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Share A Slap in the Face
2015-10-2 09:33
A Slap in the Face
I'm pretty much a happy person, meandering through life and making light-hearted (and sometimes ponderous) observations. Every so often, an issue jumps up, slaps me in the face and urges me to the keyboard. This is one of those times. America. In the past 2 days I've encountered pertinent revelations which force reckoning that all is not well in China's second most revered country (China's first most revered country is, of course, China). A documentary series on ...
6936 views|54 comments Popularity 11
Share That Cheap, Made in China Crap!
2015-9-27 15:46
Every time I read an American news article about manufacturing, GDP, retailing or anything connected to those topics, invariably the reader comments center on the American job situation and the dismal economic outlook. More than one person will comment: ‘Buy Made in America’ products only! If the article talks about retail sales especially, most comments center on ‘that cheap, made in China crap’. I do understand that the job outlook in America is pretty dismal. I can se ...
7929 views|71 comments Popularity 11
Share The Man With A Plan
2015-9-6 09:34
He was born in Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and South African mother. He was raised by his father in Nigeria, his mother apparently having decamped, taking her nationality with her. Life was not easy for this father and son. Minimal education, social strife and income disparity all culminated a young man with few chances at a decent life. His father, wanting the best for his boy, advised him to seek his fortune elsewhere. Or maybe, in desperation, the young man took it upon himself to ...
6540 views|0 comments Popularity 17
Share Things I Do in the Name of Research
2015-8-25 09:49
I've been writing my experiences about life in China for 5 years now. The downside of writing prolifically and continuously is that, after having been here for all this time, ‘firsts’ are hard to come by. By no means am I saying I am jaded on the experience of living in China or teaching at this university, but there are only so many things that can happen the first time. Hey! I made a funny: “I’m not jaded on living in China.” Teehee! All humor aside, now. ...
5987 views|0 comments Popularity 6
Share I didn't Know...
2015-8-12 10:39
I've never claimed to be the know-all and end-all of China and Chinese culture, and I never will. To wit: even 5 years on, little tidbits of facts previously unknown to me still have the power to rock me, shock me and give me pause. Here are a few nuggets. Single mothers: Until recently I thought it was only a social taboo to have a baby out of wedlock in China, as it was in the west until about 30 years ago. An enlightening article in ChinaDaily clued me in to th ...
6436 views|0 comments Popularity 10
Share That 'First Foreigner' Feeling!
2015-8-9 11:13
Much is said about what we expats are exposed to at the hands of our Chinese neighbors: the stares, the inane questions – I was once asked if I brush my teeth! The touching and all of the other questions that, I swear: if I hear them one more time, my head will explode! What about when we foreigners saw a foreigner for the first time? I launch this question at my students: what was their first experience with a foreigner? And I tease them with the promise of my own ...
7234 views|0 comments Popularity 11
Share How to be a Conservationist
2015-8-2 10:10
How to be a Conservationist
It's not exactly an accurate title. Conservationism generally refers to preserving the environment and maintaining sustainable resources. What this article talks about plays with conserving resources and helping the environment, namely what we, as individuals can do to help protect and sustain our environment. I was inspired to write it because of fellow blogger pnp's article: Don't Waste Precious Water http://blog.chinadaily.com.cn/blog-2084979-30604.html Indeed, not abus ...
4106 views|0 comments Popularity 5
Share Thoughts of Marriage
2015-7-29 08:39
A couple of months back, one of my Chinese friends came to visit. We were enjoying coffee and conversation when, all of a sudden, he pops off with: “I'm getting married.” Color me poleaxed! Isn't that the sort of announcement one rushes to tell friends, breathlessly and full of excitement? That wasn't the case here. Joe dropped his news casually, mid-conversation, as though he were telling me he would eat dinner out that night. Much is being made of romance, finding one' ...
4678 views|0 comments Popularity 17
Share For Profit
2015-7-27 10:21
Such great news! Evenflo, an American company specializing in baby products has designed a car seat that will sound an alarm once the car is turned off, notifying the driver that Baby is in the car. What a great idea! Evenflo has partnered with Walmart to be the exclusive distributor of its advanced technology car seat. For one year that mega-store with branches all over the world will offer this multi-faceted protective device, a must for anyone with a small child who regu ...
2398 views|0 comments Popularity 8
Share That's Weird!
2015-7-23 12:01
I first noticed this phenomenon in Ezhou while I was rambling around there last year (see Ezhou entries, posted July of last year), but I put it down to the locals being exceedingly friendly. Now it happens all the time, and I don't know what to make of it. For the first few years I was here, younger people always approached me and we did talk, usually in English and not for very long. The conversations all flowed in the same direction, what I call The Standard Questions: W ...
2788 views|0 comments Popularity 8
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Recent comments
  • The 'Face' Effect 2017-3-6 06:09

    Newtown: So which one is that 'one true god' ? What is his /her /its name ?
    Truth.

  • The 'Face' Effect 2017-3-6 05:31

    teamkrejados: In Zhang Yimou's movie 活着 - To Live, Gong Li gives what I believe is the classic example of Chinese 'face': the man who murdered her son turns up on ...
    The difference is that a Chinese person - like many from other Asian countries such as India - will seek to maintain 'face' in the face (!) of all evidence against what that person has said or done. For example, it a person stole a sum of money they would argue to the ends of the earth that this was not the case, no matter what objective proof was but before them. If eventually they did admit to their fault then they would say that you should not remind them of this act because that would be akin to 'beating them over the head with a stick' - i.e making them lose face once more.

    In such situations these people do not want to take responsibility for their actions. If you asked them 'why?' they did or did not do this - such as in the case of the employer you describe - they would reply 'no why'.

    A western person would more readily admit their responsibility, account for what has happened, and seek to move on in the light of their admissions. e.g. learn from one's mistakes instead of repeating or ignoring them.

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