Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
DavyJonesLocker

serpentza

Recommended Posts

DavyJonesLocker

Anybody ever follow this chap on youtube. I don't bother with youtube too much but he has some interesting takes on China. It certainly not my experience here in my China such as scams etc but then again I don't bother with the bar scene or go to silk street etc

 

Also I think he has a tendency to focus on Shenzhen and relay that to represent the whole of China. Shenzhen is a city I never found likeable.

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl7mAGnY4jh4Ps8rhhh8XZg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

歐博思

Sounds like you have some disagreeing viewpoints with the Dynamic Duo?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DavyJonesLocker
8 hours ago, 歐博思 said:

Sounds like you have some disagreeing viewpoints with the Dynamic Duo?

 

 

Well, I broadly agree but some areas I am not in full agreement for example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUfsB2siCOI in this one he talks about the how you will get an automatic fine in the post for traffic infractions . This is not true from my experience.. It does not happen anywhere near as frequent has he suggests. I also drive too and my colleagues also rarely get them yet break the rules 20 times a day. He also makes excuses for the bad driving and suggests that there is no real rules or not enforced(true) but the reality is that chinese people on average cannot drive to any sort of standard as many Western countries. Just because you can get away with it is not excuse to put your family in danger but reckless driving as I see every day of the week. The stupidity is somewhat outstanding at times. 

 

Another one is this where he suggest that chinese men are not that manly. Maybe down south, they may be seen a bit more effeminate, but he needs to come to northern china and see what a lot of what the guys are like especially near the russian border.

 

Even on his main page he shows a clip of himself drinking on a motorbike. That is quite irresponsible as he should well know there is a zero tolerance policy on drink and driving. I personally know of a few chaps who have done jail time,  because of this.

 

Overall they are quite refreshing to watch,  in that they don't hold back but I think he highlights more negativity that positivity at times. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
歐博思
5 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I think he highlights more negativity that positivity at times

Gotta keep the Youtube views coming, I guess.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lumbering Ox
On 12/11/2017 at 4:26 PM, DavyJonesLocker said:

Even on his main page he shows a clip of himself drinking on a motorbike. That is quite irresponsible as he should well know there is a zero tolerance policy on drink and driving. I personally know of a few chaps who have done jail time,  because of this.

 

Him and his two buddies Prozzie and CMilk seem to have, erm, issues.

 

Although those Transporter and Crank movies were pretty good. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
陳德聰

Honestly I saw that his videos are more than a couple minutes long and couldn’t be bothered to watch all the way through. Is this not just another “foreigner in China talks about China” vlog channel? And not a very captivating one at that...

 

I watched the first maybe minute and a half of the driving one and while yes, driving in China is certainly bad and dangerous if you try to enforce a “western” lens on it, but I wondered about whether he would talk of recent efforts in UK for example around “naked streets” or whatever they’re called where intersections have no traffic lights by design and traffic congestion is actually reduced. I think this brings up questions of whether the so-called “orderly” version of driving is actually as great as people think. Are car fatalities really that common in Shenzhen? I think we are supposed to look at these issues in terms of percentage and not just plain incidence rate, right? I’d wager that the majority of Chinese drivers are actually not much better or worse than the majority of drivers in other places, within their own system. It’s when you try to transplant them into a different system and vice versa that problems arise, in my opinion.

 

He seems to have a following, and a relatively cushy English teaching job, so he’s obviously doing something “right”.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
1 hour ago, 陳德聰 said:

Are car fatalities really that common in Shenzhen?

I don't know what the modern statistics are, but I remember seeing something several years back stating that China had 3% of the world's drivers and ~20% of the world's driving fatalities.

 

In the 6 years I lived in China, I also personally knew several people who died as a result of car accidents - one of them was killed in an accident on the way to her father's funeral (also a road fatality).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
陳德聰

in an accident on the way to her father's funeral (also a road fatality).

That is horrible.

 

I also just looked at the WHO stats and it appears that the “orderly” version of driving is actually as great as people think. I stand corrected! But in typical China-deflective fashion... the number of road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles is higher in South Africa than in China... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
13 minutes ago, 陳德聰 said:

That is horrible.

It really was.  She was a student of mine who suddenly stopped showing up to class.  I asked some of the other students what happened, and that was the reason.  It still makes me sad to think about, that and another senseless death of one of my students who was on the losing side of a knife fight.  Two lives cut down well before their time... :cry: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DavyJonesLocker
7 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

I’d wager that the majority of Chinese drivers are actually not much better or worse than the majority of drivers in other places, within their own system. It’s when you try to transplant them into a different system and vice versa that problems arise, in my opinion.

 

Chinese peoples' driving skills are pretty bad to be honest. Its a wide generalisation indeed. I drive in China, used to drive regularly in Europe and many times in USA. Well I really should be clear and write  "road and safety awareness" is lacking  

 

You do have a point though in that you need to go with the flow in China, you expect someone to pull right out on front of you, drive down the street the wrong way, break traffic lights and in reality you start to ".... do as the romans do so to speak" otherwise you upset the whole system. 

 

I never could understand the lack of mentality not to wear a seatbelt nowadays given the numbers signs along the roads. You often see in China, Mothers or grandmothers sitting in the passenger or back seat of a car holding a baby with no seat belt or protection for the baby. But then again when I grew up in the 70's, kids never wore a seatbelt either so i do understand it will take time for the message to sink in. 

 

@imron

shocking to heard about your young student losing their life at such a young age. I  knew one or two  people who lost their life at young age. I sometimes think how their life would have progressed if the situation had been different. A school friend of mine was killed when he was 14, bicycle caught under wheels of a truck, years later his sister committed suicide  and their father died from pancreatic cancer not long after that. Awful tragedy to bestow on one family. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve
On 12/12/2017 at 5:26 AM, DavyJonesLocker said:

Overall they are quite refreshing to watch,  in that they don't hold back but I think he highlights more negativity that positivity at times. 

 

Such topics are made to get people to click more thereby generating more income for the vlogger. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
happy_hyaena

I've watched Serpentza on and off for quite a while now. I would say that he isn't just any "foreigner in China vlogger", but the biggest one among non-Chinese speakers.

 

I'm a bit unsure about how I feel about him. A lot of what he says is true, and considering how he has lived in China for about a decade so he has a lot of experience to speak from. In general I think what he says is pretty true, but the way he presents it makes him come across as a pessimistic or even bitter person (though he would call himself "brutally honest"). I unsubscribed when he started using titles like:

 

"Is China really MODERN or stuck in the DARK AGES?"

"CHINESE people are NOT INFERIOR but many are INSECURE!"

"No POLITICAL CORRECTNESS in CHINA!"

"Why do Chinese people DRIVE so badly? It's NOT their fault!"

(I cherry-picked these but you get the point)

 

If you've been studying Chinese for a while and lived there, these kinds of videos quickly become boring. And while I'm sure he is actually positive to China (all things considered), producing these kinds of videos attract shitty people. E.g., people who have never been to China but like making fun of Chinese people; or the type of loser foreigner who has lived in China for a long time but speaks no Chinese and only hangs out at foreigner bars to commiserate with each other. Both him and C-milk get shit on a lot by a lot of native Chinese, and sometimes rightfully so. I do prefer C-milk because he's funny and Vivi seems like a really nice person.

 

If you're serious about learning Chinese then I recommend that you watch other foreigners in China, like Fulinfang or Trevor James the Food Ranger , who target Chinese.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ilande
6 hours ago, happy_hyaena said:

I unsubscribed when he started using titles like:

 

"Is China really MODERN or stuck in the DARK AGES?"

"CHINESE people are NOT INFERIOR but many are INSECURE!"

"No POLITICAL CORRECTNESS in CHINA!"

"Why do Chinese people DRIVE so badly? It's NOT their fault!"

(I cherry-picked these but you get the point)

I did as well. I still want to watch, but I feel like I don't want to support that kind of click-baity behaviour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NotChinese

My reason for never watching his videos is sheer jealousy, ha.

 

I'm quite into motorbiking, and I noticed him and the other guy do a lot of motorbike adventures where they record things, discuss China, etc, and it just made me too jealous to continue. I would love to go out on motorcycle adventures like that.

 

Regarding the topical content of the videos, I'm not really interested. It's the kind of thing that I expect China fanboys and fangirls which watch quite rigorously, living vicariously through the video content, feeling like they 'know' China better via his channel, yet most of them will probably never visit the country apart from perhaps a watered down trip to Beijing.

 

Personally I'll just carry on living in China for myself.

 

Also I agree it went into full bore clickbait mode a long time ago. I remember seeing one video where he said he was quitting the day job in order to become a full time youtuber. That probably explains the trashy video titles. Good luck to him anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zbigniew
3 hours ago, NotChinese said:

feeling like they 'know' China better via his channel,

In fairness to him I think his videos may have helped save some people from being taken advantage of or worse (as he and some of his friends seem to have been) whilst in China.

 

Many years ago four Chinese students who were friends of mine and on a visit to my country were burgled in broad daylight whilst they were at home in their shared house. They were also scammed and illegally evicted by their landlord. Another Chinese friend, who was female, was violently mugged in my neigbourhood and dragged off the street into a nearby park, where she was assaulted. She was on the phone to her mother in China at the time, and her mother heard her being attacked and then the phone connection being cut off. Because her phone was stolen by her attacker, it was some time before she was able to ring her mother and reassure her that she was OK ----ish.

 

Since then I've counselled many Chinese visitors to my country on security matters, and I've asked all of them to make their compatriots more aware of the risks and how to do their best to avoid them. It would only be a good thing, as far as I'm concerned, if there were a Chinese counterpart of Serpentza posting videos from my country warning his or her compatriots in Chinese how to keep safe, or at least safer, when they take the plunge and come to my country, which will not necessarily be as safe "as their safe little hometown" or have "all the home comforts" they're used to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SerpentZA

To be fair, the only reason I make my videos is to help people understand China so that if they do end up living in or visiting China they can avoid some of the many pitfalls and issues I have encountered over the years. I enjoy sharing my experiences of living in China with my subscribers and they are the reason why I keep making videos, there isn’t any sort of sinister motivation or schemes unfortunately, it’s just a bloke sharing his opinions :)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ilande
On 2018/1/15 at 3:24 PM, SerpentZA said:

To be fair, the only reason I make my videos is to help people understand China so that if they do end up living in or visiting China they can avoid some of the many pitfalls and issues I have encountered over the years. I enjoy sharing my experiences of living in China with my subscribers and they are the reason why I keep making videos, there isn’t any sort of sinister motivation or schemes unfortunately, it’s just a bloke sharing his opinions :)

Just to clarify, I don't really have an issue with the contents of your videos. On the contrary I think they're very helpful, and give lot's of useful insight. It's just that the click-baity manner in which you title your videos recently simply rub me the wrong way, and it just feels like it detracts from your credibility.

 

I guess an argument can be made that it isn't click-bait if the content is actually good, but with the myriad of actual click-bait content around the internet these days, I automatically tend to avoid things that I associate with it.

 

I wish you the best of luck, and watch out for evil uncles! :)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eslnomad

I appreciate Serpentza's frank and honest videos and it's immensely instructive to see the wumao comments below his videos which are often classic cases of sophistry and deflection.  For example a recent video points out that while in the US, he and a fellow American vlogger were called "lao wai" when walking around in a Chinese neighborhood.  I understand and accept the argument that the term is not hostile or perjorative and simply means "foreigner", but the point is that Chinese call Americans foreigners in their own country.  It does not make sense to try to claim this does not happen just because most non-Sinophone, non-Chinese heritage Americans don't understand the language are simply not aware of it.  Even if one were to say that Chinese feel so at home in their Chinatown that they look at Caucasians as foreign, I must say that I've experienced being called a foreigner by Chinese tourists in Poland where I am a national and there is no Chinatown to speak of.  It's an interesting phenomenon and was not presented in a negative tone, but instead of discussing its implications, many Chinese commentators immediately tried to deflect the issue onto the semantics of "lao wai", accuse Serpentza of trying to drive a wedge between locals and Chinese immigrants, or outright try to get people to deny the evidence of their own senses. 

 

Actually, while I accept the neutrality of laowai (although there are no absolutes here and terms have a variable valence, see the history of the usage of "gay" in the English language), I must say that one of the more disheartening things about learning Chinese is hearing some of the incredibly nasty things that are being said about one from utter strangers when they assume you don't know what they are saying.  Why not discuss the root causes of where this bitterness comes from instead of pretending it does not exist?  Reading the comments section of some youtuber's videos, one would think that spitting, noise, rude behaviour, scams against foreigners in the capital (add to that unprovoked trash-talking about foreigners), are an invention of foreign vloggers and not inherent parts of the landscape, and yes they are, I've lived in China for years, in a total of four provinces.  And again it's not helpful to deflect the issue onto Western imposition of norms since the behaviours criticized are not prevalent in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc. nations to the East of mainland China. 

 

*Here I edit to add the definition of gaslighting, since this is a narcissist technique of asking you to questions your perception or sanity rather than accept blame. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting

 

What all of this puts squarely on the table is that many Chinese are not adult enough to accept criticisms of their country.  Even when the tone is not critical, the mere presentation of facts that might be taken negatively is a cause for sophistry, or extreme abusive language.  That does not indicate a country with an adult mentality ready to be part of a globalized landscape but one which obsessively sees walls dividing self from other.  Given ostensibly cooperative projects like "one belt one road", it's a lesson foreign "others", call them laowai if you like, should hasten to learn. 

 

*Edited to add definition of gaslighting.

Edited by eslnomad
Addition
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zbigniew

Thirty years ago, I used to be slightly troubled by the frequency with which I was referred to as a laowai (or worse), particularly in my own country; now it just rolls off me as an inevitable symptom of where China happens to be at a particular point in its cultural evolution. Ultimately, if unfriendly prejudice is behind instances of name-calling, it's not my weakness that's to blame, but someone else's, so I can live with that.

 

Sadly, in China's present climate of increasing authoritarianism, nationalistic sentiment and anti-Western prejudice look likely to become more prevalent rather than the reverse. What I hope this doesn't give rise to is a situation where Chinese people residing abroad (or anyone that looks as if they might be Chinese) increasingly become victims themselves of tit-for-tat prejudice directed at them by non-Chinese with increasingly nationalistic mindsets of their own. There is every reason to suspect that this could very easily happen if it's not happening already.

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...