Discussion » Nonsense » 10 Types of China Expats

  • Peter Baird
    Peter Baird wrote:
    This is good....
    10 TYPES OF CHINA EXPATS

    Written by David A. Dayton
    Monday, 02 November 2009 14:50
    Found on the site 'New Dynasty'

    As a foreigner here in China, today I’ve decided to (over)generalize my experiences with other foreigners and have a little fun with those of us that are of the paler persuasion.

    When I first arrived in China my wife and I walked down the Bund in Shanghai and there were almost no other foreigners there! We were mobbed by Chinese people dying to speak English and touch my hairy arms and my wife’s blond hair. Everyone wanted to take pictures with us (of course they didn’t have any cameras, they wanted to use mine—don’t ask me how I was going to get the photos to them). We couldn’t find any shops selling bottled water or Cokes and the domestic flight was a prop-plane with seats that weren’t bolted down. That was my first day in China. Wow! Talk about overwhelming.

    Since then I’ve had the opportunity to work all over China and meets hundreds of foreigners of various abilities, education and attitudes. Generally, the people I meet are good ambassadors for their home countries—kind (if not a little impatient), generous (if not a little condescending), and typically good salt-of-the-earth kind of folks. I will admit, though, I have often been shocked at how little they know about China or how few speak Chinese. It’s always impressive to me to see someone who is both good at what s/he does and fluent in Chinese. And even more impressive to find a foreign spouse and kids that can speak Chinese too.

    Now, before you send me hate email and call me a racist pig, you need to know that I readily admit that at least 7 of these are/were me at some point in time in the last 10 years. People learn and life changes us all. Just because someone is a Pollyanna today doesn’t mean they won’t be a McCarthy Holdover next month.
    So here it is. My totally biased analysis of foreigners in China. Feel free to add to the list.

    1. The Clintonite
    Don’t ask, don’t tell. This guy has typically been here a couple years but doesn’t speak any Chinese. He visits factories twice a year and willingly believes it’s this clean all the time. Reads the social compliance reports and accepts that all is well. It’s much easier to not question the other 364 days of the year or talk with all the subcontractors that supply the one factory that submits to the social compliance inspection. Typically he knows that he’ll get what he asks for and so just doesn’t ask. AKA The Floydian—Comfortably Numb, if he’s Republican.

    2. The McCarthy Holdover
    Red Scared. Still sees anything “red” as a threat. Can’t get over the army’s involvement in the Chinese Govt. See’s the economy as feeding the military for it’s eminent take over of Taiwan (and then Korea, Japan, Hawaii, etc..). Still talks incessantly about the Cultural Revolution, Mao, Chicoms, Tiananmen ’89 and Tommy Huang. Typically can’t distinguish between Chinese and any other Asian. Could be a guest on King of the Hill (“Are you Chinese or Japanese?”).

    3. The Pollyanna
    Don’t you just love China!? “Look at the growth! Look at the opportunities! Just step over that body laying there, no problem. Look at the development. The Chinese will be the biggest (insert any industry here) in the world in just 10 years!” If he lives in China he’s a Taoist “convert” who practices fengshui learned from Wikipedia. Responds to anyone that says anything bad about China with: “Oh, yeah! And your government doesn’t do that too?!” Has never been outside of the big cities on the East Coast. Most books written about China in the last 10 years fit into this category. If he’s a frequent business traveler he buys the pro-China books in the Hong Kong Airport and purports to have great guanxi.

    4. The English Teacher
    Unteachable; great photo album. Thinks he’s The Pro because he’s taught in three cities in his one year in China. Can obviousl
  • wrote:
    Hi, not complete, a good article to know more about foreigners in China.
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    good opinion
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    It's funny, I've met lots of people who don't exactly fit in just one of those categories, but certainly have some traits of different categories from that article.
  • wrote:
    http://newdynasty.com.cn/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=421:10-types-of-foreigners&catid=86:blogs-a-columns&Itemid=307

    4. The English Teacher

    Unteachable; great photo album. Thinks he’s The Pro because he’s taught in three cities in his one year in China. Can obviously out debate anyone that disagrees with him since he only communicates with folks speaking Pidgin English—self confirmation of his Pro status. Often a “North American” (i.e. a Canadian) who hates the fact that Chinese people only want to learn “American” (i.e. US) accents. Teaches on the side, but is really a full time backpacker that expects to turn his experiences into big money in import-export “as soon as he learns Chinese.”

    5. The Pessimist

    Hate is a core value. Nothing works and every problem is confirmation that China is going to hell in a hand basket. Everything is better somewhere else and everyone knows he hates it here (but he won’t leave). Differs from The Leftover in that he can be a newly arrived professional, a spouse or even an Overseas Chinese. Talks about the Chinese like they aren’t all around and can’t understand English. Thinks that guanxi is the root of all evil.

    6. The Fam

    What, me speak Chinese? For all intents and purposes, the families of most expats in China still live in the West. They live in a private villa in a gated community, shop at the import stores exclusively, travel back to their home country at least as often as to other provinces or cities in China. Knows all the TV schedules for home TV programming and are Slingbox devotees. They only interact with Chinese in English and then only with maids, the nanny, the driver, the pizza dude and the security guards.
  • wrote:
    7. The Native

    been there, done that. Chinese spouse, speaks Chinese, has been here for years (and will be here for years more). In-laws live with him in a Chinese community/complex. Typically a cross between The Pessimist and The Pro. Acutely aware of the fact that he will never be Chinese but has also been away from his home country for long enough that he doesn’t quite fit in there either. Has never seen the new orange/green ten-dollar bills in the US. Fantasizes about “home cooking” and “the way it was back home.”

    8. The Tourist

    Loves the scenery, hates the bathrooms. Loves the people, hates the bones in the food. Still thinks the bar girls really do think he’s cute. Loves the fact that he can cut 20% off the starting prices of knock offs in the markets. Can’t quite figure out why anyone still calls China a “Developing Country.” Is sometimes here on 10-day trips to “check up” on his Chinese manufacturer—spends most of the trip eating, shopping and golfing.
  • wrote:
    9. The Left-Over

    Probably came as a Tourist and is now an English Teacher. Loves wallowing in the underground economy of Yunnan. Hates the Chinese, hates China, hates Chinese food and hates his own job. Speaks barely enough Chinese to order beer, get taxis and impress tourists. Has a Chinese ex-wife (or two) and a current girlfriend half his age. Used to live in Thailand but the black market there is too expensive nowadays. Usually found in bars, complaining. Likely to have legal issues back in his home country that prevent him from returning.

    10. The Pro

    Fluent in Chinese and works as a professional in Shanghai, Hong Kong or Beijing. Would be a native except for The Fam are all Westerners. Has a degree from Thunderbird and has been in China since graduation. Lives on an “expat package” that could support a small Chinese village.
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:
    And there's nothing regarding the foreign born or raised chinese coming back to his country as an expat!
  • wrote:
    5. The Pessimist

    Hate is a core value. Nothing works and every problem is confirmation that China is going to hell in a hand basket. Everything is better somewhere else and everyone knows he hates it here (but he won’t leave). Differs from The Leftover in that he can be a newly arrived professional, a spouse or even an Overseas Chinese. Talks about the Chinese like they aren’t all around and can’t understand English. Thinks that guanxi is the root of all evil.

    【even an Overseas Chinese】you overlooked the article. They belong to the type 5.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... there are definitely a few "Pollyanna" here, or at least pretend to be ... I wanted to say that I am "Pessimist" and/or "Native", but I dont know anything about GuangXi nor do I care about the new ten-dollar bill ...
  • wrote:
    Dingdang,

    You are referring me as "Pollyanna" here, right? haha
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... no, you are better than that ...
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    Greatest thing I've read in days! hahahahahaha

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