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Traveling in China

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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What the Media/Popular Culture Portrays Vs. Reality

Postby ethan_sg » Wed May 09, 2012 12:22 pm

Hey Winston,

Isn't one of the central tenets of this site that is often emphasized in many of your articles the fact that many places are surprisingly the very opposite of what the media portrays (and hence what the masses think) it to be? The masses' perceptions and impressions is heavily swayed by the media and popular culture.

For instance the whole world seems to think (due to hollywood brainwashing and deceptive but effective political, corporate and entertainment PR campaigns) that America is such a great place to live and that Americans are the most open-minded, easy-going, outgoing people in the world? That American women are all sexy blondes who are sexually liberated and that men get so much sex in America? That America is filled with people who look like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston? We free thinkers know it's a lie but many people, even people who've been to America, don't see it because the media machine's PR brainwashing campaign is just too effective and it's fashionable to think that America is a paradise.

For example if say you're a foreigner (and I say this from the perspective of a foreigner who's lived in America) who's never lived in America and you tell people one day that you're moving to NEW YORK CITY to work, you would almost certainly get reactions like 'Wow! You lucky guy! Wow! New York's an awesome place to be! Wow, the center of the world! I'm so envious! Good choice!' It's assumed to be an upgrade over most other shall we say, 'less glamorous' countries around the world and no one would question why you would want to move there.

But for example if you tell them you're moving to say Guangzhou. The reactions would be a lot more downright mixed to negative, like 'What for?' 'Are you sure?' 'Have you been there before?' 'Wow you're brave' or 'Be careful' or 'what! melanine territory?' (and the various horror stories start coming out) or something along those lines, you guys get my point.

But we know the truth is very different from what the media or popular culture (and hence the masses) portray it to be. You've written about that many times on the site yourself, Winston.

Why don't you take the plunge Winston and move to China to try it for yourself? It'll be an adventure and I think it's the best place for someone like you who's really into Chinese girls.


Winston wrote:ph visitor,
You are ignorant as usual. I was only giving my general impression. It's not qualified by any means. It was based on a few people here.

How come every Taiwanese here thinks China is dangerous? My relatives are warning me not to go. They say there is this terrible scam there where a hot girl approaches you, drugs your drink, and then when you wake up, you are in the bathtub with your kidneys removed.

Why does everyone here think that? What is that based on? How often does that happen?
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Postby luoldeng9 » Wed May 09, 2012 8:36 pm

xiongmao wrote:I'd stay away from places like Chongqing or the really poor cities (can't think of any off hand but my expat friend out there told me stories of really terrible places).


stay away from Chongqing? I heard they had some of the most beautiful females in China
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Postby Winston » Fri May 11, 2012 1:24 am

Question for everyone who's been to China.

Is there more eye contact with strangers there than say Taiwan, Japan and Korea? If so, is it a lot more or only a little more?

Also, how come people in China that I talked to think that Taiwanese and Japanese are "nice and friendly"? How come they don't know that they are repressed and have no eye contact and don't talk to strangers? Shouldn't that be common knowledge? Why don't people in China know about it? Shouldn't Chinese people with high IQ's be good at comparing/contrasting people and cultures?
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Postby Winston » Sun May 13, 2012 8:47 am

Bad news. This Chinese lady I'm talking to said that strangers don't make eye contact in China. Here is what she said:

Hi, Winston

Yes, Chinese are often loud, which is not polite in public place. Why did you say Cantonese is a strange language, I think it is very beautiful. Yes, I can speak it. Maybe you heard other dialect.

Ah, I have read the news about losing the kidneys before, but not often. I think in most of other countries, such kind of bad stories also exist. The most important is you have to be on guard and know how to protect yourself.

Yes, someone seldom makes any eye contact with a stranger here, except they are interested in you. In most occasion, people often just glance, it is not polite if you stare at others. If you flirt with someone, you are thought of a varmint. People don’t like that way.


Well then how to people meet for love, romance, or dating? Geez. What about all the attention my friend Walt got?

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Postby ph_visitor » Sun May 13, 2012 10:15 am

Winston wrote:ph visitor,
You are ignorant as usual. I was only giving my general impression. It's not qualified by any means. It was based on a few people here.

How come every Taiwanese here thinks China is dangerous? My relatives are warning me not to go. They say there is this terrible scam there where a hot girl approaches you, drugs your drink, and then when you wake up, you are in the bathtub with your kidneys removed.

Why does everyone here think that? What is that based on? How often does that happen?


You are a very gullible if you believe Urban Legends to be fact.
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Postby Fenix » Mon May 14, 2012 1:41 am

Why do you care so much about eye contact, Winston?
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Postby Winston » Mon May 14, 2012 2:01 am

ph_visitor wrote:
Winston wrote:ph visitor,
You are ignorant as usual. I was only giving my general impression. It's not qualified by any means. It was based on a few people here.

How come every Taiwanese here thinks China is dangerous? My relatives are warning me not to go. They say there is this terrible scam there where a hot girl approaches you, drugs your drink, and then when you wake up, you are in the bathtub with your kidneys removed.

Why does everyone here think that? What is that based on? How often does that happen?


You are a very gullible if you believe Urban Legends to be fact.


The Chinese girls I asked told me that it's a true story, not an urban legend. However, it is not a common crime. It's just that bad news spreads fast, while good news doesn't.

Why do you care so much about eye contact, Winston?


Well it's simple:

No eye contact = Unapproachable and harder to meet
Eye contact = Approachable and easier to meet

Without eye contact, and the right the body language, it's not appropriate to talk to strangers or meet women with cold approaches. This means if you see a hot girl, she won't stop and let you flirt with her. Also, when you are surrounded by thousands of people and no one wants to talk to you or make eye contact, it's really depressing.

Isn't the reason obvious?

This means that you can only meet people through parties, mutual friends, and online of course. This is how it is in conservative countries where cold approaches and flirting with strangers is seen as creepy and inappropriate, like the behavior of "varmints" as the Chinese lady told me above.
Last edited by Winston on Thu May 24, 2012 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mr S » Mon May 14, 2012 4:35 am

The kidney thing is an urban legend. Look it up on the internet. The drugging of drinks, it can happen in any country if individuals are targeting wealthy males. Mostly once you get back to your room the girls would steal what is considered valuable and leave you in your drugged stupor.
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Postby ph_visitor » Mon May 14, 2012 5:10 am

Winston wrote:
You are a very gullible if you believe Urban Legends to be fact.


The Chinese girls I asked told me that it's a true story, not an urban legend. However, it is not a common crime. It's just that bad news spreads fast, while good news doesn't.


You are not intelligent if you believe Urban Legends because someone told you it was true.

That's what an UL *IS*. It's a story that is told that someone always says 'Well, this person I know says that they know a guy who...'

It's bullshit. It's not true.

If ONE TAIWANESE national ended up with harvested kidneys as you claim in the story you repeat 2nd or 3rd hand from 2 girls you asked (such vetting of sources!), then it would be on the news, the blogs, weibo, 163.com or elsewhere.

It is not, thus it is not real.

It would be all over the blogs or new media. It isn't. It's just an anonymous comment from two girls you asked.

Real Shit - that's when Jr High girls are promised summer jobs in Yunnan, they take the bus, show up, are driven by motobike over the border into Burma, and that's all she wrote.

They are sold into slavery or much much worse.

Those stories, they ARE real, and I have seen with my own eyes the news cameras covering the buses driving around with placards full of missing kids who ended up this way.

The one kidney story that IS true is some idiot 17 yo kid sold a kidney for an iPhone, got caught, and everyone went to prison. That was of his own choice. Chinese are on top of each other every second. If someone were to sell a kidney all their school friends would know about it in seconds.

Think Winston, attempt to be as f***ing smart as you claim to be.

If a foreigner ended up in a bathtub with his kidneys out, this would make news globally.
If a foreigner ended up just disappearing, this would be all over the news.
When a foreigner goes to prison in China, it is a huge deal and everyone knows about it.

If this were real, it would get out because the money to be made would be huge with such a story. If people were just disappearing into China, it would get out in a hurry and people would stop coming.

You think that movies like 'Taken' could actually exist where white, middle class, American chycks disappear and no one notices or mentions it?

No way.

One disappears in Aruba and it is news for half a decade.

If this were real, it would get out in seconds, and people would never set foot there again.
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Postby Winston » Mon May 21, 2012 7:49 am

So if the kidney story is an urban legend, then has it been on the news? Someone want to search for it on Google?

How come everyone in Taiwan thinks it's a true story then?

Who started this urban legend and what is there to gain by it?
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Postby xiongmao » Mon May 21, 2012 10:11 am

These urban legends are stupid. My mom told me about a man who went to Africa to meet a mail order bride, then he got murdered. The only thing was, I did some searching on Google News, I found nothing.

Right after 9/11 everyone kept telling my mom that you shouldn't go to London on a certain date.

It's all rubbish.
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Postby ph_visitor » Tue May 22, 2012 3:55 pm

Winston wrote:So if the kidney story is an urban legend, then has it been on the news? Someone want to search for it on Google?

How come everyone in Taiwan thinks it's a true story then?

Who started this urban legend and what is there to gain by it?


People believe, repeat and accept as true all sorts of illogical bullshit.

Why? Because people are illogical, irrational animals.

It's like the Halloween Poison Candy Scares in America, or Mexican children stolen for organs for rich Americans, or flashing your lights in Socal, or the Day Care Centre Hysteria of the 80's and 90's, or any of scores of repeated UL's and lies.

I have sat down with my siblings and informed them of the reality. Both then come up with "Well there was a story from a guy from the next town over..."

It's never happened. No child in NA has *ever* been poisoned by candy. What DOES happen is that a sibling puts a pin in an apple to f**k with his brother or sister, and then the parents assume it's some sociopath.

It's never happened. Ever. Literally not once. The ONLY case was some father who wanted insurance money, laced some Pixi Stix with cyanide, one of his kids ate it and died.

That's it.

It's just a fear, repeated as half truth and hearsay, and then accepted as 'fact'.

Religion, Hell, Conspiracy Theory - people believe in a lot of illogical shit that is repeated as fact.
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Postby ethan_sg » Wed May 23, 2012 5:23 pm

Hey Winston,

The vast majority of Chinese have not even been to Taiwan and Japan. All they see of Taiwan and Japan is what is portrayed through the media, particularly in the form of pop celebrities.

Therefore just like how their impressions of Americans as being open, friendly and uninhibited are wrong and manufactured by Hollywood, the same applies to their impressions of Taiwan and Japan. Don't take their word for it, they haven't actually lived in these countries and endured their robotic soulless corporate culture (particularly in Japan).

You know I don't think spontaneous eye contact alone can be the sole determinant of social friendliness. I see lots of negative eye contact in America and Singapore, like when you step into a club people look at you to see what you're wearing, how you look. When you're a minority (particularly if Asian) and you go to class and people stare and you and judge you because you look different. They may exchange eye contact with you but it doesn't mean they're friendly, down to earth or really want to get to know you.

I wouldn't say that there's lots of spontaneous eye contact among strangers in China (I'm not including Shanghai or Shenzhen here), although I do tend to see lots of people walking in pairs or groups and smiling or joking with each other when walking on the streets.

People seem really happy in the company of their lovers/friend(s) and they generally look more innocent, relaxed and down to earth. People are definitely more approachable and take themselves less seriously than in Japan or Taiwan. There may not be a lot of spontaneous eye contact unless you look really different or are extremely good looking but if you smile at them and try to strike up a conversation, there is relatively speaking, this' instant familiarity among strangers' that you don't see as much in Taiwan or Japan. Conversations among strangers therefore flows much more naturally. I'm assuming Winston that your Mandarin is as good as your Taiwanese because you'll need Mandarin to speak to the average Chinese, the ability to speak English over there is the exception rather than the rule, particularly outside Shanghai.

If one girl who probably hasn't been out of China before (most Chinese haven't) tells you that strangers aren't friendly to each other it's because she's got nothing to compare with. Everything is relative. Sure as hell you wouldn't walk into a bus or train in China and suddenly see every stranger socializing with each other and introducing themselves spontaneously to each other but then again is there any city in the world where you would see that? So yea if you're asking do strangers talk to each other all the time sure the answer from most people would be a definitive no. But you got to do a relative comparison to understand the differences and many Chinese people can't because they have nothing to compare with - they don't know how much worse it can get. They've no idea of the icy distance between individuals in Seattle for instance.

I don't think the Chinese are as friendly as the Filipinos but I'm sure they're generally a lot more down to earth than most other North East Asians. The Japanese by comparison are outwardly very polite, but deep inside them they're very empty and soulless, stoically professionally/corporate and lacking in humanness. The Chinese in China are not very mannerly but they're a lot more down to earth and inclined to tell it as it is. Many of them speak in a very spirited and soulful manner - this is the most fundamental difference I've seen between the Chinese and the Taiwanese and Singaporeans who are far more scripted and cold, occasionally expressive but only in a fake way to sensationalize and get attention. Note of course that these are all general statement not absolute statements so occasional exceptions, which certainly do exist in China, do not disprove the rule.

I also do see a lot more older men dating/marrying girls in their 20s in China, and it's not always a case of man and mistress. In China there is a greater respect for the old. Not saying you're old Winston but if you're approaching your 40s you're no longer in the prime of your youth either with respect to dating girls in their 20s. In China they don't care so much about age, in Taiwan you'll have a harder time.


Winston wrote:Question for everyone who's been to China.

Is there more eye contact with strangers there than say Taiwan, Japan and Korea? If so, is it a lot more or only a little more?

Also, how come people in China that I talked to think that Taiwanese and Japanese are "nice and friendly"? How come they don't know that they are repressed and have no eye contact and don't talk to strangers? Shouldn't that be common knowledge? Why don't people in China know about it? Shouldn't Chinese people with high IQ's be good at comparing/contrasting people and cultures?
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Postby Winston » Thu May 24, 2012 4:06 am

ph_visitor wrote:
Winston wrote:So if the kidney story is an urban legend, then has it been on the news? Someone want to search for it on Google?

How come everyone in Taiwan thinks it's a true story then?

Who started this urban legend and what is there to gain by it?


People believe, repeat and accept as true all sorts of illogical bullshit.

Why? Because people are illogical, irrational animals.

It's like the Halloween Poison Candy Scares in America, or Mexican children stolen for organs for rich Americans, or flashing your lights in Socal, or the Day Care Centre Hysteria of the 80's and 90's, or any of scores of repeated UL's and lies.

I have sat down with my siblings and informed them of the reality. Both then come up with "Well there was a story from a guy from the next town over..."

It's never happened. No child in NA has *ever* been poisoned by candy. What DOES happen is that a sibling puts a pin in an apple to f**k with his brother or sister, and then the parents assume it's some sociopath.

It's never happened. Ever. Literally not once. The ONLY case was some father who wanted insurance money, laced some Pixi Stix with cyanide, one of his kids ate it and died.

That's it.

It's just a fear, repeated as half truth and hearsay, and then accepted as 'fact'.

Religion, Hell, Conspiracy Theory - people believe in a lot of illogical shit that is repeated as fact.


Hey, don't lump urban legends in with conspiracies. Conspiracies are very plausible, and based on lots of real evidence and whistleblowers. Urban legends don't have 1500 architects and engineers testifying to them.

I thought the Halloween candy thing was real. Wasn't it on the news? Even if it was, the media sometimes fabricates stories. Did you know that?

If no one has been harmed by Halloween candy, then how come kids have stopped going trick or treating in America?
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Postby Winston » Thu May 24, 2012 4:10 am

Thanks Ethan. Those are great insights.

You would think that since China is next to Taiwan, people there should know what it's like there, or at least know from popular perception or hearsay?

So you've been to both China and Taiwan? How do you know all this? Aren't you East Indian and therefore exotic in those countries? What ethnicity are you?

I was referring to positive eye contact, the kind you get in Europe or Russia. Not the negative stares.

What about the body language in China?

At the very least, more girls in China write me back on dating sites than girls in Taiwan do. So even if I can't do cold approaches in China, at least I can meet a lot of girls there on dating sites.
Last edited by Winston on Thu May 24, 2012 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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