Showing posts from November, 2018

To Live and Let Burn....Or, never let Lord Elgin play with matches....

There it sits, not far from the Forbidden City itself.  Originally built but for a boy.  And of course expanded over time, from Emperor to Emperor, until the walls literally came tumbling down.   And there it lies, to this day, as a symbol of China's humiliation, and weakness.  The waft of "Victim Syndrome" fills the air. But very few Chinese were killed here, if any.  There were no bombs, no radiation.  But there was a mob, alright. The overweening narrative I've oft heard when  young, from other young folk, is that the ruthless laowai simply burned the whole thing down. Of course when youngerer, what is simpler then and uncluttered is all so easy to understand and explain.  The older one becomes, the more one understands there are always two sides to the story, for any situation, the more good old fashioned "nuance" fills the air, like a mist that never goes away. So it is with "Yuan Mingyuan". 圆明园  Or is it "Yuanming Yuan"?  Or

The last Dragon Lady returns to China

Well, I can officially confirm the most selfish person on the planet is my mother in law. While she and my father in law both have "permanent" American Green Cards, they still need to come back to America within a year, once they leave the country, to maintain them. However, it seems they just don't like life here. We gave them a HUD apartment. We gave them TV. We gave them Chinese markets and all the newspapers they could read. We even gave them Chinese restaurants. America is infinitely more comfortable for a Chinese than China for a Westerner. True, we have our Starbucks, and McDonald's and our Americanized steak houses.  But is this really our culture?  In China I cannot watch CNN, or read the NY Times.  Even with VPN it is a chore.  I can freely read ESPN.  Certainly cannot listen to YouTube.  I've got the club.  True.  But...I can't even drive in China.  And for any Westerner that does drive, that tells me the traffic in your own country

Things I Relearned Part 2 Don't Marry a Rich Girl

I know a 30 something Sichuan girl.  Known her a long time actually.  And maybe someday I'll tell that story.  She owns an ice cream franchise.  Has about 6 trucks spread around the city of Guangzhou.  Makes more than I do.  Wildly successful.  And can't find a boyfriend. She's gorgeous.  Very confident, and outgoing. One day she finally gets her break.  Meets a guy.  Same age.  During the evening she tells him more about herself.  See above. Following day she gets a WeChat from a mutual friend of theirs.  Maybe it was posted as  a moment.  But the moment was as follows: "I can't date(marry) a woman who has her own business." She's still alone.  Sending out WeChat moments from clubs and meals with friends.  Surrounded by her independent minded, single, middle aged Chinese girlfriends. When I ask her why the guy chose this method of communication, she simply shrugged and said "this is how Chinese Men breakup." In th

Things I “Relearned" Part One

(Hi Everyone, I'm finally back and thanks for not entirely deserting me!  I've decided due to my busy afterwork schedule to try a new blogging format for the time being.  My posts will be shorter, but hopefully also more frequent, at least in the short term. I hope to go back to my longer length posts soon as I can.) I've been back a week.  My jetlag is gone.  Work is ok I guess, and my trip was great.  From a professional point of view it went very well.  But I learned some things. First thing I learned it this:  Almost every Chinese girl out there I meet wants to have an "emotional affair".  Far viewer are ready for anything physical.   Many talk the talk....they don't walk the walk.  But I'm a passing ship in the that's ok. Perhaps my biggest takeaway from my recent 17 days in China was really more of a reinforced point of view: The vast majority of Chinese couples have a passionless marriage.  Both sides are to blame.  The root