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For Asian Americans to discuss Asian American issues and topics.
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
As an Asian American in China, it's been a really interesting experience for me here: while I have experienced some very negative things in the country, I have experienced some good things as well...
Now, China is not a place for everyone; I repeat, China is not for everyone! Many expats get 'burned-out' by the country, others complain about the prevalent racism here, and some complain about the rampant materialism in the country; all of these is true, so don't come here expecting a 'Shangrila-paradise" here...
Having said all this...please don't be discouraged from visiting China; whether your Asian, Black, White or whatever, you will have an incredible experience during your time here, that in the future, you can look back at amazement at all things you've experienced in the country!
I wanted to write a thread detailing what's it like being an 'Asian, non-Chinese in the country. Too often, overseas Asians get overlooked when talking about China. You only usually hear about the experiences of Whites or Blacks in China, not Korean Americans and other Asians in most other forums. So, I figured why not give my experiences as a Korean American in China:
1) Many Blacks and Whites that I know complain about the stares they receive from the Chinese; some often have told me of instances where Chinese women would clutch their bags, avoid talking to Westerners, or receive hostile reactions from the natives.
As an Asian--if you look East Asian--you will not receive any of the stares or glares that other Westerners receive on a daily basis. Also, you will not hear Chinese people talking 'about you' behind your back--because they perceive you as 'one of them.'
2) When I am out dating with a Chinese girls, I don't receive hostile and angry looks from Chinese men or quizzical expressions from Chinese females, such as what some interracial couples receive in China.
3) Until I open my mouth, people think 'I'm Chinese,' so it's easier for me to 'blend in' to my environment and not 'stick-out' like a sore thumb.
4) Some Chinese are fascinated with Korean culture, so there is some common bond with some Chinese people that I meet. Some Chinese even like Japanese culture, although they won't say it in public, most of the time.
5) Most (though not all) Chinese females don't have the kind of hesitancy in dating an Asian foreigner as compared to dating a non-Asian Westerner; some Chinese females are resistant to dating foreign (non-Asian) men.
6) I think once I've fully learned the language, I'm virtually indistinguishable from your everyday Chinese person.
7) Some Chinese are really interested in my experiences living overseas as an Asian, and especially as an Asian-American.
Being a Korean or even a Japanese, Filipino, or some other Asian ethnicity, you will have a community in China to help you get involved in the business community much more so than as a Non-Asian. Now, there are, of course, Western expats to help in this regard, but I think there is a greater opportunity to be involved in the business world in the Asia-Pacific region, than you would be as a Non-Asian foreigner.
9) I feel that as a long as I don't have to speak to anyone in Chinese, I can do whatever I want--something that non-Asian foreigners don't have the privilege of doing; for example, if I want to scream at someone or act a little crazy or get drunk, no one will say or think: 'look at that damn foreigner, why doesn't he get the hell out of the country.' Or, have someone point and say: 'look at that stupid gweilo or foreigner!'
10) I think having an "American passport" along with the ability to speak fluent English, I'm really at an advantage to most other Chinese people, obviously. Some are even are jealous of me.
11) There is a large Korean population in China. Also, there are some Filipinos, Japanese, and Taiwanese in China as well. So, at least I can get involved in that community--along with the Chinese and Western expat community as well.
1) As an English teacher, you will be discriminated against because you are not seen as "Blond-hair, blue-eyed" Caucasian. Chinese parents are extremely racist and xenophobic in this regard...
2) Since you are seen as "Chinese," people expect you to be fluent in Mandarin, which can be very annoying--especially for someone with so little ability to speak the language. When I try to speak some Chinese, I do sometimes get mocked by Chinese people--which can be just plain rude!
3) Some Chinese are racist against Koreans, Japanese, and Southeast Asians; so, even though you are Asian, you will still receive some outright racism (though this is extremely rare!).
4) The Chinese treat each other very poorly! I've noticed this...and it's really sad to see. Unlike, say, Koreans, there is no sense of unity and mutual
togetherness that I see from the Chinese; so, even though you may be overseas Chinese, there is no shared bond that you see in other ethnicities like Koreans, Italians, Mexicans, and other 'closely-knit' countrymen.
For example, whenever I meet or talk to Koreans in China, whether they be ethnic Koreans in China, Korean immigrants or overseas Koreans like me, there is always a shared sense of 'brotherhood' and bond between us, no matter how different our backgrounds may be. We also go out of our way to help each other, and to share our culture with each other. The Chinese, on the other hand, do not have this; take, for instance, how the Taiwanese, Hong Kong and Singaporean Chinese 'look-down' on mainland Chinese. (HK people call Chinese mainlander's, locusts.)
My roommate--who is Italian Canadian--says the same thing about Italians: they always vouch for each other, just like Koreans.
Or, take how overseas Chinese sometimes aren't always appreciated in China; take the example of Baoning--and how, even though he's fluent in English and grew-up in the West, while working in an English language institute, he was constantly yelled-at by this bitchy Chinese and by his other co-workers. In Korea, overseas Koreans are called "Gyopo." There, overseas Koreans are treated much better than overseas Chinese...
As a result, you will not be treated with greater respect--if you are Asian, but look Chinese--because you are from overseas; that's because you don't stand-out as a foreigner, unlike, say, Whites or Blacks in China. And, I must say...Chinese people can be really nasty and rude with each other, at times...so expect to receive similar treatment as an Asian (that looks Chinese, of course).
5) White people do get some special 'privileges' for being White; such as being spoken to in English by Chinese merchants (if they can speak English); being 'treated' better than Chinese or other Asians; and the Chinese 'kow-towing' or giving me respect to White people than even other Chinese people (which is pathetic...I know).
That said...for some (not all) Chinese, it's often a 'back-handed' respect, because some Chinese do not like White people, but only want to save 'face' by acting respectful to the "gweilo." I've met White expats in China who say they don't like the treatment they receive in China, for being a White person, unfortunately...
6) Just like with other expats (Black, White, Asian, whatever...), when you start speaking English in a crowded place, the Chinese like to stare or give off an impression of 'what the hell are they talking about' kind-of-look, or downright odd-looks because you're not speaking Chinese.
7) Some Chinese females don't like Asian men, but prefer White or even Black men over 'us.'
I hate that whenever I can't understand what a Chinese person is saying to me, I'm made to feel embarrassed.
9) Some Chinese are 'White-worshippers': In other words, they like to look-down on Blacks, Indians and other dark-skinned people, but treat Whites as Gods, sometimes.
10) The Chinese do not have an understanding of what an "Asian American" is. They also do not understand how someone like me can speak fluent English, as an Asian. The Chinese are quite clueless sometimes about the Western world. How do they think a Chinese American/Canadian/Australian can communicate in their countries? LOL
* This one applies to everyone, whether they be Black, White or Asian.
I've been told by people of all races here, that Chinese people aren't the most friendliest or most open people you will find in this region of the world; in fact, they're just the opposite. You really have to know the language and be very 'assimilated' to the Chinese culture and way of thinking, or else you will never, truly find very close friends here, for the most part...
If you desire openness and outright friendliness, than the Philippines is your best bet in Asia.
Disclaimer: My experiences may only apply to those Asians that look 'East Asian." If you look more "South-East Asian," or a very dark-skinned Asian, i.e. a Negro Filipino, an Indian or Pakistani, you're experiences may well be much different than mines...(I think it could be a bad situation in your case, unfortunately...)
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One thing to keep in mind is that your socio-economic status and SMV (sexual market value) varies by competition and other factors. Back in the 1990s, Taiwanese men in greater Shanghai area enjoyed cheap real estate and easy women. Today there are ~1 million Taiwanese residing in China, Shanghai RE is expensive, and the women are picky.
China sends many students abroad, and those who return "Hai Gui" (Sea Turtle) were once few in number and favored for job opportunity and women. However recently the number has increased and, those who fail to secure better jobs are now "Hai dai" (seaweed).
On the up side, it's a big country, so if one city sucks for you, plenty of other cities to visit. If you choose to stay in a place that sucks for you, then it's on you.
Last edited by momopi on February 25th, 2014, 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
As you mentioned what happened in Shanghai in the 90's for the Tawianese men will happen to the rest of the parts of China. It's the same in South Korea back in the early 90's if you were a Korean American it was pretty easy to get a Korean girl but nowadays there are loads of Korean American guys so the novelty wore off. I hear this also happened in Japan where back in the 90's it was really easy for a white or black guys to get laid but nowadays not as easy with the growth of expat community and the over mongering.
Oh so it's 2 mn now? Last I remember, it was just 1 mn. That's approaching 10% of Taiwan's population.
I was about to write a response to his post before but bit my tongue. But now reading what you had to say, I think my feelings weren't misplaced. China, in the not too distant past, used to be fun, exotic, cheap, and a fairly easy place to meet attractive women. Cold approaching seemed doable, attracting online interest was easy and for guys who didn't wanna bother, there was all kinds of P4P in your face, much very cheap. I would hear stories of English teachers in second and third tier towns who did quite well with young attractive students and other assorted English club girls, etc. It was a great HA destination! And there was a free feeling to it, like as long as you avoided politicized issues and matters of national Chinese sentiment and pride, you could do about anything you wanted. And for those who spoke and understood Mandarin, it was all the much better. It was an awesome place for HK/Taiwan/SP/Macau/overseas Chinese and westerners alike. Other NE Asians who learned Chinese and could pass for ABC would have just as much fun. But I don't know how it was for those Asians who were identifiable as Japanese.
But every subsequent visit, China seems more developed (which is impressive) but also less fun and exotic. It's been changing too damn fast. It's quickly becoming just another developed country. And boy does that government seem to control things, even worse than the current situation for USA in many ways. Real estate is untouchable, the girls are busy with their careers, and an English teacher has gone from being an expat on a respectable package to just low paid white/yellow trash as the salaries and costs of locals around him have risen. Value for money P4P is being wiped out and that will push frustrated guys more into periphery countries and even places like HK where ironically, it's probably become relatively better value for money.
Maybe China is still good finding a quality wife ala Kai even though many of the women there have been spoiled by the newly rich local guys and Chinese expats from developed countries throwing big money at them. But that's debatable too. Just a couple days ago, Winston was blasting my phone with texts about a meeting he had with his aunt and female cousin in Vegas. Basically, they were trashing Chinese girls, telling him that all those online gals he's been kinda courting all have LT agendas, that they wanna use him for the green card then eventually bail on him.
Man, at some stage, I may go again to do more extensive on the ground research. But most of the noise and indications seem to suggest that China already sucks in most ways for the HA lifestyle.
I don't think it really matters so much whether you are some kind of Asian expat or just a regular laowai. These days, you need to be pretty rich, I mean first world wealthy and above, to get any real prestige or respect there. Sure, there are little nooks for certain guys to have some attention and fun with pretty local ladies. But those are just fringe niches.
Sorry to sound so negative. I hope and wish I'm wrong on this.
Last year I did way better in China than I did in Thailand. More than anything it was due to Chinese women being far less conservative than Thai women.
It was just such a hard place to live. Like nobody cared about their environment - I saw kids throwing litter in the streets all the time, and their parents throwing cans of paint in the river etc. etc. Added to that was a harsh climate, poor quality food and the most aggressive mosquitoes ever.
Bangkok was a bit of a joke for serious dating, but the climate was good and the food fantastical.
I kind of want to know what happened to my first Chinese gf. She went on to marry a rich USA dude and live in the mid-West. I just wonder if she traded him in for an even richer dude.
I'm sure I'll hit Asia again soon, but for now I'm content with my new job in the travel industry and living with my new housemates who are on their own HA journeys in my own country.
I quit my boring cubicle slave job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
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I'm going to edit that to "~1 million". I don't think there's an accurate census on this, and 2 million would be on the high end.
IMO people should worry less about other people's experiences, and spend more effort on gaining new experiences for themselves. China has ~1.35 billion people and Shanghai is just one city with ~24 million people.
There are two countries where it can be far more advantageous to be a (NE) Asian than to be a white Anglo American:
Mexico and Thailand
In both countries, locals will openly talk a lot of bad things about whites - "Gabachos" in Mexico and "Farangs" in Thailand. In Thailand it's mostly about how dumb and trashy they are. Thailand was never colonized by Europeans, so they don't have an inferiority complex against whites, but rather sort of a superiority complex.
But in Mexico, people will openly tell me how the "Gabachos" are evil, greedy bastards who have traumatized them and their country. The Mexican working class vents against the US the way Hugo Chavez of Venezuela does, and I've heard many impassioned anti-American diatribes from my Mexican friends and acquaintances over the years. Many of them would have nothing to do with a "Gabacho" but would wholeheartedly befriend an Asian who speaks Spanish and is into Mexican culture. Also Mexicans are quite pro-European, and even seem to have quite positive attitudes towards the Canadians, British, and Australians.
We've had tons of reports from white HA members here about how they've found Mexicans being stand-offish with them (many threads here), and about racism against whites in Thailand (see Ladislav's posts).
In both countries, people would tell me in their local languages that they really admire the Chinese for being exceptionally intelligent and hard-working. Of course there are some who might be kind of racist towards mainland Chinese, but there's no systematic discrimination or widespread hatred against all foreign Asians.
In Southeast Asia, whites are loved most in the Philippines and Indonesia, receiving the most positive attention there.
In Latin America, many Central American and South American countries are very pro-American, except for Venezuela, Argentina, and Cuba, which are notorious for being anti-American and anti-Anglo. Pro-American countries include Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. There's a reason why Anglo American men have to go all the way to Colombia and Costa Rica for brides, and generally avoid Mexico. Many Mexicans generally don't want the stigma of being sell-outs to the Gabachos.
I would say that Mexico and Venezuela are the most anti-American countries in Latin America. In Southeast Asia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar are generally the most racist and xenophobic countries, particularly towards neighboring Southeast Asians, dark-skinned people, and sometimes whites as well. And despite having some interracial controversies over the past several decades, Malaysia and Singapore are generally the most tolerant towards foreigners of all races, since they're much more used to ethnic diversity.
Mexicans are often anti-American, but they are not anti-white. They know who is who.
Thais, otoh, cannot distinguish between an American, a Brit and a Russian. These are all farangs. Farang is a nationality to them.
In that, lies the difference.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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...and this is why non-White minority men with god-awesome aesthetics kill it in Mexico. I even heard of Black American men slaugherhousing it in TJ as well as Mexico City on some RVF posts and YouTube vblogs.
Sounds non-plateable. I agree. I personally think it goes back to the Bering Strait "old-school" migration. A lot of Aztecas and E. Asians have a lot in common so go figure.
Don't forget India and Pakistan, pa-pa.
It's time to expatriate to evade your fate; it's time to expatriate before the barn door permanently closes on "US" sheep.
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Super-duper agreed, but there are Black American men that make a Leatherface/Jason Voorhees killing down there in Mexico (both in- and outside of TJ but still within Mexico). They need to speak Spanish intermediate to "tener capaz de hablarlo con fluidez".
It's time to expatriate to evade your fate; it's time to expatriate before the barn door permanently closes on "US" sheep.
- Follow me on Twitter @eirizarryRNB