The Pitfalls of Going to Hospital in China

chinese hospitalEntering a Chinese hospital is entering a money-making machine designed to extract money from the sick. They see your illness as nothing more than an opportunity to make money. Treatment is directed according to how much they can profit rather than how useful (or even harmful) it is for the patient. For practically any illness, no matter how minor, the doctor will prescribe around five different medicines including antibiotics. If your symptoms are more than mild, they will try to put you on a drip. A minor ailment can turn into an expensive and time consuming misadventure. This madness is due to the Chinese medical system and the ridiculously low consultation fees doctors are paid due to government controls. Doctors are typically paid less than 1 USD per consultation, barely even a living and not enough to support a family in modern China. So doctors need to make money through kickbacks, usually taking the form of superfluous antibiotics, IV’s and diagnostics. It is overt corruption and few Chinese people seem to question it. Therefore, it’s not about to change anytime soon, and if you’re living in China you need to know how to deal with it. Here I’ll explain how to see a doctor without getting cheated. Continue reading

Why China’s New Rich are Uncivilized

uncivilized behaviourWhen I first visited Hong Kong it was during the height of the financial crisis. The economy was on a downward spiral and cash was tight. You can imagine how astonished I was to see long queues outside of several high-end retail outlets, such as LV and Gucci. Upon closer inspection, I noticed many of these ladies had large cases with them and were speaking mandarin, but local Hong Kong people speak Cantonese, not Mandarin. It was obvious that these were mainland Chinese ladies (know as “taitai”, part of China’s new rich) visiting Hong Kong on a mission to shop. Continue reading

Guide to Buying Electronics in China – 5 Things you need to know

buying electronics in china

typical computer market in China

As a computer enthusiast one of the coolest things about living in China is the availability of cheap electronics. I quickly dived in and started buying USB gadgets, external hard-drives and everything I thought I needed. I soon got a nasty surprise when some of these products didn’t work as expected (or didn’t work at all). I discovered that buying electronics in China can be a minefield, but with a bit of knowledge you can save yourself a lot of trouble. Here are the 5 things you need to know when buying electronics in China.

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The Great Gender Imbalance of China

China's future

China’s future

Everyone has heard of China’s single Child policy, but not everyone has seen what the resulting gender imbalance looks like in reality. During my recent visits to the supermarket, I made a point of comparing the number of baby boys to baby girls. I was astonished that every time I observed at least 80% boys! I couldn’t believe that China’s gender imbalance could be so extreme, so I asked a number of friends who live nearby. They confirmed what I had seen – a ridiculously disproportionate number of boys. Of course such an extreme proportion is not representative of the whole of China; the official statistic from 2012 is 117.7 newborn boys for every 100 girls, which is still high. Lets now look at exactly WHY there are so many boys, and why the city in which I live appears to have many more than then natural average. Continue reading

Typical Chinese Life – Living for others

chiense-family1Chinese people never live for themselves, they are forever just living for others. This is how it works: When young, Chinese people live for their parents, when old, they live for their children (and grandchildren). Their lives are lived according to the will of other people, their performing DUTIES in Chinese culture. I call it a cycle of misery, because when your happiness is totally dependant on the hopes and expectations of others, you can never truly be happy. Now lets look at the life of a typical Chinese person… I have seen this same exact pattern COUNTLESS times. A young Chinese will study very hard at school, to get high grades to satisfy their parents. This is all that matters in their school years. After finishing school, the next step is marriage, and again will be greatly pressured by parents and relatives into finding a partner and quickly getting married. Continue reading

Pitui and Why Chinese girlfriends are prone to cheating

pitui, doing the splits, also means cheating

a girl in the process of pitui

Many Chinese girls are highly insecure and are prone to cheating. The Chinese word for cheating is pitui (劈腿 – pronounced pi-tway), which literally means to do the splits. Before marriage, a man’s Chinese girlfriend will always be on the lookout for a better boyfriend. If she finds a guy who appears better than her boyfriend (e.g. bigger house, better job), she will date him behind her boyfriend’s back, and only after everything is good with the new guy will she leave her bf. The reason for this is simple: A Chinese girl is defined by her marriage. If she is not married, then she is nothing. This is why that even if she is unsatisified with her current boyfriend, she will still stay with him for fear that she won’t find a better one. It’s like insurance. Continue reading

The Myth of Learning Chinese from Chinese Girlfriend

study in the classroom as opposed to bedroom

study in the classroom (not bedroom)

Many Chinese people had said to me that if i want to learn Chinese, the best way is to find a Chinese girlfriend. If that is so, then why is it that most of the guys here in China with a Chinese girlfriend or wife speak little or no Chinese? There are a number of reasons…

  1. It gives the girl a sense of security, as he is unable to communicate with the majority of the Chinese female population (thus more unlikely to cheat), and knowing that her bf 100% relies on her for everything and that she is in control of his daily affairs. Continue reading

The truth about being a foreign teacher in China

Foreign teacher, AKA white monkey

Foreign teacher, AKA “white monkey”

Before I came to teach in China, i’d heard many things about how highly respected teachers are in China, and how good the students are and so on. The truth about being a foreign teacher in China  is that whole idea of being an actual teacher is a facade, your REAL duty is to make lots of jokes and act silly so the students can laugh at the funny foreigner. You need to be an entertainer, not an educator.  It’s called Edutainment! The ideal foreign teacher (in their eyes) has white skin and is very funny; a white monkey! The REAL teaching is left to the Chinese teachers who are able to communicate with the students in their own language. The foreign teacher is mainly just for marketing purposes. Continue reading

SAJIAO – the Chinese mating dance

characteristic "sajiao" expression

characteristic “sajiao” expression

sajiao (撒娇) is when the chinese girl acts like a helpless little girl who can’t do anything for herself and expects her boyfriend to do everything, from buying her a new handbag, to carrying it for her when they are out. It also includes throwing tantrums at a whim (e.g. when her boyfriend hesitates to buy her that cute pair of high heels), and her boyfriend having to “prove his love” for her on a regular basis through buying her gifts. From a western perspective, the girl acts like a “spoiled little princess”. Continue reading