January 22nd, 2012 §
So it’s New Years Eve here in China. Tomorrow is the first day of the new lunar year.
I’ll get straight to the point.
I love fireworks, which is good because for two to three days straight, especially tonight, it sounds like WW3.
Yes folks, that in the middle of the apartment complex area. In the middle of all the buildings. Got to love it.
Enough danger to make a police officer cringe..
December 12th, 2011 §
So while I was trampling around the capital I went to the Forbidden City. Check it out..
October 23rd, 2011 §
I guess you may think that I hate China. I don’t. If I lived in America still I might show photographs of people doing
dumb things, interesting and possibly culturally different things than what I may be used to.
There are a few things that China could improve on. But that’s just my view. A view of a person who would rather not get his new Chuck Taylors soaked in come kids bodily excrements. But if I did it would be my fault for not watching where I was walking.
Mother doing her job teaching her little girl where to go to the bathroom.
October 23rd, 2011 §
Why do I blog about cars, well, there are a few reasons.
One: I like cars. I grew up in the Midwest. It’s in my blood.
Two: I want to show people what China is like.
Three: The city I live in is outrageous.
So here we go. There is a new Ferrari in town. And not just visiting. It has a local plate just like the white one does.
Note the VW Jetta beater parked next to it. You would never see that in the States.
So that makes two of these beauties here. Well that may not mean much but let’s put it in perspective.
Seattle,Boston, Baltimore, Denver, Memphis all have around the same population as here.
640,000 People or so. But wait, those cities are big. So, how does that work. The city are here is about 131sq miles or about the size of Columbia South Carolina. But Columbia only has a pop. of 130,000 or so.
Well, the Chinese were never good at math. So some how they have the population of Boston rammed into a city slightly smaller than Vegas.
The per capita GDP is about the same as Boston. So I would think that the comparison between Boston and here is pretty good.
Anyhow. Just shows you how rich people are here. I would gather even more rich than people in Boston. Or they show it off more.
But wait, the average wage, at least in the factories is about 2000RMB or 300USD or so. So… your as rich as Boston but most people only make 300-500 a month. Up it to 1000$ which would be really high and still it seems weird. Sounds fishy if you ask me.
What you can’t see and I didn’t take a photo of. Stupid me. Is the Hello Kitty red cute little pillows that were in the front seat of this close to one million dollar car. Awesome, fast, beautiful car, yes. Paired with Chinese owner =
Fail. Yeah, I shouldn’t say that. Who am I to say Chinese can’t own Italian super cars. I’m just envious that someone here owns this awesome machine but chances are has only been driving for 5 years.. Maybe. And there is also a good chance that they are within 5 years of my age. Older or younger. Which would mean that they are incredibly smart and made some sort of business. Or their parents have money. But I don’t know for sure. I guess I shouldn’t speak at all should I.
September 27th, 2011 §
So for the most part Western countries only hear about how China gives foreigners the run around. Mainly because Chinese people don’t really have a vehicle in which they can speak of such matters. I found this on Chinahush which found it on a Chinese writers blog. It was originally posted in Chinese and was translated after.
In July, me and my husband visited HK for the book fair. And recently I needed to go on a trip to Hong Kong again. Knowing that the second time to apply for HK entry permit, you can just fill a form online and mail the permit certificate to your registered police department for approval. So I mailed both of our certificates to respective departments since my husband’s from Chenzhou City Hunan Province, and me Changde City Hunan Province.
Weeks later, my husband got his permit approval, and I got a call telling me that my application was rejected because Changde people could only apply HK entry permit once a year.
The call hung up before I could ask why. So we called the immigration department of Changde City, a man explained to me on the phone that the one-time-only limitation was because Changde has the biggest percentage of Hunan people involving in illegal activities in HK, and if one really needs to go to HK, he must go to the registered police department in person presenting group traveling certificate or other proves to apply, but not necessarily succeed.
I questioned: “Is it reasonable to ban all Changde people from entering HK again just because the number of illegal activities involve with Changde people is high?”
“I don’t know, I am just doing my job.” He replied in Changde accent.
“For so long you work there, hasn’t any other Changde people filed complains?”
“I can’t do nothing about it, it exists so it is reasonable. You have to understand that there is region difference. For example, do our Hunan kids share the same enrolling standards with Beijing kids when they are applying for the same college? Big difference! And you know that in Hunan, only Changsha people can apply for individual HK & Macao entry permit, people from other cities have to go the group traveling way.”
Then I asked: “You are from Chengde too, right? Put yourself in my shoes, if you are the one who needs to go to HK, can you appreciate this kind of rationale?”
He still talked in our shared accent: “I don’t know you are really inquiring or interviewing, if you don’t have other questions, I think our conversation should be ended.”
We went on calling the immigration department of Hunan Province, and a woman explained that the provincial police department didn’t rule how many times a person can apply for the permit, it is up to the city level police departments.
I felt confused at this answer, and recalled what I wrote last time after applying for passport “in this country, there are countless people like this, working their ass off to fill your life with misery”. But this time it is different, it is not because of irresponsible people, but chaotic management system. Provincial don’t specify the rules, so city level police department puts forth whatever regulations and rules they see fit? In a big country like this, to deal with various authorities is just like facing a mountain of barbed linen – there is no way to start and you get hurt trying. Seeing my husband making inquiries everywhere, being pissed, disappointed by people at the other end of the phone, I feel sad.
This is what it’s like to do just about anything in China. You see that the local police actually made the rule that people from Changde and only go to HK once per year. It was not China’s overall government. It wasn’t the provicial government. It was the local city government that was making a rule that people from that city could only go to HK once per year. Yes that actually happens and happens with everything. Sometimes if can work in your favor, but other times like this one, it works against what you need to do.
Then there is the aspect of the workers. In their defense it is likely they are just doing their job and don’t know. But other times they just don’t want to deal with people that start to ask questions. The first person hangs up on her. They don’t want to deal with it. The second person, the guy, gets a little uneasy when she starts asking as to why things are like this. Then the conversation is pretty much over.
Yes sometimes it feels like there is a country full of people’s sole purpose is to piss you off and make it as hard as possible to do anything. You personally don’t offer anything to them. They get paid either way. You complete your task or not, they get paid. Your happy or sad they still get paid. Their boss probably doesn’t give a shit whether or not they did their job. They care that their boss is happy not you. So basically there is no incentive for anything in China. Thus is why you have to bribe people. Then that frowny faced skinny guy across the counter has a reason to actual help you. He personally is getting paid.
And life goes on..
September 27th, 2011 §
I personally wish I had some job as a photographer here which allowed me to be outside and interacting with people. But I don’t. So my photographs are limited to the days off I get and so on and so forth. Maybe someday.
Anyhow enough with the sap and on with the goods. Boston.com has a section called “The Big Picture” it’s a photoblog that is edited and contains photo on whatever subject they choose for that specific post. Today is daily life in China.
It’s a very good view about what life is like here. You see a boy that wears a mask. You see what his bedroom is like and his school. Where he lives. I work with people like his father. I live very near areas where people live like that. People in America see these types of photos and see how dirty it is, crumbling buildings, etc. I see this everyday. In fact I don’t even notice much of it anymore. They probably live better than his father did when he was a child.
As for the rest of the photos, it’s a pretty good clip as to what it’s like here. Although it’s a generalized it’s pretty good as to what daily life is really like here. So take a look, see what I see everyday. It’s interesting, I promise.
September 26th, 2011 §
My office was in a frantic today. A massive frantic frenzy of confusion and not knowing if the world was going to end. All because the internet is down. It’s actually quite wonderful to watch. I have the internet because I tethered to my iPhone. No one else really has the internet. Therefore they were in a mass state of unity trying to get it on and figure out the problem. I wish they only took that drive and actually applied it to their actual work.
I saw most of the office girls leave.They are probably too bored to work. Barely anyone here uses email. And the one girl that actually need to use qq for business left this morning because she needs the internet. But everyone else doesn’t really need it.But they can’t chat, steal plants, or browse the latest Taobao offerings. I suppose that was too much not to have so they left.
This is China. A place where most everyone tries their hardest not to work. They mask it by saying they are super busy. Then the internet goes down and they have nothing to do but work. They then might do something for an hour or two but then ultimately leave and go home. No wonder if everyone had 1/10 of my productivity we would have the greatest factory in China. But no one does, so…. uh.. yeah.
September 25th, 2011 §
I read this little tid bit a while back but it just hit news in America. Or something like that I guess.
Personally I am not sure how I feel about it. Its been going on for 600 years and now it’s canceled because of outside pressure I would imagine.
As dog ownership increases in China, many view the annual dog-eating festival as cruel and unusual
The local government in Jinhua City, China, has decided to end a 600-year-old tradition — butchering, cooking, and eating dogs at an annual festival. Here’s what you should know:
How did this tradition begin?
According to legend, a Ming dynasty military leader was trying to invade Jinhua in 1389. To avoid detection, his troops killed all the area’s dogs so their barking wouldn’t alert the local population. After the successful invasion, “the army held a celebratory feast and served the meat from the slaughtered dogs,” says the International Business Times.
And they kept killing dogs year after year?
Yes. As many as 10,000 dogs were eaten each year by attendees at the celebration. ”Dogs would be stabbed, strangled and even beaten into comas and thrown into boiling water,” says activist Wang Lingyi, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times. But after overwhelming protests on Chinese internet sites, the government elected to make the festival a thing of the past.
Is dog-eating common in China?
Not like it used to be. It’s still socially acceptable, and dogs in cages are a common sight at meat markets. Dog meat was even consumed by Chinese astronauts in space. But dog ownership has increased in recent years (it was banned as a “bourgeois habit” during China’s cultural revolution), and many middle-class and one-child families now keep dogs as pets.
Is everyone happy about the festival cancellation?
No. “Some villagers argued that they had emotional attachments to the festival, as it had been passed from generation to generation,” says China’s Xinhua news agency. But many applauded the decision, and an online poll on the Chinese social networking site Weibo showed that some 90 percent of voters wanted the practice ended.
I grew up living in the country. I would hunt, fish, and eat everything that I killed. I see both sides of the debate and story. But not commenting on that but focusing on the change. This is what is starting to happen in China. The internet is starting to be able to show people these things and allow them to speak out more than they normally would. People are also becoming richer and with that want to show off their wealth. Owning a dog is one way they do that. The city that I live in has a massive amount of dogs. I bet that not one rich person would allow dog to be eaten in front of them. But would themselves eat pigs. Interesting isn’t it. But dogs are pets, uh, yeah, let me tell you something. I actually had a pig growing up. So… pigs are pets too.
Anyway, I thought this was an interesting way that China is been changing and I imagine will change in the future.
September 18th, 2011 §
Ok, so let me give you the back story.
I was in the warehouse over a week ago and needed to cut some material. I asked the warehouse people for some scissors. They gave me some big ass awesome ones. Probably would of cost the same as a Honda Accord in the States. But here with cheap materials and labor, they are super cheap. Anyway, I used them and gave them back. The next day I needed to do the same thing. I asked again and again they gave them to me.
So I haven’t had to use the scissors in a week or two because I bought my own. I wanted some so I went and paid pennies for a pair that I could cuddle at night with.
So what just happened. The warehouse women rolls into my office and says something like, the scissors you used last time where are they. I reply I don’t know, I gave them back. She said are you sure. I was like yeah, it was a long time ago. Pretty sure I gave them back but I don’t really remember. They’re not here.
She rolls out bitching about something.
I go to the warehouse where I worked and found no sign of said scissors. I then looked in my work area and again, no scissors. She finds me and I saw, nope, no scissors. I gave them back to that guy. She then replies, you forgot. How could you of given them back if you forgot. I said they are not here and I gave them back. The then says that I am a cheater/lying and something else. Now I am thinking that there is no way that I can no convince her that I don’t still have them. She probably already made up her mind. For one because I was the last one she actually saw use them. Even though it is possible that someone else asked the other guy and or knows where they are. They are big scissors and hard to loose. If I still had them I would of found them, they are like a foot long. It’s also easy to blame me because I can afford to by new ones. White guy is rich right.. Also because I don’t think anyone here actually likes me and when it comes down to it they will bury me with whatever they can find. Think Dalian oil spill. Perhaps the Chinese are responsible for the spill, no one will ever know, but by god, they spun it to make it seem like it was the foreigners company that was at fault. Thus it doesn’t matter who has the scissos, or if she will ever find them. I was the last person she physically saw having the scissors in their hands over two weeks ago. So before she even asked me she already made up her mind and was going to throw me under the bus.
Now this could happen anywhere. But lets take a look at what would or at least I think would happen in a civilized country.
Hey, Pudding, have you seen those scissors. Uh, no sorry. I’m pretty sure that I gave them back. Oh, really, I can’t find them.. huh. Well let me help you look for them. (look all around) Yeah pretty sure I gave them back. It was a bit ago I can’t really remember but I can’t find them at any of my work stations and I always give the tools I use back so, I can say with almost absolute conviction that I did in fact give them back to the other guy. Oh ok, well, I’ll just keep looking.
Done. Because really, wasting time on one pair of scissors is actually keeping you from actually doing something productive. But here in China, penny wise dollar short. I bet for sure she is going to keep looking wasting hers and everyone’s time and them bury me saying that I have them and there is now way in hell that anyone else does. The evil over paid foreigner did it..
So after she said that I was lying to her or cheating her I let her have it. I don’t take that crap anymore. So I just agreed. Yep, I’m lying to you and cheated you. I still have your scissors. To which she slams the door and locks me out of the warehouse. Good times..
Anyway, just thought like sharing this little gem..
September 7th, 2011 §
I found this article on the Wall Street Journal website. Funny to say the least, but I suppose it’s also a good insight into the way that Chinese people think.
So basically Ikea was all like, oh, free coffee for membership holders. A membership costs 30RMB, not much really. Awesome everyone is happy. You come in to buy a sofa or some knick knacks and you grab yourself a free cup o joe. But what they should of asked themselves was, how are people going to scam us on this cup of coffee so that we can establish rules from the get go so that it doesn’t get out of hand.
Well what happened? China happened. More specifically older Chinese women. If you have read my other posts you’ll know what I am personally afraid of old Chinese women, see here. Their like old hardened war vets. Cold to the bone and with the balls to prove it. What did they do, well, basically they took over the store. The free cup of coffee they the get was used as an excuse to use Ikea’s store as a DATING AREA. Yeah, that’s right. They started a dating group every Tuesday and Thursday. As many as 700 people show up. SAY WHAT, yeah, 700 get free cups of coffee, bring their own lunch and pop a squat in Ikea to date, speed date, or do whatever Aiyis do when they have nothing to do. It actually started to effect the stores business and it’s actual paying customers.
Why does this reflect poorly on China, well it does and it doesn’t. When in China you got to play be rules or you will be taken advantage of. This is neither bad nor good, it’s just the way it is. Chinese people look for anything that can get them something for free, and or get them ahead. We all do it, but they are a little more obvious. Coupons, free coffee, etc. All start as innocent little promotions but end with thousands of people trying to use double coupons, going over what the discounts really are and taking over stores. There is also another problem. In China once the cat is out of the bag and no one has tried to catch it, it’s really really hard to just shoot he cat. Ikea can not just stop free coffee. One: the actual paying customer use it and enjoy it. Two: you will piss off 700 old Chinese women. What’s wrong with that, well, about an exponent of 700. Take old pissed off Chinese lady and multiply by 700. That’s become bigger than the State Puff Marshmallow Man. It’s going to take more than three guys to rein that one in. Let’s say they do make a new rule that you can only stay for 1 hr or some crap. Not only will it make all the potential mate finders angry but I bet there will be protests outside, boycotts. I bet then the old ladies will stay for 1 hour then leave, then come back for another hour. I’m telling you, these old women are like tanks. Nothing will stop them. Unless you have the rule from the start, it’s going to be awfully hard to start one.
KFC had a something happen close to that.
From the China Daily
NANJING – Usually bustling KFC restaurants in Nanjing, capital city of eastern China’s Jiangsu Province, were quiet with only a few customers, as disputes over the fastfood chain’s suspension of discount-coupons continued into the second day.
Angry customers laid siege to scores of KFC restaurants across China Tuesday after the restaurant chain declared discount coupons the consumers had tried to use counterfeit.
KFC China said Wednesday that it would report the dispute case to police and assist authorities in any investigation, according to a statement on the website of KFC’s parent company, Yum! Brands Inc. China Division.
Irate at being refused a 50-percent discount, consumers Tuesday besieged 20-odd KFC restaurants in Nanjing, while some KFC restaurants in Beijing were forced to suspend operations.
One of the irked consumers was Chen Tingting, an office worker in Nanjing.
“For four days from Tuesday, KFC says it will provide a limited number of 50-percent-discount e-coupons for some of its major products. Let’s download the coupons as quickly as possible,” Chen had told her office colleagues.
Information about the promotion was on KFC’s “Super Tuesday” service on Taobao.com, China’s largest e-commerce website.
The promotion, dubbed a “one-second act,” was set for 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday and involved 100 e-coupons for each “act.”
Chen Tingting said she read the instructions for the coupons carefully and printed them.
According to the instructions, the e-coupon could be used after it is printed; copies of coupons are also valid; and the coupons can be used from April 6 to 9.
But KFC rejected the coupons Chen printed and copied, even as her schoolmate, Ma Yun, received the discount.
After KFC rejected several customers, crowds besieged KFC restaurants, and KFC staff were forced to call police to help disperse the crowds at restaurants in Beijing, Nanjing and Nanchang, capital city of eastern China’s Jiangxi Province, among others cities.
According to a investigation by KFC, some third-party websites offered downloads of the e-coupons in the second and third “acts.” KFC had not authorized these websites to offer the coupons, and KFC decided to reject all coupons from the two “acts,” the company said.
Tong Tianwu, head of the provincial consumers’ association in Jiangsu, told Xinhua Wednesday the coupon directions said prints and copies of the prints were both valid, but that KFC had no mechanism to identify which coupons were downloaded from KFC’s official website and the ones from unauthorized websites.
“The company had insufficient reason to suspend the discount-coupon offer,” Tong said.
Yu Suning, a lawyer with the Jiangsu Gongying Law Firm, told Xinhua the coupons’ directions for use were clear in terms of time, place, price and products, and that means a valid contract existed between KFC and its consumers. As such, KFC’s suspension of the “acts” and related services may constitute contract infringement, Yu said.
So when your business enters into the Chinese market you really, and I mean really have to ask yourself how are people going to abuse my promotions, my facilities, my products, and or my freebies. Because mark my words, the Chinese have already thought of it and will follow through. Not just a few but in groups of hundreds or thousands. They all got cell phones and they all have friends that are all looking for the same thing: A deal.