Chinese people

I love Chinese people. And I’m not just saying that because the Chinese government monitors all of my internet activity.

No, not really. From what my friends have told me, while the Great Firewall of China does block things like YouTube and Facebook, at the end of the day they really don’t care so much about what you say in English. Apparently, the one and only thing you’re not allowed to talk about in English is +++ SIGNAL LOST +++ NO CONNECTION +++ but aside from that, pretty much everything else seems to be ok.

So yeah, Chinese people. Chinese people are very friendly. Don’t get me wrong, Americans are pretty friendly too, but Americans can also totally flip out at you if you happen to have the wrong religion, opinion, sexual preference, political affiliation, skin color, nationality, gender, birthday, or hairstyle. Chinese people don’t really do that. They don’t seem to have that American need to let everyone else know exactly what they think about each and every topic at all times. But this doesn’t always work out so well for them, because now that they’re the second largest economy in the world, people are starting to get suspicious. Why exactly do they keep selling cheap goods to America, and then turning around and loaning us more money to buy their cheap goods? They’d better have a damn good reason.

Being an American myself I can understand why many are so nervous about China’s growing power, but after living here in China for just over eight months now, I can honestly say that those fears are largely groundless. China is not a threat to us. At least not militarily. And it seems that the main reason we fear them is because we imagine what we would do if we were in their position. But they’re not like us. They have no desire to rule the world. As one of my colleagues at the Institute pointed out, “After 160 years of invasions by foreigners, Chinese people just want a safe place to try and make a good life for themselves.” And regardless of anything the government might say, that seems to be how most people feel.

I once mentioned to another friend that I assumed China’s plan was to get us so deeply in debt that one day they’d just come over and ‘repossess’ our entire country. He explained to me that this is definitely not the case. In fact, for Chinese people it’s the person who receives the loan that has all the power, because if the person who gave the loan isn’t nice enough, the person who received it will just refuse to pay it back. So in reality, when China loans us money, they’re technically giving us more power over them. And why would they do this? Because having a strong and stable American economy is in their best interests, so we can keep buying their stuff. At least for now.

I once asked yet another colleague (I try to talk to as many people as possible because I’m bored at work to get a broader picture), who happened to be a Communist Party Member, to explain to me why, if communism is so great, the more capitalist China becomes more prosperous it becomes. He quickly informed me that it is not, in fact, capitalism, but communism with Chinese flavor.

Ah. I see.

The thing is, a lot of people here don’t really seem to mind that their government isn’t a democracy. After all, they’ve been ruled by emperors for thousands of years. Everyone knows the current leaders are just emperors with different names. The only thing that really bothers them is the corruption. China actually has some of the strictest building codes in the world, but nobody follows them because the contractors simply bribe the officials to look the other way so they can build things cheaper and pocket the extra money. And if you’re wealthy, you’re essentially above the law here. A lot of people aren’t too happy about that. But the government knows that they only have to limit corruption just enough to keep the entire population from revolting against them, and nothing more. And that’s just weak.

But Americans seem to have a funny stereotype of Chinese people in general. Seriously, what do you think of when you think about Chinese people? Delicious food, good at math, can’t speak English, and socially retarded. That seems to be the general view. But now that I’ve been here for a while I can honestly say that, well, yeah, that’s pretty much right on. At least with the people I work with. But that’s because I work at the best biological institute in the country. Basically, everyone I work with is a Super-Dork (wait, what does this say about me?), and it’s only Super-Dorks like them who actually manage to get visas to America (um, except for one beautiful, brilliant, socially magnificent Chinese girl who just got a visa to America and may or may not read this blog. Whoops). So it’s no wonder America has such a skewed view of Chinese people in general. But I have to admit, I did find it funny that the biggest socially inept dorkus in my research group was the only guy who managed to get a visa to go to America. Sometimes I can’t help wondering if that’s intentional.

There does seem to be a sort of national sense of inadequacy and insecurity here though. I mean, everywhere you go in China, they always seem to be trying way too hard to point out that they have a rich cultural heritage, beautiful scenery, and are quickly becoming world leaders in science and technology. Sometimes I just want to pat the entire country on the back and say, “Hey man, it’s cool, you really do have a lot of things going for you. You just have to stop trying so hard and just be yourself, and people will like you for who you are.”

Regardless, if I’m being completely honest I have to say that my favorite thing about Chinese people is Chinese girls. Specifically, how they treat me. I know that probably sounds lecherous and creepy, but seriously, every time I go downtown, gorgeous Chinese girls are checking me out constantly. It’s AWESOME. Hell, it’s amazing I ever even bother going to work.

Last Friday I went to a benefit concert for the environment with a friend of mine because we were given free tickets. On the way in to the concert hall I was stopped by a cute female security guard and patted down. And by ‘patted down’ I mean ‘felt up while her hot colleague watched’. Actually, that was the best part of the whole evening. And if you think I might have just misinterpreted things, I’d just like to point out that this is not the first time that’s happened to me. Hell, being felt up by cute female Chinese security guards just might be my favorite thing about living in China.

I may never leave.

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About Critical Awesomeness
I'm a 32-year-old American with a PhD in chemistry and a green hat. Only one of these two things is really important.

6 Responses to Chinese people

  1. Josh says:

    That’s awesome man

  2. Jessica Johns says:

    You continually crack me up! I love the way you write because after reading this I feel like I just sat across the table from you and had a conversation.

  3. Adrian says:

    Am getting a kick out of reading your article as I had recently spent a year working in China. Your points are generally on target. Except that since I’m not American, I don’t have a funny stereotype of the Chinese. As for Chinese girls, well you fit their target of the ideal husband, unless you are dirt poor of course.

  4. Amber says:

    This is too funny! I love your links!

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