Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Archive for March, 2011

Can’t Hunt, Fish or Ride?

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, March 31, 2011

I read recently about how some Chinese airlines don’t offer a suitable vegetarian meal on international flights, and that this is a violation of IATA rules. Apparently, “Vegetarians in India are not allowed to eat vegetables that grow under the soil and never see the light of day [and that] the only choice is often eating one biscuit, one cake, and drinking one cup of tea”.

Now, I’m the first one to admit that the food on Chinese flights is an appalling, disgusting abomination, but for once I’m on their side. Vegetarians? What the fuck is wrong with these people? ‘Vegetarian‘ is merely shorthand for ‘the village idiot who can’t hunt, fish or ride‘.

These vegetarian types really piss me off. Why do they get special treatment? I’m a strict meatatarian, but you don’t see me whining about the piece of soggy spinach that lies there ruining my piece of delicious chicken or beef, do you? Sure, maybe you don’t like all the added clenbuterol in Chinese pork, and that’s fair enough. But that’s no excuse to go around eating a bunch of potherbs and pretending that you are somehow better than everyone else.

Fuck you, vegetarians. Now you’ve got IATA drawing up a list of 54 special meals and their specific ingredients for you and your skeletal buddies. Check out these, for example:

AVML (Vegetarian Hindu / Asiatic Meal)
– Spicy vegetarian combinations with limited use of dairy products.
BBML (Baby Meal)
– Two types (with fruit and vegetable) of glass jar baby food available on request.
BLML (Bland Meal)
– For those with digestive tract, gut disorders or chewing problems.
CHML (Child Meal)
– Contains a combination of appropriate and┬ánicely decorated foods which appeal to children.
DBML (Diabetic Meal)
– For those who need to manage their blood sugar levels.
FPML (Fruit Platter Meal)
– Contains seasonal fresh fruits.
GFML (Gluten Intolerant Meal)
– Supplied for those who are allergic to grain flour.
HNML (Hindu Meal)
– Vegetarian food prepared in an Indian style which does not┬ácontain beef and egg.
KSML (Kosher Meal)
– These meals are prepared to comply with Jewish dietary laws.
LCML (Low Calorie Meal)
– A low calorie diet should not contain excessive protein portions and should be low in fat and sugar.
LFML (Low Fat Meal)
– High fibre meal with reduced amounts of fat. Does not contain egg, fried products or fat.
LSML (Low Salt Meal)
– Low sodium meal; prepared with ingredients that are low in salt and sodium content.
MOML (Muslim Meal)
– Does not contain pork, and/or pork products. Alcohol is not used in production process.
NLML (Low Lactose Meal)
– Does not contain dairy products or their derivatives.
RVML (Vegetarian Raw Meal)
– Contains only raw vegetables or fruits.
SFML (Sea Food Meal)
– Contains a selection of seafood.
VGML (Strict Vegetarian Meal)
– Strict vegetarian meal (No milk products)
VJML (Jain Meal)
– Hindu Vegetarian food prepared in Indian style, based on Jain customs.
VLML (Vegetarian Lacto Ovo Meal)
– Does not contain meat, fish or seafood. May contain dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese etc.
VOML (Vegetarian Oriental Meal)
– Prepared with vegetables and fruits.
SPML (Special Meal (Celebration Cake))
– Cake for greetings like birthday and honeymoon.

Jew-onna-stick, that’s fucked up! If I asked for a special meal that contained only proper, manly, life-giving meat, I’d be told to simply ignore the vegetables, so why can’t you horrible whiny brats just ignore the meat, if you don’t like it?

And if you thought vegetarians were bad (and they are), then the religious types are even worse! Religious and vegetarian? That’s two completely unrelated types of clinical insanity inside one head – if this is you, then eating special meals is the least of your problems, sunshine. You shouldn’t be allowed to fly – you shouldn’t even be allowed outside the confines of your padded room without a burly, white-coated escort.

Remember back in the good old days? When you could have a smoke and a drink and shag the stewardess in the aft galley (pun intended)? Then the airlines banned smoking because not having to clean the air led to fuel savings, and they started hiring homosexual men and ugly, middle-aged broads with attitudes as big as their ankles, and made it illegal to have sex onboard, so that even if you still wanted to join the Mile High Club, you couldn’t. Then those no-good Yanks made even getting on to a plane an experience so awful that you no longer wanted to fly. And all those cut-rate, penny-pinching airlines in America and Australia started making you pay extra for your drinks, as if fares weren’t expensive enough already. And now you can’t even order a meal without some IATA vegetarian wanker demanding that it be gluten lacto diabetic sodium free!

It’s no fucking wonder people fly their planes into buildings from time to time. It’s probably the only thing left to do.

*

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Posted in Food | 18 Comments »

72 Hours

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A few years ago I was on the phone to a client, and he asked me what the time difference was between where he was and China. I replied: “Four hours and four hundred years behind you”.

But China is also 72 hours behind the rest of the world, because it always takes three days for any news at all to filter through the censors, if it ever does. It has always been thus.

And yet, within 72 minutes of Japan being rocked by a massive natural disaster, the news was on every television, in every public place, on buses, in subways, everywhere. Imagine my surprise.

My attention was drawn to this by groups of people, mostly young adults, standing around public propaganda television screens and cheering loudly. Imagine my not-surprise.

It is true that not all Chinese people are outwardly expressing joy at the tragic situation Japan is facing – I have spoken to a number of Chinese people who simply don’t care either way, and more who are actually quite upset. Well, they would be, of course, because their customers and/or suppliers are Japanese and they stand to lose a lot of business.

In case you are wondering whether China has offered to send any support or rescue teams, the answer according to ChinaDaily is a resounding YES! Mind you, if you read the small print you may notice the true answer is that an NGO team that happens to be based in China is going, and that the Party and People of the world’s second largest economy with the world’s largest cash reserves have refused point-blank to countenance any help at all.

Just to put things in perspective, Japan has been the single largest contributor to the success of China’s economy, giving hundreds of billions of dollars in the form of soft loans, development aid, direct investment, and so on. It is no exaggeration to say that most Chinese people would still be living in mud huts without the generous assistance given to them freely by Japan. In 2008, when western China was hit by a large earthquake, Japan was one of the very first nations to offer condolences, support, rescue teams, and humanitarian aid. No one in Japan was laughing or cheering.

And so, once again, we see why China and the Chinese people are not fit to play a role on the world stage. Kel surprise.

Posted in Censorship, Propaganda | 39 Comments »

M.Y.O. Medal

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today is a very exciting day. For starters, it’s International Communist Women’s Day, and that surely is very exciting. It’s also Fat Tuesday, or, as Americans call it, Every Tuesday. Wow. It’s also on this day in history that Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion, which states that the universe revolves around Peking, or so I’m told.

But none of this compares to last Saturday, when the whole world celebrated Lei Feng Day.

Oh yes indeed! Lei Feng, the most famous hero of them all, the National Hero of China and sock-washer extraordinaire, is remembered every March 5th. He was truly a great man, and washed many socks. He was also run over by a reversing truck. Twice. After being wrapped in barbed wire. By his best friend. By accident, really it was. He even earned a medal for it.

I think it says something about China that the National Hero is celebrated for doing something nice (i.e. washing socks for other people). And for being run over by a slowly reversing truck. Twice. It really is no wonder that his memory is so revered.

And now you, too, can share in the joy of Lei Feng. Simply print this Lei Feng Commemorative Medal*, cut it out, and wear it with pride upon your very own sunken chest. You will be the envy of your friends. It even comes with free Oak Leaf Cluster, for brave heroes who are run over twice whilst washing socks.

Just remember to be careful around reversing trucks.

* Or go here and buy it. Your call, really.

 

Posted in Festivals et al, Propaganda | 52 Comments »

Suits You, Sir

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So, you are in China, and you want some clothes? Every city and town has a ‘fabric market’, where you can choose the fabric you want, and have the clothes you desire tailored at a reasonable price. You will enjoy the high quality and low cost, and you may even indulge in a little friendly bargaining with the tailor. Enjoy!

Right, that’s the bit for the dumbfuck tourists out of the way. When I want clothes, here’s what I do:

I go to Thailand.

China is a bit problematic when it comes to clothing, and footwear, and, well pretty much everything else actually. For one thing, Chinese are not merely smaller than real people, they have entirely different body shapes: no hips, no ass, no tits, legs that are as well-muscled as chopsticks, complete lack of chest and shoulders, flat heads, flat feet. So finding clothes you can wear isn’t just a matter of merely scaling up the stuff they wear. And ‘tailor’ or not, no one in China seems to comprehend that what you want to buy might not be what they want to sell. As for quality, well that’s a joke on a good day. The fabric you think you are buying, well, it isn’t. The buttons are made of soda-biscuits, thread dissolves in water, colours run and everything shrinks upon washing. The stitching is barely enough to hold the stuff together on the rack, and no further. And the price? Outrageous!

When I want clothes, I generally take a long weekend, leaving Friday after work and returning Monday night. I fly to Bangkok, where I meet my regular tailor (note: always go with an Indian or Nepalese tailor). He looks up his records, measures me for any changes, and gets right to work. The quality is superb, and I can get a couple of really nice suits and a few shirts (and perhaps a pair of shoes) for the same price as some raggity shit from China’s finest ‘tailor’. The weekend away in a nice country with great food and friendly people can be considered a free bonus.

Recently I wanted some new clothes. And unfortunately, I was far too busy to be able to go to Bangkok, even for three days. I knew it would lead to disaster, and I knew I’d pay over the odds, but I needed some clothes. So I went to the ‘fabric market’.

I’m not completely stupid, so I brought with me a shirt and a pair of trousers that I wanted copied. You’d think a Chinese could at least do that, right? I selected the fabrics, gave explicit instructions, obtained a completion date that was ten days longer than any tailor in Bangkok would give, and (after significant argument) paid a deposit equal to the normal full price that a tailor in Bangkok would charge.

When I returned to pick up my clothing, the trousers weren’t ready. I saw the shirts hanging on a rack though, so I took a look. They were, of course, wrong. There were buttons without corresponding buttonholes, buttonholes without matching buttons, buttons missing or in the wrong place, pockets missing and some of the shonkiest stitching I’ve ever seen. Par for the course. I was told the trousers would be ready “in a few days”.

I returned a few days later. Some of the problems with the shirts had been fixed. Sort of. The trousers were not there, though I was informed that they were “on the way”. Would I care to wait for twenty minutes? Sure, I said, knowing full well they were not finished yet. An hour later with no sign of the alleged items of apparel, and I departed, having left instructions to call me when everything was there, completed, and ready to take away.

A week later I got the call. Everything was there, and it was all wrong. One pair of trousers was almost nearly the right length just about, the others were impossibly short. I’ll never get my hands in the pockets of any of them. Still, all-in-all, it was a good job for a Chinese. Everything only slightly fucked up, only two weeks later than a date that was only ten days longer than a human would have required, with most of the errors able to be remedied by myself with a needle and thread, at a price that was merely exorbitant. I considered myself lucky, paid up and left.

Why pay, you might wonder? Well, the deposit covered the cost of the materials, and a healthy profit margin. If I hadn’t paid the balance, the so-called ‘tailor’ would have simply sold the clothes to a Chinese at a knock-off price. I’d have been out of pocket and out of pockets. At least this way I got a few shirts that were almost large enough and some trousers that I could wear in emergencies.

I consider myself lucky, though: most people are not nearly as fortunate in their dealing with the Chinese. In a land where cutting corners, ripping you off, cheating, lying, and stealing are all considered virtues, this is to be expected. When someone is more crooked than a dog’s hind leg, how can you expect integrity or pride in one’s work?

Next time though, it’s back to my real tailor in Thailand.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai | 13 Comments »