A quick post on a few things I want to talk about....

Things I've encountered over the past few days has forced me to write up a quick interlude to my post series on Mao.  A couple of pleasant things I'd like to tell my listeners about as well as one less lighter subject....here we go!

Quick write up on a pleasant Sunday here for my "throngs" of readers.....

Want to share a quick note regarding one of my more favorite China podcasts. 

As most of you know, upon occasion, I do utter a quick shout out to the "masses" regarding the podcast cum poetic skills of a certain Laszlo Montgomery.  A fella over in Orange County, SoCal way.

He has been podcasting for as long as I've been writing, probably longer.  He is a true, passion filled narrator of things all China Enthusiasts need to know regarding the Heavenly Kingdom.

Though it's been awhile since I've given him a shout out, I find his next accolades are overdue. 

His latest download on the British East India Company are required listening.
Unfortunately, I cannot find the link to these on his website, though it is on his pod all the same.

All us China crazies must make it our duty to listen to his rundown of the company, to use his phrase, that put the "Great" into Britain.

Another is a quick link to Rand.  They did publish a rather lengthy study a few years ago which I'm only now getting around to seriously reading.  I encourage you to do the same.   If one visits the Rand website, one can also find all sorts of interesting tidbits, if "war" is your thing. Most of us raising families etc probably just won't have the time however for such "leisures".

Lastly, I sadly found myself a virtual first row witness to a young laowai families humiliation.

My daughter was very recently having the final piano recital of her young career.  It looks like the piano in our house will now be collecting dust at the expense of the violin.   Oh well.....

This recital was being given by a Taiwan teacher with 25 students.  Her students all Mainland Chinese of course.    Again, many of you will recall my distaste for this teacher, as she often left my younger daughter in tears.  Just not a fun environment for learning an instrument.   As such I've gone back and forth with this woman for years.  Her piano camps on Christmas Day, for instance.   Her methods.  Her emotional abuse of a child, which wouldn't count for much if your mom is a Tiger Mom. 

Alas, this white couple, a pretty mom and a normal frat looking dad have their daughter come up to perform, once her turn arrives.   The girl comes up to play her piece, sits down.....and nothing.  A few stabs at the piano, followed by sobs.  The poor kid is crying.   It wasn't stage fright.  The kid just couldn't play the damn piece.

And with that, the sad parents of this kid learned more about Chinese culture than I could've explained to them within a week.

The teacher stands up and helps the poor girl through her second piece.  The sobs continue.  The couple leaves.  To their credit though they came back to hear the others.  The grandfather was even there.  With his big, fancy camera bag.  On the front row.  Anticipating.

My wife turned to me and simply said,

"The mother obviously doesn't have her child practice everyday."

"Maybe the couple doesn't have a piano", I countered.

What bothered me was the loud applause the kid got while she went through her paces, failing mightily in the process.  If a Chinese kid played that badly, at a recital, in front of others, he or she would've been taken to the woodshed. 

My daughters included.

I just don't believe the Chinese would've given the same round of applause if the kid was a Chinese kid.  An awkward silence simply would've ensued.

This laowai family will now have to figure out exactly how "serious" they want to take these lessons moving forward.  Or at least choose not to show up at the recital.  I think now they understand what they've gotten themselves into. 

I'll start my final post of this particular "Mao's women" series hopefully within a few days.


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