In our last section we went over the English teacher dilemma. Suffice to say, many are losers but not all. Now on to my personal classifications for those with real jobs. Again, forgive me for generalizing but it’s too much fun and isn’t that what we humans do…
Good Businessmen: Your average fellow who happens to work here. Maybe they’re interested in China and came on purpose and learn the language, but it’s also possible they were relocated here and make the most of it. Either way they aren’t the complainy type.
Long-term or short-term, they respect others and are citizens of the world and know how to conduct themselves with dignity. It’s no big deal to be in China, it’s simply a good place to work and live. The more ambitious ones start their own company, trading or whatever, and make good money and contribute to the world well enough.
I’ve particularly met a lot of cool Germans of this variety. Point is, they are quality people who work here and act like they would anywhere else in the world. These are expats worth networking with at parties, and most of all worth making friends with.
Evil Businessmen: Personally, I’d argue that the arrogant rich trader doesn’t get enough of a bad rap in the expat scene.
Some people might be easily impressed by such big spenders, but I just know there’s something off about them. They complain, they don’t want to learn the language, and deep down they seem hostile to it all behind their sales-trained smiles. Most of these guys aren’t even that rich, they’d be middle managers back home but abroad they think they are so damn big shit.
There is a tinge of racism and classism that one can sense as well. Sometimes it’s not about sensing at all, sometimes it’s blatant racism. Sexism too, more on that below.
This kind of expat has a privileged background and has come to this poor country to do whatever he wants. The locals are seen as merely the servant class meant to massage his feet (or elsewhere) and serve him food and work in his factory. Any friendships to be made are rather shallow and condescending.
Note this sort of expat never ever makes friends with Chinese males. But how very interested he is in local females. Here’s the sexist part– listen to the ol’ rant about how feminism has ruined the women back home, and he prefers uneducated Asians for their docile submissiveness as well as allowance for cheating. He might even be fine with outright paying for it and uncomfortably likes to tell you so, complete with details about his latest Southeast Asian business trip.
Let me just say it, there are a whole lot of these very old men with very young girls. Perhaps we’ve all had May-December romances in our past or present, mistakes to learn from or maybe a true love for the ages. It is kinda natural for girls to be attracted to mature men, and for men to like younger women. Yet, once you start getting into twenty-year gaps, upwards to thirty or forty, let us simply agree that is creepy and more than a tad undignified. I know way too much: the American in his forties in open relationship with teenager, the Brit in his sixties with a stream of twenty-something girls around him. Am I being ageist; are they supposed to be breaking down generational barriers or something? Come on. OK, moving on from that subject now.
There are all stripes out there. Nobody’s perfect and some may lean towards these general aspects without being that bad, some are more decent than others. But I’ve met some true sociopaths in this world, and they have a talent for masking their evil with material success. Watch out. I’m serious.
Call me bitter, but I never cared much for expats of that ilk.
That should about cover it. Am I on to something? Or am I being too harsh? I have left out plenty, but don’t you see someone you know? How about reflections of yourself? Let’s discuss.
And I might as well put it out there: guess which demo(s) go for me…