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Barry from Australia is a questioning soul who looks at social issues from an alternative point of view and instead of asking, “Why?”, he asks “Why not?” He’s convinced that many of his previous incarnations were spent in China. He feels drawn to the people there; attracted by their rich culture and way of life. If given one wish from God, he’d reply, “I want everyone on Earth to be the same colour, speak the same language, and treat each other as they themselves would like to be treated.”
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China, Reminiscences (Part 2)    

By Barry Pittman
734 Views | 22 Comments | 7/29/2018 1:06:21 PM

After spending some time in the intriguing kingdom of China, here are some further random thoughts about the place. This article is a continuation from Part 1 of this series. Please try to contain your excitement. Hold any applause till later.



First off, here's a terrific trivia question: 



"Name the three countries in the world in sequential order of the number of English speakers, including learners, within them.



Answer:  China (400 million);  USA (310 million) then India (150 million).



Yep, it's true.  Notice the question doesn't ask what is the largest native English speaking country, or what's the country with the largest number of speakers where English is the first language.



Okay, here's another question.  What are the three countries in order of population, where English is the first language, rather than a second or third one?



I had to defer to Wikipedia for this, as many countries contain odd mixtures of languages, such as Hindu or Sanskrit in India or Spanish in the USA. Did you know by the way, that according to the census in 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages? It certainly sounds like a fascinating place. Perhaps I could ask the manager of this website if he has ever considered opening up an introduction site based on Indian ladies, many of whom are gorgeous and many also speak English? So those poor Western studs here like me, who've been unlucky in love with Chinese ladies for whatever reason, could try their luck there? China's loss will be India's gain!



Indialovematch.net 



What a great idea! It has a nice ring to it. To paraphrase what Donald Trump asserts every other day, God bless him, "Sometimes I think I'm the only smart guy in the room!"



The answer to my above question however is:  USA (240 million speak English only); UK (55 million); Canada (22 million); Australia comes in at number four position around 20 million. Canada of course, has many frog-eating French speakers, but English is still regarded by the majority as the first language.



But back to China. According to a 2010 China Daily article, the number of English learners there is now around 400 million, nearly 30 per cent of its population. This astonishing high figure closely parallels China's incredible rise and rise as a global economic superpower. English is the international language of commerce and business, after all, including the airline industry, where pilots of international aircraft need to understand it. No surprises then that the government regards English learning as a priority.



Every city, including a high proportion of the tens of thousands of small towns across China, have either English training schools, English colleges and/or small English teaching centres run by entrepreneurial citizens earning a living by privately teaching English from their apartments. Good for them! Then of course, are all the public schools and universities that teach English as part of their curriculum. All the budding hipsters in China hanging around the more trendy bars and nightclubs like the language as well, given that Western music increasingly becomes more mainstream and popular in China. Although incredibly, they prefer lighter, more popular tunes as sung by Pink, Beyonce, Britney or Gaga, rather than the more fundamentally interesting groups such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer or Anthrax. No accounting for tastes, is there!



How or when did this extraordinary focus on English learning come about? It's a rather recent phenomenon, commencing with the ending of the Cultural Revolution in the late 1970s. Deng Xiaoping became the paramount leader from 1978 through to his retirement in 1989. In stark contrast to his predecessor, Chairman Mao, Deng adopted an "Open Door" policy. More on this topic in part 3 of this blog.



Because of this, during the 1980s and beyond, Western nations increasingly became aware of this sleeping giant of a country. During this time, English was adopted as a compulsory subject for schoolchildren, who commenced studying it in grade 3 of primary school (8 years old).  So by the end of high school, the typical Chinese student at age 17 has studied English for about ten years, a significant amount. Most marriages these days don't last so long!



Chinese students lead a tough life, much harder than the spoilt brats in the West where teachers can egregiously be sued for assault or lose their jobs, should they ever dare to touch a student. Thankfully no such ridiculous, politically correct rules exist in China. A round of cheers for the Communist government there who in so many areas, has more common sense and is more effective than supposedly superior Western democracies.



At least in China corruption is acknowledged and is more evident and open. President Xi Jinping however, to his credit has been actively waging an open war against it, with many high ranking government officials and bureaucrats being caught red-handed and thrown into the slammer. Some extraordinarily wealthy people have been captured in this net of greed and publicly shamed before being imprisoned. Good on ya, Chairman Xi!



Has anyone noticed by the way, that Presidents Xi and Trump look quite similar in many ways and apart from their eyes and hair colour, could've been mistaken for brothers? Both also have very lovely wives. Ahhh, the wonderful privileges that money and power can bring. Beautiful ladies are attracted to such attributes like hungry bees to a honey pot. Maybe that's why I'm not having any success on this website, as far as finding a partner is concerned? It's either my impoverished economic status or my ugly, bulbous nose.



I have a great idea for a Ph.D. thesis. That is, the poorer you are, the more ugly your wife will tend to be. The richer you are, the more gorgeous. It just makes plain common sense, right? I bet there's not a single guy reading this who would disagree.



Sometimes my clear insight and sharp focus on the true reality and meaning of life surprises even me!



(To be continued)


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 22) 1 2 3 More...
#2018-07-29 13:06:05 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, your meanderings here are very interesting, but the discussion about the learning of English being so important brought me back to the situation that you are not in China now teaching English yourself. Nor are countless other Westerners who are proven excellent English as a second language teachers and who would treasure the opportunity to return to teaching English in China, but are unable to because, like yourself, they are over the age of 60.

It is hard to fathom what the reasoning behind this new law in China is.

In a country in which 400 million people have studied or are studying English as a second language, it is impossible that there isn't a huge market for native English speaking teachers.

There is no reason, in my opinion, to suggest that people under 60 years of age are better English teachers than people over 60 years of age, and one might argue that the knowledge and/or wisdom gained with age suggests that those over 60 likely make better English teachers than English teachers aged in their 20's or 30's.

It can't really be argued that 60+ year old native speaking English teachers would be taking jobs away from young Chinese teachers, because young Chinese teachers are not English first language speakers so don't fit the job requirement. So someone 60+ who was hired for the job would be so hired because he/she was deemed the best candidate, and the other people not getting the job would be younger foreign English first language speakers.

So the effect of this new law is to reduce the number of highly qualified candidates and thereby lower the overall quality of teaching English as a second language in China.  Clearly it is to the detriment of the students.

Therefore the only reason I can think of for the Government to pass this law is the fear that people over 60 who take these jobs are more likely to succumb to bad health while teaching in China and thereby become a dependant of the Chinese health system because they can't afford to pay for that service if they are not actively teaching.

That makes me wonder if you were to contact the head of the university that wanted to hire you, and suggest that they approach the person they deal with in the Government on issues like this to suggest to them that they simply insist that 60+ foreign teachers have sufficient health insurance to cover any unforeseen health crisis before they can be given employment. The University could even make it a condition of employment that the monthly costs of such insurance would be paid by the University from deductions of the salary of the teacher. This would guarantee that at all relevant times the teacher would be covered.

This may sound like a hopeless solution, but in truth, in China where changes to the law can be made in very short order if the person in power who can bring about the change decides that's what he wants to do.  If you could somehow make contact with a good number of teachers who have also been rejected due to age and they would make the same call to the person who wasn't able to hire them, te snowball effect might get results.

Just a thought...

#2018-07-29 15:41:17 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbot

 

I think you have guessed accurately the reason for China not granting teachers over 60 a visa to teach. Your proposed solution could work if enough people acted on it.  

 

@ Barry1

 

I can see that you tried to dye your white shirt red for teaching in China. Next time use more red dye. Pink shits don't work. (I was just about to correct the spelling mistake and add the "r" but in keeping with your very  funny Chinese signs I decided to let the mistake stand).

#2018-07-29 15:46:25 by Barry1 @Barry1


@JohnAbbot

 

" If you could somehow make contact with a good number of teachers who have also been rejected due to age and they would make the same call to the person who wasn't able to hire them, te snowball effect might get results"



Interesting thoughts, thanks John. But sadly I have no way of knowing who the older teachers are who have been either forced out of, or else have suddenly become ineligible to work ion China, due to age. There must be many hundreds of them, I suspect, from many native English speaking Western countries, such as the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, et al.

 

One person I do know of though is erstwhile CLM blogger Jim, @WarmLifeGz7  who had spent many years teaching in China. He loved it there, recounting that he had nothing left to return to in his home town of Seattle, a place that after 27 years of foreign teaching, he'd now hardly recognise. Poor old Jim and no doubt many others, were summarily booted out.

 

Another past CLM blogger Mark, @Map1 is in his late fifties and in just a few years time, will also be forced to stop teaching there. Even though Mark's married to a Chinese lady, this does NOT automatically entitle him to work unfortunately. A work permit is separate from a residency one.

 

Even the redoubtable Paul Fox is also slowly creeping up to the cutoff age of 59/60. I personally can verify Paul is an EXCELLENT teacher and China will certainly be the poorer if he's disallowed from teaching there.

 

Why I mention age 59/60 is because even if your birthday is on the last day of the day, 31 December, for the WHOLE of that year, you're classified as being the older age. So a 59 year old who turns 60 on say, 31 December is classified for the entire year as a 60 year old for all official purposes. So in this way, many 59 year olds will also be capured in this invidious, age discrimination net.  |(

 

 

 

 

#2018-07-29 19:06:05 by autumn2066 @autumn2066

lol

 

#2018-07-29 19:39:11 by autumn2066 @autumn2066

@Barry


Thanks for sharing so many pictures.Very funny!:D


Even though most of Chinese students had been learning English since their age of 9 years old, but most of them can't speak English well. I think the way of teaching in school and the way of learning must be wrong and inefficient.


@JohnAbbot


Agree.


The biggest concern must be that foreign teachers' health problem might become burden for the universities in the coming years.


I have a great idea for a Ph.D. thesis. That is, the poorer you are, the more ugly your wife will tend to be. The richer you are, the more gorgeous. It just makes plain common sense, right? I bet there's not a single guy reading this who would disagree.

#2018-07-29 23:49:44 by anonymous17639 @anonymous17639

Yes Barry, Chinese women are attracted to men with lots of money, charisma, good looks. Well that is no different than any other woman in any other country. Chinese women are less subtle about it though. No money or assets and Chinese women dump you like the plague. Before all the do goodies on this site jump to the womens defence I ask them to prove me wrong..

 "Ah, the wonderful privileges that money and power can bring. Beautiful ladies are attracted to such attributes like hungry bees to a honey pot. Maybe that's why I'm not having any success on this website, as far as finding a partner is concerned? It's either my impoverished economic status or my ugly, bulbous nose!"

Barry if I had a ladder I would climb up it and smack you in the forehead, you are not ugly nor do you have  an ugly bulbous nose! You are a strong, independant, ruggedly handsome man, get that through your head! We all know why you were left high and dry by Tina, it has happened to me and many many men before us and will happen to men after us.

 

English is the most powerful language in the world and will be until the Muslims dominate the world. I think China is being ignorant when it comes to teachers age of 60 being the cutoff. if the government is worried about the medical/financial burdens these teachers might be if they are 60+ then they should look at their hospitals on a daily basis, how many of the patients are westerners over the age of 60? Most westerners who are going abroad for more than a year carry medical coverage which the doctors in China take advantage of by running alot of unneccessary tests to make more money off the western patient because they know they can charge the medical coverage for it. 

Trump is the only smart guy in the room. 

Cheers mate!

Posted anonymously at the request of my woman.

#2018-08-01 00:49:33 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

To all: 

We had a problem with this blog going blank yesterday due to an issue with comments. Because of that I held off approving any comments on any blogs until we could resolve the issue.

It turned out that the problem was that someone had copied some HTML code into a comment, and that code caused our HTML editor to faint from anxiety. Anyway, the bottom line is that if you copy content from another website to post in a comment you are likely copying HTML code. So please paste that into a notepad doc and then copy the content from the notepad into the comment box. Notepad will delete unnecessary hidden coding from a document.

All is well now and sorry for the delay in approving your comments.

#2018-08-01 06:55:31 by Barry1 @Barry1


@melcyan

 

"Pink shits don't work"


Well done, Melcyan. I can see a change in you. Your natural humour at last is shining through more abundantly than ever before. For so long you were a bit of a "stuffed shirt" type, albeit an intelligent and sincere guy. But now that you're relaxing and even being a bit jocular, everyone here will be the better for it. Life's always better when injected with a bit of amiable wittiness. (y)

 

 

#2018-08-01 07:00:13 by Barry1 @Barry1


@autumn2066

 

"I think the way of teaching in school and the way of learning must be wrong and inefficient."

 

Yes Autumn2066, you're right. This is why foreign teachers are so important in China. I would love to be back there again this year to continue teaching, but unfortunately I cannot, due to the age discrimination.

 

On the plus side however, your English is good. Your personality and wit is excellent. You're a real credit to China and more particularly, to Chinese ladies. Well done, Autumn2066!   (clap)(clap)(f)(f)

#2018-08-01 07:12:47 by Barry1 @Barry1


@anonymous17639

 

"Chinese women are attracted to men with lots of money, charisma, good looks. Well that is no different than any other woman in any other country. Chinese women are less subtle about it though. No money or assets and Chinese women dump you like the plague"

 

Very funny stuff, Anon17639!   (rofl)

 

"if I had a ladder I would climb up it and smack you in the forehead, you are not ugly nor do you have  an ugly bulbous nose! You are a strong, independant, ruggedly handsome man, get that through your head! "

 

Thanks for the vote of confidence, buddy  - you're truly a decent guy!

 

"English is the most powerful language in the world and will be until the Muslims dominate the world."

 

This is worrying stuff. I'm sure the issue will be examined more closely when John Abbot gets his truth-related site up and running.

 

"Posted anonymously at the request of my woman."

 

Too bad. I'm sure many of us would like to call you by name, rather than "anonymous".  (think)

 

 

 

 

 

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