Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dear China, We Need To Talk

Dear China,

We just spent our first week together.

Now, I know you're supposed to be 'all that and a jelly sandwich', but before we continue our relationship, there are some things we need to discuss and get out in the open...some things I need to work on, and some things you need to work on.
Walking on the Bund

Can we talk? Does your silence convey agreement?
Okaaay, let's begin:

Don't Assume
Me: I shouldn't assume that you speak English. I know that now, and will work on learning enough Chinese to purchase food, find "el baƱo", and get back to my hotel. Although the hotel's 'tip sheet' was quite a nice backup.

You: Don't assume that because I'm an American, and walking by myself exploring your city, that I'm 'looking for massage' with 'sexy lady'  who is 'clean and treat you well'. To be frank, if you HAVE to clarify that she's 'clean', it probably means she isn't.

Don't Deny
Me: I won't deny that you are a force to be reckoned with. The technical insight I saw was quite impressive, and the people I worked with are quite smart. Your cities are growing and everybody seems to be working hard.

You: Don't deny me access to Facebook. Or YouTube. I know they didn't help that Libyan guy, but I find it really hard to believe that your culture is all that filled with unrest. My guess is that your citizens will find happiness in keeping in touch with their friends and colleagues from around the world, and laugh at all the 'cute kitten' videos they're missing.

Oh, and it didn't work anyway. A simple VPN account to a PC outside your country gave me unfettered (but admittedly slow) access to fill my Facebook needs.

Don't Limit
Me: I won't limit my customer interaction and co-worker networking to 'the west' and work to include my Chinese colleagues and their customers in my ideas, designs, and conversations. They are a fantastic bunch and are eager to work to make the world a better place.

You: Don't limit my Chinese colleagues to only have one child. How barbaric. When I talk of how my daughters train for gymnastics, and they assume a translation glitch and that I was really talking about my single daughter, it makes me sad. When I'm asked how old my child is, and I say I have 4, ranging from 8-15 years old, and they respond with "We are only allowed one", it makes me sad. Not only is it barbaric, but illogical. Yes, you have a lot of people, but your economy is awesome, and from what I can see, you still have lots of room to fill. Oh, and a tip: A man with the responsibility of providing for a large family is far more motivated to work hard and be responsible. You might be surprised at how your economy...and your overall quality of life...improves by just removing this legislation of stupidity. 

There. I feel much better. Do you? I hope so.

Why are you so quiet? Did I hurt your feelings? 

Wait, what? Why are you walking away? 

Well, I hope we can still be friends.

Until we next meet...

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