Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Archive for September, 2007

Wo Shi Laowai?

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, September 29, 2007

When it comes to foreigners in the Celestial Kingdom, there are a few categories that most seem to fall neatly into. There are the tourists, naturally. They have a fantastic time, and generally leave saying things like “Oh, weren’t the Chinese friendly, they were all so curious and said ‘Hello!’ to Mildred and I everywhere we went” and what-have-you. They also tend to witter on ad infinitum about all the ancient 5,000-year old temples [that didn’t exist ten years ago because they’d all been knocked down during the Cultural Revolution, with the monks still inside at the time, but never mind that small detail]. Oh yeah, tourists have a great time.

Then there are the transients – temporary teachers, short-term students, ‘travellers’. For the purposes of this discussion, I’m going to include them with the tourists.

Then there are the ‘seagulls’, company bigwigs who fly in from Europe and the U.S., make a lot of noise, crap all over everything, and fly back out again. They also have a wonderful time, eating expensive dinners, shagging themselves silly with KTV hostesses and barbershop quartets, staying in the best hotels, and all the rest of it. They believe everything their dick tells them, and leave saying things like “I just don’t understand why Jenkins complains so much. These people promised me everything I asked for, and were so very polite at all times, I’m sure we will have a great future with these people”. There aren’t many of these types, but what they lack in numbers, they make up for in stupidity. Pretty much every Western politician falls into this category.

Of course, there are the company types who actually live here, too. They tend to come in two different flavours – the ones who have been sent here unwillingly, and the ones who applied to come (local hires fit into the second category). There is a bit of overlap here, so if you are in the first category, but live the life of the other, then no offence is intended. The ones who have been sent here against their will are frequently sent here in the same way that people used to be sent to Australia, before England ran out of convicts and the Irish. They simply are so inept that they cannot be allowed to work anywhere where they can cause any harm, but their golden parachutes make firing them too expensive. I’ve met a few who were brilliant at their jobs, though, and they have more in common with the local hires. The convict-types usually live in serviced homes, with local help on call 24/7 to cook, clean, suck dick when the wife’s out, and all the rest of it. They have company cars with drivers, work in air-conditioned offices, shop in ‘foreign-goods’ supermarkets, and generally have a ball. They let their local staff get away with anything and everything, they spend money like water, and they think they actually make a difference. They don’t say anything when they leave, because they can’t leave. Local hires, for the most part, are the opposite, and are in the majority, too.

Most of the good that happens in this benighted Land, happens because foreigners do it. Charities that actually deliver the goods? Development assistance? Technological advances? Management that works? The concept of honesty? Foreign direct investment? Medical aid? It’s a long list, and I’m bored already, but rest assured it comes from foreigners, not the Chinese People. Without foreigners, foreign money and foreign technology, China would slip back into the Stone Age within a year. Ok, perhaps 18 months. China really does have a lot to be thankful for.

But all of us are ‘Laowai’: evil foreign scum who are only here to oppress the good, honest, diligent, hardworking Chinese People. We personally are responsible for keeping China down, for stealing world hegemony from the glorious motherland, and for eating babies. Every bad thing that ever happened here, is our fault – and they never, ever forget it.

Let’s go back to Mildred and her travelmate. Remember how they said that all Chinese are so friendly? Saying “Hello!” to tourists all day long? Well, I’m sorry to have to burst your bubble, but in the words of the legendary Inigo Montoya: I do not think it means, what you think it means. As it happens, “Hello!” in the mouths of the Chinese People has more in common with the words “Jew!” [think 1936, central Europe], or “Boy!” [1903, the deep South]. It isn’t friendly, and it isn’t a greeting.

Now as it happens folks, there are three main holidays in China every year, each one about a week in length (though being a Communist holiday, one is required to work the weekends either side, in order to make up for lost national production). These holidays are not only national events, they are also Nationalist events, and are always preceded by a rise in the level of extreme nationalism one can experience when out in ‘the sticks’. This may come as a surprise to the foreign folk who don’t get out of their ivory towers much, but believe me when I say it’s not only bad, it’s getting worse. It used to be just “Hello!”, but in recent years the locals have become braver, and I know of many, many incidents involving violence. I have been lucky thus far, though I have had a few close encounters of the Sino kind.

Anyway, back to “Hello!”. The reason the yokels say this, is because they don’t know any other English. Of course, some of the brighter lights have learned such gems as “Laowai Fucka You!” (and one particularly hostile lass was shouting “I Love You!” at me in a restaurant once, which brings me back to Inigo Montoya again). I used to get quite angry about this, as I would never accept this behaviour from anyone in my home country, regardless of who they are or who it was directed at, but this year I have changed my tactics. I have prepared a few stock phrases that can be easily shot back, and which will be easily understood. I field-tested them today, as follows:

Local: “Hello! Laowai!” – group of ‘workers’ in the street.
Me: “Tu Baozi!” [lit. dirt dumpling, a scummy peasant]

Local: “Laowai! Fucka!” – group of high school students in the street at lunchtime.
Me: “Wai Di Ren!” [lit. not local person, a country bumpkin]

Local: “Want buy?” – local perched a fence rail, selling stolen cellphones.
Me: “Dui Bu Qi” [an apology] [spoken as I pushed him backwards into the bushes]

In every case, the result was a resounding success. Complete shock, confusion, and inability to comprehend quite how the Laowai was able to speak the complex Chinese language. And by the time the folk in question had sorted themselves out, I was gone.

So, friends and neighbours, if you are going to be here and in contact with The Man In The Street, learn a few words of the local lingo – it really does pay off.

Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui?

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Nice One, Rick.

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, September 28, 2007

China is like a really cheap, slutty ex-girlfriend with crabs. You know without all the make-up she’s way ugly underneath, and you know she’s way dirty and you shouldn’t go near her…

…but all the same, you can’t help but be somewhat attracted.


Posted in China, Media | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Missing Persons Alert! Where Is Wipha?

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, September 20, 2007

Typhoon Wipha, easily the most devastating storm to hit China in more than a decade, slammed into Shanghai in the early hours of Wednesday morning, bringing with it 200Kph winds and torrential rain, and leaving death and devastation in it’s wake. More than two million people were evacuated, the largest evacuation in sixty years, all flights were cancelled, and more than 700 homes destroyed.

At least, that’s what the State-run media would have us believe. Oh yes, and also those lazy bastards who claim to be journalists / reporters, and who work for the Western media, who seemed content to parrot every word of it verbatim, without once ever thinking of actually checking to see if any of it was actually true.

I, on the other hand, as a mere person who was actually there, saw nothing untoward. There was a slight drizzle, tending towards light rain at times, but clearing. There was a bit of a breeze, but although one of my outside pot plants got knocked over, it wasn’t enough to prevent me lighting a cigarette outside. Then again, perhaps I just spent my entire day in the eye of the storm (an eye which, conveniently, followed me around the city as I went about my business).

So, Where Was Wipha? And where now is the credibility of the fuckwit journo’s who were completely happy – yet again – to parrot something they’d been told by the Chinese Communist Party? It isn’t like this is the first time, indeed there would be very few days I don’t see the same stock copy reprinted for the benefit of readers of the New York Times, Washington Post, most of the English papers, and the worst of the worst – CNN and AP. Even the BBC does it at times (sorry Auntie, but you do). And the day that Fox ‘News’ ever reports a fact, factually, will be the day that I eat my cardboard baozi.

From typhoons to exports, Taiwan to Government statements, there are so many falsehoods, cover-ups, and outright blatant lies told by the people and Government of China, that one hardly knows where to start – and it is all reported faithfully by the lazy arse journo’s whom we entrust with our own information supply. Sure, there’re a few out there who know their trade, ask questions, actually listen to the answers, and then report it in a meaningful way, but when it comes to China I could count them all on the fingers of one hand. It’s worse still when those same reporters actually start to invent their own stories to support what they’ve been told to write coughCNNcough. There’s an easy test, of course – when Chinese are speaking, look closely at their mouths. If the lips move, then they are telling a lie.

Anyway, having got that off my chest, I’m just going to sit back and wait for the next terrible flood in which the same village is again washed away with tragic loss of life, the same 650,000 people lose their same homes, and the same soldiers race against time to build the same makeshift sandbag dike. Not that I’ve ever even heard of anyone who has ever actually seen any of it, but hey it’s a good story all the same, right AP?

Or you could simply get your news from people who are actually there. If it isn’t too much trouble.

Posted in Environment, Lies & Damned Lies, Media | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Matter of Face.

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, September 16, 2007

Now Arrived in Stock! The post they said couldn’t be made!

Sex! Drugs! Action! Violence! Face! And More Hey Nonny Nonny Than You Can Shake A Large , Pointy Stick At!

A Matter Of Face…
Or, All Face And No Shame

The Story So Far: Saturday afternoon, around 1630. I had just finished up with a client across town, and was in a taxi heading back home. There was a lot of traffic on the road, more than usual for that time on a Saturday, but not as much as a normal gridlock rush hour. The hairless chimpanzee driving the taxi was no better and no worse than any other taxi driver in the city, there were no confusing directions (like ‘left’ or ‘right’) for him to deal with, and I thought of the martini that was looming large in my immediate future. How wrong I was.

Act I, The Main Event: Monkeyboy pulled the usual stunt, getting into a turning lane in order to get ahead of other cars waiting at a set of traffic lights, and then attempting to force his way back into the correct lane at the head of the line. Unfortunately for him, the black Santana he tried to get in front of wasn’t having any of it, and pulled out of lane slightly to block the taxi driver (whom I will henceforth be referring to as Driver X, even though his real name is Fa Kin Kok). The rather predictable result of this, was that Driver X was out of lane when the lights went green, and fell back some ten cars or so. He also Lost His Face. He therefore set about breaking all kinds of Laws (and I don’t only refer to the Laws of the Road, I include the Laws of Physics, too) in order to get in front of Mr Black Santana, so that he could regain his Face by forcing him to slow down.

Act II, The Fun Starts In Earnest: Driver X, in the best traditions of Chinese Driving, accelerated wildly towards Mr Black Santana, aiming for the left side of his car. The only problem, was that there was another car already there, and that car had nowhere else to go. This problem was obvious to me, of course, but to Driver X it was not a factor in his own personal universe. That is, it wasn’t a factor until about 1 second after it was too late. Driver X hit the skids. The car he was heading for hit the skids. Cars all around us hit the skids. It was like a scene out of CHiPs, and there was so much blue tire smoke in the air that it actually blotted out the view for a moment*. The only car that didn’t hit the skids was Mr Black Santana, who saw the whole thing in his rear view mirror, and who proceeded to come to a gentle stop not a hundred metres later. Mr Black Santana got out of his car, looked back at Driver X, and gave him the Smile. Now, for those of you who are blessed with never having been here, the Smile has about the same effect on interpersonal relations as a declaration of Defcon One has on international relations. It says in no uncertain terms that the Smiler has completely and utterly wiped the Smilee’s ‘face’ away, and that the Smiler fully intends to revel in the fact.

  • Note that, incredibly, not one car actually traded any paint with any other car. Not one. It was the freakiest display of luck I’ve ever seen, because not one of those fifteen-odd cars was in any kind of control, whatsoever.

Act III, Revenge: Driver X has now really lost his face. He’s failed in an aggressive manoeuvre in front of every car on the road, and we’re talking about one of the busiest roads in Shanghai. And now people are getting out of their cars and shouting at him, well, let’s just say that his meaningless existence has just been brought home to him. And then he sees Mr Black Santana, just up the road, giving him the Smile. And he’s off after him (well, actually, it did take him a good three minutes to get his car pointing the right way again, after all that sliding around the road). Mr Black Santana, of course, is well away by this time, has made an illegal U-turn, and is heading back the opposite direction. Driver X, having lost all his face, now has nothing left to live for. He throws his taxi around and heads back down the road, actually managing to catch up with Mr Black Santana, and starts trying to force him into the central barrier. His driving skills may have been on a par with my grandmothers, but the excitement level was higher than anything the Duke Boys ever managed in the General Lee. Yours truly was bounced around the interior like a rag doll, head hitting the seat in front (twice), the door frame to the left (once) and the door frame to the right (twice). It was not fun at all. Of course, I suggested that he might want to stop the car, to which he gave the traditional “Wait a moment” reply. And then I made some suggestions about his mother and some anatomically difficult positions he could attempt, but all to no avail. And then both he and Mr Black Santana spun out of control and came to a halt. I wasn’t waiting around for the Police to arrive and arrest me for being a foreigner (and yes, certainly it would have been my exclusive fault. Honestly), so I leaped out of the taxi and headed for the side of the road, not stopping until I got there. I looked back to see Driver X getting out of the car to come after me (for non-payment of the fare!), and decided he was going to get his eyeballs punched out the back of his skull, when Mr Black Santana took off again. Driver X, horribly torn between getting money and getting face, paused a moment, before jumping back in his taxi and roaring off after him.

Act IV, The Aftermath: This all took place on Saturday afternoon. I write this blog entry late Monday evening. My neck is still a little stiff, but the headache has almost gone away now (note to self: fix another martini). There’s very little for me to learn from the experience, because none of it comes as any kind of surprise. When ones lives amongst such ‘people’, one comes to understand the concept of All Face, No Shame all too well. The sorry fact is, that the colossal arrogance of these peeps is matched only by their world-spanning vengefulness and vastly inflated sense of spite. And whilst this isn’t new news to me, perhaps there’s something in that for my readers who think that China is a country where Kung Fu masters meditate on the tops of mountains and everyone is harmonious.

The End.

Posted in Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Quotations From Bastards

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, September 3, 2007

From the Land That Time Forgot, these quotations…

“China is highly transparent in terms of military policies and security strategy, as reflected in its commitment to no-first-use of nuclear weapons… [but] Transparency will always be relative. The key point is mutual trust.”
– Peng Guangqian

Yeah, except that China has a stated first-use policy and is internationally known for having the least transparent set of military policies and budgets on earth.

The number of cases involving foreign institutions and individuals conducting illegal surveying and mapping in China has been on the rise in recent years, according to the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM).

In the first six months of this year, local authorities have handled five cases and investigating five others in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Shanghai Municipality, and Jiangxi and Jiangsu provinces.

SBSM said most of these foreigners came into the country under the disguise of scientists, tourists, expeditionists, and archaeologists.

The results of these foreigners’ surveying and mapping belong to China, and must not be brought and transmitted abroad without official permission by Chinese authorities, according to the law.

Foreigners who have illegally surveyed, collected and published geographical information on China will be severely punished according to law.
– ChinaDaily

These cases involve innocent people entering positional data into their GPS handsets. Hell, it includes me, since I’ve entered waypoints into my GPS-enabled cellphone. Come and get me. .

“Organic farming is not a new thing in Chinese agriculture. We did it thousands of years ago and now we are just going back to the traditions with some modern technologies.”
– Guo Changjun

Yeah. Modern Technology. Like not shitting in the rice paddy and calling it ‘Organic Farming’.

“China consistently spares no efforts to enforce its IPR legislation with great success acknowledged by the international community… It is regrettable for China to see the United States has chosen to request the establishment of a panel in spite of China’s efforts to settle this dispute through consultations.”
– Chinese WTO Delegation

Except that China rejected consultations under “relevant WTO regulations”.

If one person has too many babies, the whole village will have their tubes tied!
One pregnancy gets the ring. Two pregnancies gets your tubes tied. The third and fourth, kill kill kill!
– Family Planning Slogans


“The reality of this country’s economic reforms is that the country, the race, is prospering. This must be extolled. It can only be extolled. There can’t be anyone who makes fun of it. People who do either have ulterior motives or they’re mentally challenged… As a Chinese director … as a Chinese actor, this point of view must be firmly entrenched.”
– Han Sanping, China Film Group Chairman


An unidentified official with the [Zhejiang] provincial industry and commerce bureau said that a thorough inspection shall be carried out for imported food products.

He also warned people to be cautious of taking foreign nourishment and avoid blind faith in expansive [sic] products.

Yeah. Better to stick to cardboard-filled buns, right?

If we are serious about protecting Chinese culture, maybe we should begin by preventing our language from being Europeanized.
– Zou Hanru, ChinaDaily ‘opinion’ writer


Foreign acquisitions of Chinese companies will be subject to stringent new checks intended to protect national economic security under a new law passed Thursday.

“As well as anti-monopoly checks stipulated by this law, foreign mergers with, or acquisitions of, domestic companies or foreign capital investing in domestic companies’ operations in other forms should go through national security checks according to relevant laws and regulations”
– From the new Anti-Monopoly Law


Foreign investors are urged to pay more attention to environmental protection and energy conservation.

“China will strengthen restrictions on foreign investment in energy-intensive high polluting and low efficiency industries.”
– Vice-Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo

Yeah, because that’s the exclusive traditional domain of Chinese companies.

Posted in Censorship, ChinaDaily, Environment, Food, Human Rights, Lies & Damned Lies, Propaganda, Rules of the Road | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »