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Map1 brings unique insights in understanding China from the POV of a Christian who has lived in the Middle Kingdom for more than 12 years in 4 different cities as a university instructor and Mandarin language student. He’s traveled to more than 40 cities throughout the country and recently married a Chinese Christian girl whom he met through CLM/ALM.
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A Self Introduction and Description of What's to Come    

By Map1
962 Views | 28 Comments | 3/5/2018 1:01:25 PM

Shanghai in the 1990's, when Map1 first arrived.

Many of you familiar with the blogs and forum know that I’m a Christian through the various comments I’ve made there, and the debates I’ve entered into concerning climate change, apologetics, politics, macro-evolution, comparative cultures, US History, Chinese culture, worldviews, religion, and homosexuality.  I’m a Christ-follower who used to be a religious person. I attended church and embraced a New Age/Buddhist/Hindu worldview. I came to trust and follow Jesus while a Senior in High School.



In this series of blogs, I’ll discuss my first impressions of China when I came to teach in Shanghai in 1989. Later I’ll write about my dating experiences and marriage to my lovely Chinese wife. Along the way, I’ll, of course, incorporate my worldview as it relates to my life journey in China. In your comments, please refrain from logical fallacies, notably ad hominins. I always encourage the exchange of ideas, but present arguments with evidence and logic. Stories, idioms, sayings, and antidotes are helpful in making your point.



I must say that the longer I live in the Middle Kingdom, the longer I realize that I don’t know much, despite the comments that I make. Our worldviews, values, customs, traditions, history, and politics are so different. Our ways of thinking are different. In the west, we're influenced by the Aristotelian linear way of thinking versus a circular one in the east. This is very apparent in my students’ writings. We start with a thesis statement in the introductory paragraph with controlling ideas. The body paragraphs begin with the controlling idea contained in the topic sentence with supporting sentences. In China, they use lots of idioms and quotes that are derived from their general knowledge, which explains why they don’t make citations. They overuse adjectives and usually don’t follow a logical structure.



Although China has been influenced by the worldviews of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Scientism, and Communism, there are at least 100 million Christians and they’re having more and more of an impact on the culture and society. Brothers and sisters in the west can learn a great deal from our Chinese brethren, especially in the area of identifying with Christ and his sufferings.



I’ve always loved Chinese food since I was a young lad when my family would go to the New Canton restaurant on Friday nights in my hometown. I’m constantly asked as to whether I can use chopsticks, to which I reply that I’ve been doing so since before they were born. My best friend from High School is a Chinese-American, whose mother was from Guangzhou and matched-up with his father. So, she’d speak Chinglish to her family, which they could understand, but not really speak. I used to do international student outreach at my alma mater, where I became good friends with some visiting scholars from Beijing.



Through a conference for university students, I was recruited to go to China to teach English. After two months of training in Pasadena, CA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Chinese language, and culture, I was placed along with a team to teach at the prestigious Shanghai Institute of Trade. In those days that was the hot major as Deng Xiao-ping and his right-hand man, Zhu Rong Ji began reforming the economy. My students were required to be able to speak English well and had to be a minimum height as they didn’t want foreign businesspersons to look down upon them. The Pudong area across the river from the downtown area known as the Bund was beginning to develop. In those days there was no Internet, cell phones or e-mail. I first saw a huge cell phone in Hong Kong. So I had to write letters home and receive a phone call from my folks on Christmas Eve and I’d make an expensive call on Mother’s Day. There’s a great book consisting of a collection of essays by another English teacher and fellow Shanghai ren, Bill Holm, entitled “Coming Home Crazy: An Alphabet of China Essays.” It’s hilarious and will give you a good idea of what life was like for foreign teachers in the 1990s.  More about my first impressions of Shanghai in the next blog.


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#2018-03-05 13:00:38 by Map1 @Map1

Most of you reading this will already be familiar with Map1, but it is my pleasure to introduce him today as a blogger for CLM and ALM, as opposed to a frequent commentor. Map1, also known as Mark in his real life, as opposed to his CLM life, has been involved with education in China for a long time, has resided in China for many years, and has recently married a Chinese lady and CLM member. Quite obviously he has much to offer all members of CLM based on this experience.

But, in addition to this, he also is a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and as such has a unique set of eyes through which he views things, and this adds to what he has to offer to the many, many Christians who are members of CLM and ALM, both Western men and Chinese and Asian women. We see this as an added bonus to those members, who will now have a blogger with whom to seek advice relating to the unique issues that they encounter in dating on ChinaLoveMatch and AsiaLoveMatch.

@Map1, I first landed in China in early 2002, and from that time until today, watching the advances made by China and the Chinese people both economically and in their ever broadening outlook at the world at large has ever filled me with awe. The progress they've made has been astounding to me, so I am looking forward to seeing what you have seen from a POV that started a number of years before my own.

Welcome to the Blogs.(clap)(clap)(clap)

 

#2018-03-05 13:31:14 by Map1 @Map1

Actually I first came to Shanghai in 1989 for 5 years and then returned to the US to do a MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Intercultural Studies. I thought I'd return immediately after my graduate work. But it wasn"t until 2008 that I was able to return to the PRC and teach in the Northwest for 5 years. Due to the 5 year rule I had to return  to the US for a year and then I returned for two years of language student in the north. Now back in the south where my wife lives and works.

#2018-03-05 14:30:52 by melcyan @melcyan

Good luck with your blog. I have gained something already -

"I’m constantly asked as to whether I can use chopsticks, to which I reply that I’ve been doing so since before they were born."

Great line. I will use it the next opportunity I get.

#2018-03-09 00:56:20 by anonymous16913 @anonymous16913

Good luck with your blogs, hopefully you will have as many female members commenting as Barry and Imi had.

I noticed you said this " Map1, also known as Mark in his real life, as opposed to his CLM life, has been involved with education in China for a long time, has resided in China for many years, and has recently married a Chinese lady and CLM member."

I find the fact you met your wife via CLM even though you live in China extremely revealing, I remember a few other posters whom lived in China having few or no successes in meeting potential partners while living in China even being on CLM. I am sure all male posters here who live in China would love to know how you achieved this success as the majority of Chinese women are possibly wanting relationships with men in other countries not ones living in China.

 

Cheers mate!

 

#2018-03-10 13:14:17 by Map1 @Map1

@anonymous16913 Let me see if I can give you a brief answer and possibly go into more detail in my blog. Even though I listed on my profile that I lived  in China, I still got a number of kisses and messages. I stil do even though my status is listed as Attached/Married. So my speculation is that it doesn't matter. I believe that they liked my profile and pictures as my wife has told me. Location was secondary. With a number of women I interacted with I told them eventually I planned to relocate back to the US. They may like the fact that I've studied Mandarin and have lived in the PRC for some time therefore,  I have some understanding of the culture. I think this is a plus.

#2018-03-16 06:51:32 by spiderboenz @spiderboenz

What is the difference between being a “Christian” and being a “christ follower”? 

#2018-03-16 13:34:38 by Map1 @Map1

The word Christian is used so freely that it's lost it's true meaning. So I tend to use the phrase Christ follower. Many people state they're a Christian I used to think so. A person should repent of  their wrong-doings (in thought, word or deed), ask for God's forgiveness, trust and decide to follow Jesus, then make HIM your master.

#2018-03-27 07:29:52 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

I agree that following the words of The Christ is NOT the same as being a 'Christian', per se.

Jesus and The Christ are NOT the same being/person, which is why I use the word 'Twistianity' instead of 'Christianity'.

Here's a question for you @Map1. It's Easter next weekend, and if Easter is supposed to represent the 'resurrection', why does it fall on different dates every year, unlike Christmas?

 

#2018-03-27 13:37:00 by RWByrum @RWByrum


@paulfox1

I actually know the answer to that question but I am more than a bit curious to see if anyone else does.

#2018-03-27 22:56:59 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@RWByrum

Reallly ? Map1 is too scared to reply to my personal e-mails, so I'd be interested to know your thoughts...................

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