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China--too materialistic and money oriented

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

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China--too materialistic and money oriented

Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:53 am

I've decided that possibly, sometime in the near future, that I will leave China to go to another Asian country. The reason being is that everything in China is centered around money, wealth and job status. Also, guanxi results in too much corruption and cronyism in the society.

The women, although attractive, are way too consumerist, money-oriented and materialistic for my own taste. Now, I'm thinking...where should I go next in Asia? I'm seriously looking into the possibility of going to the Philippines or Vietnam to teach English after my time in China is up.

Now, I'm not saying I haven't enjoyed my time in China! I have! And, I've met my girlfriend here. Also, I've gotten more dates than I ever did back home in the States. But, I want to look around towards other countries in the region. I want to go to a place that isn't as obsessed with money as China is, and where the women aren't as entitled and materialistic as Chinese females. ...

Can any of you guys recommend a place for me?
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Postby The_Adventurer » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:18 am

Have you thought about trying a place in China other than Shenzhen, first? China is huge. The people in the north, are not the people in the south or the east or the west, or the middle. Shenzhen is kind of like a "business city". It's not a place that people really live in or have ancient family ties dating back hundreds of years. It is a place that exists to make money. Not surprising what kind of people you find there.
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Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:28 am

The_Adventurer wrote:Have you thought about trying a place in China other than Shenzhen, first? China is huge. The people in the north, are not the people in the south or the east or the west, or the middle. Shenzhen is kind of like a "business city". It's not a place that people really live in or have ancient family ties dating back hundreds of years. It is a place that exists to make money. Not surprising what kind of people you find there.


But I've also been in the interior of China (Pujiang-rural area) as well as Hangzhou and Yiwu! And Ghost and Magnum, Ph Visitor (aka Globetrotter), TheProfessor, Taco and Baoning--have all lived in other parts of China as well! Some in the North (Ghost), some in the rural areas (Magnum) (Globetrotter), Baoning in Beijing, and they all seem to agree with me.

If I'm wrong, how come my roommate (who is a handsome White guy, btw), who has traveled all over Asia and China for over 10 years now--tells me he agrees with my views on China.

I know some pro-China people always get upset when someone criticizes China or Chinese females on this forum, but I don't want this turning into a Pro-China, anti-China thread; it's only my personal and honest reflections of the country.
Last edited by zboy1 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:34 am

I think the Philippines or Thailand is the country that most 'fit' my personality and laid-back nature in Asia.

Thailand, since I've already been there before, and because visiting the country made me fall-in-love with the idea of moving abroad. The Philippines because of obvious reasons...

I think even Myanmar maybe a possibility as well! South Korea...well, it's too much like China and the U.S., but I wouldn't mind living there. ...
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Postby Rock » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:40 am

zboy1 wrote:I think the Philippines or Thailand is the country that most 'fit' my personality and laid-back nature in Asia.

Thailand, since I've already been there before, and because visiting the country made me fall-in-love with the idea of moving abroad. The Philippines because of obvious reasons...

I think even Myanmar maybe a possibility as well! South Korea...well, it's too much like China and the U.S., but I wouldn't mind living there. ...


The money materialism has expanded beyond China. From most of what I've heard and what I witnessed on my brief trips there, it's gonna be similar in Vietnam, just kinda like setting back the clock on China a decade or so. Thailand too seems obsessed with material and economic status indicators though at least the environment seems to be a lot more fun oriented. Maybe Philippines would be the 'least bad'. It still seems easier to find more humble down to earth types who can have decent conversation. Oh by the way, I also think Taipei might be worth considering for someone like yourself.
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Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:44 am

Rock wrote:
zboy1 wrote:I think the Philippines or Thailand is the country that most 'fit' my personality and laid-back nature in Asia.

Thailand, since I've already been there before, and because visiting the country made me fall-in-love with the idea of moving abroad. The Philippines because of obvious reasons...

I think even Myanmar maybe a possibility as well! South Korea...well, it's too much like China and the U.S., but I wouldn't mind living there. ...


The money materialism has expanded beyond China. From most of what I've heard and what I witnessed on my brief trips there, it's gonna be similar in Vietnam, just kinda like setting back the clock on China a decade or so. Thailand too seems obsessed with material and economic status indicators though at least the environment seems to be a lot more fun oriented. Maybe Philippines would be the 'least bad'. It still seems easier to find more humble down to earth types who can have decent conversation. Oh by the way, I also think Taipei might be worth considering for someone like yourself.


Hey, Rock! But isn't Taiwan as consumerist as China? Hum...I'm actually trying to stay away from all the "Northeast Asian" countries, because I feel all of them are similar--and the women, too!
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Postby Ghost » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:57 am

You know I feel the same Zboy! I can't wait to get out of here. And hopefully will never return. Thailand, Philippines (good luck finding work there, though), Vietnam, Cambodia, and perhaps some others all look appealing in their own ways. I want to do short term ESL jobs if possible so I can quickly try out new places. I think many Asian countries just will never accept foreigners no matter what, so it's not a place to make a life!

China is heading towards disaster I think, much like America is. All this greed, sociopathic behavior, consumerism, and other bad qualities are not good for sustaining a civilization. I see the cracks in this society.
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Postby Rock » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:17 pm

zboy1 wrote:
Rock wrote:
zboy1 wrote:I think the Philippines or Thailand is the country that most 'fit' my personality and laid-back nature in Asia.

Thailand, since I've already been there before, and because visiting the country made me fall-in-love with the idea of moving abroad. The Philippines because of obvious reasons...

I think even Myanmar maybe a possibility as well! South Korea...well, it's too much like China and the U.S., but I wouldn't mind living there. ...


The money materialism has expanded beyond China. From most of what I've heard and what I witnessed on my brief trips there, it's gonna be similar in Vietnam, just kinda like setting back the clock on China a decade or so. Thailand too seems obsessed with material and economic status indicators though at least the environment seems to be a lot more fun oriented. Maybe Philippines would be the 'least bad'. It still seems easier to find more humble down to earth types who can have decent conversation. Oh by the way, I also think Taipei might be worth considering for someone like yourself.


Hey, Rock! But isn't Taiwan as consumerist as China? Hum...I'm actually trying to stay away from all the "Northeast Asian" countries, because I feel all of them are similar--and the women, too!


There's a different vibe in Taiwan I think. Taiwan was probably more like that in the late 80s when the stock and property markets were out of control and everything was booming. But now it's really more like Japan. There's a dearth of hope as the current generation of uni students and young professionals will likely do no better and perhaps worse than their parents did career wise. Taiwan is much cheaper than Japan and moderately cheaper than S. Korea (Taipei vs. Seoul). Taipei is also cheaper than Beijing or Shanghai.

I anticipate that you could easily find a full-time M-F English teaching gig at around US$2,000 a month (one of my female Canto Brit tenants did just that a few months ago as did her American boyfriend in the space of 3 weeks). There are divas and one dimensional girls here all around. But there's also a lot of better quality girls to still be found. Taiwan has not had that money worshiping culture to the extent of China or Hong Kong. People are more down-to-earth here and the distribution of wealth more even. If you wanna compare to Seoul or larger cities in Japan, I think expectations are going to be lower here as this country has lost ground in the last decade. It's perhaps the most benign or least bad part of NE Asia. Certainly worth researching and considering further if you like Chinese/NE Asian girls.
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Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:50 pm

Ghost wrote:You know I feel the same Zboy! I can't wait to get out of here. And hopefully will never return. Thailand, Philippines (good luck finding work there, though), Vietnam, Cambodia, and perhaps some others all look appealing in their own ways. I want to do short term ESL jobs if possible so I can quickly try out new places. I think many Asian countries just will never accept foreigners no matter what, so it's not a place to make a life!

China is heading towards disaster I think, much like America is. All this greed, sociopathic behavior, consumerism, and other bad qualities are not good for sustaining a civilization. I see the cracks in this society.


Oh, I totally agree. I see more and more cracks in Chinese society as well! Even my Chinese friends see it as well: they often mention the corruption in the country, the materialism and the rampant selfishness among the people--and they tell me it's headed for a fall, one day, as well.
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Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:52 pm

Rock, I guess I might consider Taiwan as well, in my list of next destination countries. Thanks for the tip!
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Postby The_Adventurer » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:24 pm

zboy1 wrote:
The_Adventurer wrote:Have you thought about trying a place in China other than Shenzhen, first? China is huge. The people in the north, are not the people in the south or the east or the west, or the middle. Shenzhen is kind of like a "business city". It's not a place that people really live in or have ancient family ties dating back hundreds of years. It is a place that exists to make money. Not surprising what kind of people you find there.


But I've also been in the interior of China (Pujiang-rural area) as well as Hangzhou and Yiwu! And Ghost and Magnum, Ph Visitor (aka Globetrotter), TheProfessor, Taco and Baoning--have all lived in other parts of China as well! Some in the North (Ghost), some in the rural areas (Magnum) (Globetrotter), Baoning in Beijing, and they all seem to agree with me.

If I'm wrong, how come my roommate (who is a handsome White guy, btw), who has traveled all over Asia and China for over 10 years now--tells me he agrees with my views on China.

I know some pro-China people always get upset when someone criticizes China or Chinese females on this forum, but I don't want this turning into a Pro-China, anti-China thread; it's only my personal and honest reflections of the country.


My point was that no one can make honest reflections of the country because no one, not even born and raised Chinese, knows. As was the case when I brought my friends from Shanghai to my little rural area, they had never seen nor experienced anything like it. China is just too huge. Moving to some parts can be as different as moving to a different country. Actually many parts were different countries at some time or another.

You are welcome to try and paint it as some kind of defense of China. Although your opening with a statement like, "everything in China revolves around money.", sounds like you already planned to make it an anti-China thread anyway. My personal experience is that I haven't found everything to revolve around any one thing in any country, city or even village I have visited. I could say that almost everything revolves around food where I live, but even that might be pushing it.

If, like Ghost, your heart is set on getting out, I certainly am not trying to stop you. I was simply offering a suggestion that might be easier on the wallet, visas and established relationships, since that happened to make a huge difference for me.
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Postby Everdred » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:10 pm

Zboy, in all honesty it's going to be hard to escape the rampant materialism in any Han-dominated metropolitan area in mainland China. At least in regards to the worship of status and wealth, my experience in northeast China (particularly Liaoning and Heilongjiang provinces) was not much different than what you're now experiencing down there in Guangdong province.

If your heart is not set on getting out of China, and you're also willing to live in more rural areas, you should consider areas like Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Yunnan, or Guangxi. Bear in mind that none of those places would likely be easy to live in (with the exception of a few cities), but I'd imagine you'd meet far less materialistic Chinese people in those necks of the woods.

Now if you are indeed dead set on getting out of China, you should be warned that many other Asian cities are also quite bad in regards to worshiping status and wealth. Massive income gaps and people doing all kinds of silly things to flaunt their wealth/social standing are to be expected in any major developing Asian city, whether it be Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Manila, Jakarta, or Shanghai. That said, don't think twice about coming to Bangkok, because status is everything here to so many of the "hi-so" local Thai-Chinese (Bangkok is dominated by Thais with Chinese ancestry). In-your-face consumerism is also pretty bad here. I've also been to Ho Chi Minh City a couple of times, and I happen to know a few expats there. They've assured me that so many Vietnamese people there are hyper status-oriented and have an obsession with making money.

And I hate to be one of those "I told you so" people, but I saw yours, Ghost's, Xiongmao's, and magnum's eventual disappointment in China coming from a mile away. Mainland China is a place that often quickly crushes the spirit of those with an unrealistically positive outlook on the country. While I still consider China to be very rough around its edges, it does have a certain unique appeal to it that I just don't see in many other Asian countries. It's a damn good place to go on a difficult and rough, but truly self-rewarding life adventure. Regardless, I'm glad more Happier Abroad posters are learning first hand that the grass is not necessarily greener on the China side. Nonetheless, try to enjoy China while you're still there. It's your first year living abroad, and one you're likely never going to forget. Fives years down the road, you'll probably be looking back at 2013 - 2014 with intense nostalgia.
Last edited by Everdred on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:21 pm

Thanks for your input, Everdred!

I don't hate China, in fact, I like it MUCH better than the U.S. of Gay. Also, I'm having lot's of fun in China--don't get me wrong; it's just that the rampant materialism, greed and status-seeking gets on your nerves after a while!
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Postby momopi » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:21 pm

The "golden era" for Taiwanese men to go to Mainland China, with plentiful, easy women in greater Shanghai region and inexpensive real estate was the 1990's.
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Postby zboy1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:41 pm

momopi wrote:The "golden era" for Taiwanese men to go to Mainland China, with plentiful, easy women in greater Shanghai region and inexpensive real estate was the 1990's.


My White roommate said the same thing: that China was a great place to be, circa the 1990s and the early 2000s. But China has changed dramatically in the last decade or so, especially after the 2008 Olympics and after the 90s ended.
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