Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
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globetrotter wrote: Kunold wrote:
globetrotter: when you say this "A bit Ageist, too. But almost ALL nations are. The exceptions are the rare nation." what nations arn't ageist?
And what do you mean in 5 years they will be developed maybe the cities on the coasts what about the rest of China? If Chinese don't like foreigners how do you manage?
There is no way to explain this in a short post. Books have been written on the Chinese.
I will try.
Most of the warm water SE Asian nations are not ageist. The more money in a country, the more ageist, the less Spanish influence, the more ageist.
And what do you mean in 5 years they will be developed maybe the cities on the coasts what about the rest of China?
I am talking about those smaller cities referred to as Tier 3 and Tier 4. Places you have never heard of in locations you could not find on a map. The growth in these - growth I have seen with my own eyes - in just one year, is astonishing. They are literally moving from 1849 to 2011 in a matter of 3 years. In 6 months an ancient neighborhood is bulldozed, razed and in its place are modern 32 storey hi-rises as one sees in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and a modern 6 lane, asphalt road as one would see in Germany or Canada or the USA. This road is then lined with parking spaces filled with new autos that are all less than 2 years old. 'Snap' just like that the street moves from peasant Middle Ages poverty to modern Europe or its equivalent.
Entire square miles of hundreds of Chinese cities are being redone in this fashion.
As always is the case the older expats always say that it was best now -XX years ago. Rock will tell you it was best 5 years ago, older hands will say that the 'Real Gold Rush' was in 1995. This is always the case for growing nations that are discovered by westerners for work, lifestyle and women.
I will tell you to get your ass on a plane this month and that the time is right now.
It's happening. Right now, this moment.
The Chinese are moving their country from 1849 to 2011 and it will be a done deal in 5 to 10 years in many parts of the country.
Hi-speed rail, hundreds of new nuclear reactors, solar and hydro power, hundreds of millions of autos, large highways, modern apartments, appliances, clothing, business opportunities like you won't see again in your lifetime.
If Chinese don't like foreigners how do you manage?
The Chinese can be huge pains in the ass with their gargantuan culture differences, but most Chinese are very cool people to hang out with. They like foreigners - they just want you to STAY. Like Indians or Americans, they want you to come in, settle down, assimilate and stay forever. Interlopers get treated like shit because they don't value Guanxi or relationships. They are frivolous and treated as such. If you are serious, they Chinese will respect you and a gf, wife, business, apt, car - the usual - is all doable.
If you come to the country as a 22 yo college grad, and all you do is get drunk, teach ESL, f**k the local girls, take them to the clinic when they get pg, and play PS all day, then you will be treated just as you present yourself as; as someone who is not to be taken seriously.
As Rock wrote, if you are willing to and demonstrate a serious desire to relocate, settle down and make a life for yourself in China (or Asia..) they will welcome you. Your visa will still be a pain, but for work, home, romance, friends, you will be able to have a good life in China.
RP, you can come and go and they will still welcome you. Other nations, too.
But most peoples/nations want you to stay.
Think of how Americans view immigrants.
1. Actually, I've been going to China for visits over a long period of time. My personal view is that is it getting a lot better as time passes, at least for dating and romance for foreigners with local girls. Also for quality of life and relating to the locals. The first time I ever set foot in China, it seemed like a extremely dirty and backward country with brainwashed and often immoral people who would be taking a very big risk if they got too close to foreigners. As time passed, Taiwanese started going there in droves (from big institutions to small mom-and-pop set-ups) and many got burned badly by various levels of government and locals who cheated them like bandits with impunity. But then, some started succeeding, especially large tech firms in SARs and the re-export model was a huge boon to Taiwan's economy through the 90s. People born post-Mao grew-up and seemed fairly normal as a whole, not so different than Chinese in other countries. 2005 was the last time I got heavily involved with the local women so I don't know whether the social aspect has continued to improve or started reversing. But even 6 years ago, I did not tolerate the non-western friendly infrastructure well. Chongqing was a giant dirty mess with peasants all over the place involved in building projects. We often wondered what the meat used in our dishes was (rat meat?). Even then, some of the 3rd tier cities were much cleaner though basic things like Coca Cola and sit-down toilets were not available, even at the top hotel in town. On my recent trip to Shekou, I was positively surprised by the big improvements and western friendliness.
2. Rapid and dramatic infrastructure makeovers throughout the country are par for the course when a developing economy hits a certain tipping point, especially one where the government is strong. I believe it happened in places like Indonesia during the 90s - jungle villages being transformed and completely modernized overnight. By the time the country's debt burden caught-up with development in 1998, the process was largely completed. The tiger economies had their growth spurts and infrastructure transformations as well. But given China's size and the government's power to make decisions unilaterally, the scale of some of its major projects will trump those of its predecessors.
3. China still has a cheap cost of living in many areas. But I've seen how quickly this can change with my own eyes in just a few years time. Brazil was a cheap country 10 years ago, now its an expensive one, on par with the EU. The purchasing power of a US$ there has fallen around 70-85% over the last decade and with very little improvement in infrastructure. Now Thailand has also gotten a lot more expensive in US$ terms over that period though not as extreme as Brazil. But at least there have been a commensurate infrastructure upgrades so in many ways, the quality of life and available options has improved tremendously. You pay more but get more and prices are still very attractive from an international perspective. I believe China will be more like the second case as long as inflation does not get out of hand and rate of currency appreciation does not accelerate.
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Look at it this way. Hindu thought suggests four phases of life. The first is the celibate student 'bramacharya' phase. You are acquiring knowledge, skills. After puberty is the 'grihasti', home dweller phase. You are to get married, have kids, accumulate possesions and have a rooted committed life. After that maybe in the late forties comes the entry into the 'forest', the 'vanapratha' phase. You are to slowly to detatch yourself from worldly posessions, sex should have disappeared and you thoughts turn other wordly. The last phase is the 'sanyas' phase, the total renunciation from life. You have left everything behind and are focussed on the after life.
This can be restricitve for some, and the one size fits all never works, leaving many people feeling miserable and unfulfilled, their marriage can become a joyless affair etc. But it does provide a guideline of how to get through the different stages of life. You will see similar templates through much of asia.
Remember much of asia has gotten its philosophical underpinnings from Buddhist teachings which have at their base this perspective from ancient India. Also people had much shorter life spans then so there was greater need to get busy with the business of living. In some of the tribes in Papua New Guinea life expectancy can be as short as thirty five years. Clearly you have to get through the phases of life quickly.
It can certainly be to your benefit. Being required to marry relatively early or otherwise never at all forces you to get out of your fantasy and your searching and deal with reality and responsibility. If you've started having regular sex not tooo long after puberty then by the time you are forty or therabouts sex might well have disappeared. You may not have to be the fifty or sixty year old still searching for the one special person or still dreaming of sex. So the system tries to get you to go along with the natural biological flow of life.
If Disneyland is the calvinist 'garden of eden', the paradise of childhood, life before the 'sin' of sex, before the sinful nature of man takes hold, then shows like 'Friends', 'Sex and the City' etc are the new age romanticist's adolescent paradise, where much of the anglo west seems to be stuck in.
Mickey and Minnie can never age because that will break the fantasy. But the transition out of this phase is natural, puberty happens naturally. After that Disneyland stops being interesting. You might return again twice. Once with your kids for their enjoyment and then in your dotage when the responsibilities of life are done with, sex has stopped being interesting anymore and you can be a kid again and enjoy the rides with your grandkids. (assuming you have gone through the different phases of life).
The new age romaticist's fantasy is the fantasy of adolescence. After all, adolescence is a time of great dreaming and believing that anything and everything is possible. So this romanticist's fantasy includes the fictions that
- human beings are amazing creatures to whom life owes something grand,
- it should only always ever be 'awesome!',
- something glorious is going to happen to each and every person,
- there is the 'one' true love out there with whom it is meant to be, with whom there will be no problems,
- there is some grand work that is your true bliss etc.etc.
You will hear these lines parroted de riguer at new age gatherings.
Adolescents also tend to be preoccupied with themselves and their own feelings and thoughts. Ergo the reports of the narcissism epidemic.
So the participants in the shows like Friends and Sex and the City reman adolescent like, constantly searching for the right way they fit in. Everyone at some point has romantic feelings for everyone else and everyone is waiting for that moment when that special something they believe they are entitled to arrives. Aah it is going to be grand! This while having to deal with their own aging reality that unfolds before them.
The shows can never exit out of the fantasy because the fantasy is their selling point. Everyone deep down knows that leaving the fantasy means finally acknowledging that the cherished beliefs are not true and accepting the ordinariness of daily daily living as all there is.
For what is life anyway? You get up in the morning do your morning things and go to work, returning home to your partner and your family. If you can get even this you can consider yourself lucky. Many people around the world do not even get this. They are lucky if they can be with their loved ones for a month in a year. There is no partner with whom you will not have problems and differences, and the daily-daily of living with your partner is surprisingly mundane, just the business of running the house, getting the kids to school, helping them with their homework, attending to visiting relations etc.
A very wealthy people come into entitlement and don't wish to deal with negative feelings or the mundane/mundane. So many would rather stay in the fantasy than deal with the reality. When any partner/situation starts feeling like ordinary reality, they find that they are not feeling it anymore and up and move to something else.
But very few can do so for very long. The fantasy loses its power as you age, dating, meeting new people gets tedious and boring, many men no longer can have feelings of love after a certain age, and just how much different or 'better' is that next person you meet going to be anyway? You have much less time to build a history. In the meantime the truth is sitting in you that the reality you will have to face when you leave the fantasy is getting worse and worse everyday; your choices for potential matches have severly dwindled, as has everything else.
In a case where life imitates art (or art imitates life) check it out - many of the actors and actresses who play the characters in these shows are still single and old, in their forties and fifties, still rotating around in the dating pool searching for the 'one'. Many end up hopelessly confused further reducing their chances of ever finding a stable home and family.
There was a lovely line from one of the episodes of sex and the city. One of the characters blurts out: where is he? The white knight I was supposed to find. I have been dating since I was fifteen and I have not found him. Yup, the actress who portrays this character is in her late forties and still single I believe.
Women are prone to getting stuck in the fantasy but men are not immune either. Obviously you will be staying away from the man hating feminists, well they stay away from you so that is taken care of. And you will be staying away from the stuck-in-fantasy women either. If your thing is brief, ever changing, fantasy girl friend experiences then that is your thing. But if you have some hopes of a stable family at some point then you have to decondition yourself of this poison too, the sooner the better.
What the spiritual thinkers will tell you is that the lasting joys of life reveal themselves after you make this transition. It is very ordinary to want to be extraordinary, it is extraordinary to enjoy being ordinary. But only then can you accomplish something worthwhile.
Unfortunately shows like these have spread all over the world. Whichever part of the world you are in, if your potential partner tells you how much she loves these shows and imagines them as real, wants that kind of lifestyle, run like hell!
You can always know something about a culture by the television shows popular there. In most of Asia the shows are family dramas, revolving around the business of building and maintaining the family and community.
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