So you want a Laowai to be at your beck and call to help you improve your English? Yes, I came to China just so I could devote my life to licking your butt and helping you every way I can. What will you do to help this friend in return? Oh, teach us Chinese? Come on, WAKE UP.
#1: You want a private Laowai tutor? It’s 150+/hr. A Chinese tutor for us, at most, is 50/hr. What qualifications do you have to teach us Chinese? Oh – NONE. Is your English even good enough to DREAM of being a tutor for us? No.
#2: How many THOUSANDS of Chinese people give us the same ridiculous offer every day?
#3: You want a penpal? Look outside China. Oh yes, a few problems with that:
a) Your government blocks many of those websites in case some foreign scum dares to talk about the (non-existent, of course) problems your country has.
b) Much to your amazement, very few Laowai have got ANY time to talk with a person from your xenophobic backward country. Oh yes kiddies, scream blue murder all you like, but for god’s sake, me and my buddies here (in China) have to do without electricity or water for sometimes days on end. My workmate here lives in the “second best community in this city”. His home here is worse than a slum in America. At least said slums have the water, telecommunications, and electricity INSTALLED in the fricking walls and not draped around the outside. The list grows on. You have LITTLE to offer us, and we, even if it’s just our native language, have much to offer you.
#4: You wanna improve your English? Pay for a tutor. Oh, sorry – you want it for free? Visit my blog and knock yourself out. And when you do, be very thankful I bother to spend any time giving away my vast experience for FREE! What do you give away for free of any value? Huh? Oh yeah… NOTHING.
#5. Don’t go trying to chat with me every time you have 5 free minutes. I don’t have free time, I am a dedicated teacher and spend my time developing materials that I place on my blog (or in my school’s text books) that MANY people can benefit from. I will happily block you if you try. Why spend my precious time on just one person? I’d rather spend it helping thousands.
You claim the people around you only speak Chinese. Bloody hell, what about your classmates in your English class? Hell, what about you!!! You ALSO speak Chinese every day! Why don’t you try speaking English to your classmates and encourage them to do the same? Sure, it might be BAD English, but any practice is better than NO practice!
I hope to see you actively participating in a chat group. I really do. Because most of you ignorant bastards want to learn English but don’t want to participate. As I don’t know you at all, this means you haven’t said ANYTHING in our group of any note whatsoever. I also reckon that this entire conversation is above your head. For the next few weeks, work with your Chinese friends to comprehend this letter. That will help your English no end, and I haven’t had to waste a single minute on you, other than this message which I will share with the ‘world’ (= China, you folks really have trouble believing there is more to the world than your precious homeland) to help offset the waste of time that I know it to be.
Oh yes, I can hear more screams of protest at this latest statement. “We are almost the biggest economy in the world.” Lets examine this in detail:
#1: Your GDP PER CAPITA is woeful. It’s only big because you have 1.6 billion peasants running around trying to buy clean water, untainted food and a dogbox to live in. And failing.
#2: Your innovation capabilities are almost non-existent. You specialize in R&D: Ripoff and Duplicate.
#3: If you were to actually be able to account for REAL expenditure, you would be (by far) the largest economy in the world. Unfortunately, graft, bribe, deceit and fraud aren’t actually counted in the GDP, let alone whores, KTVs, street vendors and the like. You don’t just cook the books, you eat them as well! [note from ML: in fact, prostitution does account for some 15% of GDP, and is the only state-owned business making a profit]
You call me “good friend” and you haven’t even read this article. You know NOTHING about me. You aren’t my friend, and most likely never will be. Acquaintance? Maybe. Friend? You Chinese love to call anybody your friend, your brother etc, but am I really? Did you help me this week? Last week? In the last year? Christ. My friends look after me, worry about my problems and try to help me. An unknown student begging for free English practice is NOT my friend at all. To make it even more insulting to us, I know that many ethnic Chinese English teachers suggest (demand) their students make foreign friends so you can send us class surveys, correct your homework and so. Sorry, no go mate.
I love this country of yours, but I am so fed up with people expecting me to do something for nothing when I have to pay inflated prices for everything. Who will pay my rent if I spend all day being your private English tutor gratis? We can go back to an old quote and paraphrase it a little. “Ask not what a foreigner can do for you, but rather, what can you do for a foreigner?” Peace out little sibling.
Experienced, QUALIFIED Foreign Teacher