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Originally from Seattle, USA, I've lived in China for 27 years now, 22 of them in Taiwan. For those 27 years I have been teaching English to Chinese people of all age levels; kindergarten, primary school, junior high, high school, College, University and many business managers. I have traveled to many countries, enjoy cycling very much, enjoy reading and studying and love Chinese Art Museums and walking through Nature. My favorite musical instruments are 古筝。。 古琴 。。 琵琶。。 二胡 。。 笛子 。。 (guzheng, guqin, pipa, erhu, dizi).
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China Is...    

By WarmLife
2735 Views | 27 Comments | 3/12/2016 3:29:23 PM

Cycling in China is also plenty exciting!

My first blog will be my first experience in Taiwan ... and my goals for blogging will be ..



To share a different perspective of living in China from other bloggers. Actually, although the experiences will overlap others but my distinctive slant is towards a more optimistic positive attitude towards living in the Middle Kingdom rather than typical complaints about China.



Introduce my ideas for healthy living while here in China.



Share various motivational and inspirational ideas in Chinese or English. 



To counteract the pessimistic views of living in China.



And now, my first blog...



China is... An Exciting Place



At the clear and obvious risk -- also tedious risk to viewers .. I will simply splice out the original comments -- thus making you (the viewer) really annoyed at the inconvenience of reading or re-reading the original comments -- Tally Ho!  

I am going to say that anyplace has the potential to be an exciting place ... so although I have had more than enough exciting life experiences here in China ( politically speaking for those who prefer to squeal loudly about two SARs and one Island that must not be named (Harry Potter style) I will advance a novelty and say ...



Life in China is as usual as it could be anywhere for me over my entire Life experience.  I do not find living in China to be inscrutable nor mysterious as some expats or foreigners might tend to believe.  Disclaimer --- When I first arrived in China (politically speaking ) the distance from the place I was staying at and the distance to the small school I was teaching at seemed huge.



Actually this was my second trip.  



My first trip was to a home in the middle of that Island that must not be named.



The community and the housing were not a big surprise to me as I had seen a diversity of living environments before... Europe and Fiji (where the locals actually build a thatched type dome structure for me to sleep in while I was visiting them -- which really impressed me and at the same time made my annoyed disgust greater with the other Westerner who would drive his clunker of a car to the meetings and leave before dinner back to the "safety" or convenience of his hotel). 



Concrete housing is very common over here.  Cramped living spaces can be as well unless the occupant is wealthy enough to simply build a bigger concrete living area.  My finances were immediately absconded and I was left without any money at all.  Thus for one week or longer ( I really have forgotten those wunderful days since time seemed to flow in iceberg fashion).



Instead of going insane by sitting inside the living room doing nothing productive at all I decided to sneak around and gather up whatever coins might be lurking around upon chairs, counters or the living room table.  Then I was given a very dire warning which also served as my curfew.  Come back after said time or face severe retribution from said Queen of the home.  It would be a replay of -- Off with his head! --



Without complaining under the penalty of suffering more than enough angst at the strong probability of being tortured by a continuous stream of invectives hurled at my sensitive ears I quickly decided that exiting stage left was a much better fate than the former thunderstorm quickly forming on the horizon.  I having no language capability in one of the main languages spoken on that Island that must not be named I ventured on my intended journey to seek the Holy Grail of Monty Python legend.  



Thus it was ... for each consecutive day until I left that Island that must not be named to return to the City from whence I had came.  Walking for hours upon hours; eating nothing during the entire time (utter lack of financial resources); taking a bus to the central part of the City and then with ample time returning back to the beginning point lest I fail to heed the dire warnings of said curfew (which was apparently designed to prevent me -- the wicked loose morals kind of foreigner devil (in their eyes ... certainly not mine nor those who knew me from whence I came) --- to prevent me from engaging in nefarious entertainment with other females in sultry hotel rooms during the evening or night --- 

Thus it is amazing what a person can do with only 8 dollars of that currency belonging to the Island that must not be named per day.



----  This is barely a scratch on top of the proverbial iceberg.



But sometimes too much is, well, too much. (Actually this phrase has been heard a zillion times from the mouths of a endless number of expats or foreigners I have seen, known or heard about. Unless the Cultural daily habits of another Country have been more or less internalized then there are just too many circumstances that call for these words being uttered either loudly, frustratingly, from exasperation, with tightly clenched lips trying to refrain from verbal explosion, under one's breath threatening to become a volcanic eruption). 



Otherwise there is a good chance that this situation actually happens even in one's own neck of the woods or their backyard ( meaning the person's City or origin or hometown) and thus is not an inscrutable event as thought by a multitude of expats and foreigners.  



 


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#2016-03-12 15:26:20 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

It is amazing to me that we could be so fortunate as to have an Expat who has lived and worked in China for 27 years join our dating site at all, but to have him agree to blog for us is truly incredible. When you hear expats discussing "old China hands" WarmLife is exactly the type of person they are usually reverently referring too.

In his own unique style of writing, which is almost more like conversing, has has here already shown us a glimpse into China rarely seen or even thought about. I am sure that if we read carefully and pay close attention as these blogs unfold we are all going to improve our understanding of China and come to appreciate her tenfold over our current level of appreciation.

I give you WarmLife! Enjoy....

#2016-03-12 18:55:31 by Barry1 @Barry1

@WarmLife

Very interesting first blog, thank you @WarmLife. But may I ask what your first name is?

You mentioned you enjoyed cycling very much. I like this also but I believe the roads and traffic in China would be a bit too dangerous for road cycling. Offroad cycling through the bush would be good however.

My fiance Tina thus refuses to let me buy a pushbike - or an electric scooter, for this reason. I've discussed the idea of cycling with other foreign teachers at the place I work and they agree that much as they'd like to, they'll stick to walking or public transport, as opposed to bicycling or motorcycling on the roads. As one teacher said,

"I could never really feel relaxed riding a bicycle or scooter on the road here, wondering which crazy was going to run into me!"

Getting a driving licence to drive a car presents all sorts of problems for those who cannot read Chinese, so cars are out also.

Thus I wonder how safe you feel riding a pushbike on Chinese roads? Even if you stick to the back roads, they'll still be plenty of motorcycles zipping around, I imagine. Have you ever had any close calls or accidents on your bicycle in Taiwan or mainland China?

#2016-03-13 08:14:14 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

@warmlife

Welcome to our little family of bloggers, New ‘blood’ is always welcome, and it’s great to be able to read another perspective on China, especially from someone who has lived here for so long.

Please allow me to introduce you to your new immediate ‘family’

Firstly, there’s Barry....(Our Baz)......Barry enjoys giving us a view on China that is rarely seen by us ‘laowai’. He lives ‘out-in-the-sticks’, beyond ‘civilization’, hates cooking and prefers to live on nuts and seeds. He cannot handle squat toilets and constantly bemoans the fact he knows ZERO Chinese, yet is too lazy to learn any

Next is Imi. Imi is, for the most part, is a total romantic. His blogs make classic love stories such as ‘Gone With The Wind’ and ‘Titanic’ pale into the realms of insignificance when it comes to ‘fairies-at-the-bottom-of-the garden’ and life being nothing other than a ‘fluffy bunny rabbit’

Ken is worth a mention too. He pops up occasionally with some light-hearted banter about his recent meeting with some head-of-state and he is a personal friend of Obama, Queen Lizzy and the King of Thailand (or at least HE thinks so lol)

I stick my head in quite often too. I am the person that everyone on CLM ‘loves to hate’ because I have a tendency to write about life as I see it and bugger the consequences. I am the most ‘un-PC’ person you’ll ever meet (that said, I don’t usually insult or abuse people), but I hate what PC has become in the west, and often ‘vent-my-spleen’ here.

And then of course there’s our beloved ‘leader’ John Abbot.
John writes the occasional blog but his main job on the blog and forum pages is to act as CLM’s very own NATO. .
He’s our resident ‘peace-keeping force’ and always tries to put a ‘balanced view’ on things. He comes across as being a bit of a ‘wumao’ at times, but we allow him to get away with it (without complaints) because we all know he has a business to run. Occasionally John DOES get criticised for extolling the virtues of China whilst spending most of his time living in some European ‘millionaires playground’ with white sand and clean air whilst the rest of us breathe in polluted air and listen to the constant whinging of ‘laowai’s’ who have nothing ‘good’ to say about China, yet continue to live here.

Of course, there are other bloggers too and there are plenty of contributors who will comment on your blogs, as you will no doubt see.

But for now, welcome aboard my friend. I hope your voyage will be as happy and pleasant as mine has been (for the last 3 years or so). I look forward to us all sailing together into the unknown.

#2016-03-13 15:52:21 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@paulfox1
It's interesting to me that you somehow feel I've deserted China by not being there for a while, so I am disentitled from praising her. I spent 12 years there Paul. That's not so long relative to WarmLife, but it's an eternity compared to your ever so brief sojourn to date.

My friend you are but a puppy as far as understanding and knowing China goes. A mere neophite, a relative virgin, a babe in the woods. If I haven't long since returned to China before you reach your 13th year, which I daresay I will do and you will not, then (and only then) should you presume to challenge my right to praise China even while being parted from her.

Ignore him on this point, WarmLife, like an innocent toddler he knows so little that he knows not how little he knows. He will mature eventually and a light will come on.

Meanwhile some of his blogs are fun to read, so we keep him around in spite of his impudence. You'll get used to him after a time.

#2016-03-13 19:43:51 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

@warmlife

...............and you’ll get used to Mr Abbots ‘dummy-spits’ from time to time too.......
I am certain that if you read my comment you will see that I was in fact, NOT challenging his right to praise China, just simply pointing out that he often praises China despite not living here right now.
I have a tendency to often write ‘tongue-in-cheek’ remarks (British sarcasm if you like), but occasionally John gets up out of the ‘wrong side’ of his penthouse, eats cat-food for breakfast and then turns into an ‘old-woman’ and has a ‘holier-than-thou’ moment when he gets all defensive and ‘touchy’ (must be an age thing lol)

To be honest, it was one of these ‘moments’ that prompted me to change his name from ‘Mr Abbot’ into ‘Miss Trabbot’, but I don’t bother doing it anymore because he always edits it out and changes ‘Miss Trabbot’ into ‘John’

I should also not forget to THANK John Abbot for ALLOWING me to blog here.......
After all, I ONLY teach for 52 hours a week right now (as well as plan lessons etc), so it’s extremely KIND of him to ALLOW me to voluntarily add to my workload in order to keep CLM members somewhat ‘entertained’ with my ramblings......

As I say, you’ll get used to us......ALL of us lol !!!!(finger)

#2016-03-14 18:07:50 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@paulfox1 - Ok Paul, have it your way, the gloves are off! You want this in a public forum, then so it shall be.

Here is what you wrote, followed by my response.

Paul: I am the most ‘un-PC’ person you’ll ever meet (that said, I don’t usually insult or abuse people), but I hate what PC has become in the west, and often ‘vent-my-spleen’ here.

John: You have insulted many people, and I have the comlaints to prove it, and now you have insulted me. It is okay Paul, to be un-PC. Being un-PC is not, however. license to be an asshole.

Paul: And then of course there’s our beloved ‘leader’ John Abbot.

John: Neither the sarcasm nor the parenthesis go unnoticed.

Paul: John writes the occasional blog but his main job on the blog and forum pages is to act as CLM’s very own NATO.

John: I have written 115 blogs, second only to Peter. Since you are not privy to, nor knowledgable on, what goes on behind the scenes here, you are ill equipped to spout off as if you can speak to what my main job is. But that doesn't stop you, does it?

Paul: Occasionally John DOES get criticised for extolling the virtues of China whilst spending most of his time living in some European ‘millionaires playground’ with white sand and clean air whilst the rest of us breathe in polluted air and listen to the constant whinging of ‘laowai’s’ who have nothing ‘good’ to say about China, yet continue to live here.

John: No one that I can recall has ever criticised me for "extolling the virtues of China whilst spending most of his time living (elsewhere)" except you. Don't put your own words in other people's mouths and then rely on that to support your own bullshit.

I am not living in Europe, nor on some white sand beach. I am living in a third world country and there is nary a millionaire in view. You have made that shit up and you present it as some kind of truth!

Paul: ......and you’ll get used to Mr Abbots ‘dummy-spits’ from time to time too......

John: So when you write what I doubt anybody read as anything but an insult but sugarcoated (in your own mind) as sarcastic humour, it is all in good fun. But when I do the same thing, it is "dummy-spits".

Paul: I am certain that if you read my comment you will see that I was in fact, NOT challenging his right to praise China, just simply pointing out that he often praises China despite not living here right now.

John: Again you put words in someone else's mouth (mine in this case). I did not say you were "challenging my right to praise China", I said what I said, which was "you somehow feel I've deserted China by not being there for a while, so I am disentitled from praising her". Paul, this is not your first time to make this suggestion, and frankly, given my experience in China versus yours, you are way out of place.

Paul: He comes across as being a bit of a ‘wumao’ at times.

John: So when you praise China, which is frequently, and is based on damned near no time spent in China, not having been a member of a Chinese family for 9 years, not having employed a single Chinese person let alone close to a hundred over more than a decade, not having any real experience of China beyond dozens of trips here meeting and bedding women and roughly a year teaching English as a second language, you are entitled. I on the other hand, because I see many good things about China, am a "Wumao". Most people, as you intended, have no idea what an incredible insult that was (disguised as humour or not), but, Paul, I do (and I have to assume you knew I would).

Paul: occasionally John gets up out of the ‘wrong side’ of his penthouse

John: Paul, I have never lived in a penthouse, don't live in a penthouse now and never will live in a penthouse. It isn't my style and never will be. Again, for whatever purpose you are imagining is justified, you are talking pure bullshit that you are making up. I live now in a third world country in a residence that by the standards here would be middle class but in Australia or Hangzhou would be less than middle class. I do so because I am quite comfortable doing so, more comfortable than I would ever be in a penthouse. If you think that it is okay to paint completely false pictures of someone and then publicly mock them in their own forum based upon your own complete bullshit, then you have gone far, far beyond politically incorrect and a couple of steps beyond asshole.

Paul: (John) then turns into an ‘old-woman’ and has a ‘holier-than-thou’ moment when he gets all defensive and ‘touchy’

John: If, Paul, as you say, I have turned into an 'old woman' it is because I am consistently having to deal with a 4 year old child who thinks it is all ok because he has labeled himself as an "un-PC" man.

Paul: To be honest, it was one of these ‘moments’ that prompted me to change his name from ‘Mr Abbot’ into ‘Miss Trabbot’, but I don’t bother doing it anymore because he always edits it out and changes ‘Miss Trabbot’ into ‘John’

John: Yes Paul, after letting it go for a few times, I edited it the next hundred times or so. Do you imagine that anyone on earth would have happily posted someone calling them Miss Trabbot over and over again endlessly. Are you insane?

Paul: I should also not forget to THANK John Abbot for ALLOWING me to blog here.......
After all, I ONLY teach for 52 hours a week right now (as well as plan lessons etc), so it’s extremely KIND of him to ALLOW me to voluntarily add to my workload in order to keep CLM members somewhat ‘entertained’ with my ramblings......

John: I have never knowingly made any blogger feel like they were being ALLOWED to blog here. I defy you to provide one instance where I have ever suggested you were being ALLOWED to blog here! This is just more of your self righteous un-PC bullshit! And it isn't up to anyone but you how many hours you work, so how does that get laid on my doorstep.

If you knew how many complaints about you and your blogs I have received, and how often I have defended you, you might understand that, in fact, in the face of frequent requests not to, I have "allowed" you to blog here. But I am very sure I have never said anything to convey that you were being allowed to blog here. Not to the complainers and not to you.

I will not go into this deeper here, but if you wish, just keep on jabbing!

#2016-03-14 21:45:25 by anonymous14631 @anonymous14631

@paulfox1
I have just wasted over an hour of my life with a google search of "wumao". Paul, I presume that you intended your comment to be a joke but I noticed that most of the people using the term in several different forums seem to be very quick to make a pro-U.S.A.comment and weak on understanding China.

#2016-03-14 23:41:02 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

@johnabbot

Woooooo....I did touch a nerve didn't I ? I can assure you that NO insult was intended and that it was 100% sarcasm based on little 'fact'
If I didn't WANT to blog here then I would quit - simple....but I do actually enjoy it and I do it totally out of my own volition
I actually found myself laughing out loud at some of your comments above - simply because of the way you took my earlier remarks which as I say, were only meant as lighthearted 'banter'
However, on a more serious note, I am NOT aware that you have received any complaints about my blogs. Of course, you could have always e-mailed me if you wanted to 'discuss' them. Personally, I know I have written some pretty 'straight-shooting' stuff in the past but I really don't see why members should 'complain' about it.
....and before you accuse me of 'arrogance', I am NOT being arrogant (for once), I am being serious. I don't expect everyone to like my drivel, but some members seem to be OK with it and no-one is forcing those who don't, to read my rubbish.

I may have appeared to be 'twisting' some of your words and I feel that you have 'twisted' most of mine
You said 'we keep him around despite his impudence' and if you can't see the sentiment 'allowed' hidden in there somewhere then maybe I should quit teaching English because I obviously don't understand it's usage

My remarks were NOT intended to be 'politically correct' (or not) - since it's extremely difficult to be 'PC' when using sarcasm and if sarcasm was 'PC' then it wouldn't be sarcasm, would it?

I've been hanging around on CLM for about 3 years (or so) and have been blogging for a couple of those years. Despite us never meeting in person, I really thought you had a good 'handle' on my warped sense of humour by now - but perhaps I was wrong

I don't see one 'insult' in what I said prior to you taking the 'gloves' off, so if you found 'insults' in there then they were of your own choosing and certainly not my intention.

I seriously don't think that members here would actually BELIEVE that you live in a penthouse so maybe your need to 'defend' my remark was perhaps a little 'over-the-top' - especially since it was intended to be obvious sarcasm......

I make no 'bones' about being 'un-PC' (as everyone knows), but I am not the idiot that you seem to want people to believe I am because I still know the difference between right and wrong

If making a comparison between 40,000 years of Australian Aboriginal 'history' and 5000 (alleged) years of Chinese history makes me a 'racist' in the eyes of some people then so-be-it.
If I am not allowed to state FACTS because I may 'offend' someone who wants to hide from the truth about life, then that is affecting my freedom-of-speech and I won't allow that without a fight

I spend half my working week trying to prepare students to go to Canada for study. I try to tell them that it's often ok to say what we feel as long as we back it up with a 'because' - but even that is slipping away. Of course, we don't use a 'because' when using sarcasm - which is probably why you felt the need to dissect my previous post and answer each comment as though they were insults.....

Describing myself as being 'un-PC' is probably too generic these days. If I say I am 'un-PC' then to many, I must be some kind of racist bigot (which I assure you I am not)

I use that adjective to describe myself simply because I am sick-and-tired of people trying to FORCE me into accepting 'NIMBY's' in the name of PC (NIMBY = Not In My Back Yard)

People describing themselves as being a 'good Christian' just because they go to church every Sunday, when in truth, they spend the other 6 days a week lying, cheating and screwing people. Going to church every Sunday makes them a 'Christian' in the same way as my standing in a garage makes me a 'car'!

In the UK town where I lived before moving to Australia, there was a magistrate who was notoriously 'soft' on burglars. So 'soft' in fact, that every solicitor defending a person on a burglary charge would get adjournment after adjournment until their client could be fronted in court with this (female) magistrate
One day she went home to find that she herself had been burgled. After that, every single person that she found guilty of burglary was sent down for the maximum jail term.
Every person on this planet that feels the need to STATE that they are 'not racist' is racist to some degree - if they genuinely were not, then they would not feel the need to state it
People do their best to 'pretend' that they are 'PC' when in fact they are not (to some degree) and anyone who tries to say they are 100% PC is lying to themselves first, then to us second - this is just a fact of life!

Therefore I openly admit that I am NOT 'PC' because if I said I was, then I would be lying to myself - and that's the worst kind of lie imaginable

I often make remarks about Canada being the PC Capital of the world - yet that remark in itself is not PC, is it?
Where does it end? If mates cannot have a bit of sarcastic 'banter' between each other without one of them taking 'offence' then it's time to say 'goodbye world' because there's nothing left to live for.
In Perth, the 'PC Brigade' are now called the 'fun police' because most people see them as intruding so deeply into our lives that having 'fun' is seen as being 'un-PC'

I rarely say a genuinely bad word about anyone. I do my (natural) best to find the good in people and to give everyone a 'fair go'. It's only when they 'screw me' that I get annoyed (and that's usually annoyance with myself for allowing it to happen in the first place)
People who know me personally usually describe me as being a 'nice guy' yet at the same time respect me for having the balls to actually SAY things that they are too scared to say
Sarcasm is a unique British trait (with the occasional exception such as Leslie Neilson)
We are proud of our ability to be sarcastic yet at the same time remain somewhat bewildered at other native-English speaking countries inability to understand its hidden depths of humour.
I am the typification of 'what you see, is what you get' - like me or loathe me, I really don't give a f*ck - but fortunately most people who actually KNOW me, like me, and those who don't like me can go and play with all the other people who don't 'like me' because chances are that I don't like them either - so no sleep lost....

So to sum-up, I want to say this.....

I obviously misjudged your ability to recognise the sarcasm in my previous post
I give you my 100% guarantee that I was in no way trying to 'offend' you
I was using sarcasm and wit that I would expect most Brits to understand and I obviously misjudged your ability to understand my attempt at humour

This is NOT an 'apology' (because I feel I have nothing to apologise for)
I just hope that we can move forward with a more mutual understanding. I will try to be less tactless on the understanding that you try to be more 'tolerant' with respect to understanding my ramblings in the same vein as they are written...

#2016-03-15 13:53:20 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@paulfox1 - yes Paul, you touched a nerve, intended or not. Your response is noted and I will be back to respond in full in a day or two.

#2016-03-15 14:05:28 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

@anonymous14631

Yes it was a joke. A 'wumao' is a 'five-cent party-person' who is paid to spread propaganda about China (on the Internet)but is often overused on many discussion forums
I have seen people being called it simply for stating that Chinese food is delicious(lol)

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