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Born in the UK but now living in Australia, Paul Fox has travelled to many places throughout China. He has seen the lighter side, the darker side, both the gentle and the seedy sides. He documents his experiences and is willing to share them with anyone who wants to listen. He is not afraid to say things exactly how he sees them, and is quite happy to "name and shame" when necessary.
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A Polite Warning    

By Paul Fox
1058 Views | 22 Comments | 1/3/2020 1:14:10 PM

I was having a rather interesting text-chat last night with a female CLM member who is known to many of us here.

I'm sure she wouldn't mind me revealing her name, but since I haven't asked, I won't. It's not important anyway.

She was telling me that she'd really like to go and live in 'the West'.

 

I first came to 'know' China around 12 years ago, and I have lived here, full-time, for coming up to 5 of those years. I have no desire to go back and live in the West.

 

Conversely, even my own kids refuse to come here for a visit, and I know of several Western friends and family that also feel the same way.

 

So if we take a step back for a moment and ask why so many Chinese women want to go and live in the West, despite never having been there, and why so many Western people don't want to venture into China, despite never having been here, we see a common problem.

 

Chinese women seem to have this 'desire' to go to live in the West based on what? TV? Movies?

Likewise, the 'picture' that's been 'painted' BY the West with respect to China, comes from the same media outlets.

 

John Abbot, Barry Pittman, OldGhost, and many other prominent names on CLM have spent a lot of time living here.

John often talks about his desire to come back here to live, and I know for a fact that Barry would come back here to teach English if age were not a problem.

So if China is so 'bad' why do so many Westerners love it?

In the city I lived in previously there is a well-known school called 'Beijing New Oriental' (Xin Dong Fang). Western guys have been teaching there for over 10 years, and many of them would NEVER consider going back to the West. in fact many now have Chinese wives.

 

So to sum-up, I'd like to say this;

Girls, if you think the West is somehow 'better' than China, you've been lied to.

Guys, if you think China is something to 'fear', you've been lied to.

 

Marrying into a Western / Chinese partnership is always going to cause difficulties. Where should you live?

You don't want to be dragged away from your family, so why should she be dragged away from hers? - Or vice-versa.

Of course, I would perhaps suggest that 6 months here, and 6 months there would be ideal, but not if you have to work.

Is her English good enough for her to work in the West?

What kind of work could you do in China other than teach English, which is getting more and more difficult to do.

You need a degree, (in anything), then you need TESOL training, then your documents need to be approved by various 'authorities', so it's not as easy as it was, but it's not impossible.

200 years ago the East and West were inextiricably linked, but not any more.....they are growing so far apart that, whilst both remaining 'fruit', they are becoming more akin to an 'apple' and an 'orange' rather than the 'orange' and the 'tangerine' that they once were.

Neither are 'Utopia' by any means, but speaking as a Westerner, I'd prefer to live out my days in Asia than live them out in the 'West'.

 

Again, mentioning no names, a few days ago I saw a video that was attempting to portray the Chinese police in a very negative light. Apparently some dude had made some bad remarks about the Chinese police. The video showed him being 'interrogated'.

Yet when you took a second-look at the video, the cops were simply asking him questions such as, 'Why are you doing this? What have we done to make you so angry? What can we do to improve our service to the Chinese people?"......etc.....

Yet the video portrayed it as if it were the Gestapo interrogating a person of the Jewish faith.....I kid you not.....

Remember, guys......it's ALL a lie, but you can beLIEve what you want......

 

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 10 of 22) 1 2 3 More...
#2020-01-03 13:14:02 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

My feelings on the subject are a little more mixed than Paul's, in that I can't say I would prefer to live in China full time and not at all in the West. Ideally, I would most prefer the 6 months here and 6 months there approach.

And I'd be a little bit fussy about where in China I would choose to spend those 6 months and maybe even more fussy about where in the West.

If it was up to me, I'd wish to live summer and fall somewhere in or close to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. By "close to" I mean in what we call the foothills in Alberta, Canada. These are the hills leading up to and bordering on the Rockies. Living on a piece of land in those beautiful hills, with the stunning Rockies as a backdrop, would be a wonderful way to spend my time near my family.

Come each New Year I would then ideally head for China and my first choice of my China home would be the relatively small city of Lijiang or the even smaller Dali, both in the Yunnan Province and both situated near major mountains. But a close second choice would be Hangzhou, which s a city I found to be very comfortable to live in.

What say some of you other China Expats or Old Hands. What locations would you choose to live in China, and how long each year would you ideally spend there?

#2020-01-03 15:47:19 by melcyan @melcyan

You need to choose where you live with great care but even the best location in the world will fail with the wrong partner. My partner has taken out Australian citizenship so I doubt that we could ever live our retirement in China. If we did live long term in China it would need to be close to Shanghai. Maybe Suzhou. I am capable of living any amount of time in any location my partner chooses.

 

For what it's worth during the short time I have spent in China I have felt completely safe. For Chinese women who never give in to the inevitable troubles of life, like my partner or @meg (based on what I have read), Australia is a great place to live. 

#2020-01-04 01:29:08 by newbeginning @newbeginning

Paul, good subject and makes one think eh? I love the land around the city I live in in the West, I do not however enjoy seeing all the homeless druggies flowing(paid by the government) into my relatively small city, I do take offence to the "aggressive" Middle Eastern Muslims and Somalian Blacks that are being paid to live here by my government with the sole intent of disrupting Western way of life. Both Paul and I know who is behind this movement and why. Having said that I live in a beautiful part of the world. 

I have been to China many times and if my situation was not as it is here I would live in China or somewhere in Asia...but I would want an Asian wife. In the cities, towns and villages I have visited they all have a certain appeal. Shanghai and Beijing definitely are no go's for me. Chengdu is nice, Xian is nice, they both have a different vibe than the afore mentioned cities but the drawbacks are it they are dirty and noisy. I intend to travel more in the southeast of China in the next several years hopefully. I am very interested in what I may find.

 I agree that the western media has portrayed China incorrectly. Just as the West is demonized by Chinese media. Alot(not all) of Chinese still think we are "Barbarians" lol Yet they flock to Charbucks, Mickie D's, BK, Pizza Hut etc etc

The West is cleaner in general with far more attention paid to our environment. If Chinese women truly knew the real West(not in TV or movies) then they would most likely think hard about blindly coming to the west to live. Also it is no longer easy for Chinese citizens to immigrate to the West now. 

I keep thinking about a title of a book I read as a child, it is called "A Stranger in a Strange Land" this is how I am starting to feel in my own country as it is slowly changed from White to Dark. 

Chinese culture has a zest for life that we in the West have lost. In China men are men, women are women. Chinese women expect you to "be" and "act" like a man, which is difficult for alot of us because we have been brainwashed to be and behave meekly towards women. We have also been fed the lie that Chinese women are moneywhores, want your wallet and residency in your countries so they can gain citizenship or permanent residency to sponsor their families to come over, then divorce you. This does happen unfortunately but not on the levels we are "told" to believe. Alot of (not all) Western men go to China, Thailand, Vietnam, Philipines and "screw" as many women as they can, behave like idiots and abuse the country they are visiting. On the other hand there is also many, many Western men who are naturally attracted to Asian women and have given up on fat, obnoious western feminazis. We are accused of having "Yellow Fever" by western females.   Wow what a rant lol 

Chinese women are described as steel rods covered in beautiful flowers, well guys you had better be a Titanium rod covered in Masculity.

In a nutshell I would live in Asia if I could....

#2020-01-04 10:18:48 by oldghost @oldghost

@PaulFox1 I am with you in several regards, and agin you in none in fact for once.  I've encountered 4 strong personal reasons given for wanting to emigrate from China.  1. Children and the Education system  2. Social attitudes to and treatment of divorced women with children in China  3. Intense political feelings and dislike of the CCP by a few.  4. Western Academia.
Many of my students are adults with families wishing to emigrate to Canada USA Australia UK or NZ; others are postgraduate students and almost all need to score well in one of the dreadful artificial English language tests (PTE, IELTS, TOEFL) .  I caution them about the loss of status, culture, language, family, friends, profession - and increasingly about the rising paranoia and hostility in media and amongst politicians.
Myself aside I know no one who wishes to travel the other way, and I think that is not simply a consequence of the negative and biased Press.  The same sacrifices are required and add to that the loss of social welfare security legal and health services withou the shenfenzheng.

@JohnAbbott I agree on the half half approach although perhaps I'd pitch it more at 5-7 China-Australia.  It does provide equity to a Chinese partner and does overcome many of the bothways downsides.  I'd go with you on Lijiang and Dali.  In the Southern region I'd add Yangshuo for its unique vibe, and Guilin.  I'd even contemplate Shenzhen for its moderness transport cleanliness and greenness.  Kunshan just out of Shanghai is another dynamic smaller city I'd suggest.  Kunshan is wealthy, prosperous, just like Shenzhen, and undergoing serious greening, plus it is close to the canal towns, and close (one stop to Pudong) to Shanghai if you need it.

 

#2020-01-04 12:27:24 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@melcyan

Australia WAS a great place to live. I'd be re-thinking my future if I were you

#2020-01-04 12:32:34 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@newbeginning

The environment you live in (homeless, druggies, etc) is all by design. You only need to look at cities such as Los Angeles and San franshitsco to see it.

As for Chinese women being 'money-whores', there is a certain truth in some of that. Chinese women DO pay a lot of attention to money, but this is cultural IMHO and not necessarily a reflection of the women themselves.

China is a vast country. There are many, many beautiful places to live, and there are many, many ugly ones too.

I have said it before, many times, that the only city in China that I have ever been to and hate, is Guangzhou. I have no idea why....I just hate the place.

Conversely, I love Shenzhen and could easily live there, even though I don't particularly like big cities.

#2020-01-04 12:33:30 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@oldghost

' I am with you in several regards, and agin you in none in fact for once.'

Darn those spelcheker thingies.

#2020-01-04 17:50:04 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@melcyan

Awesome Australia, right?

https://youtu.be/nVfa71TTRuE

#2020-01-05 13:11:17 by melcyan @melcyan

My last comment was written in unusual circumstances. I was aware of all the bushfires but I was at my partner's place helping her look after her mother. My full attention was on helping my partner. 

 

The bushfires are devastating but Australians are amongst the most resilient people in the world. A stronger Australia will emerge from the bushfire ashes. Australians are strongly supporting each other at this difficult time. I have donated $500 to the bushfire appeal. Pink donated $500,000 - amazing!

 

Despite much travel in Europe and some in Asia and USA, the city I was born in, Adelaide, is still my favourite city in the world. There is no place I would rather live. My partner's mother came to Australia in 1991. Mama never wanted to return to China. Despite never learning English she is happy to live (and die) in Adelaide. Mama's sister in China is very envious of mama's quality of life and high level of family support in Adelaide.

 

Living inside of an extended Chinese family in Adelaide has greatly enhanced my view and understanding of the world. There are probably no men on CLM who live inside an extended Chinese family in China. However, if there are any I would love to hear their views on this blog.

#2020-01-05 16:31:07 by oldghost @oldghost

@paulfox1 no spellchucker or spellchoker of mine has an issue with agin which may be of (groan) southern US origin and thus unutterable but also of Scottish and thence utterable

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