Posted by: 1of10boyz | July 4, 2012

From Communist China with Love


I too often forget that I am living in a Communist country. My life here is often quite typical to what I would have experienced working in the US. The majority of the people I work with speak pretty good English, the majority of our meetings are conducted in English, and I don’t feel overwhelmed with the need to learn Chinese to get done what I have to.

I go to work each day and do basically what I have done for the past 15-20 years, in pretty much the same way that I have always done. There are days when I am made aware that I am not doing what I have always done, today was one of those days.

I was reminded today that I am working in a “hostile” environment. The situation seems almost expected given the context of what we have slowly become accustomed to. It is situations like this one that give the flash-back to reality that this “isn’t Kansas, Dorothy”.

This is just another reminder that sometimes it is just better to say no and not explain why. The following is a very good example of why you shouldn’t say why. We had requested approval to hold a BBQ in celebration for the 4th of July. Here is their response:

First, we would like to wish you all happy American national holiday.

收到您的邮件,首先表示我们对美国国庆的祝贺。

Second, after further communication with Property Management and Owner, they denied out request based on below reasons: 1. Environment and air pollution are prohibited at expert village; 2. Drunken expats will bring negative effects and will also make a lot of noises. And expats will be disappointed if Property management gets involved to stop some improper actions, behaviors. So could you please think some other better place to hold this barbecue?

 关于在专家村内烧烤事宜我们已于物业和业主联系并进一步沟通过了,业主答复:因以下原因希望能改变地点:一、专家村内不应该有环境污染和空气污染;二、对烧烤喝酒后的情绪一旦无法控制,将会产生负面影响,包括噪音和喧嚣。但如果物业公司干涉,又怕大家扫兴。因此,希望您考虑换一个地点办这个活动好吗?

Owner administration apartment gave a suggestion: why don’t have that on the beach, which will avoid impacting expert village, and also can enjoy the ocean and sky relax and romantically. What do you think? Of course also please clean up the beach afterwards.

行政部的严经理给了我们一个很好的建议:到海边的沙滩举办海边露天烧烤,那样的话既可以避免对生活区的影响,也可以在大海星空下尽情,既放松又浪漫,您觉得呢?当然,对海滩上的垃圾等物品也希望大家临走时能清理到自备的垃圾袋内一并带走。

Best Regards

 祝福你

I am a very patriotic kind of person, I LOVE America. I appreciate that we live in a free society, one that allows our citizens the right to freely express themselves in many more ways than probably ANY other country in the WORLD. I don’t agree with most of what other people have to say, and in America that is OK. I appreciate that because I am really missing it this year. When you are celebrating this year, have one for me, it doesn’t look like I will be getting to have anything even close to what I have become accustomed to. Happy Birthday AMERICA, I miss you.

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Responses

  1. Sometimes, it takes an “out of country” experience to really appreciate what we have been blessed with. Its a shame our current leaders havent been denied something as simple as the right to assemble because at the rate they are governing our country, China will have the non~hostile environment before you know it. I trust that a higher authority will help us deal with the future unknown and will also bless those like you who share their insights between worlds. Happy Independence Day, my friend.

    • The real challenge here is that “those in authority” often are more worried about what others will think of them for “letting” something like an American celebration happen than if it really would matter anyway. The stifling of thought and action in order to save face or eliminate the potential to loss face is so paramount that many times they are paralyzed to the point of inaction. The Chinese in a “just you and me talking” kind of environment are nothing like they are when their is the potential to impact “face”.


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