Showing posts from 2020

When will China let us back in?

 Now is a good time to be a laowai in China  I mean, nowadays one really sticks out like a sore thumb.  All "legitimate" laowai have long since left the Heavenly Kingdom.   All expats, and professionals are long, long gone.  And if you are still there, it is because you perhaps have no way out.  Or you have no prospects back home.  The only one's left are teachers really.  I mean, they have the place to themselves, so to speak.  What joy! This worm has turned time and time again.  First we fled, then the virus overwhelmed the West, and a few tried to "flee" back to China.   China of course wouldn't let any of us "contaminated" folk back in.  Good politics, you see.  Good politics to keep us out. So China got the last laugh, until it didn't.   Now the West has a slew of pretty good vaccines coming out, and China is soon to be in a tough spot.   How much longer will the Heavenly Kingdom keep vilifying the West?  Because within six months most of

We are not built for China

 Park Chung Hee was not a very nice man.  The ruler of Korea from 1963  until 1979, by the end of his reign his popularity was greatly waning.  Still, it is without question that during his reign he built Korea into an industrial powerhouse.  Korea's GNP increased by 2400%.(please check my work!)  Yet Korea is an American ally and today only has 50 million people.   Now let's take a look at China.  Itself an industrial powerhouse, with an equally goal oriented leadership.  But with a population of 1.5 billion.  Yes, I deliberately overestimate the population.  And China today has a GDP roughly ten times larger than Korea's.  We are not built for China.  We are not prepared for this.  Sure if China was say the size of......Peru it would be a different story, right? China is a threat to our way of life.  To our existence.  This may not be a big deal to the great people of Holland or  Poland or Ecuador.  But the fact is, China is a big deal to America.  To its ego.  The Chines

I tried really really hard to find something good to say about Chiang Kai Shek

  So I want to focus on one thing:   CKS may in the lens of history be looked upon as an incompetent fool, but truth be told, he was more competent and capable than anyone else within China willing to step up at that time.    If the Chinese thought he was that “bad” there is really no record of anyone within the Kuomintang trying to assassinate him after he’d taken over power and his true trajectory as such was already known.     At least the Germans tried to kill Hitler. The Russians were so in awe of Stalin and his ability to defeat Hitler, and so brainwashed by his Cult of Personality, Stalin could have ruled for generations as long as he was healthy. CKS was a true patriot. This must be truly said of him.   It is ironic that despite his xenophobia, that he actually lived abroad.    CKS hated the Russians.    But honestly there is no knowledge of his hating the Japanese.    It is in Japan, where he lived for about two years, that he learned what it was truly like to be a soldi

Who will be America's Krushchev?

 Stalin was a monster. If you all go back, deep, deep into the archives you will, oh never mind, I'm sure none of you have the time to really go back into my nearly 400 posts so here it is, my dear lazy readers! In sum there was a time, when the "bad guys" were denounced for far less than anything Stalin was ever denounced for. But this moment matters.  Stalin was so feared, that even when something was obviously wrong with him on the night of his death, no one helped him.   Believe it or not, he died before his time.  And 99% of all ethnic Russians thought him a Hero brought down from heaven by Lenin himself to save Mother Russia.  Remember, Stalin was not "Russian".   As my Soviet History teacher taught us, Stalin spoke Russian with an accent.  Most non ethnic Russians probably hated him.   All the same, Stalin got away with his excesses.  He killed in cold blood without remorse. He was never put

My thinking has begun to change

 I've been preparing a new post for awhile now, but this will be one of those times where inspiration pushes it back to the periphery. I've constantly been hearing....reading, about America owning 5% of the global population but 20% of the COVID cases.   And people of course look at other nations such as South Korea and various places in Europe.  And Taiwan(not a nation, I know)....and of course China.   I think it is pretty simple to understand Taiwan, surrounded by water as it is.  But can we really understand why China has so few cases?  This post is not about China's lack of cases, but in short I will give a small reply.  China is "built" for a disaster such as this.  The people are internalized for something such as this.   It is in their wheelhouse.  Control is the "Fabric" in Chinese society.  The Chinese bureaucracy has done a fascinating job organizing society.  The impetus is control over its citizens.  The by product is a safer place.  A more

Wrapping up my Top Ten

 I'm gonna knock out the last two reasons why I may never return to live in China again.  Granted, none of this may come true.  Still..... If I were to be shipped back once again to manage Chinese operations these are the final two reasons I'd definitely hesitate.  This reason to me is really ranked number one in my book;  I wouldn't be able to see my kids.  Simple as that. When I was last sent back to Shenzhen for what would eventually become a six year stint my youngest daughter wasn't even born yet.  And my oldest didn't really even miss me.  She was happy to watch Sponge Bob with her grandparents. My life then was much more crowded than it is now.  I lived in an 1800 sq foot house in a culdesac, with what eventually was 6 people.  Now I have nearly 5000 sq feet and there are only three of us.  It would be difficult for me to give this all up, my books, the weather, and of course the pork!  But the biggest problem of all without question would be the time lost wi

What are those white spots in the sky?

 First of all sorry for my absence. I got locked out of my blogger account. My posts are piling up.  I know if I simply wrote more frequently, that would help.  Alas, the life of a company Director keeps me too busy for now.  I find I simply just can't sit on my sofa with my laptop and knock out posts....sometimes I feel like I'm starting over, actually  Still, I'm happy to have been writing this since August 2012, and still have more posts up than many podcasts have episodes. Before I move on to my bigger topics I've got lined up I really want to continue with Top Ten list of why I may never live in China again..... I call myself a "budding amateur photographer"...I love to write, and to take photos.  Abt 3 weeks ago I went out to the lake.   I waited for sunrise, then waited some more.  Soon it was dark, and not long after it was pitch dark.   The night was black, and finally the stars began to show themselves.   I wound up having the be

The worst sex I've ever had with China Girl is with China Wife

 I stop this regularly scheduled series to bitch about China Wife.  Sex with China Wife sucks(I just made a pun),  and if she doesn't start "sucking" more, I'm gonna start banging my head(another one!) against the wall. Simply put, we need more sex in the Fontenot Household.   But upon accomplishing that, we need more excitement as well.   When I'm allowed to jump on Mrs. Fontenot, I can already tell you how scripted the sex will be.   And I know what will and what will not happen, as well.  We basically have three sexual positions.  One of which is her on top, and is rarely performed.  So let me stop right here all you fans of China Girl;  you must be sexually in sync with China Girlfriend.  One of you cannot be a "five times a week" fiend and the other only once a week.  You must be on the same page.  Or else a few years down the road you will become mired in that great swamp of lowered expectations.  Regarding China Wife and her lack of sexual procliv


Marching on with my top ten reasons I may never live in China again.... If I were to have to live in China again, I think it is a sure thing I would need to pay taxes.  I would like to simply be "stationed there",  while calling America my base, and flying back and forth to China on a business visa.  That would be ideal. But what company is willing to do that?  Because I want business class, My Man. Economy sucks and guess what?  My company  and your company can afford it.  When a company makes millions, a $6000 ticket is chump change.  Does it make me a "target"?  Sure does.  Because economy is only $1000. But very much depending on the point of view of the CEO, why not just hire a local to do my job?  I think fifteen years ago that type of attitude began to very much sink in.  I was indeed a target.   I've said it before and I shall say it again.  Being able to speak Chinese and have a strong professional background in China makes one more a target.  Mor

Extremely quick take on China's health system

( This is a continuation of my top ten reasons I may never return to live in China ) One time I was talking with China Wife.  She had mentioned how her Aunt and Uncle were unwilling to move from Chongqing to Shanghai. At the time, Chongqing was still a backwater, with an airport the size of an American high school gym.  I found it strange they weren't willing to return.   China Wife explained it to me in a simple way I could understand:  他们关系在那边。 This opened up my eyes quite a bit;  What if  I didn't have "guanxi"? What if an ordinary person didn't have "guanxi"?  In an instant I understood the lines. And I also understood why my inlaws best friends were Doctors.  My mother in law could simply just show up in a hospital, and get treated or looked at.  Sure it helped to no end that my father in law was a highly ranked, retired  provincial official.  Let's be clear, I would never have a problem with a doctor in China. I would simply go to a m

Bourbon and Automobiles

The third reason I may not be living in China again is the lack of plentiful, top shelf American booze. Talking specifically of bourbon.   Guess what guys and gals, the only time I ever find myself at a McDonalds or KFC is when in China.  Specifically an airport.  And the only time I ever find myself drinking Jim Beam or Jack Daniels is same.  I never eat that stuff here, and I sure as hell never drink that stuff here.   Over the past few years my taste has drifted more towards Bourbon, anything $50 and down is just fine by me.  Now, having since written this list I have done some research and I have been able to find a few stores supplying such spirits in Guangzhou and Shanghai.  And the pricing is reasonable, and the selection "ok". But come on Man.  One store in  a city of 15 million people? The ability to buy proper bourbon in a city should be in direct claim to it's claim to being Cosmopolitan or Sophisticated.   I don't need fancy coffee.  Wal-Mart coffee

Ten reasons I may never live in China again

I've written alot about my experiences in China.  Good times, etc.  But China has changed alot since I left.  Indeed, it might harder to go back then before.  China has become more complicated.  One could even say it is "no country for foreigners". China has successfully built a wall around itself.  Chinese know nothing about Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.   And the ubiquitous presence of WeChat within Chinese society makes it harder in many ways for people like me to fit it.  One cannot simply be only "half immersed" within Chinese culture, but rather be all in.   It's hard to be all in.  People that brag about being all in I'm increasingly wondering perhaps have no place within their own native society.  Be it Denmark, Spain or Brazil, or anywhere.   These are all future posts for me, but for now I want to speak about the top challenges a middle aged man returning to China will have. Aside from the above, you see, China is increasingly simply f

Sex with China Wife: Redux

I need to talk about this again. China Wife simply doesn't want sex anymore.  With the realization I have a fairly high sex drive, on top of the fact I have a crazy work schedule, I am increasingly finding the need to "decompress".   My coworker told me to go hit a sandbag.   Fortunately, I have a pool in the back which helps, along with my semi-regular exercise, all of which help me quite a bit. But hormones are hormones, and I find myself not slowing down at all.  Of course memories of my past life in China do not help me. Still, I must wonder how long this New Normal with China Wife will last?  I'm afraid forever.  My sexual interest in my wife is a positive thing, do not get me wrong. China Wife is very happy I still find her attractive.   China Wife has a great body, and is not fat at all.  She is a pretty person, and well endowed. She is in awe of the fact I am still sexually attracted to her, which I am.  However, I am a bit saddened by my wife's la

Why China Wife is so nice to me

I've noticed a change in China Wife. She is happy. She teases me a bit more.  Jokes around a bit more.  Even washes dishes! Never tells me when to go to bed, or when to wake up.  Never asks me what I'm doing, or tries to make me "earn my pay". She has changed. During this Pandemic, this bad time in America, I'm one of the lucky few with a good job.  I have many direct reports, and a good boss.  He and I are "aligned"(knock on wood).   Make no mistake, while I'm currently grounded from going to China, have lost my frequent flier status, and  pretty much been unable to visit suppliers anyway, I'm still putting in 65 hours a week, frequently not going to bed until the early morning hours, until my team in China is already halfway through a typical day. In short , I feel not so much overwhelmed as overworked.  Certainly no time to write a blog. And China Wife is happy. Within her own world, that is how it should be.  Within her own mi

China's Next Leader?

In April a fellow named Le Yucheng conducted an interview with America's NBC News.  It was a big deal. Neither Chinese politicians nor diplomats frequently give interviews to the West.  And this is partially the blame of the West.   And also reflective of the inability of the Chinese Marketing Machine to make itself heard.  While the Chinese Narrative within China itself rules supreme, it falls upon death ears beyond its borders. So it was surprising to see an interview take place, albeit in Mandarin.  While the Chinese Government, along with Korea and Japan, continues for some odd reason to strangely be unable to produce fluent English speakers to present their cause to the West(nevermind our even more glaring ineptitude to do the same, in their countries, in their language), it was still quite fresh to finally see a high Chinese government official coming out to speak to a foreign reporter.  Something Jiang Zemin used to do on a regular basis. However, I don't want to t

John Winthrop's Dumpster Fire

I posted on WeChat last week the SpaceX launch, and it was cool.  I remember as a young boy in my hometown the day  a 747 circled our city with a white plane on top.  It was the US Government introducing us all to the Space Shuttle.  I was in the park playing basketball.  We all stopped to take a look. And yeah that was pretty cool, too. For thirty years America had a Space Shuttle. Then some incompetent punk ass bureaucrat thought it would be even more awesome to let the Russians (Gasp!) take over the role of launching Americans into space.  How humiliating.  Utterly, fucking humiliating.  And that shit went on for nine long years. So anyway I watched the launch, and Thank God nothing blew up.  And I posted a short clip on WC. And I got zero likes. And I wasn't all. I think I've received zero likes only once before, and I can't even remember when that was. The Chinese without question consider America not only their chief rival, but the main o

A country with no guard rails

One can easily tell if one has been to China. Within the first few minutes of conversation said person will quickly espouse, "China needs a dictator......" One would be surprised how many people in positions of power have never visited the Heavenly Kingdom.   This particularly holds true for America, but probably within  your nation too For if any of our "know it all" politicians had actually been to China(rather than just dropping into Hong Kong like Ted Cruz apparently did recently), then surely their criticisms would have had a tad more nuance.   A bit more sophistication. Listening to ignorant people in America(usually our US Senators) talk about how bad China is, is quite embarrassing.   Readers of this blog know I'm not a suck up to China, but neither do I go out of my way just to "piss on" China either. However, I think a country as important as China doe merit visiting the place, before making the decision to carte blanche criticize

Mao was right, oh so right

In 1939 the vaunted Russian Army attacked little Finland.  A million men attacked.  Expected to last a several weeks at most, the Finnish Army punched far above it's weight,  and stopped the Russians "cold" in their tracks and inflicted heavy losses.  A hint of what was later to come against Germany, the Russians took it all in stride, but it was not until Spring 1940 that Finland finally capitulated.  Alas, looked upon as weak and tottering, Germany attacked Russia.  Greatly underestimating the Russian ability to field armies, the Germans eventually lost.  Despite the horrific losses inflicted against them, the Russians simply kept coming.  Russia wasn't so weak of course.  Still, I cannot but help think that many an "educated" person may draw a similar parallel between the Russia of 1940 and America in 2020. Never before has America seemed so incompetent.  So lost and directionless.  So authoritarian.  So help itself.  This is no