Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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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 »


Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

There has been a bit of a fire in Shanghai. Actually, it was rather a large blaze by all accounts, seeing as how a large apartment building caught fire, killing dozens and injuring many more.

Now, you all know me and you know I’m not one for shedding crocodile tears. If there’s one thing I hate about Chinese society above all else, it’s the sheer hypocrisy that permeates every aspect of life here. So, you won’t find me bleating on about some dead people I don’t know, didn’t want to know, and am not going to miss. Sorry if you think that’s a bit harsh, but quite frankly I couldn’t care less. Whether they die today in an apartment fire, or die in a few years time in a nuclear fire when they piss off a few more of their country’s neighbours; it’s all the same to me.

But there are a few points worth mentioning, because they tell you plenty about the Chinese way:

1. A fire in Shanghai gets a lot of press coverage. A fire in the countryside, or in a provincial city, wouldn’t rate a text message, and if you did make a story out of it, you and your family would be taken away, declared insane, and tortured to death. Shanghai matters because it’s highly visible, and that’s that. Face matters. That’s the Chinese way.

2. Within hours the head of the Public Security Bureau (China’s version of the KGB) was on a plane to Shanghai, to say how much he sympathised with the families blah blah blah. This is a guy who is responsible for thousands of murders every year. But hey, none of those are in the public eye, right? That’s the Chinese way.

3. Before the fire was even properly out, before the Origin & Cause investigation had even had a chance to begin, eight people were arrested. All of them from the countryside, so they won’t be missed (and if they are missed then their families can be forced to keep quiet, far from the eye of the foreign press). Why? Because someone must be blamed. It doesn’t matter what happens, it doesn’t matter who is responsible, and it especially doesn’t matter what the truth is, someone will inevitably be blamed, and that person will be the person who has the least power to defend himself. That’s the Chinese way.

4. New and ‘more stringent fire regulations’ have been ordered. Of course they have been. Nothing will change, and buildings all over China will continue to do good impressions of Roman Candles every few days, but the main thing is that the mandarins in Peking have made a proclamation, and the good folks of China believe them. The Party Bosses could order the moon to fly backwards, and The People would actually believe it happens. That’s the Chinese way.

5. For the next week, sales (and prices) of smoke hoods and fire extinguishers will increase, and so will sales (and prices) of various magical remedies for being burned to death. Little bags of magical twigs and various bits of lawn clippings will outsell smoke hoods and assorted magical incantations will take place in many homes. No one will actually consider how to get out of a building that is on fire; no one will walk the stairs down to the ground as a test-run; no one will invest in equipment to rescue people above the fourth floor; no one will unlock any of the fire exits; and no one will stop shooting fireworks at other apartments. This is the Chinese way.

I hate the Chinese way. I really do.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, China, Newsflash | 13 Comments »

Flipper? Nah, Sushi.

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You’ve probably heard about how Panda’s are the cocksuckers of the Animal Kingdom. And it’s perfectly true: they are. However, there’s another animal out there that’s far worse than a poxy panda, and it’s a fucking fish!

I’m talking about dolphins.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know already, I can hear the bleating from here: “Oh but the Dolphin isn’t a fish, it’s a marine mammal“. Blah blah blah. Like anyone even cares. If it looks like a fish, and swims like a fish, it’s a fish already. Except that this particular fish has more nasty habits than Al Capone.

But okay, just to shut you hippies the fuck up, let’s all pretend we’re David Attenborough, and imagine for a moment that dolphins really are mammals. And then we can hold them to a higher standard because of it. Now, here’s the full schpiel on Mama Nature’s second most horrible species, your beloved marine-stinking-mammal the dolphin…

Dolphins are murderers. That’s right, stone-cold killers. Gangs of these marine bastards have been repeatedly observed and filmed killing baby porpoises, ramming them, tossing them out of the water, drowning them and chasing them down to their deaths. This isn’t even a genetically-encoded behaviour, this is something that mother dolphins actually teach to their own young! There’s no reason for it either, because they don’t compete for food or space. It has been shown, however, that they do it for sport. We’d call it ‘Target Practise’. And why do they need such target practise?

Simply put, because porpoises make excellent substitutes for other baby dolphins, and dolphins just love to kill baby dolphins from other families. Yes, dolphins are that shitty.

In the old days, we used to blame the US Navy and all their bombs and stuff for killing all these porpoises, but now we know better, we really, honestly do.

A Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit team that studied this porpoise-murder described the mammals’ injuries as “perhaps the worst example of inter-specific aggression any of us had ever seen…  [a] young female had literally had the life beaten out of her.

Dolphins brutally kill the peaceful, fun-loving porpoise for kicks, and go on to practice infanticide on their own species. Jew-on-a-stick, that’s fucked up!

But it gets worse, because dolphins are also sexual predators… on us! It seems there’s this dolphin called ‘Freddy’ (yeah, as in ‘Kruger’ I bet), that has been swimming around the place, wrapping his sea-snake around innocent swimmers, and dragging them out to sea. That’s just fucking sick.

Folks, I am not making this up.

It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that dolphins were behind the recent leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

Anyway, why do I even care? Well, for me it started with this friend of mine (a nice girl but terribly naive about the world), who wrote on her blog of her recent experience with dolphins. She’d been swimming with them, apparently. Amazingly, she even lived to tell about it, and she went on to write about what “loving, fun, loyal, [and] unselfish” creatures they were.

What a crock of shit.

What the hell is it with these marine toerags that has every hippie all glowing and fuzzy? They’re always bleating on about how we should “protect these beautiful creatures”, but why? What’s so Goddamned important about dolphins?

I’ll tell you who I feel sorry for in all this: I feel sorry for the poor tuna who are innocently caught in the dolphin-nets. I’ve eaten dolphin, and it’s delicious! The last thing I want when I’m eating my sushi is the thought of all the tuna who died needlessly to ruin my appetite.

Take me to an aquarium, give me a sharp and pointy stick, and we’ll see how Mister Killer Sexual Predator Infanticide Rapist Dolphin fares against someone who is big enough to fight back.

But for goodness sake, leave the Tuna alone.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai | 13 Comments »

The Wonder of Evolution

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, September 5, 2010

Evolution is a wonderful thing. Truly wonderful.

Of course, when I refer to ‘evolution’, I don’t mean the kind of evolution that Americans can’t understand and will kill you for teaching to their children, but then what else should one expect from a sexually repressed and educationally backward nation of religious extremists and anyway they don’t really enjoy a nice cup of tea in the way that normal people do and all-in-all it’s probably a good thing we kicked them out of the Empire when we did, wouldn’t you agree? No, I’m talking about how habits and technologies evolve over time, how simple and primitive solutions to fundamental problems gather complexity and variety and sophistication. Think about it for a moment, and I’m sure you’ll be amazed too. If you have thought about it for a moment and you are not amazed, then you are probably not thinking about it with the use of your brain, in which case you really need to stop, back up a little, and have another go.

Take the way we eat, for instance. Primitive man pretty much just used to bung whatever he could find into his mouth and have a bit of a chew for a while, until such time as he was able to swallow it. And that was fine, if you’re into that sort of thing. Fortunately, at least one of our primitive ancestors, whose name is now lost to history but which is rumoured to be Dave, decided to cut his food into manageable bite-sized portions before eating it, and thus both the knife and the McNugget were born. This was a Big Step, make no mistake about it.

The next Big Step was the invention of cooking. The precise origins of cooking are not known, though the latest thinking on the subject suggests it was a driving factor behind our success as a species. The exact timing for the invention of cooking is also not known, though it is clear that it was slightly prior to dinner and slightly after the invention of fire (fire was invented, according to Chinese school text books, during the Xia Dynasty, though some foreign anti-China forces have claimed that fire occurs naturally). The thing about fire and cooking, is that it made the food hot. Now, that’s lovely during the cold months and it does certainly add something to the taste, but it also makes the food a bit tricky to hold onto, particularly during the actual cooking phase of the operation. One of our primitive boffin ancestors soon had that problem licked, though: he invented the fork.

By now you can see that we had the basics all worked out: something to cook the food on, and a knife and fork to eat it with. The logical chain made perfect sense, and evolution proceeded smoothly and as you would expect – knives got better handles and finer edges and specialised shapes, while forks grew multiple tines and became better at holding the food. In fact, not only was that the logical way for things to progress, if you were to invent a new system from scratch with all the advantages of hindsight and modern technology, chances are you would do exactly the same thing, and it would be only a matter of time before you had plates and soup tureens and a candelabra laid out on the table with which to impress the ladies.

The Chinese, of course, thought that balancing small and slippery bits of food between two round sticks held between just three fingers of just one hand was a more efficient system. And that, fundamentally, is the difference between them and the rest of the species. Evolution didn’t do anything to improve on their system, neither did hindsight nor modern technology. Not even exposure to the more culturally and scientifically sophisticated concept of ‘knife and fork’ could change things for the better.

Some people have always wanted to improve our lot in life, whereas certain other people have always liked to make things more complicated than they need to be. Take for instance what our ancestors did when they had cold hands – it wasn’t like they could put them in their pockets like a kangaroo. Someone had to go out and invent hand-clothes. Which also meant inventing needle and thread and a whole heap of other stuff involving skinning animals and what-have-you. These hand-clothes changed the world, they really did. For the first time in history, you didn’t have to worry about cold hands when you went out, and therefore people went out more often, leading directly to the invention of pubs and modern nightlife.

The first hand-clothes were simple affairs, little more than fur-lined bags you could put your hands in. But evolution took over, and soon these bags had become form-fitting so that you could have the full use of your hand and fingers – nowadays we call these ‘gloves’. I’m a big fan of gloves, because I like riding motorcycles. And this brings us to an interesting observation, because there are one and a half billion Chinese people who also like riding motorcycles (if not very skilfully), and yet they don’t use gloves. They use little bags for their hands. Even worse than the fact that evolution never had the slightest effect on the concept of hand-clothes here in the Middle Kingdom, is the fact that it might actually have gone in reverse: instead of the bags becoming better and more flexible, the Chinese came up with a system whereby the bags are tied to the handlebars of the motorcycle and you thread your arms into them, thus precluding the possibility of your getting off the motorcycle with your arms still attached to your body in the event of an emergency, like a truck and a blind corner, for instance.

One sees this in every single aspect of life here in China. When you want entertaining, you probably pay to go to a concert, or the theatre, or a comedy club. Here in China, we get a first-class comedy show every day on every street, for free! How good is that?

In fact, I have given the subject of evolution some serious thought of late, and I have come to the staggering but frankly only possible conclusion, which is that evolution does not exist in China, except perhaps in a negative sense.

Perhaps that’s why the national motto is : 5,000 years and still developing.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, Food | 37 Comments »

The Price Of Poontang

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, July 29, 2010

I received an email from a reader recently, pointing me in the direction of a website that concerns itself with statistics of various sorts. Now, I don’t know if this is your sort of thing, but I simply love statistics, so MLHQ has been knee deep in numbers for the last few days.

Did you know, for instance, that the value of the prostitution industry in Australia is twenty seven million U.S. dollars? I’m frankly staggered, and have to assume they aren’t including all the keen amateurs who marry for money or expect blokes to buy them drinks and steak dinners. The figure for the U.K. is more realistic, around a billion dollars, which is just a little over half of what gets done in much smaller Taiwan ($1.84B). I was not surprised to see that Thailand, long regarded as the sex capital of the world, has a annual turnover of 4.3 billion dollars, but I was a bit surprised to see the Philippines at six billion green-backs. American men are obviously not getting any from their wives, because they are spending 14.6 billion dollars annually on prostitutes, but in Germany, where the industry is legal and regulated, the figure is eighteen billion!

In China, it’s seventy three billion dollars a year! That’s USD$73,000,000,000 per year!

So, you might be thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of poon getting tanged, but after all there must be a reason Shanghai is called ‘the Whore of the Orient’, right?” And you would be correct, because most economists I’ve talked to, quietly reckon that prostitution is not only the only State-owned business that turns a profit, it also accounts for between ten and twenty percent of true GDP. Add in the fact that Chinese women really are the most unfaithful in the world, and you can understand why China has the worlds highest rate of syphilis – and it’s growing by 30% every year (that’s a faster rate than any other country).

But it isn’t the only big number you see when you start getting into the statistics. Take illegal logging, for instance. That’s 3.8 billion dollars right there, and that’s only what the Party admits to. Music, film, DVD and software piracy add up to more than 20 billion, while the counterfeit goods market is worth 60 billion. China’s contribution to the global drug trade is 17 billion dollars annually, and human trafficking brings in another 2 billion every year, almost as much as the cigarette smuggling industry. To get an idea of volume, a Burmese girl between the age of 16 and 18 who has been snatched from her home and sent to China (and several thousand are every year), is worth approximately $700 when sold as a bride in the countryside. A Chinese girl would be worth far less. The black market is worth nearly a hundred and sixty billion dollars a year!

The reports say that one third of homosexual men in China are married, but I might have read it wrong – it could have been one third of married men are raving queers, which seems rather more likely. Thirty-five percent of organ transplants take place via the application of forged documents, with almost all the rest being harvested from prisoners killed to order. Ninety percent of female North Korean refugees in China end up sold either as wives or prostitutes and sixty thousand Chinese children are abducted and sold annually. Non-performing loans are estimated to be worth nine hundred billion dollars! Seventy three million sharks are killed every year for their fins, 100,000 pangolin’s find their way to the dinner table, and 3,000 tons of protected and endangered animals are annually smuggled in from Vietnam alone for the restaurant trade (that’s why I only eat Panda).

These are big numbers, almost too big to comprehend. Let’s look at numbers you can get your head around, shall we? Like the price to be smuggled out of China and into another country – average price to go to Italy is $15,000 but that probably includes buying off every Italian official in the whole country. But if you’re Chinese and don’t have that kind of money, then why not just stay home and dull the pain of your worthless life with drugs? Pure heroine is cheap at $36.20 a gram, Meth is $6 a gram, Ecstasy is $4.50 per tablet, and Marijuana is a great deal at eighty cents a gram. And if it’s really bad and you decide to end your life, you always have the option of breathing the worlds most polluted air or eating the local food, though I wouldn’t recommend it due to the intense suffering you’re likely to experience (world’s highest rate of food poisoning). Hell, buy yourself a bear paw before you check out; a snap at $50.

Well over half of all the world’s seized counterfeit goods come from China, as do 90% of the counterfeit goods in the whole of the United States (64% in Europe). Chinese organised crime (which in China means ‘working with the blessings of the Party’) earned 3.3 billion dollars for the nation in Italy alone last year. Industrial espionage against the United States is worth in excess of fifty billion dollars a year!

Not one single Chinese policeman has ever arrested the top leaders for crimes against humanity, however.

Folks, I’m not making this stuff up – these numbers are based on official sources.

I love statistics, so if there’s any readers here who consider themselves a ‘numbers’ kind of person, and would like to discuss these shameful and disgusting statistics, feel free to be ignored in the comments section below.

I’m off to see if it still costs $10 to get my knob polished outside the nearby school.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, China, Corruption, Fact Friday, Pornography | 8 Comments »

New Policy

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, July 19, 2010

I’ve had it with a certain group of ‘people‘. But rather than go off on another non-productive rant, I have come up with a better policy. Behold the magnificence of my genius:

Whenever a local yokel lies / cheats / steals from my business, I shall fire one of my workers.

This will not fix the basic problem, because of course the basic problem is that 99.99% of Chinese are lying, cheating, stealing cunts, so it ain’t fixable anyway (well, short of opening the door of a fifteen mega-tonne microwave oven over the centre of every major city in China). It won’t adversely affect my production either, because I’ve never seen Chinese actually doing any work. But it will make me feel good, and that’s what matters.

I wish I’d started a business in a country like Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai | 21 Comments »

If MyLaowai Was In Charge…

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boy howdy, if I was in charge, there’d be a few changes around the parish:

As of today, replying to any question or statement with a noise that sounds like a barking troglodyte is illegal. And so is grunting “Shenma?”.

Believing that the Titanic was a romantic film and nothing more is illegal. It is also proof positive that there is a difference between one’s education being ‘for free’, and being ‘for nothing’.

The word “Hello” or any synonyms thereof must be used only as a friendly greeting, or you will be acting illegally, and are liable to experience summary execution.

If you are a woman who has been waiting in the checkout line at a supermarket and now it is time to pay for your three items, then spending the next eight and a half minutes trying (and failing) to find the exact change, organising your receipts, composing text messages and checking your make-up is illegal.

If you have just spent the last fifteen minutes elbowing your way to the counter at the bar / KFC / McDonalds, finally attracted the attention of the nearest staff member by waving a 100 kuai note at them, and then say “Hmmm… What do you sell? What is on special? Can I have a discount?”, then that is very illegal.

If you leave every open door closed and every closed door open, then that is illegal. I don’t care if you were conceived in a wind tunnel. The same general principle may reasonably be extended to cover lights and air-conditioning units.

Attending important international summits with the sole intention of ruining it for everyone else will be extremely illegal.

If you are a plumber you must not pass yourself off as an electrician, and vice versa. If you are repairing something, then that must be the thing you actually repair. Failure to actually repair it, despite replacing everything else in the room at vastly inflated rates, is illegal.

If you are unable to reverse (or ‘parallel’) park a car without the help of four assistants, three empty parking bays, and twenty minutes worth of time, then you are not permitted under any circumstances to make the attempt. In fact, you are not permitted to operate the vehicle at all. Note that ‘park’ means that your car is not obstructing passing traffic or pedestrians, and therefore leaving it on the footpath or in one of the road lanes does not count.

If you are an oncologist, and you consider that giving patients a henna tattoo and a bag of dried twigs is an acceptable form of treatment, then that is illegal.

With immediate effect all of the following are illegal: Food that was dredged from the moat around the local Town Hall; anything described as ‘traditional’; pickled cabbage; any part of an animal that is known in civilised places as ‘offal’; the parts of a chicken that are made of cartilage and sinew; grass and/or leaf mulch.

Opening your mouth to speak or exhale in public without first removing the mushroom farm and brushing with toothpaste is very illegal. Offenders will be fumigated on the spot with petrol and a match.

Failure to honour contractual agreements is not only illegal, it’s also uncivilised. First offence will be rewarded with a warning shot between the eyes. 100 grains of soft lead will generally cure you of your dishonesty.

This list is non-exhaustive and subject to change by MyLaowai at any time.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai, China | 9 Comments »

Cost to Repair

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, July 2, 2010

If you are faced with a conglomeration of pieces of plastic and metal that, just a few days ago, represented a working piece of essential equipment and which is, sadly, no longer in a condition that one might refer to as operational, then this is what you do:

First, write down on a piece of paper the cost to repair or replace said piece of equipment. Then, in a separate column, write down the IQ of the Chinese person who last used it.

One of these numbers will invariably be rather high. The other will be exceptionally low.

This exercise will not help you restore to nominal function the item in question, nor will it make you feel any better. It will, however, remind you of the fact that some folks were hiding behind the door when God was handing out brains, and will go some way towards recalling to memory the fact that MyLaowai is now, was always, and will likely continue to be correct in every particular when it comes to cultural understanding.

And remember – a penny saved is a Chinese person fired.

Have a happy day.

Posted in Ask MyLaowai | 6 Comments »