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What's your story? Discussions your reasons for going abroad.
I've been reading a lot of America-bashing on the forum. Perhaps it's an oxymoron since the forum is named "Happier Abroad". I guess if we weren't discontent in some way, we wouldn't be here. For me, I'm primarily interested in business/investment opportunities, as well as "plan B".
I'd like to give my perspective on immigrating to the US. My father worked in import-export trade in 1970s, and my family moved around quite a bit. Even when we arrived in the US, I think we moved 3 times within 6 years before finally settling down in north Orange County, California.
As an immigrant, I found the US to be very hospitable and generous. I wasn't born here, but I was given a green card and later citizenship by simply following the rules and paying taxes. From day one I attended school here as a resident and didn't have to pay additional fees. When I needed money for college, I went to see financial aid department. I signed 1 or 2 forms and got $20k+ in government-backed student loans with low-interest and deferred payment.
Ladislav wrote in another forum that women and jobs are the 2 most treasured things to a country's people. Yet as an immigrant to America, I had open access to both. Some Asian American males complain of discrimination in the US, but I think it's more social than legal. My first couple of GF's in college were white and their parents treated me better than some Taiwanese parents did.
As a foreign-born immigrant, the only time that I ever faced any issues in job application was at a certain defense industry company, I understood their concerns and withdrew my job application. Yes I think it's OK for companies that made missile guidance systems or build nuclear bombs to hire native-born US citizens as a preference.
If we look at the median personal income by race, it's quite obvious that Asians are not discriminated against:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... e_race.png
From an ethnic-centric point of view, up until recently ethnic-Chinese cannot even celebrate Chinese New Year's or even use Chinese language freely in places like Indonesia. In comparison, America not only celebrates diversity, ethnic minorities are given near free reign on practicing their own language, religion, and culture. We just opened a $12 million Chinese Cultural Center in my city:
To cite an extreme example, you could even open a business and put up signs in your native (non-English) language only. Personally I think that's a dumb way to run a business, but it shows the extent of this country and its people's tolerance for immigrant minorities.
The US is also very culturally "open" to sharing ideas and information. Once China was the most technologically advanced and most wealthy empire on earth, but its innovators often horded ideas and information. They preferred to keep it exclusive to the benefit of their own clan. Unfortunately this means that after a while, the discovery is lost. America, in comparison, is an open society that created the internet, and discoveries are utilized for benefit of the masses.
Over the years I've had several American mentors, all much older than me and well established in their careers. One mentor from business school was an executive at Sun Computers, who gave me his card and said I could call or e-mail him anytime if I had any questions about career or business. I don't think the executives in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan are that generous with their time.
When I lived in Taiwan in my younger days, the country was severely polluted and the rivers were like open sewers. It took them 20 years to really clean up around Taipei. In comparison, the US has taken better care of its natural resources. Our law specify that the surface water of rivers, lakes must be safe to swim in and fish from. I love fishing and there are many neighborhood parks with natural or man-made lakes stocked with fish. Though there are still some blighted spots, there's on-going effort to fix and clean them.
The US may not have universal health care, but if you're seriously ill, the hospitals will treat you regardless of your ability to pay, even if you're not a US citizen. In many other countries, if you cannot pay, too bad!
I wasn't born here, but by moving here I was given citizenship, the highest rank a person can attain in this constitutional republic, along with right to vote and enjoy all kinds of benefits by living here. If I had moved to another country, I doubt they'd be as generous and give me $20k for college by signing 1 piece of paper, or have as many open education and career opportunities as the US.
Yes, America has its issues and flaws, but there's no free lunch in the world and whenever you gain some benefit, you pay for it one way or another. We have great productivity but you'll work longer and take fewer vacations. We're materially well off but people bury their heads in consumerism. But that doesn't mean you have to run the rat race for life or bury your head in bling blings.
If you work hard in the US, it's not too difficult to save some $$ and live very comfortably elsewhere (Philippines?). The trick is not to be tempted into spending all your $, or get into heavy credit card debt. If you do that, you'd lock yourself into the hamster wheel and run until you drop. In many ways we choose to be poor or fat... nobody forced us to blow our $ on xbox games, or order the all you can eat ribs instead of weight watcher selection on the menu.
I was going to post a comment on another thread, but I think I'll do it here instead. American men expect their spouse to work and take care of the home and kids at same time -- we expect them to be super-mom's. We feed the women super sized meals and expect them to stay slim. We expect them to look good but bash them whenever they want to spend some $ on cloths or shoes. eh? You know what, deep down inside, men don't really dislike buying diamond ring for their women, because they want her to wear it and show that she is "owned". Don't hate American women, pity them for the femminazi culture that's taking women-hood away from them. What's a women without women-hood? Someone who will be used for sex but not marriage.
Balance in perspective ....is the key. Other countries have serious problems too--there is no absolute paradise. It's wieghing the pros and the cons.
You're right. America is the land of equal access to economic opportunity.
I am not asian, but I think asian guys might very well be discriminated against in the social realm ---check out those posts on marriage rates.
One major problem with America right now is that many of our manufactoring jobs are being outsourced to foreigners. America is gradually being transformed into a service economy, and its middle class is facing extinction. Part of it is due to foolish spending on the part of the common man, particularily in regards to purchasing overpriced homes, the rest stems from the actions of the government and corporations. The cost of living has skyrocketed, outpacing the pay rate.
America may still have its benefits now, but mark my words, if current trends continue, were on the out.
Momopi, you might be right about those things. However, my bottom line statement in my ebook has always been that the US is good for making money, but for social life, dating scene, and mental health, and now family harmony, the US is probably the absolute worst in those categories. Even in England, women are far more sociable and approachable in comparison.
By the way, do you remember when we went out to eat together the first day we met, and you were playing Devil's Advocate for a while, challenging some of my claims. Then, as we stood in the big parking lot in an Orange County strip mall, I said to you, "Look around you. You see how every couple and group of friends are with members of THEIR OWN RACE?"
The evidence was all around us. On that subject, you could not play Devil's Advocate anymore, cause you could see that that statement was correct. Almost anywhere you go in LA, you will see that most people hang out only with their race. You couldn't deny that. So you silently acknowledged it.
Do you remember?
That's what I mean about the racial cliques in America. When I tried to socialize with white girls, it felt "out of bounds" in the cultural norms.
It doesn't feel out of bounds in Europe though.
That was one of my key observations. And you confirmed it in person when I showed you direct evidence around us.
Yes Winston you looked around that LA environment....and
you saw things that noone else has seen or noticed. You have an investigative mind with a sociological bent.
And that's what makes you an interesting person.
I think some of these critics--just don't have that! They are f***ing intellectual lightweights.
I'll try to address everyone's points in a consolidated post.
* On Asian intermarriage ratio, I'd like to note that there's a difference between 1st-generation and 1.5 generation (which myself and Winston belongs to). 1st-generation intermarriage ratio has very large disparity due to early immigration restrictions, war/war brides, etc.:
Compare to 1.5 gen marriage stats:
With 1st generation, the ratio between AF-WM : AM-WF marriages was roughly 3:1. With 1.5 generation, the ratio is roughly 2:3. This data was compiled based on the 2000 Census, compared to 1990 Census the trend shows overall interracial marriage between Asian and Whites slightly down, versus inter-Asian (Chinese-Japanese, Korean-Vietnamese) marriage rate up. We have another census coming in 2010, so we can see where the recent trend is going then.
Some people object to these statistics and claim that they see way more AF-WM couples than AM-WF couples. This is true in the dating scene as many Asian Americans date white but go back to marrying Asian. I myself is very guilty of this as my first GF's were all white but I've since went to back to seeking a bride from my own ethnic group.
Some Asian guys want to grossly exaggerate the issue to vent their frustrations. Yes there is a disparity, problem, or whatever you'd like to call it. But at the same time I feel as if I'm reading Newsweek from the Cold War. When they printed a picture showing 2:1 ratio between Russian troops vs. NATO troops, they made the Russian stick figure (in red) twice as tall and wide as the NATO stick figure (in blue). Well gee, twice as tall and wide = 4x larger, not 2x. But you guys know what I mean.
* On manufacturing job out-sourcing, I'd like to add that even service industry jobs are being outsourced. This is a global trend that is way beyond us as small individuals to change, we just have to find new niches to make a living. I'm a senior IT analyst working for one of the top mutual fund companies in the world, and I have to face both out-sourcing and near-sourcing (to a cheaper state) to my job too. To remain competitive I have to attend training classes and update my IT skills all the time. This also answers why I'm here -- if I ever find myself fallen behind and unable to compete or survive here, you might find me in Asia.
Also, the US became a manufacturing power house because Europe and East Asia was turned upside down in WW2. As soon as they recovered, they turned into powerful economic competitors to the US. We were on top of the world because everyone else was either screwed up or had their head buried in socialism. Like the Japanese tatami makers who went to China to teach them their craft, we foolishly bragged to the world about our capitalist economic success. So now everyone wants to be like us and we have to compete for every manufacturing job and barrel of oil. If there is a next time, I think as Americans we need to learn to stop bragging and keep a stiff upper lip about our own success. But maybe that's an oxymoron in our open society/culture?
* On Winston's point about keeping keeping to their own ethnic group, that confirms to historical norms -- it's not progressive, but please keep in mind that the Civil Rights movement occurred in our parent's generation, and anti-miscegenation laws weren't struck down until 1967.
Until the spread of railroad, most people on this planet lived and died in the village where they were born. People generally stuck to their own ethnic group and interracial marriages were uncommon except as result of war and conquest. It wasn't the norm for people of different ethnic backgrounds to mix.
The rail road, mass dislocation of people in WW1, WW2, urbanization, immigration, and personal autos changed the demographic scene, but our tendency to stick to our own tribe still remain. Slowly, we integrate with others who are most "like us" before those who are least "like us". For example, in early 1900's the various European immigrants to the US mostly lived in their own ethnic walled areas (called slums back then) and didn't mix as much, maybe with exception to Irish-German. If you're Polish you married another Pole. If you're German your parents taught you to speak German at home and not English.
After WW1 and WW2, the walls came down and German-speaking parents stopped teaching their kids how to speak German, and told their kids to be as Americanized as possible. The Japanese Americans also did this. After a while the various European groups mixed and intermarried, so now they're "White Americans" and not "Polish", "Irish", etc.
If I were to draw a chart, the trend would look something like this:
(different European immigrants divided) --> (different European immigrant groups inter-marrying) --> (white American identity)
The same is occurring with Asian Americans. In my parent's generation, if you're Chinese, you didn't inter-marry with Japanese, and vice versa. But today the trend is:
(different East Asian immigrant groups divided) --> (various Asian Americans inter-marrying) --> (Asian American identity)
I have a cousin who's married to a Japanese, and another to a Korean. They're English-Speaking Asian American households.
The same pattern existed in Taiwan. In my parent's generation, if a Taiwanese married a Hakka, they'd both be disowned by their families. My buddy who just got married in PH, his parents were Taiwanese-Hakka union and both side's parents viciously opposed the marriage, which eventually lead to their divorce. When my buddy and his sister were very young, the mother took them to visit the grandmother. The grandmother wanted to hold and play with the grandkids but could not bring herself to touch the children. Finally one of the aunts picked up the kid and handed the kid to the grandmother, who finally accepted and held the kid happily.
Can you imagine the amount of ethnic/racial hate that would make a grandmother to hold herself back from holding her own grand child? What makes it even worse is that both Taiwanese and Hakka are technically Han Chinese and look exactly alike. This was the reality in Taiwan 40 years ago. Moving forward to present day, when the Taiwanese President Chen wanted a running mate, he picked a Hakka (Vice President Lu) to garnish Hakka voters. Today Taiwanese and Hakka kids in Taiwan can date and marry with far less opposition from their parents, but it took many decades for this to happen, and the different groups are still politically divided.
To those who thinks Americans are still socially backward, I say that we've already taken steps out of our ethnic ghettos. We're not at a point where Whites, Asians, Blacks mix freely. Many interracial couplings today are jungle fevers, or something like my white ex-GF telling me that I wasn't "Asian enough" for her, or an Asian-Chinese girl's white BF dumping her because she wasn't "Asian enough" and went after a Japanese girl, or Asian guys who want a "Britney Spears", or white boys dreaming about liberating oppressed Asian girls who are forced to be subservient to her husband, but himself attracted to the girl because of her supposed subservient attitude.
Some day we'll get to the point where people of different skin colors mix freely without weird fetishes, but that day is not today, and until then we have to live with the present social realities and deal with it here in the US. I have 2 groups of friends, one is white and another is Asian. I don't mix the 2 groups because they aren't ready, and previous attempts usually ended in disaster. Perhaps in my children's time they will be.
Also, while America might lag behind other countries in being socially progressive, I think the legal and political barriers are already down. Winston used to live in Washington, I think the former Governor there was Gary Locke, a Chinese American? If you look south, Oregon elected David Wu to the US House of Representatives. If you look north, British Columbia's former Lt. Governor was David S.C. Lam. Also, even with the EP-3E collision incident over Hainan in 2001, G.W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao to the Presidential Cabinet as Secretary of Labor, and David Chu to the Pentagon (!) as the US Under Secretary of Defense.
If one of our F-18's accidentally rammed into a Chinese Y-8 SIGINT aircraft, do you think the Chinese will appoint a White American guy to their Central Military Commission?
So, yeah, I think we're actually pretty progressive in some areas!
Last edited by momopi on September 16th, 2007, 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
I think we are arguing at cross purposes here. I have never heard Winston challenge or criticise the formal, political, economic and civil aspects of the US.
He was addressing the issue of social life for him and others who suffer in loneliness and who might have a better life abroad. And he had spent years in the Pacific North West , which is a pretty dull place and found Russia to be more exciting and found that people treated him better there.
Green cards, citizenship, jobs, and things like that are not even an issue here.We all know how generous the US gov't /economy/corporate world is. But we are not trying to date, socialize, or have a party with the US gov't/corporation etc.
It is the many dull, insipid, humorless, xenophobic aspects of US including the fact that it is hard to talk to strangers ( because of the British heritage) that makes life miserable for quite a few people. These people should go abroad and add (an)other country(ies)) to America.
However, it does not mean one has to move to Japan, UK, Oz or another reserved nation to find social life. Russia is good, most of Latin America is good, ex-Yugoslavia is not so bad, Philippines is good. So we go there as an addition to America (not as a replacement to it)- this way we have a complete life. I do not think any of us are naive enough to look for great financial benefits from governments and infrastructures of those countries. We are not even talking about those things.
I personally hate the racial segregation here and the big deal people give to race/nationality.I do not like the fact that you cannot meet people on buses/ subways so easily. And I do not like the fact that there are not that many attractive women for so many attractive men. As compared to say Russia, Brazil, Philippines, Thailand, VN etc.
Also, this site is for those who are not really succeeding in the US social life, not for those who do. If some think America is great socially, then more power to them. For all others, there is this site.
Last edited by ladislav on September 16th, 2007, 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
I agree! The social conditions here in the US for single men is horrible! It's the only country in the world where seminars are being held for thousands of dollars teaching men how to "pick up" women! In addition to all the books and dvd's that teach men "how to approach women" " how to ask a women for her phone number" "how to meet women in bars and clubs."
Most Anglo Germanic countries are xenophobic and stuck up( socially, not politically or economically). Take the tube in London- no eye contact,no talking to strangers- it is a taboo.It is good for privacy and anonymity but not for meeting pretty young ladies.
A Brit once told me that the only way to meet girls wold be to take some class or or join a club.
In NZ they say that "women are so ugly and masculine that men prefer sheep".
Another thing- in the FSU countries a whole bunch of girls go to a disco to meet single guys. Guys also go there in groups. This is how they meet. In the US, you mostly go with someone you know and you dance there within your group.
If you like US social mechanisms and feel comfortable with them, then by all means, do not go abroad.If you do not like them, well, there are another 195 countries to explore.
W: Spot on! Check out this email I received from an Asian guy in Texas who cited the ways that you can get American women! Following them not only would mean that I try to be something I'm not, but would also feel totally unnatural, and still wouldn't guarantee anything!
"After browsing through your interesting site, I can understand the perspective you are coming from. As an Asian American living in Texas, I can say that I am in the worst place even in the United States. For the mating game, it's not only hard for asian men, but hard for most men period to hook up with beautiful woman day in and day out. I haven't had a hard time hooking up with caucasian woman in Texas, but I do notice it is 10 times easier when I go to Canada. I can only imagine how easy it would be in Russia. A man's "game" has got to be in tip top form to do well in the States.
A Vietnamese buddy of mine who is now 26 pulls more interracial poon in conservative Dallas, TX than most white guys I know. It took him several years to work out the kinks in his "game". Here are some patterns I've learned from asian guys who are average looking and who are successful with American woman.
1) Leverages good looking friends to attract other good looking girls
2) Never complements a girl...Keep "busting her chops" without being rude. It brings her back down to earth.
3) Double book dinner dates. (most great looking girls are flaky)
4) Well connected in the night life ( knows bouncers, managers, bartenders)
5) very fashionable (a standard must)
6) works out (a standard must)
7) Must be well connected or socially affiliated with some kind of group so girls see where you stack up.
8) Shows up to clubs in groups and never alone. (you're perceived as a loser unless you're recognized or famous)
In a conservative place like Texas, what a guy is affiliated with is very important in the game. Girls are always seeing where you stack up in the pecking order. You don't have to be rich or great looking. Girls easily fall for smokes and mirrors if you create the illusion that you are higher on the pecking order. If you can manipulate this, you can overcome looks, race, height, and money.
All in all, it is possible even in the deep south to pull lots of girls your way. The truth is that it takes a lot of effort and time to manipulate woman's perception of you.
I support your cause. If I wasn't settled with a fiancee and baby right now, I'd probably in some foreign country right now with you enjoying the debauchery."
Also, check out this discussion at Seattle Meetup:
http://newintown.meetup.com/38/messages ... ad=2043864
The folks there are all saying and agreeing that when you move to a new place, it typically takes about 2 years to make new friends!!!!!!!!!!
Are they sure they are talking about the whole world and not just Seattle?!
Golly, who has two years of life to waste?!
Ladislav, by the way, I changed the description of your Expatriate Observations guide on my welcome and index page to make it sound a little better. What do you think?
"# Expatriate Observations - The best advice guide I've ever seen on dealing with a multi-national lifestyle written by my cultural consultant, an intellectual world traveler and writer who speaks nearly 10 languages. He is so deep that I dub him "The Socrates of International Culture". The guide describes a deep variety of factors of a multi-national existence, going over things you wouldn't have thought to consider, including taboo subjects. Reading it is a very culturally enriching experience in and of itself. "
Would you be interested in publishing it as a pamphlet to sell online or through Amazon.com? Or as an ebook? What do you think?
I think it would sell.
Yeah, there are a lot of ridiculous prerequisites you have to qualify.
There's all these absurd and arbitrary rules that you have to follow and it just doesn't feel natural at all.
This is in Texas too, where the people are supposed to be more open and sociable.
Like the list that Winston posted, yeah it's possible according to the Vietnamese guy but you gotta have a checklist of all those things.
You better a clique full of buddies, know the bouncers and managers from wherever(school, previous work, etc).
Yeah, there's a chance, but the chances really suck.
The "dating" seminars go to further show how primitive socially, the American Society is: http://www.youtube.com/user/abcofattraction
This guy is also an example of an Asian man that's been successful in blending in with these artificial American values, you can see it in the way he speaks and his dress style.
I mean you gotta have some guy show you step by step how to resort to these antics.
Whatever happened to being decent looking guy and being nice polite and friendly?
There is a show now in America on vh1 Mondays at 9pm Eastern called the "Pickup artist" where this pickup artist named "mystery" shows guys how to pick up women in bars and clubs and out on the street. The show is being done in Austin Texas and the women there seem just as unfriendly as women all over America! "Mystery" charges I think $ 3,000 for one of his seminars! And he gives seminars all across America! Guys are actually forking over thousands of dollars to have a guy teach them how to meet women!! You don't need that in other countries but that's America for you!