The New Refugees
At what point will you say “I’ve had enough, I want to leave”? A few of the smart ones here saw the quick painful decline of the west coming several years ago, and escaped. It’s not too late. Just do it.
More and more people are leaving America and other countries, and landing in China. We believe the best place to live in China is Shenzhen.
Many people begin the journey by seeking refuge in their computer, only to discover there are others out there, just like them, exactly like them, that have moved here or are planning to move here. If you are one of those guys that has finally” had enough”, we hope to meet you here soon, either on this blog or over a beer at one of Shenzhen’s finest restaurants. Cheers
Pop Culture…follow the money
Some things should not go together. I will discuss chicken feet ice cream in another post.
Trying to convince Chinese to embrace something that’s not already engrained in the culture is very difficult, unless there is mass hysteria or money involved. Common Chinese are now just becoming interested in the wine and coffee culture, not because they see value in it but because the higher classes have started to drink imported wine and expensive coffee. It’s the thing to do. Walking around with a Starbucks paper cup is a status symbol to some people. Having others see you walking around with an expensive product is also important to the growing consumer culture. ‘Hip and cool’ have arrived in China and trying to impress your friends is now….uh…fashionable. Read the rest of this entry »
So, you’ve decided to abandon the sinking ship of the west and begin a new life in China. Our teachings have helped thousands of refugees make the change and acclimate into Chinese culture seamlessly, but we’re surprised by how many people we meet here in Shenzhen that still don’t understand the basics of Chinese culture. Our in-depth classes and real life tours around China are shocking, extreme and overwhelming to most people once they begin to grasp how intricate and mind boggling the culture is. Furthermore, they are shocked at what the west has become and how easy life can be without the annoyance of Government control, pop culture garbage and angry females in their daily lives. But you must clear your mind and remove yourself before it all becomes clear. Once you escape America or the UK it all becomes obvious how a man’s normal life has been taken away and more important how the masses are accepting of what their countries have become. Read the rest of this entry »
Experiencing a full life of all things good and bad
What do you buy a man who has everything? How can a successful man experience new excitement after going to Australia and racing jeeps across the desert, hanging out in Davos Switzerland for a bit of skiing and deal making with the world’s most powerful business executives and politicians? What excites them after climbing the highest mountains in the world or trekking through the Amazon jungle? Read the rest of this entry »
A path that can’t be corrected
The United States by every measure is hanging on by a thread to its First World status. Saddled by debt, with a rising police state at home, declining economic productivity, and wild currency fluctuations all threaten America’s future.
The general designations of the ranking system for world status date back to the 1950s, and have included countries at various stages of economic development. Since the Cold War, the definition has come to be synonymous with repressive countries.
While much of the world is still mired in poverty, the reduced cost of innovative tools such as computing and connectivity ironically puts traditional Third World countries at the forefront of a new lean-and-mean economy that is based on ideas of empowerment for the disenfranchised. For better or worse, the world is leveling due to Globalism. However, America and other over-leveraged countries face this re-balancing of the globe at a time when they have dwindling resources. Welfare handouts, government regulation and redistribution of wealth from productive citizens are breaking down the fabric of what made America great. Incentive and innovation are dying and slowly we can see the obvious signs that the United States is beginning to resemble a Third World country. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m offended that you are offended
The Chinese people are not easily offended, because they are tolerant. They tolerate the intolerable and they are not easily offended. This is to be admired and respected and the topic rarely comes up or acknowledged in the expat community here in China. And if a Chinese is offended, they will not demand justice or make a huge issue over it. The quietly move on with their lives. How civilized this behavior is.
To be offended is usually a rather unpleasant experience, one that can expose a person to intolerance, cultural misunderstandings, and even evoke the scars of the past. This is such an unpleasant experience that many people develop a thick skin and try to only be offended in the most egregious and awful situations. In many circumstances, they can allow smaller offenses to slip by as fighting them is a waste of time and energy. But American people, blessed with both time and energy, are not these types of people. In fact there are few things American people love more than being offended, or pointing out that the situation COULD BE offensive to someone. Read the rest of this entry »
Year of the Dragon
As hundreds of millions of Chinese begin their journey back to their hometowns and villages for the 2012 lunar festival, stress sets in for those that fear going back home without an ample supply of gifts and money to give to relatives or worse, going back home as a single person without any marriage prospects and the inevitable introductions to potential spouses with the help of worried family members. I hear these stories through friends and as I walk the streets of Shenzhen listening to strangers chat about their anxiety as we build up to the biggest Chinese holiday of the year. Shenzhen being a city of mostly outsiders and very few local people with local ties to the community, the stress and frustration is higher here than other cities. For those of us that remain in the city we will see the city slow down as the mass migration begins. Many venues and services will be closed and the crowds diminished…so this will be a good excuse to engage in more excessive drinking, eating with friends and composing silly new songs the next few weeks. Read the rest of this entry »
Project Bird Brain
As China searches for new ways to encourage the mass population to embrace creativity and innovation, scientists have started research in understanding the differences between western animals and Chinese animals. It seems the brain development in some species in other countries is not equal when it comes to the “imagination zone” of the brain.
Forcing the brain to be creative is the next step in the research department at the city of Shenzhen’s “Brain Feels Good” science institute. Read the rest of this entry »
Understanding a country is as easy as understanding the people
When I was a young man I acquired several books that would change my thinking and steer the course of my entire adult life. One of those books was Dale Carnegies “How to win friends and influence people”. Understanding and attempting to understand another person’s point of view before criticizing them will help people come together and hopefully overcome problems you may be dealing with. Knowing a friend or opponent’s history, their thinking and life situation is critical to dealing with them on a deeper level. Anticipating someone’s next step is easy if you have the desire to learn. Problem is, most westerners don’t have the desire to learn. “Take it or leave” is their attitude, no attempt to understand or decipher the cause and effect of a person’s behavior and if you don’t like the final result, you can always get an attorney.
Every day I meet new people here in Shenzhen. Foreigners from all over the world and Chinese from all over China come to Shenzhen and I’ve found that Americans are easy to understand. This is good and bad. After meeting an American for a few hours I can tell you where they are on the political spectrum, their religious beliefs, attitudes towards others and most of their history…and highly emotional and self important. I can’t say the same about Chinese. Read the rest of this entry »
New and Modern China
Without question, China has quickly become the new economic growth frontier. Pursuing investment opportunities in China has become far easier as a result of recent changes in China’s law. Without such a law, substantial capital from China’s private sector could not be effectively channeled into development of a high-tech sector for venture funding.
Since the early 1990s, Chinese government leaders have witnessed and admired the growth of the technology sector and the ensuing benefits to the United States’ economy. They have attributed such growth, among other factors, to the presence of an active venture capital community in the US and other western countries. They have openly made known their desire to see the success of the western venture capital process replicated in China and have taken initiatives and adopted policies over the recent years to achieve this ambition. Read the rest of this entry »
Ask Fei Fei
Our newest team member is ‘Fei Fei’ from Hunan province. She will occasionally help give advice on having a better life in China and will also answer any questions about living here in the Middle Kingdom.
Thriving in China
It is important in your first year to keep your mind on the positives in your new life. Your first year is always the hardest in terms of adjusting and making a go of your new life. Many people will quit before the end of their first year and head back to comfort of their old home. Those who are able to move through this first year and into their second and subsequent years are the ones really embracing their new life here in Shenzhen. Try some of these quick tips to keep you looking on the brighter side of life: Read the rest of this entry »
A guide on how to visit a Chinese Jail
There are people who head out into the world looking for adventure, and then there are the adventures that come and find you.. and then there are fools that do foolish things in other countries. They should stay at home if they aren’t capable of learning the intricacies and undercurrents of a culture and how to think clearly in a critical situation…or have a crew of friends to help them maneuver through an alien culture.
One way you know you’ve had a foolish adventure is that the things you’ve been through are so intense, you’d like to have your name changed when they tell your story. So let me call our fool “ Luke”. And the adventure he thought he was having was that he’s an American, from Minnesota, working and living in one of the most booming, vibrant cities in the world– Shenzhen, China. 15 million people, one of the richest cities in China.
And he loved it. He made good money, he’d built a life for himself, a life which included a semi-regular after-work pickup soccer game. Now his real adventure, the one that found him, started after one of these soccer games. He’d gone out for a drink after a game with some of the players, and around 10 PM he was heading home, walking along one of Shenzhen’s wide boulevards, with outdoor cafes and noodle shops all along it.
Luke: So I’m kicking my soccer ball, for the most part completely under control, but all of a sudden I slip, fall on my back, and the ball goes flying.
(This is where the Fool makes his first critical mistake and doesn’t understand how to act when people are everywhere) Read the rest of this entry »
From Shakespeare’s pithy put-downs to insinuating someone knows his own mother in a biblical sense, the art of insulting people is strange, extremely colorful and varied across cultures and dialects.
Insults around the world often relate to bodily functions, intelligence, incest or social status. China’s insults are no different. Many of the insults, especially the cruder ones, are obvious once you know a few words, and for the language student those words (hint: think genitalia and mating) can be found in most dictionaries and even on Google Translate.
But some of the best insults are more nuanced than just exchanging someone’s given name with a four-letter epithet. While I am by no means an expert, here some of my personal observations on insults in the Middle Kingdom Read the rest of this entry »
The charge of your life
The biggest shock foreigners experience coming to Shenzhen is how modern and new the city is…but that’s another story.
Expats should expect to experience some degree of culture shock in China. Those moving to China may find aspects of adjustment rather amusing and others unexpected bonuses. Either way, taking the necessary steps to prepare accordingly can alleviate some of the tension and the severity of culture shock.
Westerners are often the indiscreet focus of attention in restaurants or walking down the street. While shopping in the grocery store, you may encounter someone that has never seen a foreigner before and wants to investigate what the foreigner is buying. Fascinating…what’s in your shopping cart, huh?
Unabated stares can make you uncomfortable and frustrated. There is also an occasional mark-up for some products sold to foreigners which can further feelings of alienation and frustrate expats who otherwise try to be part of the community. We have a training manual to explain all this.
You will slowly adjust to feeling ‘too close for comfort’ as enormous and dense crowds push and pack into public transportation or crowded sidewalks. Living and working in densely populated areas is standard. Chinese are comfortable in crowds but not everywhere is crowded. If you want to be alone or secluded with a group of friends, you can do that too. Read the rest of this entry »
You can retire young
Beaches, mountains, lakes, islands, diving, golf courses, warm weather, friendly people, great food, shopping at low prices. What more could one ask for? This is everyday life for Western expats throughout Asia. Some end up in the Philippines or Thailand. I believe the best place to be is in China….and specifically the city of Shenzhen. A great city to park and relax, a hub of sorts and everything is here.
There is no perfect place to retire, but for me, it comes close. The future is in China and there are opportunities unfolding everywhere.
The best places for retirement are likely to be in a cheaper country where retirees spend less, retire younger and live a happier, more relaxed life.
The biggest reason many people avoid China is the language barrier and fear of roughing it….but they are wrong Read the rest of this entry »
…theft in China
Chinese have been stealing foreign ideas for hundreds of years and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. It’s nothing new, so get used to it.
China continues to be accused of stealing secrets from major corporations that involve themselves with ‘Joint Ventures’ in exchange for access into the China market. Any foreign company wanting to reach this huge market needs to be aware of the rules in China and to come here thinking it will be easy AND profitable may learn the hard way. We’ve heard the stories about fake designer products, stolen intellectual property, high technology being reversed engineered and the manufacturing of fake products that are well below the world standard that seem to self destruct, break easily and harm humans.
What about the untold stories and the other things they rip-off? We want to bring to your attention a few unpopular products that never get any media attention….until now.
American media peddles fear
Years ago in Seattle when I would negotiate with the Asian community on large business transactions, I took note of their tactics and learned what to expect and how to react in a negotiation from start to finish. Mainland Chinese, Taiwanese and Hong Kongers were a large percentage of my business and I didn’t take it personally when they wanted to take advantage of a situation. It’s just how they do business. I wouldn’t get emotionally attached to the outcome. If I was representing a westerner in the transaction, with an Asian nationality on the opposing side, I would give my client a checklist of what to expect as we went through the negotiation process…and 100% of the time I was correct. They can outmaneuver most westerners because it’s part of their culture and they enjoy the process more than us. If you know their tactics it’s not difficult to beat them at their own game. Read the rest of this entry »
Fun Facts for Foreigners
Crossing into the fresh clean border at Shenzhen China is very efficient and somewhat friendly. The new facility at “Shenzhen Wan” near Shekou is the newest of the border crossings. Years ago coming into China was very intimidating and most Chinese were suspicious and perplexed by foreigners with their big noses and odd behavior. Times have changed and China is adapting and acclimating to a world standard at a very fast pace. They won’t freak out by seeing a foreigner in the city, but in the countryside it’s another story. You may get the same reaction as someone seeing a two headed cat. Some will be fearful and withdraw, while others will be interested and come nearer, but within the city, you’re just another Shenzhener.
Entitlement Mentality Ruins Capitalism
The reasons that lie behind the riots in the UK and Europe are many and complex, one part of the equation is starkly obvious, and that is that the rioters think they are “entitled”.
For decades, the a majority of the public believe the mantra that the successful in society only get that way because they exploit the weak, and therefore the weak have every right to demand a greater share of the wealth.
So lazy voters have sat on the couch and watched Oprah for twenty years and have grown to expect that this unproductive lifestyle should be eternally subsidized by the productive people that make the system function.
Suddenly, in the manner of the goose and the golden egg, the money isn’t there anymore, and these people face a very unpleasant future. Read the rest of this entry »
Freedom and Elvis have left the building
We are living in unprecedented times. There are events occurring now that had never occurred before in political and economic systems. As I watch the painful decline of the west from my comfy chair here in Shenzhen China, I’ve been closely tracking expert commentary on the unfolding economic crisis pummeling America. In the past few weeks I’ve heard THREE TIMES a comment I’ve never heard uttered before from business professionals and world traveled financial gurus; “China has more freedom than America”.
Shocking? Not for me, but for the ignorant masses that are unaware of what’s happening on the world stage, they probably refuse to believe it. One comment I get from the un-enlightened back in America is: “Do you have the right to protest in China”? I say, “Who cares”. Read the rest of this entry »
America’s Economic Superiority is Finished
All over the mainstream media today, the wealthy are being pitted against the poor. Those advocating for the wealthy, claim that if we could just cut the taxes for the rich and make things easier for them that they will create lots of jobs for the rest of us. Those advocating for the poor claim that the gap between the rich and the poor is now larger than ever and that if we could just get the workers to fight for their rights that we could get things back to how they used to be. It is a very interesting debate, but it totally ignores a reality that is even more important. America’s economic leadership is dead. As part of the new globalist economy, every single month massive amounts of U.S. wealth is being transferred out of the United States and into foreign hands in exchange for oil and Chinese manufactured products. In addition, every single month our national government goes into more debt, our state governments go into more debt and our local governments go into more debt. The interest on all of this debt represents a tremendous transfer of wealth. What most Americans fail to grasp is that our collective wealth is getting smaller. Read the rest of this entry »