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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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Perceptions of China - Part 1    

By Barry Pittman
2880 Views | 16 Comments | 2/3/2016 7:18:19 PM

Many of my male knuckle-dragging friends back home have asked me, “Cut the bullshit Barry, what do you really think of China?”.  Initially I only told them the good things, the exciting things, about the place. But as time went on, I realised this wasn't really doing them any good.  I now prefer complete honesty, giving them the whole story, both good and bad, so they can make a well informed decision as to whether to come here  - or more importantly, to work here  -  or not.



After four trips to what some refer to as the Middle Kingdom, a place where I’m currently still living and working  - I feel qualified to give at least a reasonable response.  Here's a collection of a few personal perceptions, observations and facts about this vast land. 



As usual, this is a no-spin zone. No punches will be pulled.  No favours asked for. No agenda to bow to. The views presented are entirely my own, not necessarily shared by the management of this website or for that matter, anyone else. Any knuckle draggers daring to disagree with anything I say however, will be shot at dawn.  Or at the very least, be strenuously argued with until they go whimpering away, tail between their knobbly knees.



In this article are points that've been numbered one through to ten.  My next few articles following this one will be a continuation of this theme, each containing a further ten or so points, until exactly one hundred have been listed in total.  I could tell you the whole one hundred points now, but that would spoil the surprise, wouldn't it!



By the end of this series, you'll know more about the absolute reality of China than most people living their complacent, lazy, layabout lives in the West. Not the picture postcard BS that the travel agents and others may give you, but plain, simple truth.



POINTS 1 to 10



China is....



1.  An exciting place - so much activity is occurring around me at any given time. This isn't necessarily always good however.  Sometimes too much is barely enough (such as lying in bed with a gorgeous gal or eating bowls of icecream and jelly doughnuts). 



But sometimes too much is, well, too much.



2.  A boring place, as I can’t speak the language and so often feel vexed and to some degree, powerless by this annoying verbal disability.  My parents always told me to shut up and be quiet.  In this place, I'm forced to.



3.  A frustrating place, because Mandarin is widely acknowledged as a “super hard” language for Westerners to learn, so I’ve given up the idea of ever mastering it.  I take my hat off (if I had one) to any Westerner who can, normally after they've done several years of industrious study. I just know that as a typical male, my pea-sized brain would be incapable of achieving such a feat.



Yes, you're right. On average, only Western women are smart enough to learn Mandarin fluently, a glowing achievement that so far has eluded most Western male knuckle-draggers.



4.  Fortunate to have a well-developed public transport system in many areas.  Most of its big cities are linked by high speed rail. Ticket prices are reasonable and the whole system smacks of sophistication and quality. Traveling at speed on these trains is wonderfully quiet and smooth. A cup of tea would barely register a ripple. 



China's rail network is continuously expanding, not just domestically but internationally as well.  It was on the news here only yesterday that huge "container trains" are now sending dozens at a time of fully laden shipping containers across west Asia to Iran. Ships are no longer necessary to send these bulky, heavy consignments across vast distances where air transport would be too expensive.



The Shanghai Maglev at 430 km/hr is the fastest operational train in the world, operating on a magnetic levitation principle. A more conventional EMU (electric multiple unit) train that cruises between Shanghai and Hangzhou and Shanghai to Beijing at a cool 380 km/hr is the second fastest production train in the world.  This has been tested at an astonishing 486 km/hr.



On a local level where there are no trains, China's buses are frequent.  They're a bit overcrowded at peak times but this is the same world wide.  One yuan (about 20c) is all it costs to travel around each town in Sichuan Province. I'd rate the buses as being safer than taxis because they're bigger.  Bus public transport overall is fine.  I always enjoy looking at the range of people getting on and off the buses, ranging from ebullient school kids through to aged folk with weather beaten, ravaged faces who'd look as if they'd have an incredible life story to tell, were anyone listening.



I'll listen!  But sadly, I cannot speak Mandarin.  My heart goes out to some of the pitiful people I see on the buses.  Traveling in a car just wouldn't be the same.  Yes, it'd be quicker yet so much more sterile than bouncing along in a slightly overcrowded Chinese omnibus, so full of interesting characters as they invariably are.



To summarise, China should be rightfully very proud of its efficient mass transit network, comprising not just high speed rail but a huge subway complex in many cities as well, plus of course, a huge bus system.  It's certainly superior to public transport found in most Western countries. 



As far as rail in particular goes, if you're under 300km/hour on a fast train in China, then please tell the dopey driver to take his foot off the brakes!{C}{C}{C}{C}



5. A country where eating cats and dogs in some areas is normal.  It’s not just the consumption of these intelligent creatures that's upsetting, it’s the cruel way that they’re often herded together and roughly slaughtered that I find equally as abhorrent. I'm secretly hoping one day all the animal handlers will be rounded up and terrorised for a month or two whilst being given plenty of merciless jolts from high voltage electric prodders to see how it all feels at first hand.



Apologists for this barbarism assert that historical tradition and long standing culture excuses this behaviour, but in 2016 - a supposedly modern age -  one would at the very least expect the cowering creatures to be handled and killed in the most humane way possible. For those with an empty stomach, I wrote about some sordid aspects of this in an earlier article that can be seen here:



https://blog.chinalovematch.net/blog/article/Dogs-and-Cats-in-China-Cause-for-Concern-in-Some-Sections



6.  A country where counterfeit "copyleft" items rather than legitimate copyrighted ones, abound. Just look at me - the computer I’m using right now to type this article on has a bogus Windows 7 in it, installed blithely by the local computer man as no doubt he’s done to dozens (hundreds?) of other computers in the area. Multiply this by fifty million and you'll get an idea of the magnitude of the problem.  (If any Microsoft investigators are reading this, I'll deny everything, including that I wrote this article or even own a computer!).



7. A huge market for an enterprising entrepreneur.



Many people have made a good living in the import/export business in China.  At the moment, sending infant formula here is big business.  Chinese people themselves acknowledge that the food in China isn't always quite as sterile or pure as it should be, particularly after the terrible melomine in powdered milk scandal a few years ago.  In this infamous case, corporate greed overcame a sense of responsibility and ethics in a major food manufacturing plant here, where it effectively began poisoning and in some cases killing many small babies through partial substitution of its infant formula with white melomine powder.  How disgusting is this, to feed to tiny babies!



There are business opportunities aplenty in China. I know I could make more money here doing something other than teaching, if I was interested in doing so.  Sending plastic bags of pure air from Australia to smoggy Beijing at $2 per pop would be a surprise winner, I reckon!



Another idea is vitamins.  I reckon shipping container loads of Western vitamin tablets to China would be a winner.  The population here are in love with anything related to food from the West, as they know both health and hygiene standards are so much better there.



I'd love to import some big powerful sports and cruising motorcycles here as well.  The millions of pansy little electric scooters  -  akin to annoying buzzing mosquitoes  - that are found everywhere here need to be well and truly blown off the road by a few genuine macho man's machines, I reckon!



I wasn't called "Barry the Blaster" in my younger days for nothing, you know!



8. Full of good looking people, especially the ladies.  Even better, most people here are reasonably slim, though this is slowly changing for the worse.



As a personal aside, I find that in general, Chinese ladies are friendlier than the men.  Maybe it's because I'm a man, I'm not sure.  But generally, Chinese ladies will give me a smile, whereas many men here look toward me as if they've just swallowed a sour grapefruit.  Unless they're all staring at the big red pimple on my nose that habitually sits there?  It's the oily Chinese food that causes my embarrassing facial outbreaks, I swear!



9. A place with many highly educated, intelligent people. Never sell China short in this area.  Chinese are not dills.  This is why basically no one else in the world can speak Mandarin. It's such a difficult language that only high IQ people can learn it. So through a normal process of natural selection, Chinese on average are verifiably smarter than most Western lame-brained knuckleheads.



Some ignorant Westerners may think they're in some way superior because China's still a developing country, but I can assure these foolish people to watch out, China's gonna getcha.  Getcha good!



10.  A place that despite its many good points, can be downright annoying as evidenced by some of the situations and scenarios penned here.  Anyone who extols at length how terrific China is without also revealing some glaring negatives, isn't revealing the full story.  But then again, it's human nature to discuss only good and not bad, right? 



Does this mean I'm not human?



To be continued next time - points 11 to 20. 



Any knuckle-draggers who can't wait and wish to peruse the whole 100 point description of China right now, please send a $75 "donation" to this website.

Disclaimer:  The website manager and I have a 50/50 sharing arrangement and don't give any guarantees as to where the money may be spent!




Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 16) 1 2 More...
#2016-02-05 12:20:51 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, this looks like it will be a series that will lead to a lot of controversy. In your first list alone I see several things I would hotly dispute, several with which I heartedly agree and a few that I am a little on the fence about.

I am bogged, bogged, bogged down now with getting the Health Site launched and getting the final work on the new CLM and ALM done so we can get them launched. I haven't found time to deal with erasing comments elsewhere, let alone wax philosophically on new ones here. However, when the dust has settled in the back end here I will be commenting on all 100 of your list of things Chinese individually, you can be certain of that.

Meanwhile, generally, I would say the following:

People reading this must remember that you are basing your assessment of "China" on a life experience in one small area of China and that China is very likely the most diverse country in the world as far as varying cultures, varying economic circumstances, varying degrees of education, varying lifestyles, varying geographies, varying urban and rural realities, etc. It is truly not possible for any foreigner to come here, spend a few months or even years, and then be able to pontificate on China, and what China is or is not.

Gareth was the best expat I have encountered at understanding and describing China, but even after close to 15 years or so living, working and owning a business in China, he would have been the first to say he didn't know or understand China at all.

So as interesting as your observations 1 through 10 are, and as accurate as they maybe in describing that part of China that you have observed, they must not be read as defining China. Someone who is thinking of traveling to Shanghai to meet and spend time with a Shanghainese woman, and to possibly move to Shanghai to live, is going to no more experience your experiences than they would if they were to go explore Rio de Janeiro or Paris. Those cultures and cities would likely more mirror Shanghai than does the rural part of China in which you live.

This is not meant to debase or devalue your blog in anyway, but it is meant to help readers better use it to make and decisions they might be seeking help with when it comes to visiting or moving to China.

Overall, as with everything you write, this is a good read and a person cannot go wrong reading and digesting it. I highly recommend that all CLM members read this and take the time to provide their own thoughts and experiences by responding in the comment box.

#2016-02-06 10:28:27 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

Barry, this looks like it will be a series that will lead to a lot of controversy. In your first list alone I see several things I would hotly dispute, several with which I heartedly agree and a few that I am a little on the fence about.

THIS IS GOOD, JOHN. BEING CONTROVERSIAL IS BETTER THAN BEING BORING.

I am bogged, bogged, bogged down now with getting the Health Site launched and getting the final work on the new CLM and ALM done so we can get them launched. I haven't found time to deal with erasing comments elsewhere, let alone wax philosophically on new ones here. However, when the dust has settled in the back end here I will be commenting on all 100 of your list of things Chinese individually, you can be certain of that.

I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS.

Meanwhile, generally, I would say the following:

People reading this must remember that you are basing your assessment of "China" on a life experience in one small area of China

ACTUALLY JOHN, OVER FOUR SEPARATE TRIPS TO CHINA I HAVE LIVED IN SICHUAN PROVINCE BUT HAVE ALSO VISITED SHANGHAI, NANJING AND XUZHOU SEVERAL TIMES, PLUS ALSO EXPERIENCED OTHER CITIES SUCH AS CHENGDU AND HANGZHOU.



and that China is very likely the most diverse country in the world as far as varying cultures, varying economic circumstances, varying degrees of education, varying lifestyles, varying geographies, varying urban and rural realities, etc. It is truly not possible for any foreigner to come here, spend a few months or even years, and then be able to pontificate on China, and what China is or is not.

YES, AGREED. THIS IS WHY AT THE BEGINNING OF MY BLOG, I SAID,

"HERE'S A COLLECTION OF A FEW PERSONAL PERCEPTIONS, OBSERVATIONS AND FACTS ABOUT THIS VAST LAND............. THE VIEWS PRESENTED ARE ENTIRELY MY OWN, NOT NECESSARILY SHARED BY THE MANAGEMENT OF THIS WEBSITE OR FOR THAT MATTER, ANYONE ELSE"



Gareth was the best expat I have encountered at understanding and describing China, but even after close to 15 years or so living, working and owning a business in China, he would have been the first to say he didn't know or understand China at all.

I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE HAD GARETH'S VIEWPOINT ON POINTS RAISED IN MY ARTICLE BUT SADLY, THIS ISN'T TO BE.

So as interesting as your observations 1 through 10 are, and as accurate as they maybe in describing that part of China that you have observed, they must not be read as defining China.

YES, THESE ARE PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS ONLY. ANOTHER PERSON WOULD HAVE DIFFERENT THOUGHTS, DIFFERENT IDEAS.

MAYBE SOMEONE ELSE COULD DUPLICATE MY BLOG SERIES, PRESENTING THEIR OWN IDEAS AND OBSERVATIONS?


Someone who is thinking of traveling to Shanghai to meet and spend time with a Shanghainese woman, and to possibly move to Shanghai to live, is going to no more experience your experiences than they would if they were to go explore Rio de Janeiro or Paris. Those cultures and cities would likely more mirror Shanghai than does the rural part of China in which you live.

WELL, YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS BUT I HAVE VISITED SHANGHAI FOUR TIMES NOW, JOHN. BUT OF COURSE, IT'S A HUGE CITY - NO ONE COULD EXPERIENCE IT IN TOTALITY.

I LIKE TO THINK THOUGH THAT MY COMMENTS WILL APPLY TO BOTH RURAL CHINA WHERE I AM NOW AS WELL AS PARTS OF BIG CITY URBAN CHINA WHERE I HAVE VISITED AND STAYED IN PREVIOUSLY.



This is not meant to debase or devalue your blog in anyway, but it is meant to help readers better use it to make and decisions they might be seeking help with when it comes to visiting or moving to China.

THANKS JOHN, YOU'RE RIGHT. I WILL MAKE SURE TO REMIND READERS AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH BLOG THAT MY VIEWS ARE PERSONAL ONES ONLY.


Overall, as with everything you write, this is a good read and a person cannot go wrong reading and digesting it. I highly recommend that all CLM members read this and take the time to provide their own thoughts and experiences by responding in the comment box.

COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME AND ALL WILL BE RESPONDED TO.

#2016-02-11 20:02:59 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Barry
It’s hard to disagree with either you or John on this but there are things that you have written that are not 100%

For instance, you wrote that China has a wonderful public transport system and I agree but you made the Maglev sound like something it’s not

I mean it cost USD$1.2billion to build and yes, it travels at 431kph but the track is only about 30km long and the 400+ speeds are done about twice a day (extra ticket price)

I have been on it - just to see what it’s like, but I probably wouldn’t use it again

On the other hand you don’t mention the gao tie (high speed rail) which is a superb network of long-distance trains that travel around 300kph and can get you from Beijing to Guangzhou in 8 hours as opposed to 27 hours by normal train.

All of us agree that China is an extremely diverse country that is easy to love and hate at the same time, but as you rightly said - these are your own ‘perceptions’

Mine on the other hand, have a rather unusual viewpoint which will be discussed in my next blog.....watch this space

#2016-02-12 17:23:30 by Barry1 @Barry1

@paulfox1

Thanks for your comments, Paul.

Yes, I've been on the high speed rail you mentioned cruising smoothly and endlessly around the 300km/hr mark between Shanghai and Suzhou and Nanjing to Xuzhou. It's a fantastic piece of kit, making the Australian rail system seem antiquated.

Your comment is exactly the type of thing I was hoping for in this series. People writing in to add further information and/or views to the discussion about aspects of China, enabling us to all learn more and more.

Cheers mate. (y)

#2016-02-13 17:55:59 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

"this looks like it will be a series that will lead to a lot of controversy"

Sometimes you're right, John.

And sometimes you're wrong.

I put it to you that in this case, you're dead-set incorrect.

That is, judging by the lack of comments on this article, it's quite clear that the vast majority of people who have read it in fact AGREE with what I've said here. Otherwise they would've written in to dispute something they had read here.

So to recap, it seems that just about everyone here (apart from you, John) agrees with me that China is:

EXCITING in some ways, BORING in other ways and FRUSTRATING in every way!

Oh, let's also not forget point 10, where I mentioned China was also "DOWNRIGHT ANNOYING".

Thank you to every one here who has tacitly agreed with my far-sighted observations and analysis of China. I feel that the moderator of these blogs is now feeling mighty miffed, knowing that he has been demonstrably shown to be wrong in his judgement here.

Please don't worry, John. It's human to make mistakes. We all now know that you're very human indeed! (clap)(rofl)

#2016-02-16 10:56:30 by Barry1 @Barry1

"Many of my male knuckle-dragging friends back home"

Someone asked me privately what a "knuckle-dragger" was.

The answer's simple.

Think of a monkey, orangutan or gorilla.

They have short legs with long arms, yes?

So when they walk, they tend to drag their knuckles on the ground.

Need I say any more? (rofl)(rofl)

#2016-02-17 07:42:25 by anonymous14536 @anonymous14536

Barry, it seems the lustre has worn off for you, your words reverberate almost a growing hatred or strong dislike of China. I just finished my 5th trip to China and I must say a lot of what you say is true. If you take away the culture, food, historical sites and of course the women it is just a dirty, crowded, smelly place. Most Chinese people one on one are friendly, happy people but I find the men are extremely arrogant, impolite, foul mannered when in groups or with their women, it is like the more they act like "knuckledraggers" it appears they feel they are more of a man, I personally chuckle inside when I see this as maybe they are trying to make up for something😉 I will say that if I did not have a special woman in China I would never go back. Give me smoke free retail, food establishments any day!😄 I will probably get roasted for my words but that is okay as everyone is entitled to their own opinion😎. Cheers.....

#2016-02-17 12:11:23 by anonymous14537 @anonymous14537

"Many of my male knuckle-dragging friends back home"
You can judge a man by the company he keeps!

#2016-02-17 17:14:43 by Barry1 @Barry1

@anonymous14536

Barry, it seems the lustre has worn off for you, your words reverberate almost a growing hatred or strong dislike of China.

YES, AFTER FOUR TRIPS TO CHINA I CAN INCREASINGLY PERCEIVE ITS REALITY, AS OPPOSED TO THE HYPE.

I just finished my 5th trip to China and I must say a lot of what you say is true.

CHEERS MATE.

If you take away the culture, food, historical sites and of course the women it is just a dirty, crowded, smelly place.

SO TRUE!


Most Chinese people one on one are friendly, happy people

YES, AS INDIVIDUALS, CHINESE ARE MOSTLY VERY COURTEOUS

but I find the men are extremely arrogant, impolite, foul mannered when in groups or with their women, it is like the more they act like "knuckledraggers" it appears they feel they are more of a man, I personally chuckle inside when I see this as maybe they are trying to make up for something

I RARELY SOCIALISE IN CHINA SO DON'T GO OUT TO SITUATIONS WHERE THERE ARE GROUPS OF MEN PRESENT SUCH AS IN BARS OR CLUBS. BUT I CERTAINLY AGREE THAT THE AVERAGE CHINESE LADY APPEARS TO BE MORE PLEASANT TO ME THAN THE AVERAGE CHINESE MAN.

I will say that if I did not have a special woman in China I would never go back.

SPOT ON, MATE.

HOW MANY PEOPLE I WONDER HAVE VISITED CHINA, MAYBE LIVED HERE FOR A WHILE - THEN LEFT IT? MY VIEW IS MOST WESTERNERS WOULD PREFER NOT TO LIVE HERE PERMANENTLY, HOWEVER MUCH THEY EXTOL ABOUT WHAT A WONDROUS PLACE IT IS.

Give me smoke free retail, food establishments any day!

I AGREE THAT BLUE SKIES, CLEAN FOOD AND CLEAN AIR ARE MORE PLENTIFULLY FOUND OUTSIDE OF CHINA THAN INSIDE IT.

WALKING INTO SHOPS AND SMELLING CIGARETTE OR CIGAR SMOKE IS COMMON.

I will probably get roasted for my words

MAYBE NOT.

ANYONE WHO TRIES TO ROAST YOU WILL BE SHOT DOWN IN FLAMES BY THE FACTS, THE REALITY - OF THE PLACE. CHINA HAS MANY TREMENDOUSLY GOOD POINTS OF COURSE, BUT MANY SIGNIFICANT BAD POINTS AS WELL.


but that is okay as everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

THANK YOU FOR VOICING YOURS.

Cheers.....

#2016-02-17 17:20:52 by Barry1 @Barry1

@anonymous14537

"You can judge a man by the company he keeps!"


Hey, don't get me wrong.

Being a male, I'm just as bad a knuckle-dragging lame-brain as the rest of them.

In fact, in a comment I made on my "Ugly Men, Beautiful Chinese Ladies" blog, I conceded:


"as far as males go, Aussie males are probably the most lame-brained nitwits of them all, most likely caused by two centuries of genetic inbreeding on their far away, isolated continent."

This includes me! (sweat)(sweat)

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