Latest Fluff



It’s Fluff Time.

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve caught up with all the small, miscellaneous things going on.   Let’s get started.   For those of you that do not know, “fluff” is the word I use when I simply want to talk about things or topics whose length would rarely merit a full post.     Or smaller things I simply wish to get out of my system.  In these types of posts, I tend abruptly veer all over the place, as to ignore them is akin to a mosquito buzzing in the ear that won’t go away.

I also have two major posts coming up, that will take me awhile to put to paper, so be forewarned.   While I try to post once a week,  the next post may take a bit longer, as I’m afraid its more boring, weighty stuff,

I realize the last few posts may have a bit of a rushed feel to them.   Thus, on the next one I really want to slow down a bit and try to get it right. 

First a shout out to the readers:

Palestine, Iraq, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Namibia, the UAE, Burma, Cote d'ivoire(The Ivory Coast), Trinidad and Tobago…..

I very much appreciate all of your interest in China, and yeah I do admit to being surprised when Palestine made a few appearances.   It’s been awhile since you’ve graced my blog with your presence.  
I recently celebrated my 200th post!

This may be a big fat yawn to you, but not to me.   Like I’ve said a few times before it’s not like I just wake up in the morning and knock one of these out, then hit the golf course.   Even this one has taken me three days to get out.  I’ve really got a fine ear by now for what you guys like to read, and what you can care less about.   The problem is if I was to always write what you want to see, this would stop being what it is.   Rather, it would become a “want to be liked” type blog…..ain’t happening. 


Still it is a struggle from within, debating how personal I wish to make this blog.   Quite a few of you probably think I’ve made it personal enough.  

“What do I like"? you ask…..  Let me show you.   The below is what you were searching for awhile back on the blog....too funny to pass up not taking a quick screenshot.



When I started blogging back in 2012, it was as much to get stuff off my chest as to write.   Being able to write has kept me emotionally healthier as well.   I know there are those of you in my situation.  A middle aged dude married to a Chinese, going through the same damn things I do.   For some reason I don’t seem to find many of us “Husband of Tigermom” types blogging.   I wish I did.

Moving on…..

For the longest time now, Chinese have figured out that it’s much easier to get their kids into a good school, as well as have a safety net, if they simply send their kids to an American high school.   And as the parents do not live here, they are thus not eligible for public school.   As such, certain private schools are no longer not just surviving, but indeed flourishing. 

The end result is that bad private schools do not go out of business, much less improve the quality of their education to the student.   They certainly do not provide the academic rigor necessary for a good university.   

What does this say about the Chinese family?  Are they really that ignorant about the quality of the American private school their children will possibly be attending?  Or are they simply just too damn wealthy to care?

Well…there’s a business opportunity to be had here.  I just haven’t figured it out yet. With all the private schools recruiting Chinese RMB(in the name of diversity!),  there surely must be a way to serve as a middleman of sorts, and help to vet these students.

I think it’s only a matter of time before these poor kids start coming to America not just in their teens, but even earlier.   Surely this trend is happening in Europe as well……?

This dovetails with what I read recently in the NYT about China’s Educational System being the last vestiges of Chinese meritocracy, until the news broke about Renmin Daxue.  The bribery scandal at Renmin is a big deal, if only because being accepted into Renmin Daxue is a big deal.    But are any of us really surprised that even education in China has fallen victim to the temptation of greed?  I think not.

Quite some time back I had a quick writeup on this sort of thing within the Chinese Army. 

While I’m not surprised at this neither am I going to pretend to write in some pique of feigned disappointment.   There are many, many overseas Chinese that do not pass their own exams, either in Singapore or in Hong Kong.  The first Chinese “fling” I had in China was with one of these students. 
None of us should be surprised.  The more strident the system, the more temptation to find a “shortcut”.   The only problem is as soon as society and the government develop a crack in trust, that temptation on both sides to game the system becomes bigger. 

Why is this news? 

My mother in law used to be a high school teacher.  Once, in the 80’s she gave a student a low grade.  The parents came to complain.   The mother in law relented and changed the students score.  It was found out, and an article about it was written up in the local paper.  Though still a teacher, mother in law’s career was effectively over.

Couple of quick hits:

I’ve come across an interesting blog on Quora, and I recommend you check it out.   A Mainland Chinese chick living in America has her own spunky blog on China.  I have formulated an opinion of this person, but I will stay silent, and let you judge for yourself.  Here is the url: 


She goes by Feifei Wang. 

It’s got me to musing whether I should do something similar, ie move all my posts over to a site like quora….I realize what I have now is a word of mouth blog.  I don’t advertise, or do Google+, and I’ve only gone out of my way a few times to share this blog with my closest friends.   Still, if I was to put this blog more into the public view people would come across it, of course, and it would maybe challenge their current take on China.  

And that’s really what I want to do;  challenge not so much the “China Expert”, whose thoughts can ne’er be revised, but more so the 99.98% of you who have perhaps a meandering view of China that changes with each and every article you may read on the internet.    I guess that’s my goal.  To educate and introduce, but albeit selfishly on my own terms, and what I want to write about.

With that, here is another very, very belated shout out to the CHP podcast.  Laszlo’s passion is not only contagious but motivating.   Whenever, I think I’m the only one out there this crazy about China all I need to do is catch up on his episodes. 

However, I must admit his 10 part series on Tea has been vexing at best.  Who wants to listen to the History of Tea?  I kept his ten part series for close to a year before finally delving into it, albeit, here and there.  Picking and choosing.  I’ve only just now listened to the 6th of 10 episodes, and I honestly do not know when I will listen to the rest.    Yet to be heard are episodes 1 through 3, and number 10.    

However, once I started listening to the story of how Europe along with the East India Company figured out most surreptitiously how to gain the secrets of growing and processing tea for themselves, I was hooked.    This was a big deal in the 1800's, and may be the first major example of  major industrial espionage involving China.  This is yet another episode of Chinese History we all need to take note of.  

The key episodes in order are here, here and here.  Just click the link to see the url.

 He apparently has family quite near to where I live, and I hope someday to actually meet him in person. 

Chinese in school….

I continue to be unhappy that the local school districts in my country, as they seem to still be quite oblivious to the Rise of China.   It’s a country that is not going away folks.   For example, my local high school offers everything a child could want…except a course in Chinese history.   When I was in high school we all had a mandatory 6 week course in Communism.

As I write this my daughter is stuck taking a year long course on the history of her state.  Yep, we need one whole year to understand how the state we live in has changed over the past couple hundred of years.  (And we aren’t even a country!) 

It is a great tribute to the ingenuity of the teacher that this “state history” course is being taught within the broader context of the nation as a whole. 

How does one know he has a “real” Chinese wife?

Zuckerberg pledged a few days ago to give away 99% of his company shares to charity.   Of course, the man is no fool, and he’s obviously got more than enough to last a hundred lifetimes with the 1% he will keep.   But he never would’ve been able to do this with a real Chinese wife.  A real China Wife would’ve divorced him on the spot once she realized the potential for losing all that money.    

“Look Mark….honey….you are a nice enough guy, but you don’t think I married you for love, do you….”

“I mean, what’s gonna happen to My Face?  I have great Face in China now….you understand?”

“You act goofy and give all that money away to lazy people, I leave you right now!”

Yep….what’s love got to do with it?   Show me the money baby….

It will be interesting to see how the Chinese billionaires react to this.  Such is their propensity for copying the West…..how far will this emulation go?

Wikipedia by the wayside….

And finally the other foot fell….what took so long?   Back in your playpen, all of you….we’ll continue to feed you everything you need to know about life and the comings and goings around you.   Everyone will lead a harmonious life as long as you are able to extricate that counter revolutionary “curiosity” gene from your person.   We continue to work on a vaccine and a “cure” for this “ailment” is just around the corner.  Believe in the People!

How does one know he has a “Real” China Wife….Part 2…..烦死了

Ever try and be logical with you China Wife? 

“Let’s strip the emotion aside and just be ‘logical’ for a moment”….

I’ve found that once I’m able to do that, China Wife becomes eerily quiet.   The arguments we have can be over the silliest of things…

“Why do we need to buy a luxury car that’s twice the cost of a practical car, and with lower gas mileage.”

Can’t you just give me a logical reason?

“Why do you want to move into a million dollar house?   Isn’t the 5000 sq feet we have big enough?”

What’s the logic behind your thinking?

“Why do you feel the need to drive our kids 45 minutes to music lessons? “
Seriously?

Why do you continue to insist shopping at Whole Foods?  You can almost always buy the same damn thing at Wal-mart…”

But China Wife’s mental makeup is ill equipped for Logic, and too emotional for Reason.

Silence ensues.

Than with all the perceived logic and reason she herself can bring to the fore, comes the mantra all Chinese women think of Their Man in moments of distress:

你烦死了“





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