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Chinese In A Foreigner's Eyes

Popularity 27Viewed 6000 times 2015-5-7 07:31 |System category:Life| Chinese

Every day, my interactions with Chinese people prove what I already know to be true about them. 

My first impression in coming to China was that people were kind and very welcoming to me as a foreigner. They treated me well and were very generous. I've had a few negative experiences during the past 4 years, but, that's not the majority of people in China. The majority of people are that they are kind, considerate, caring and giving. This is proven to me often.

I think of my friends from the English corner like Billy Song, Mr. Luo, the sweet elderly ladies like Amy, Lucy, Nancy, Catherine and so many others. They have treated me with such kindness, care and appreciation in all of my encounters with them. I think of the teachers and administrators that I've worked with like Crystal (the director at our school), Leo, Mr. Zhang, Lily, Christine, Ida, Anny, Anna, Lucy, Stacy, Lynn, Chris, Charles, Kathy and others. Also, I think of the fine people here at China Daily like Victor and others. I think of the friends that I've made here through the blog. Even wonderful foreign friends like Colin Speakman from the U.K. I think of all of them and have nothing but good things to say about such wonderful people.

I think about when I first got here, of how impressed I was that people would give up seats on the bus for older people and foreigners (like me) to sit down. How people would invite me to their homes for dinner and sometimes for lunch. How people would bring me gifts, especially parents of my students. I got gifts of tea and mooncake. How so many invited me out to eat at restaurants and insisted on them paying for the meal. How others would invite me to teach English in various places and were always willing to accommodate my schedule and needs.

I'm quite aware that recently there has been a lot of news about rude behavior on airplanes and in other public places by Chinese people. I know that the government has even created a blacklist of Chinese travelers who will be restricted from going anywhere due to their rude behavior. I know that the government warns Chinese tourists about stopping certain behavior that is unacceptable in other countries. They don't want any further embarrassment due to the behavior of their citizens. I've experienced some this very cruel and mean behavior by such people in a few horrible experiences I've had here. I've had some experiences that made me question why I was here.

There is the reality of good and bad behavior in every country. It seems that some of the bad behavior of people is a bit more open here in China. But, there is the bright and positive side of Chinese people that keeps me wanting to stay here and invest my time and efforts in making a difference in the lives of Chinese children. When I weigh the good and the bad, the good far outweighs the bad. If it wasn't so, I'd do the easy thing and just go home, back to America. Life there is easy and very comfortable. Plus, my family is there and I could be close to them every day. But, I've chosen to stay here in China. 

This week, I will renew my contract with the school I teach at near my home. I made the decision to stay here. It wasn't a hard decision even in consideration of the very bad experiences I've gone through recently. I love China and more importantly, I love the people here. That's how I see it. I hope to build many more wonderful friendships and great memories here in the years to come. I will continue to do all I can to use what skills and knowledge that I have to work to make a difference in China and in the world.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


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