Hungry_Hippo

Anyone else feel like you've become a worse person than you were before entering China?

36 posts in this topic

I read some interesting messages on the forum and got to thinking - does living in China make you a worse human being?... 

 

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Looking for a job ? The job is looking for you too !  Please UPLOAD/BUILD your resume first → HERE.

Interesting question.

China has made me "grow up" in many ways, and has taught me some survival skills. Hey, let's drop you off in a country of a people of another race, where the vast majority of people do not speak your language, that serves 90 percent awful food and live. Many people could not do that. My father could not do that. He is smart, had a very successful and lucrative career, and ironically has travelled to many countries, but could not just live in such an alien place like China. My mother on the other hand if she were young and unmarried probably would have embraced it. I embraced it. When I first came here, I thought China was fun and saw it as an alien adventure. Now I have been here so long, I see it as reality and the way it is.

I think foreign people can and do become lonely here, and some succumb to alcohol as a pressure valve. I do definitely. Many people do. At least with the foreigners, many are in cliques. It is almost like high school sometimes. Usually comes down to age, nationality and sometimes race. But this is also something good that comes from this experience, is to be able to accept and respect peoples of another culture.

However, you do wake up with the realization that I am different, this is an alien country, and I will never be accepted here except as an outsider and you are alone, and you have to cope with that. Myself, I am a loner. I am an only child, like to do things by myself and are wary of making relationships. Here, you can lose yourself, and if not careful, really mentally lose yourself into flights of fantasy. You will if not already wake up and wonder "What the hell am I doing here?"

You have to acclimate yourself to the people and surroundings and one can either have a positive or a negative experience from it. I would tell any young person under, say 25 if they are wayward, don't know what they want and want to find their own meaning of life to come here. It will teach you, and I have been taught. But if you were a jerk before coming here, probably you will be a jerk when you leave.

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I dont know where you come from, but China is a dog-eat-dog world due to the fact nobody helps each other.  I am deff much more calm and friendly in holland then I was when I was living in China.

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In some ways, yes.  It's a grind.  Definitely think about money more than I ever did before.  

Another few good observations from Sutton...

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17 hours ago, san5324 said:

I dont know where you come from, but China is a dog-eat-dog world due to the fact nobody helps each other.  I am deff much more calm and friendly in holland then I was when I was living in China.

In my experience, Chinese "help" when you do not want their help and is a hinderance. When you need help, Chinese are worthless as tits on a boar, and yes, tits on a boar is pretty damn worthless.

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Dont know if this country make me a worse human beign or not, it gaves me alot for sure. Not only economically but also in terms of experiences.

One thing i can't agree more you are foreign and you always will be. No matter you live here 10,30 or 50 years or you can speak fluent mandarin you always will be a foreign. I guess same things happen on exapts on other asian countries like Japan, Korea, Thai. Of couse it's almost impossible to grow a truly friendship with a chinese. Yes, it's alienant.

I also feel a kind of sense of inferioriy from chinese towards white people.

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I agree with san5324. I can't explain it, but it feels that living in China is bringing out the worst of me... and the disgusting part - I find myself needing to rely on those worst impulses in order to function here.

I find it extremely hard to trust anyone... which wasn't a big issue before. Now I'm always assuming people want something from me or are trying to fuck me over. That makes it extra hard to find new friends here...

I feel I'm more aggressive and waaaaay less sympathetic to people than before. Pushing, shoving, cutting off people... all this shitty behavior feels normal now.

And the worst part - I've become contempt with a lot of bullshit which before I found disgusting or unacceptable. I think it's called being desensitized. I see it as erosion of values, standards and priorities. Which is depressing the more I think about it...

 

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ivanoros - that last point is spot on! I've just recently watched a video on that same topic by serpentza and c-milk (two guy on youtube making vids about life in China).

5 hours ago, Popcorn Sutton said:

In my experience, Chinese "help" when you do not want their help and is a hinderance. When you need help, Chinese are worthless as tits on a boar, and yes, tits on a boar is pretty damn worthless.

oh and don't forget you will be expected to "return the favor" :) it's a simple game - I "help" you with menial stuff and I get the "right" to demand you help me out when I need it. 

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On 9/5/2017 at 3:39 PM, Hungry_Hippo said:

oh and don't forget you will be expected to "return the favor" :) it's a simple game - I "help" you with menial stuff and I get the "right" to demand you help me out when I need it. 

And usually with some really suspect things! "Can you help me to get into an overseas university"... a) no, I can't. b) do it on your own merits like the rest of us!!!

When it's not suspect, then it's a serious imposition of time and effort...eg, help me with English for the rest of my life (or, until I pass the test). Seriously disproportionate!

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I do understand what you mean, :)  I always think to myself all the time when I found myself has become a rough, tough and - um, so loud to those ayi (aunties) in the supermarket that try to cut the line or even steal the shopping cart ( it happened!) those waitresses, to the servers or even to people I ride the bus or subway with.When my husband is shocked when I shout to them with the still face, that I have become such a bitchy, scary woman - not like when I was in Thailand and be kind, nice and polite to people around. 

Don't forget, here they do not stop the car or anything with the wheels for you to cross the street. Different culture, different people, and way of life. I have lived in 6 different countries and China makes me tougher and rougher. - a worse human being may be but it doesn't mean I will lose my kindness. I just learn to shout at the biker who would almost hit the old lady who walks too slow on the street crossing the road, I just learn to push the shopping cart and my body on the way when somebody tries to cut the line and never hesitate to let them know (without speaking Chinese, because I can't) that I won't let them, period. :)

I told my husband that there are so many things here that we think it's absolutely rude but for China it is normal.I feel ok for the fact that we would always be "alien" here, no matter what. I would never consider myself as a Chinese when I am not. ( even my part is Chinese, from a great grandparent ) I would never want to join them but I would try to understand why they are like this, why they do this. I have a few of good Chinese friends, who can speak English and I am fine with that. Here in China, if you do not speak a language you are a loner, and I am a loner, purely.

I can't remember was I like this when I was living in Sweden, Germany or others - where people do not speak English much, I remember people are different but China makes people learn to be tougher, I guess.

 

 

 

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Yes! YES! YESSS!  Everyone has already stated the negative effects of living in a too-crowded space that I feel.

On the other hand, my friends and family think I've become nicer, more patient, more willing to share. Their favorite aspect of The China Change is that I actually leave when I say I will. (In the US, I had 100+ pairs of shoes that often slowed my exit.  In China, I have 5 pairs; and, really only 1 pair can take the wobbly sidewalks, the sludge spit-up, and the generally yuckiness of public places).

What I've noticed that has improved me for myself is:

  1. The germophobe in me died after I saw the kitchen of my favorite cheap restaurant and ultimately decided: Food is good. Food is kind. Food is important.
  2. Better diet.  I eat more vegetables now (US veggies really are that gross, I guess) and I eat more meat now (vegan until 13, poultry until 23, poultry + beef until 25, then China.)
  3. Better health.  Seriously.  The first year destroyed me (living between a coal processing factory and a nuclear power plant -_-).  The second year, I had to dramatically change my lifestyle in order to return.  Now my lungs are actually healthy. (I know, right?!)
  4. I now know how f***in' rad Me, Myself, and I are (...am? ...is? ...isaream?).  I'm a Not White girl, who has the coloration of a yellow Chinese person but my features are *juuuuuust* off enough for Chinese people to know I ain't Right.  So, I'm constantly ignored, ostracised, treated poorly, photoshopped (they photoshopped me so hard on my passport, half my face is gone!), and otherwise teased.  Add to that that I'm an unmarried woman with -0 (that's right, negative zero) interest in ever having a child.  The first year, the unsolicited Opinion of the 1.4 opiners here killed me.  Now, I know they're all reading from the same script.
  5. I love my family more. Because we're on different continents.
  6. I sing out loud because it feels good.  (I'm not a good singer.  I have no apologies for you.)
  7. I've made some of the most meaningful friendships I've ever had.  I mean, I learned to stay away from professional Chinese people (because 面子,关系, 贪污,etc.) and students (for the reasons sainthood stated).

So, yeah, some of Me has become worse. But, I'm pretty sure that Me was already there and just didn't have a voice.

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On 9/5/2017 at 9:39 AM, Hungry_Hippo said:

I agree with san5324. I can't explain it, but it feels that living in China is bringing out the worst of me... and the disgusting part - I find myself needing to rely on those worst impulses in order to function here.

I find it extremely hard to trust anyone... which wasn't a big issue before. Now I'm always assuming people want something from me or are trying to fuck me over. That makes it extra hard to find new friends here...

I feel I'm more aggressive and waaaaay less sympathetic to people than before. Pushing, shoving, cutting off people... all this shitty behavior feels normal now.

And the worst part - I've become contempt with a lot of bullshit which before I found disgusting or unacceptable. I think it's called being desensitized. I see it as erosion of values, standards and priorities. Which is depressing the more I think about it...

 

____________________

ivanoros - that last point is spot on! I've just recently watched a video on that same topic by serpentza and c-milk (two guy on youtube making vids about life in China).

oh and don't forget you will be expected to "return the favor" :) it's a simple game - I "help" you with menial stuff and I get the "right" to demand you help me out when I need it. 

That will be gone when you moved back :P until you get triggered by Chinese who are on holiday and they  call you a laowai in your own country.  ;p

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26 minutes ago, san5324 said:

  they  call you a laowai in your own country.  ;p

If that ever happens to me after I leave here I will fucken blow up and scare them so badly they will head straight for the airport

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5 minutes ago, drown said:

If that ever happens to me after I leave here I will fucken blow up and scare them so badly they will head straight for the airport

Haha trust me it will happen. 

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4 minutes ago, drown said:

It will be like one of those viral internet videos. Angry white man screams obscenities at nice Chinese visitor.  I'm so sick of hearing that word everyday, everytime I go outside.

Nothing you can do about it. I just called them Chinese people every time they call me laowai. 

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14 hours ago, san5324 said:

Nothing you can do about it. I just called them Chinese people every time they call me laowai. 

Sometimes i try to answer back with Lao Nei (老内) or Huang ren (黄人) sometimes they get pissed to beign called yellow person especially when is a white guy name them in this way

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19 hours ago, SiameseCat said:

I have a few of good Chinese friends, who can speak English and I am fine with that. Here in China, if you do not speak a language you are a loner, and I am a loner, purely.

I can't remember was I like this when I was living in Sweden, Germany or others - where people do not speak English much, I remember people are different but China makes people learn to be tougher, I guess.

 

 

Oh belive me, even if you can speak the language you will be the alien. They usually try to put togheter some english words but when they realise you can speak chinese they won't try to communicate with you anymore. If you are in a group with other chineses you will hear someone suddenly say louder some english word like "OOOK" or "LET'S GO"  or  "PLIS PLIIIS" or also "SENKIU" etc etc

If you chinese is good enough they will ask you in this right order the following questions:

1 where you come from?

2 what are you doing here

If the answer at the second question is "i work here" or " i do some business here" they will try to investigate as best as they can on what you do.

 

After that end of the story no more talk.

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Oh belive me, even if you can speak the language you will be the alien. They usually try to put togheter some english words but when they realise you can speak chinese they won't try to communicate with you anymore. If you are in a group with other chineses you will hear someone suddenly say louder some english word like "OOOK" or "LET'S GO"  or  "PLIS PLIIIS" or also "SENKIU" etc etc

If you chinese is good enough they will ask you in this right order the following questions:

1 where you come from?

2 what are you doing here

If the answer at the second question is "i work here" or " i do some business here" they will try to investigate as best as they can on what you do.

 

After that end of the story no more talk.

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52 minutes ago, ivanoros87 said:

 

If you chinese is good enough they will ask you in this right order the following questions:

1 where you come from?

2 what are you doing here

If the answer at the second question is "i work here" or " i do some business here" they will try to investigate as best as they can on what you do.

 

After that end of the story no more talk.

Actually, the second question is "are you an English teacher?'

Note: no introduction, not pleasantries, not greetings... just straight in with the question. If you're lucky, you'll get "Excuse me" preceding. .

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2 hours ago, ivanoros87 said:

Oh belive me, even if you can speak the language you will be the alien. They usually try to put togheter some english words but when they realise you can speak chinese they won't try to communicate with you anymore. If you are in a group with other chineses you will hear someone suddenly say louder some english word like "OOOK" or "LET'S GO"  or  "PLIS PLIIIS" or also "SENKIU" etc etc

If you chinese is good enough they will ask you in this right order the following questions:

1 where you come from?

2 what are you doing here

If the answer at the second question is "i work here" or " i do some business here" they will try to investigate as best as they can on what you do.

 

After that end of the story no more talk.

You forgot about 3, 4, and 5:

3. Are you married?

4. Do you have kids?

5. How much do you make?

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39 minutes ago, fionnfionn said:

You forgot about 3, 4, and 5:

3. Are you married?

4. Do you have kids?

5. How much do you make?

Actually... 2 is "Do you like China?"

Which, fortunately, can be a GREAT way to end the conversation real quick! :p

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Ahah luckly i never been through so many questions, maybe because at the second question i usually say "why you so intresting in me" or after the ask me a question i answer back with "and you?"

In discourage them in asking further questions

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And, to answer the OP - yes, definitely!

Back home, people are a  LOT more friendlier! The average Joe on the street will give a smile and nod of acknowledgement, and a quick "G'day". Shop staff can have a simple conversation to customers. Everyone is 'mate', and we're a lot more relaxed with people we don't know (ie, not worried about face or guanxi).

This element in me is dying here in China.

Second, I've become a LOT more racist towards 'Chinese' (in ' ' because it's not actually the race, but the nationality.. so shouldn't be called 'racism'.). Just look over this forum, and you see the anti-dalu ren posts about people being constantly ripped off and lied to. Incompetence seems to be the norm here... and that has affected the way I judge ALL dalu ren. And, it's really not fair!

Granted, I have had some intelligent (ie, logical) discussions with a number of people here about such contentious topics as the state of Taiwan, and the SCS... but mostly, it's standard nationalistic crap that I hear in response to something as simple as "It's in dispute", or "I have a stamp saying I left China - from the Chinese government. I have new currency. There are democratic elections for their leaders, and they have their own passport... how is that not a country???" Now, if someone can come up with a good response to that (and "one country, two system" is NOT a good response)... then I'll hear it.. but no. And, how DARE you disagree with their perspective????

Cold water, anyone???

I actually had a girlfriend some years ago (OMG really???) that actually used the line 'Chinese bodies are different'.... OMFG! This is a woman who went to university to study International Business....

The number of people who blatantly ignore signs and rules is, to me, horrifying!  (eg, how many flights have you been on where virtually everyone ignores the crew when told to turn off all electronic devices until the plane has stopped? Hey, how about even getting out of the seat when the plane has stopped? Or, smoking directly under the 'No Smoking' sign'?? Or, standing in the 'no standing' zone at metro stations...)

'

And, thus, this level of illogic and me-first (and only) attitude has clouded my perceptions of the Chinese people (dalu ren) in general.

So, upon meeting someone who looks like they come from this neck of the woods, my first instinct is to wonder whether they're dalu ren or Taiwanese, HK, Malaysian, Singaporean, etc etc - cos I know that their attitudes are quite different! (this is presuming they have a non-native English accent).

 

 

To the dalu ren reading this... two things. Firstly, yes, I know... like all stereotypes, not everyone fits into it. (maybe just maybe) not even most. I'm sure not all international tourists destroy things and have a bad attitude... but obviously enough to give everyone a bad name!

Secondly,  "China" is many things... it's a area of land. It's a culture. It's a tradition. It's history. It's people. It's government. It's food. It's nationalism. It's all the good things, and all the bad things. And so much more. So, be very careful when you ask "Do you like China?"...

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1 hour ago, sainthood said:

Actually... 2 is "Do you like China?"

Which, fortunately, can be a GREAT way to end the conversation real quick! :p

LOOOL, I've never had anyone ask me that. Thank God, because I'd be carried out of town on a rail with weights on my feet, to be sure. 

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You guys will soon get bothered by Chinese people who can't handle somebody saying something about the middle kingdom and who have been Google all night to find you guys.... Beware ;p

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