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Some Sentiments on China shared.

Viewed 2333 times 2015-7-20 07:23 |System category:Life| chinese, habits, thinking, laowai, better

I don’t really have to spend a lot of time listing things that annoy me in China but I would have to probably give a lot more thinking time to work out why my attitude has changed. I don’t often get bored or lonely, being that type of person that finds happiness in his own company. So I won’t blame that. I always had plenty to do whether it was preparing and creating Lesson Plans, reading the news, writing, playing the guitar, watching movies or just out socializing with friends, although this latter past time was not a regular occurrence. I also did a fair bit of private tutoring and that was time consuming as well.

 

I think I have reached “saturation” point in that the feelings I had when I first arrived in China are no longer there and it’s increasingly difficult to laugh things off. Here’s a list of ‘stuff’.

Personal space and spatial awareness

The language barrier

The internet – censorship, VPN requirement, questionable speed slow-downs

Spitting

Public urination

Driving

Taxis

Smoking…everywhere

Staring

Service or severe lack of actually, everywhere

Acts of illogical stupidity

Chinese education and the theft of childhood

 

I admit that some of these annoyances can be found in many countries, not just China, and they are usually a never ending source of enjoyment and provide great stories. But after a while, and my ‘while’ has been almost 5 years, little things start to irritate me and there are aspects of this culture that I feel are wrong. Simple miscommunications can get awfully frustrating and as a teacher I found the pressure on children here to succeed borders on the ridiculous and is, to me, quite unacceptable.

 

As friendly as people are to you at times you know for a fact that you will never be accepted into their culture, regardless of the relationship, even if you marry a local, no matter how hard you try. You will always be a ‘laowai’, a foreigner, an outsider. The guys I know that married Chinese women have taken them back to their own countries, Canada, the USA, New Zealand and Australia. Just one couple I know have stayed here but he’s from Cameroon and life here in China for him is better than it will ever be in Cameroon, so he says. The main reason, I believe, as to why they have done that is to remove their wives and definitely their child from the Chinese cultural influences of the family as well as for the obvious reasons of cleaner air, better education and an improved lifestyle. I don’t want to compare cultures because that’s plain silly. Every country has its own and why would you travel if it was the same all the world over? In my travels I know one thing for sure, that Western cultures are vastly different to Asian cultures.

 

I have found it refreshing when I find a Chinese person who doesn’t think like one. They still have some cultural ties but they tend to question things a lot more and be less accepting to the status quo. I have been lucky to find a few of these individuals while I have been in China. Talking to ‘traditional’ Chinese people is akin to engaging in conversation with a mental roadblock and there is no logical way around it. Strangely enough, even though they say to you ‘ because that’s the way it’s done here’ they themselves know it’s not right and it doesn’t make sense but are also frustrated knowing they have no power to change it. The power to change comes from unity, many voices, action by the masses. Then again, maybe they just remember Tiananmen Square and think: Better not!

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


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