year, where she finished 3rd…(not high enough for a medal.)
However, make no mistake…FACE drives my wife’s obsession with our daughters activities.  Thank God their swim teacher isn’t Chinese.  

Your crazy infatuation with my marriage posts

I can’t recall the last time the above post(no link for you!) wasn’t my top viewed post.  I’ve got close to 70 posts…..and I think a few of them are quite good, and socially important as well.   

A few others are just good historical posts,  that give a bit of insight into Chinese history. 

 Yet all you guys are focused on is the above.  That is, the topic of marrying a Chinese girl.  My gold digger post is up there as well.
So… a nutshell, I would say this:  don’t marry a Chinese girl unless you speak Chinese, no matter how well she speaks English.    Because she’s gonna want to speak her own language.   And the first handsome(or even not!) Chinese guy she comes across that she can speak in Mandarin with, will make you jealous.  Are you mature enough to handle that? 

Next….same theme as above….you better have a nice salary because if you don’t, ditto….if her Chinese gf’s laowai(or even Chinese husband) makes more than you, she will(not saying it’s fair!) lose a lot of face!   Young ones are that way.

China did a survey recently and found that Chinese women prefer a divorced man in his early 40’s(I’m nearly there!).  

I’d say the same thing….find a woman in her early 30’s (doesn’t have to be divorced).   She’ll be mature enough to want you for you….and nothing more.   The older the lady, the better.   Why is that?  The less maintenance they are.

China History Podcast
You gotta download it…..a fellow named Laszlo Montgomery has over 120 episodes of around 25 minutes ea, on various topics of Chinese history, and if you are a fan of my blog, than you’re a fan of this guy!   His podcast is the gold std.  It’s the most efficient way of learning abt China that I can think of.  He’s extremely devoted to China.  He reminds me of how a parent dotes on his/her child.  Same thing. 

His incessant habit of over pronouncing the Chinese names in his podcast is a bit annoying, but hey that comes with the territory.  To use an overused cliché, his podcast is a game changer.   This guy is gonna put me out of the blog writing business.    He’s the most knowledgeable guy on Chinese history I will ever come across.  I don’t think he’s a Harvard PhD.  It just goes to show you don’t have to be one, to do good work, and quite frankly, he probably shames a lot of our East Coast China Experts.
His broadcast will become par for the course, in both college and high school classes on China.   My only regret is I’m only just now hearing abt him.   He’s a threat to my longtime favorite NPR as well.

Upcoming posts…..

I’ve still got a few China history posts to work on.

Another one as regards Chinese and how they deal with the police.
My current list has abt 5 posts on it…..I’m just too busy with work, and other things. 


  1. "Once my wife noticed that she just came unhinged"

    Tiger moms are the worst... actually no... DUMB tiger moms are the worst.
    I was sent to Chinese school for almost 10 years and every single teacher barely spoke Dutch (where I was born) and since we spoke a dialect I could not understand a word of the Mandarin they said. Conveniently the books also had no word of English or Dutch. Sucks being physically and mentally punished for failing to learn Mandarin due to the school SUCKING.

    I am still not sure what drove my DUMB tiger mom to do such a thing. If it's a face thing, then aren't the constant bad grades bad for face? If she actually believed the lies of the director who claimed the teacher could speak Dutch and/or English, then my mom was plain retarded. In the end I think she did it for selfish reason. As I could not speak Mandarin, the mere act of putting me in a Chinese school was an act to show the outside world it was not her fault I didn't know Mandarin, but mine. "I put him in Chinese school, it's his fault he didn't want to learn Mandarin. He must be lazy!!!". Even though I had straight A's in regular school...

    DUMB and RETARDED tiger moms are the worst! I don't even care if my mother dies, I hate her forever! I'll spit on her grave! And my dad was a worthless POS! He didn't even care! Just continued watching TV wtf every single time... Even now to "save face" I guess they still claim I was a lazy boy, like wtf.

    be glad your wife is not a DUMB tiger mom as the kid will hate her forever and wish her dead!

  2. I don't see much involvement here with the men either. My wife actually gets angry if I try and intervene. She says it's my job to make the money, and hers to do everything else. I've told her to stop comparing our kids to the other Chinese kids. As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, I try and talk with my kids as much as I can get away with, abt things beyond grades. And to take them places. The dad needs to focus on the EQ side of things.


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