Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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

Archive for February, 2011

A Jolly Good Read

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, February 21, 2011

I know I have not of late been as faithful to my readers as many of you would have liked, and I can but proffer my humblest and most abject apologies. Though this meager blog may very well be my highest calling, one can not afford to ignore the small yet insistent demands of other trifles, such as work and wives.

I trust you understand. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

In the meantime, I should like very much to share with you the following wonderful work of literature, penned by Edwin John Dingle – one of the greatest of all gentleman explorers – and entitled Across China on Foot. Though we are still in the earliest parts of the year, there is a very good prospect of this being my favourite read of the year, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who has the slightest interest in China.

Across China on Foot

This book can of course be purchased in the usual manner, however for those of you who are blessed with the ability or the inclination to read eBooks, it is available free from Project Gutenberg. Clicking the image above will take you to the download page, as will this URL: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13420

I would wax on about this book, but I must instead go now and beat the coolie who didn’t black the tyres of the Aston properly.

It’s not easy, being me…

Posted in Ask MyLaowai | 11 Comments »

Very Fashion, Redux

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, February 4, 2011

Hello Dear Valued Reader, and a special hello to all the laowai lost in the land of the endless bribe. Of course, happy fricking late-assed new year and a billion burst eardrums to you and yours. Next, let me apologise for my late supplemental. Boss warned me many weeks ago that this article would be due, and I missed the deadline. Some of my research subjects have had extra time off for good behaviour for their spring festival, and we have been… exploring various avenues for… err… competing alternative theories that I am still following up on for you, but evidence is now coming to hand rapidly and vigorously, and the baijiu has run out, so I shall report my preliminary findings now.

Ob-Comp R&D
They can’t help it, it’s a cultural thing, they just have to Rip-off & Duplicate whatever they see. Base level whores, whose unsung role is keeping the glue of society firmly in place, have little choice about their fashion: they have to advertise their wares, and usually amplify said wares in this land of airport runways. They are omni-present, thus exerting a constant sub-conscious pressure on all of society’s fashions through the stupid desire to conform and blend in with everyone else lest you get stood on by a tank or something.

Foreign female readers, take a deep breath and let it out slowly before proceeding. Find that happy place first… Ready? Ok. You see, fashion for Chinese is the ability to choose an outfit just like everyone else is wearing. Uniformity, conformity, normality, blendicity … all these and more are paradigms for Chinese fashion, business, entertainment, food and so on. Certainly demonstrable for what passes as beer here.

This is a country where not so long ago, if people in your community were talking about you behind your back, you’d probably end up in the local dumplings as meat. These days, you’ll probably just switch to a richer man (and proper pork dumplings).

There are days when a rich student will come to class dolled up to the max. I have often queried why. The answer still shocks me: “Because I couldn’t dress like this anywhere else other than here or home. It is too different from what everyone else wears.

It looks like a duck…
If it looks like a young boy then maybe it should dress like one too…

You’re looking at the wrong fashion accessory
Women ARE the fashion accessory for men. Their only real purpose in proper society is to dress up as her man’s plaything and appear beside him on cue as required. What that exact relationship is, will always be somewhat variable. Thus, in order to avoid actually making any serious claim to a definitive level of relationship with the man, if they all appear as the wannabe hopeful, maybe they will get lucky.

More means less
Ok, so I am open to the charge I have been here long enough that my pearls of wisdom are beginning to sound as klutzy as the Confusionus fellow. However, the math is simple: 1.3 billion people + limited denim etc production = hungry shorts + skimpy thin t-shirts + eye glasses without glass. This goes for everyone, with the nouveau riche strutting their leathers, furs and chains as they rise their fashion sense towards bondage mistress.

The Korean Influence
Everybody who is anybody in China will tell you that if you want plastic surgery you go to Korea, don’t let another Wang Bei Super-Bint butcher near your precious skin, no no no.

So, the people with the money go to Korea to try and correct their inbred exteriors. Whilst there, they are exposed to Korean fashion. Korean whores tend for a slightly classier look SOMETIMES. Anyway, the point here is that different whore fashions come in to a small percentage of the eastern peasants.

Its a Big Improvement
A fun mental exercise. Compare and contrast the Zhongshan zhuang of Chairman Mao and what they wear today. Thanks. Look in the archives, from the red and yellow mickey mouse cheerleader fashion in the 70’s, to the hip, grungy and definitely-for-hire slut look of today, its been one glorious long road of progress and freedom for the masses.

Author’s Note
Personally, I am all in FAVOUR of these fashion trends, so please don’t take this as any proof that Chinese whores should start dressing in any other way. It’s just such a fascinating area of research that I can’t help but extend beyond apathy into active interest.

Umm, boss, you did say that the brothel receipts would be fully tax-deductible on this research… right?
[ML: Yes, but your condom expenses are a joke. More than one and you aren’t doing it right.]

– Da Bizarre


Posted in Ask MyLaowai, Guest Post | 3 Comments »

Very Fashion

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, February 4, 2011

New arrivals in the Middle Kingdom have all kinds of questions for experienced old hands like myself, and usually we are able to steer the inexperienced down the correct path and away from trouble. In rare cases, however, the question posed is somewhat of a poser, if you see what I mean. One such question – and one that I have noticed is posed by almost everyone within a month of arriving here – is as follows:

Why do almost all Chinese women dress like whores?

Now, the obvious response is that almost all Chinese women are whores, but despite the evident truth of this, it doesn’t really address the issue of why they dress the way they do. Team MyLaowai investigated…

For one to understand the results, one must approach the question in a systematic and logical manner. There seemed to be two reasons why almost all Chinese women dress like whores:
1. because they want to
2. because that’s all the shops sell

With reference to 1., this is an expected condition, for the same reason that firemen dress like firemen.
With reference to 2., however, we need to look deeper. The shops sell whore-fashions, but who owns the shops? Who makes that decision? A crack team of MLW researchers was therefore sent out on an under-the-covers secret mission. That mission? To find out who owns these fashion shops, what is their shadowy background, and how they came to it.

The results were astounding. It turns out that every whore that was interviewed, whether professional or merely keen amateur, had exactly the same dream, and that was to “own a fashion shop and so on”. I’m not kidding, 98.7% said the same thing, word for word.

The conclusion seems clear, so here is the explanation:
1. Whores want to have their own fashion shops.
2. In some cases, they succeed in leaving home and renting their own shop.
3. They sell the fashion they know, which is whore-fashion.
4. Their customers, who are also almost entirely whores of an amateur nature, buy their clothes.
5. Their customers eventually want to have their own fashion shops.
… And so the majestic cycle of nature repeats itself.

I will leave it there, content to have clarified the opaque and murky waters of Chinese ‘culture’ once again. I have nothing else to say except Happy Year of the Rabbit to you all. I know it is the Year of the Rabbit, because the neighbours climbed over my garden wall, stole the children’s pet rabbit, and cooked it. The kids were, quite naturally, distraught, but they soon saw the funny side when I took them on a 4a.m. raid to super-glue all the windows and door locks next door, before pushing a string of firecrackers through the letterbox. Oh, how they laughed, the little scamps.

Happy Eat Rabbit Year.


Posted in Ask MyLaowai | 18 Comments »

Hao Lao Ma

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sponsored Post

Disclaimer:  The author of this article offered to write it in exchange for being allowed to include links to an outside business. MyLaowai has no connection of any kind with the business linked to in this article, and does not receive any financial incentives from anyone for publishing this article.

Hao Lao Ma- New China vs. Old China in an ancient land

China has seen it all before. The new surge of prosperity looks a lot like one of China’s dazzling periods, a new Tang or Ming era. This is a country that had so many hermits trying to get away from the bustle of life in the pre-Christian era that an emperor had to issue an edict asking people not to scrawl all over the mountains. Modern China is still China, and whether the subject of conversation is a pool pump or global finances, the reaction will be Chinese to the bone.

Old China

A brief read of Lao Tse, Confucius, Ssuma Chien and other Chinese notable books would convince anyone that China’s claim to a unique unbroken heritage is an understatement. Old China was a pretty tough place for most people. The culture that grew out of this incredible, often bloody, famine-ridden history grew literally out of the ground, fighting every step of the way. The rampages of the Yellow River alone caused national disasters on a regular basis.

Old China grew despite cataclysms. It flourished like a storm-damaged tree, despite insane emperors from Shih Huang Di onwards, invasions, and murderous civil wars. Time and again, old China grew back. It even managed to survive the insularity of the senile Qing Dynasty, which barely recognized the danger of the Europeans, and the Taiping Rebellion, which killed an estimated 20 million people.

New China

New China started among the wreckage of the Qing. The new China had a tough time right from the beginning. Despite this disadvantage, New China was still very much China. After Sun Yat Sen’s revolution, the unspeakable corruption and criminal madness of the Chiang Kai Shek regime and the Japanese invasion, new China ultimately won through, at terrible cost.

The “adolescent” years of New China were also tough, but by the time the big economic surge began, a few echoes of Old China were very visible:

  • A highly qualified, literate management class
  • A merchant class with good trading skills
  • Big ideas, and a lot of them

It’s ironic, in view of the perceived dichotomy between New and Old China, that these similarities aren’t better understood. Shanghai looks like a monster modern mega city, but it’s a concept well within Old China’s achievements. In Old China, the giant gardens, huge palaces and the growth of the ancient capitals was really quite similar. Xian, for example, was once the biggest city in the world. It’s more a matter of scale than concept.

The Three Gorges Dam is a modern marvel, but it’s also noticeably similar in scale of ideas to the Grand Canal, designed to improve communications throughout China as well as do something about huge floods.

Hao Lao Ma

“Hao Lao Ma” can mean “Good Old Horse” or “Good Old Mother”. New China’s ancestry, physical and spiritual, is as recognizable as that of the Tang Flying Horses.

The Good Old Horse is China’s apparently endless, eternal human skills. The horse is flying again, thanks to those skills.

The Good Old Mother is China herself, the indestructible source of Chinese culture, of fantastic modern art and the ancient talk-stories of the home.

There’s no real conflict between Old China and New China. Whether the subject of debate is a pool cleaner or the most idiomatic of ideographs, Zhonggou shr Zhonggou.

Posted in Guest Post | 9 Comments »