Losing patience with.....CHINA!

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A-Train

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Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« on: February 09, 2013, 10:25:01 PM »
Been here three years. All the things that intrigued me have lost their luster and the crap that didn't bother me is under my skin and burrowing. I know an ex-pat goes through a curve where, at first, everything is grand followed by its opposite and then, finally, one comes back to a happy medium. I'm still waiting for that last part to show itself.

Came back a few days ago. Got into that stinking cab, flowed into that monstrously idiotic traffic and, at that moment, would have given up all my teeth, hair and both testicles to be back home. I have no valid complaints. I'm paid well to teach six hours per week to an excellent and respectful group of students. I love the work, receive very high appraisals and the students return the respect and affection. But, what the hell happens to these people once they turn 30? Is a neo-Nazi chip installed in their brain stem? A compulsory re-education camp I'm not aware of? A subconscious, anti-Japanese impulse activated?

I'm sounding like a whiny bitch, (or a Republican), but my gripes, in order of magnitude are:

* The fire-traps the Chinese set for us. Which Nobel Peace Laureate decides to wire shut all but one or two doors of a 13-story teaching complex or a 500-seat gymnasium or every other goddam building that houses human flesh? (I survived a devastating fire so I feel I have the right to complain about this one.)

* That special relationship that drivers and pedestrians have. Yes, I've sped up at yellow lights, but to up-shift and floor it in order to skim past three old ladies with both hands filled with grocery bags in order to gain three milliseconds on your competition? These people should be tied down and forced to watch a Ronald Reagan film festival.

* Parking on sidewalks. It's enough of a challenge just to wade through the above-mentioned traffic to reach the other side of the street, (Only the East Berliners of the late 20th Century faced more obstacles), but to get there only to be forced to walk back into traffic because eight doofuses parked their Camrys on the sidewalk just twists the knife. Thank God I keep a sharp key at the ready or I'd get no catharsis whatsoever.

I'll stop here, but I remember one of my favorite students, who I still keep in touch with, asking me why the hell I would travel all the way to China just to be agitated. I chalked it up to that human tendency to be unappreciative of what's right in front of her, but I'm starting to think I had the whole thing bass-ackwards and the scales were removed from HER eyes and set upon mine. It's getting so bad I'm starting to consider Detroit as an upgrade. And that thought is enough to scare even Dennis Rodman.

 
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 09:25:13 AM by A-Train »
"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore attempt the impossible and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck

Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 10:47:33 PM »
I hear you, and having been back in China for nearly 3 years now, I can say that I regularly feel the same.

China, for so many reasons, is not an easy place to like, and despite increasing wealth and standards of living meaning that my wife and I have a lovely, cosy little life, we still regularily think of ways to get out of here.

That said, coming home to my wife's hometown, and spending time with the family and friends that have always been welcoming and are obviously very fond of me, is a great refresher. I think the problem is that in my (foreigner-dominated) university in Ningbo I am isolated from Chinese people.

Must redouble efforts to make some buddies. Problem is that Chinese people my age are married with kids and therefore less able to join me in my kiddult lifestyle.
 
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪

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fox

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 11:05:06 PM »
yes, everybody feels that way at some time or another. But i reckon there is plenty to gripe about anyplace we live.  There isn't a day that goes by where i feel chuffed to be here. See the positives and be aware of the crap - but dont focus on it, or else you will turn into one of those moaning expats who have nothing positive to say and  become a twisted wreck a bit like Gollum and his attachment to the ring which seeped any feeling of dignity from him.

Reckon you have a healthy attitude though and i certainly dont think you are a 'moaner'.  Sounds like you have carved yourself a good job with few hours too, and i must say your written piece does show you have a rare ability for expressing yourself with some eloquence and depth.   bfbfbfbfbf
regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value.

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xwarrior

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 12:49:33 AM »
Never had a job that paid so much money ... and any job I have had required my presence for a hell of a lot more hours.

Sorry, what was the problem again? Something about traffic?
I have my standards. They may be low, but I have them.
- Bette Midler

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A-Train

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 01:15:22 AM »
Never had a job that paid so much money ... and any job I have had required my presence for a hell of a lot more hours.

Sorry, what was the problem again? Something about traffic?
If money is your need, then it's no wonder your post is filled with question marks. If you only require cash, it's easily obtainable. More than that will require a little effort. But, it seems you're stuck. Ring us up again when you're not so "hungry". Maybe then you will have something more to offer besides lust. 'Til then, happy hunting!

P.S.
Eat your heart out, baby.
"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore attempt the impossible and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck

Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 01:43:30 AM »
Never had a job that paid so much money ... and any job I have had required my presence for a hell of a lot more hours.

Sorry, what was the problem again? Something about traffic?
If money is your need, then it's no wonder your post is filled with question marks. If you only require cash, it's easily obtainable. More than that will require a little effort. But, it seems you're stuck. Ring us up again when you're not so "hungry". Maybe then you will have something more to offer besides lust. 'Til then, happy hunting!

P.S.
Eat your heart out, baby.

well, this thread took a turn for the distasteful didn't it?  kkkkkkkkkk

*laters*
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪

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A-Train

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 01:48:20 AM »
Never had a job that paid so much money ... and any job I have had required my presence for a hell of a lot more hours.

Sorry, what was the problem again? Something about traffic?
If money is your need, then it's no wonder your post is filled with question marks. If you only require cash, it's easily obtainable. More than that will require a little effort. But, it seems you're stuck. Ring us up again when you're not so "hungry". Maybe then you will have something more to offer besides lust. 'Til then, happy hunting!

P.S.
Eat your heart out, baby.

well, this thread took a turn for the distasteful didn't it?  kkkkkkkkkk

*laters*
Apparently, it was bound to,
"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore attempt the impossible and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck

Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 02:15:41 AM »
Quote
well, this thread took a turn for the distasteful didn't it?
Quote
Apparently, it was bound to,

No it shouldn't have turned distasteful.  aoaoaoaoao

Your original post was good.  The reasons for being ticked off were more than valid.   bjbjbjbjbj   I have felt the same way many many times.   bfbfbfbfbf  agagagagag

Being nickered off at China is a common occurrence for most FTs.  I do not think that there was any reason for your post to be 'undermined'.

Fozzwaldus had some good points to make.  bjbjbjbjbj Maybe making friends with some local Chinese people would help.  It helped me love being in China more, and that is what I miss the most about China, my Chinese friends and neighbours.  And the Food, And the fresh fruit and vegetables and and and...

A-Train, I don't know if you will ever reach that 'happy medium' but try to look for the good things every day and just acknowledge the negative stuff exists.  Don't give the negative stuff in China so much power over your feelings   agagagagag agagagagag agagagagag
Be kind to dragons for thou are crunchy when roasted and taste good with brie.

Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 07:01:28 AM »
I agree. This thread did not need to turn distasteful. Feeling that sometimes, just sometimes, you would like to give China a good talking to and send it to bed with no dinner until it says sorry is, IMHO, a very common feeling. From conversations with locals, even they sometimes feel like this. They, naurally, have to be here and we laowai (personally, I still favour being referred to as Yangguizi which means something like "foreign demon") do not. So we must bite the bullet. I find that, on the days where I share the OP's sentiments, all there is to do is do some yoga at home, cook my own dinner and climb onto my couch with a huge cup of coffee and something delightfully distracting, like a Vonnegut novel.
If that does not help, there really is nothing to do. China is as China is. The locals seem in no hurry to change it, so us laowai griping about it will have no effect.
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde.

"It's all oojah cum spiffy". Bertie Wooster.
"The stars are God's daisy chain" Madeleine Bassett.

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Stil

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 08:53:51 AM »
Seems perfectly normal for the three year mark.

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xwarrior

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 10:46:30 AM »

Last Edit: Today at 07:25:13 PM by A-Train »

I forget, how much are you paid to teach 6 hours a week?
I have my standards. They may be low, but I have them.
- Bette Midler

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decurso

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2013, 01:55:02 PM »
Yeah...it's especially normal after returning from a stay in the motherland. To be honest, none of this stuff ever bothered me. Not enough to mention, anyway. But I find a lot of my friends in China are really down on the pollution and increased internet censorship.

 So..a lot of them are leaving.

 And that's the thing, really. I appreciate you're just venting, and that's cool. Give yourself time to re-adjust and try and have a little fun. But if this feeling persists...it's probably time to go.

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Stil

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 05:10:51 PM »

Never had a job that paid so much money ... and any job I have had required my presence for a hell of a lot more hours.

Sorry, what was the problem again? Something about traffic?


Did I miss something? I read this as humourous and I too have never made 30,000/month salary for 6 hours/week work in China.

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gonzo

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Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 05:22:30 PM »

I'm no China virgin. First visit 1997, last 2012, 5 years teaching in between. I've found that Chinese people [and don't we all?] copy those around them So if stupid driving, parking on footpaths, slamming iron doors and gobbing in stairwells is what others do, then that's what Zhou Average does. Put him in a different, although still largely Chinese scenario-say Penang-only the pavement parking remains. Why? Because those in power don't enforce parking restrictions. A few fines and wheel locks could change all that. Put Zhou in a "Western" country, he generally behaves properly, although is an ultra-slow, unpredictable driver.

Anyway, as is often pointed out, maybe a change is in order. Malaysia is a good option, though a harder ask in terms of getting a position.
RIP Phil Stephens.
No static at all.

Re: Losing patience with.....CHINA!
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 05:37:35 PM »
I think Stil has hit the nail on the head by pointing out the 3-year mark. This happened to me last time around the 3 year mark and even a move from Xi'an to Chengdu (two cities I really loved) could help, I had to go home, just in time for the 2008 crisis ( bibibibibi).

Also, it's the time of year, between Xmas and CNY, the long dark winter when (as referred to in another thread) go a little loopy.

Spring is here, however, and hopefully I can make the most of it by getting out into the countryside for a couple of jaunts at the weekend.

I've found myself saying this to a couple of my colleagues who are VERY down on China (having just arrived), that 'you are responsible for your own happiness'. As hard to accept as a lot of things are for the average westerner in China, there is a lot of happiness to be found here if you can be arsed. If you can't be arsed then, well, you know what to do.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 06:00:30 PM by Fozzwaldus »
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪