This is not the Land of Milk and Honey

 Happy to finally be able to post.  It's been awhile for me.  Quite a while actually, the longest break from a post I've ever taken.  Not on purpose.  When working upwards of 60 hours a week, it's just hard.  I manage Chinese operations for my company.  Thus I am literally working night and day.   Later tonight I have another call to make, this one with Guangzhou. 

Tomorrow I have a call with Ningbo. 

It just doesn't stop.  Yeah, I make good money.  I don't complain.  But work has the effect of simply draining one's passion from you to do other things.  I've found a gradual lack of interest in my main hobbies, ie exercise, photography, and my blog.    I've not given my blog more than ten seconds thought over the past several weeks.   The energy isn't there.  

But I'm still allowed to observe.  I still read at night, and I struggle to pay attention to the day's events.

I wanted recently to write a post about what learning Mandarin has done for me.  But as of today, I don't feel very positive.   Learning Mandarin has changed my life.  I'll leave it at that. 

Today I want to talk about China and the rest of us.  In 1990 when I first set foot in China, while not desolate, it was indeed different.  China was untrusting of the West.   I'm hear to say today that is still true.  The narrative is as strong as ever. 

Our ability to get along has lessened.  It hasn't improved.   In effect over the past thirty years there has been practically no progress in our relations with China.   Make no mistake, cosmetically speaking how can one in China complain?  

Starbucks are everywhere.  So is KFC and McDonald's.   The Iphone.  But China isn't interested in Western cultural dominance.  At the end of the day, it is still a distant country.  And suspicious. 

If I were to speak Chinese in China, without a doubt some people would think I'm a spy.  Ridiculous. 

China doesn't make it easy.   Simply taking a train is an exercise.   If one is a foreigner and doesn't bring his passport with him, he's out of luck.  The convenience of China is for the masses.  Not for you or me.  China is built for Chinese.  

I've come to the conclusion China is just fine without us.  They don't miss us, and they don't need us there.   China is happy to live its own dream, within its own cocoon, in a parallel universe if you will, fondly disconnected from anyone it cannot use to make it stronger. 

China doesn't strike me anymore as curious.   Not curious about me, or you.  Not your country, or mine.  The Chinese have no interest in how America was founded, nor any passion for learning about the spread of the Roman Empire.  That disappoints me. 

No one in China studies Latin.  Or understands the importance of Greek architecture upon our society.  Indeed, the first reaction when a Western achievement is announced is distrust.  

China simply takes a look at us and ponders with a shaken head,

"How were we ever losing to these guys"?

If you were Chinese, you would think and say the same.

In effect, China has no incentive to gaze upon our shores. 

America is my favorite punching bag:

Profound homeless tent cities.

No gleaming subways.

No high speed rail.

You get the point.

What is there for China to look up to, here?

America is the story of an athlete that threw it all away.  

I can only speak to America, because I do not live in Europe.  But I think for Europeans, Chinese would find it much more comfortable and easier a place to live.  Europe has two things America in my view doesn't have.  A society that is easy to move around in, ie Eurorail.   And a lack of insane competitiveness that exists here. 

In America, beyond the most menial labor roles, we are all competing.  And as such, I think it no longer attracts the youth of China, that come here.   China's youth within America is predominantly littered with the nouveau rich.  They are not hungry.  But our universities thank them for the tuition anyway.

They come here, they study, then they leave.  Maybe buy a house or two.  Then simply go back to China to work.  This Country is not for people hesitant of mind and spirit.  This is not a country for people with no ambition. 

If you have ambition and patience, you will do well in America.  You will not suck.   Yes, you will still need an education, but you will not want for a future.  

In short, not as many Chinese desire to come here as before.  This is not 1990, and America to them is not the land of milk and honey. 

I might continue to this later......


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