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gablaze23

"College life" in Universities

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fireball9261

Jamoldo, actually I agree with many of your points and feel that they are very valuable and real. However, I am one of those rare Chinese that feel it's better for non-Chinese to have a negative but real image of China (or Taiwan) than to have a wrong but positive image of the place and the people. I feel the later actually could cause more problems in the long run, but that is just my own opinion. :D

I really do not like the concept of keeping face and feel that one could not improve if one has no one to point out one's errors or mistakes; thus, I like to discover and discuss my own faults as well as any faults in any groups I belong to so that I or we could improve -- a very troublesome personality trait and definitely would not make my family members, classmates, people going to the same religious organizations, bosses, or my fellow Chinese happy. :wink: My mother feels despair of me since I was 4 years old. :mrgreen: It is actually a great asset for my job choice of Software Quality Assurance and Software Engineering -- I am famous to find faults in our computer systems prior, during, and after the integration phases! :mrgreen: My bosses feel despair of me and frequently showed me the examples of Microsoft and their products! :roll:

I think finding friends via the same interest would be better than anything. That is why I think it would be better to spend time for exercising if you like it and talk to people who exercise around you day in day out. If you like books, go to library a lot and talk to people who you see a lot there. If you like music or art or any other things, do it and talk to others who are doing those activities around you that you meet a lot of times and you might find a friend that would last a long time. The artsy friends might not be totally ignorant either. Many of the Chinese artsy friends I know also have very good knowledge in other areas because the true artist or musician must know something to make his/her art or music meaningful.

I like adrianlondon's way of spending time in Beijing. The same could be done in many other mainland Chinese cities (not very practical in Taiwan, but you would have other transportations). I especially like Suzhou. Also, try out some of the traditional Chinese performance art forms, and you might like it. My American husband learned to love Beijing Opera, and he had no Mandarin at all (well, just to order some food)! Personally, I think Jing1 Yun4 Da4 Gu3 京韻大鼓 is like Chinese rock and roll or raps, and I like the beat a lot even though I might not quite understand what they are singing about. Kuan1 Qu3 崑曲 is also very nice and mostly music I believe. Going to these kinds of performances would definitely get you some exposures to local Chinese and Chinese culture, and they are a lot cheaper than clubs, and you might be able to get beers or other alcoholic drinks anyway (just not cocktails). They are also not just old folks' entertainments, and the actors and actresses are not like the Western Operas at all.

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Jamoldo

First to respond to Adrian's post. East Coast Jazz Cafe is the place in Houhai and it's a great venue. As for nightlife you pretty much have everything in Beijing. Not necessarily in great quanitty but it's here. Lounge that costs a lot and posh? We got em. Grungy student hang outs? check. Rock/Hip Hop clubs? Ditto. Don't necessarily think you'll save money either, lots of bars are priced similar to Western countries, especially upscale ones, but there are plenty of well priced places too.

Fireball, I think "real" is the key word here. I came in with an optimistic outlook with regards to China and it took me about a year to have a real "bad China day." Ever since, I've had a fair share more of such days, but I remain optimistic for the most part; I think it's important, like you said to have a real view of China, rather than just this blind optimistic one. That being said, my view is far from negative, and I don't think negative and real really go together. For instance the bond between friends and family in China is something many in the west do not have. Look at family structure in the US. It's a joke. You could have a "real and negative" view of the US if you spend time in some poor neighborhood in Los Angeles or Chicago, right? Every nation has it's positives and negatives...

With regards to making friends, the method you've outlined is how most people make friends all around the world. What I'm saying is, that China and the Chinese has such an inferiority/superiority complex (depending on the situation/person) that they often don't treat foreign people normally like normal people (once again I attribute this to China's recent history more than anything). Like I said, meeting Chinese people is no problem (I do it all the time in restaurants, busses, bars, etc) regardless of interests, surroundings etc, its developing a close friendship in which you can discuss real things of importance/emotion that's difficult and I find that much easier in other nations, as do other people.

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fireball9261

Jamoldo,

I agree with your points. I have a lot of trouble talking with various Chinese myself. Actually, nowadays, in U.S., I don't ask someone who looks Chinese whether he/she is Chinese or not because I got burned by a lot of extreme Taiwanese Independence persons. I just ask where were they from? About subjects to talk, I use gradual methods to gradually figuring out what types of the persons they are before I even get into more serious issues, and I do this in U.S. with other Chinese!!! My poor American husband got totally dumped on by his mainland Chinese co-worker(s) about human right issues on several occassions with his chance remarks due to that famous "inferiority/superiority complex" -- I think most modern day Chinese have some of that no matter where they were born or grew up. :mrgreen:

I do think the mutual skirting around and finding out what could offend each other would be a way to gradually break into that thick Chinese shield. A lot of patience and calmness would also be helpful, too. Both I and my Shanghainess female friend are very bad tempered and easily offended due to our Chinese "inferiority/superiority complex" as well as the traditional bad temper of Jiang-nan women (women from Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces) , but both of our husbands are Americans who have a lot of patience and calmness, and we were best friends before we were couples. :D My husband and I are classmates with some working together experiences (but not really like working together day in day out -- I was his grader for the class he was teaching, and we met once a week for 10-15 minutes for 10 weeks, and I was assigned to him, not hired by him). My Shanghainess friend and her husband met for language exchanges type of classes, so they met more often, though. Therefore, I believe it is possible to get through that Chinese "inferiority/superiority complex". Btw, outside that "inferiority/superiority complex" shield, I also have the "anger towards all men" and "never want to marry" shields due to my own family environment, so ... Yes, I think it's possible to break through to the real Chinese for sure even when the persons are as stubborn as my Shanghainess friend and I. :D

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