Jeremiah’s A Slice of Chinese Life Wisdoms, Part 3

15 09 2009

Chinese people build stuff. Now I don’t mean this as a knock against America. Obviously it took something to get where we are today, and I can’t give all the credit to Walmart and the Dream Team, but Chinese construction is a whole different animal. In the United States, if something needs to be built, it will be built sometime over the course of a year or a couple years. American construction workers do work hard – I’ve done a little construction, and it’s back-breaking work, often in bad conditions, for pay that probably isn’t enough to justify having to do it. But in China, they build things overnight. You might not believe me, but it’s true. On the street by our house when we moved in, there is a lot which had three concrete walls and dirt for the ground. No ceiling. Fast forward to 10 days later, and what do I see? Two fully-functioning, fully-decorated restaurants. And I don’t mean street food, I mean actual restaurants with chairs and pictures on the wall and stuff. Doors on the front, and everything. And it didn’t even take 10 days – they finished them a few days ago. Amazing. I guess that’s what happens when the government forces people to work day and night, regardless of the climate or age of the workers. Well, as long as the dumplings are good, right?

I know why Chinese people are skinnier than Americans. Look at the spoons.


Jeremiah’s A Slice of Chinese Life Wisdoms, Part 2

10 09 2009

A whole lot of honking going on. I know that in any large city, you’ll hear your share of honking, but China takes it to the next level, truly. Chinese driving is something to see. A smorgasbord of different types of vehicles all going in opposing directions, often the wrong ones, and all honking at each other. This morning on the bus I saw a man in a BMW just riding his horn behind a car that was … drum roll … at a red light. Not sure what his thought process was. And it’s always interesting to see someone honking at people to get out of the way when they’re driving down THE SIDEWALK. Oh, China.

Chinese people have bad taste in music. If I have two complaints about China, which I am enjoying immensely, by the way, it is that the coffee sucks and the music sucks. I have to admit that in the case of number two, it might be a bit unfair, since we’re still looking for a rock club. (It’s not too easy to find stuff like that in a city with only a monthly English newspaper). As for the coffee? Well, it sucks. Anyway, in China, they love, love Jon Bon Jovi. No, not “Living On a Prayer”, which seems to have suddenly turned into classic rock, for some reason, but rather “It’s My Life.” That’s the one that goes “It’s my life, now or never. I don’t want to live forever., I just want to live while I’m alive.” Thank me for getting that stuck in your head later. Now I have nothing respect for a man who was the only star from the hair metal era to transcend his genre without ending up on a reality dating show, and there is nothing inherently wrong with writing a song meant to inspire soccer moms to make it through their morning spin class, but why is it so popular here? When I say it’s popular, I mean everyone sings it, it’s on the radio, and you see people wearing shirts that reference some lyrics for the song. (Usually “I just want to live while I’m alive.”) I could abide by it if it were one of his better songs, like “Born To Be My Baby” or “Wanted Dead or Alive,” or even “Blaze of Glory,” if I have to, but this song? Sorry China. I will not stand for it.