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Is it that we just want to feel superior ?

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Re: Is it that we just want to feel superior ?

Postby momopi » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:31 pm

S_Parc wrote:I'm snipping out the Taiwanese bits (since I know little about it) but the relations you describe above is common among many of us. I have up to 20 or so references at this point in time for any job or contractual position.
And yes, it's important to get out there and get to know others. I do this all the time.
Realize this, however, there are lots of dysfunctional families and associations out there. Thus, being a so-called 'insider' isn't something that great. People are putting on fronts in front of each other all the time. I'd prefer to be a loner but have to behave in ways which make that less feasible for me.



I'm just having trouble understanding why you think the social gatherings have a need to use alcohol to generate some sense of belonging or enjoyment. When you go out with your coworkers, is it always to a sports bar?

When I get together with my coworkers or former coworkers, we take trips to ski resorts, Catalina island, or after-work gatherings at Curry House. I could've arranged the gatherings at a sports bar, but why do that when it's more fun to go snorkeling at Catalina? Sometimes you need to "manage" the direction of the social group so it ends up in times and places that you want, with the demographic & gender ratio that you like.


My coworkers:

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Re: Is it that we just want to feel superior ?

Postby OutWest » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:03 pm

"Chinese/Taiwanese social relations is based on a multitude of reciprocal social networks. You build your connections (guanshi) and gradually improve how others "feel" (Ganqing, Kimochi) about you by participating in social events/gatherings and doing favors for people. In return people will do things for you. As immigrants we start at lower socioeconomic status and we turn to each other for support network."

This general theme is of course repeated all over E. Asia. If you are a "foreigner" living here, it is one of the most important ideas to master, and to do so is seen as respectful. "He is like one of us.." though you are never totally accepted as such, after all, you are NOT a native, and nothing wrong with being that "Other" kind of player on the scene. You can learn to use it to your advantage.


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Postby S_Parc » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:50 pm

momopi wrote:I'm just having trouble understanding why you think the social gatherings have a need to use alcohol to generate some sense of belonging or enjoyment. When you go out with your coworkers, is it always to a sports bar?

When I get together with my coworkers or former coworkers, we take trips to ski resorts, Catalina island, or after-work gatherings at Curry House. I could've arranged the gatherings at a sports bar, but why do that when it's more fun to go snorkeling at Catalina? Sometimes you need to "manage" the direction of the social group so it ends up in times and places that you want, with the demographic & gender ratio that you like.


Well, one thing, your group looks a bit homogenous, mostly east Asians. Also, I sense that everyone is in their mid-20s and hasn't gotten into the 'Keeping Up With the Jones' games yet.

My cliques had Brazilians, east Asians, south Asians, Irish-Italian (i.e. typical white Bostonian), etc, and sure, during those youthful years of going out to the Cape or Maine, Vermont/NH for skiing. boating, etc, it was all fun and games, just as you've depicted.

And some of my adventures are even storybook worthy, one involving lost persons, ranger stations & manhunts... a whole lot of fun.

But then, as folks transitioned from that mid-20s into the 30s category, the competitions started, as people needed to get into real estate and one upsmanship, etc. Women, who didn't start of as American, now struggled to make themselves feel important, etc. Soon, I grew tired of meeting others, as the use of alcohol increased over time, since there were generally tensions in other parts of people's live, particularly work, money, and relationships. Also, during this era, I was spending a lot of time abroad and thus, didn't really need to engage in the day-to-day games that people played in my area.

Nowadays, I'd much rather go to a sports bar with male friends than spend time with groups where there's a cadre of women around. Thus, I don't have a need to belong and am enjoying life quite a bit, looking like an 'in-crowd' person, but really, being an outsider on the inside.
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Postby momopi » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:40 pm

S_Parc wrote:Well, one thing, your group looks a bit homogenous, mostly east Asians. Also, I sense that everyone is in their mid-20s and hasn't gotten into the 'Keeping Up With the Jones' games yet.


The 2 kids in the back are mid 20's, the rest of us are expired New Year cakes ranging from early 30's to early 40's, with MBA degree and homeowners in Irvine. We pay a hefty premium to live closer to work in desirable areas along the coastline, but rather than say "keeping up with the Jones", I think of it more as making the choice between paying less than 1/3rd of your gross income on housing and endure the long daily commute in traffic, or pay over 1/3red of your gross income on housing to live closer to work in desirable neighborhoods. The freeway traffic here in California is undesirable at best.

I've never had a "transition" in work related social groups from 20's to 30's. Back when I was in my 20's, I joined a Fortune 500 financial company and my coworkers were already in their 30's to 40's. Social gatherings means getting together with their families on the weekends for dim sum, picnic & concert at the Hollywood bowl, fishing/boating trips, and awkward attempts by coworkers to set me up with single girls (if they need to be set up, there's usually something odd about them). Moving forward to present day, I'm 41 and my work related social group today is still mostly people in their 30's to 40's, except now I'm the one who set up those match making attempts for expired New Year cakes.



OutWest wrote:This general theme is of course repeated all over E. Asia. If you are a "foreigner" living here, it is one of the most important ideas to master, and to do so is seen as respectful. "He is like one of us.." though you are never totally accepted as such, after all, you are NOT a native, and nothing wrong with being that "Other" kind of player on the scene. You can learn to use it to your advantage.
Outwest


In my limited experience with work-related social events in Asia, I've found that they're more inclined to involve alcohol vs. here in California. With Japanese coworkers it somehow always involves beer, and when I was dating a girl in Taipei, after-work gatherings with her coworkers inevitably involved beer and KTV. In Shenzhen the factory boss bypassed the beer and went directly to hard liqueur. In comparison, here in Irvine the local sports bar at the Irvine spectrum was considered passé and closed due to lack of business.

East Asians start building their social networks from secondary school and many will maintain them for decades after. I have friends from Jr. High that I still keep in contact with, long after they've left the US and went to work overseas. One of them currently work as a consultant in China, and referred my resume to a few recruiters. I also kept in contact with several of my teachers from school. When I explain this to some folks, and they hold the opinion that if a person still clings to friends and teachers from high school, they must feel like they're missing something from their school years. There are some distinct cultural differences and expectations in this area. After I broke up with my ex in Taiwan, I still maintained friendly relations with her and her social circles, on a practical level it's a mutually beneficial relationship where if I ever decide to relocate back to TW, I have another social network to lean on, and if any of her friends wish to come to Los Angeles, they can rely on me for assistance. However, here in the US, some may hold the opinion that it's lame for a guy to break up with a girl and still be friends with her friends, and instead of mutually beneficial relationship, they think of it as "using" people. It baffles me that people would invest that much time with someone and getting to know their social circles, then chuck it in the recycle bin just because the bf/gf relationship didn't work out.
Last edited by momopi on Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Rock » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:31 pm

momopi wrote:
S_Parc wrote:Well, one thing, your group looks a bit homogenous, mostly east Asians. Also, I sense that everyone is in their mid-20s and hasn't gotten into the 'Keeping Up With the Jones' games yet.


The 2 kids in the back are mid 20's, the rest of us are expired New Year cakes ranging from early 30's to early 40's, with MBA degree and homeowners in Irvine. We pay a hefty premium to live closer to work in desirable areas along the coastline, but rather than say "keeping up with the Jones", I think of it more as making the choice between paying less than 1/3rd of your gross income on housing and endure the long daily commute in traffic, or pay over 1/3red of your gross income on housing to live closer to work in desirable neighborhoods. The freeway traffic here in California is undesirable at best.

I've never had a "transition" in work related social groups from 20's to 30's. Back when I was in my 20's, I joined a Fortune 500 financial company and my coworkers were already in their 30's to 40's. Social gatherings means getting together with their families on the weekends for dim sum, picnic & concert at the Hollywood bowl, fishing/boating trips, and awkward attempts by coworkers to set me up with single girls (if they need to be set up, there's usually something odd about them). Moving forward to present day, I'm 41 and my work related social group today is still mostly people in their 30's to 40's, except now I'm the one who set up those awkward match making attempts for expired New Year cakes.


Hey Momopi, where r u, lol? I told u guys a lot of E. Asians age well. I've seen plenty of 40 somethings in Taiwan who come across on camera like many of those in the photos above. Its usually easier to tell their real age in person tho.

Moving to Asia is not about feeling superior for me. Rather, its just about enjoying as rich a life as I can achieve. Early on when I came to Taiwan, 2 different fortune tellers told me I would do a lot better both career and dating wise in a far away country than at home. But I don't recommend fortune tellers and won't go anymore. I was just curious at the time.

Find your best place - perhaps your favorite part of USA or your favorite foreign city or town, go there, develop your life, and be grateful to the environment and people which made it possible. Never look down on those around you. In the end, u will find u r no better than anyone else. Trust me. Your own ego is your biggest long term enemy if u don't manage it properly.
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Postby momopi » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:47 pm

Rock wrote:Hey Momopi, where r u, lol? I told u guys a lot of E. Asians age well. I've seen plenty of 40 somethings in Taiwan who come across on camera like many of those in the photos above. Its usually easier to tell their real age in person tho.


I'm the guy holding the camera. ;p

Just got my SLR cleaned and bought a new lens & filters for it. So in future the photos might hide actual age better!
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Postby ladislav » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:41 pm

Just curious, Momopi, how come there are no white, black or Hispanic people in your social group?
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Postby ladislav » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:41 pm

But I ask myself...than what does she mean by feeling superior? I remember some of the expats I met in South Korea..I would ask them why come to Korea or Asia. I get different answers but there was one common answer. They want to feel special because back home they were social outcast. They want to use their whiteness as an advantage to get notice more and I think deep down inside they have this false sense of superiority over the Asian people.


Well, I guess some have a sense of superiority, and want to live a colonial life, but most come because they cannot find work back home and Korea allows you save up some money and there are so many jobs for anyone who is a native speaker. You get more respect, too. At least on surface. They do like being a celebrity and treated as someone special, too but for many there is no employment straight out of college especially if you have a liberal arts degree.

Being a social outcast is often seen as something bad, and that person is seen as a bad person or less worthy. And it is always held against the him/her. However, in most cases, that is not the case. Society is screwed up in most countries and a lot of good, smart, decent people are not appreciated. An intellectual in the US is a social outcast in many circles. A smart Asian woman who is not married by 25 becomes an outcast in her country.

America has traditionally been a haven for outcasts who did not fit into the rigid, stuffy social class of Europe; who did not have the right connections. But people being what they are, it itself created a rigid system and anyone who does not follow it becomes an outcast. Unless someone is an obvious wacko, or a substance addict or a total lazy bum, in most cases, an outcast or a cast off is such because of society's fault and prejudices. Too short, wrong color/race, wrong age, wrong country, wrong hobbies, wrong job, wrong major, wrong personal preferences, wrong way of dressing, wrong accent, etc.

Also, in the US, they say that society does not owe you a job, but in other countries, it does. In Kuwait for example, they really do everything to put young Kuwaitis to work. And if one does not find a job, there are unemployment benefits that are indefinite. While the US point of view is OK, too, in a bad economy it is hard to find work so people go to Korea to teach. People also go to Saudi.

Anyway, why do you care what that girl says. I say, you know yourself so make your own decisions.
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Postby momopi » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:43 am

ladislav wrote:Just curious, Momopi, how come there are no white, black or Hispanic people in your social group?


I work in IT field. We had exactly 1 black guy at the office. Plus I prefer to socialize with Asian girls, so that's the demographic that I seek.

If you're looking for exclusions, we don't usually invite people with dietary restrictions -- Indian (vegetarian) and Pakistani (Halal). But we do have 1 Indian guy who joins us from time to time, he eats everything, including chicken feet dim sum.

From results perspective, I get the most bang for the buck from Asian social networks, so that's my preference.
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