Wonders Of Yunnan Travel

User profile: rick dikulous

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  • RegisteredFebruary 21, 2012
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredFebruary 21, 2012

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Laowai in Beijing trys to rape girl...

A large part of the problem, is that some urban Chinese citizens and netizens are totally out of touch with the reality of being a foreigner in China.

Wu Fei's ugly comments are just an example of this. She only sees the privileges. I find it really common that attempts at actually being diplomatic and polite fail so miserably and expose such resentment.

There are 3 or 4 nice things that come with being a westerner (she conflates foreigner and westerner, as many people seem too) in China, and a list of about 30 seriously not so nice things. Its those of us who are tough enough to handle the bad that stick around for the good. Lets face it, most people can't, wouldn't, and wont stick around.

Wu Fei's comments highlight a certain logic, the logic of the misbehaving tourist. There is no question that many tourists misbehave everywhere, while some are overpolite as well. But most tourists in any really large country are FROM that country. They are tourists because they are outside their hometown, its their chance to go nuts, and besides, mom and dad wont hear about their shenanigans. I really doubt that most of the crimes happening in Sanya for example are coming from British English teachers.

I think one of the most intolerable things about living in Chinese cities (I think the countryside is better) is that there is very little sensitivity to the hardships and discrimination, and a ridiculousness exaggeration of the privileges. Also, re: rudeness vs. civility-I would say that if you polled small businesses across the country they would say that foreign customers are the most polite. That is nothing to write home about, but I am just mentioning it as something you would never hear from people who call foreigners spoiled or "kings".

The good things I can think of about living in Chinese cities are:

*It is easy to make acquaintances (though hard to make close friends who really share feelings and who you can trust).
It is hard to create deep,open, loyal and true friendships. Those that you do make, well they are basically the number 1 reason to study Chinese or to live in or visit China. They could last a lifetime I think.

*Like in most places on earth (except USA/UK/France) most (by no means all ) people do appreciate your attempts to speak their language.

*Due to a certain amount of familiarity with westerners, many people are less judgmental about superficial differences (fashion, tastes), as well as faux pas than in the west.

*Strangers may be more likely to leave you alone, and less likely to randomly start a fight with you.

*You might get free drinks from people who are never going to be your friends.

*It may be a little easier for you to get a date, and I mean a date, not a one night stand (not there is anything wrong with those, if that is your thing). Unless you have a really hard time getting dates where you are from, in that case it will be much, much, easier. For most of us, finding people that we actually want to date long term is much harder in most Chinese cities than it is in the west, and may even be a reason to leave the prc.

Everything else I have to say is bad. The list includes things which are quite dangerous, like mobs gathering around you after a small traffic accident and declaring you guilty based on your foreignness.

Of course I am always curious what people like Wu Fei have to say about the behavior of some over zealous Chinese nationals in other Asian countries, such as Burma, or in Africa. She shouldn't have to say anything about it, that is my whole point- but if you follow the examples of those who worry about "foreigners", then she should.

And by the way, the guy who said that Laowai is a term of respect based on Lao (old) Wai (outsider) and then called others out of touch is a real laugh-that is the oldest myth about the term laowai.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Laowai in Beijing trys to rape girl...

One thing I forgot to say is, since there are a million "good" things done by laowai in China, people who go nuts only about the bad things that they choose to focus on, things done also by locals, are not rational people.

You cant win by playing their game and insisting on the importance of these events. The only long term strategy is- "I didn't do that, my friends didn't do that, most people everywhere wouldn't do that, both Chinese and laowai bad guys sometimes do that, but I am doing good things". If that doesn't work, you are hanging with the wrong people, and there really is nothing more that you can do.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Laowai in Beijing trys to rape girl...


1st, Sorry to sound harsh, but I think on this topic you do deserve it a bit, no offense.

You have no idea what my attitude or views about the situation of laowai in China are, except that I don't think there is a pending catastrophe. For all you know, I am even more sensitive to the xenophobia that we face than you are. The bigger the problem, the more wrong what you wrote was.

What you do or should know, is that I believe that copying the logic of xenophobia is not the answer and is hypocritical and counterproductive.
I am not sure how, after my last post, you can still fail to see that.

I think it is because you might think that laowai are a concerted force, or some kind of social class, therefore you believe that other laowai represent you, so you agree with the xenophobes about how things work. You just part ways with them to the extent that you want them to know that not everybody in your organization likes our current policy. But there is no organization and there is no policy. Did the rapist scream "In the name of all laowai, I will now attack" before he commenced his assault?

I am not only saying that "I" or "you" personally have not done bad things to "Asians". I am saying that historical crimes are really not the real reasons for xenophobia, as they are absolutely cherry picked and manipulated. And, that those crimes are done by certain groups, armies, and administrations who share material interests/goals, not by all people who simply share non-chineseness. In fact those foriegn groups often also did some crimes upon many of us outside of china as well. So, on this point, there is no "we".

The headlines: really? The US soldier one is totally not xenophobic by itself. I didn't read the article. Unless it talks about how, because this will effect all foreigners in Korea, and rightly so, the soldier should get life in jail, then it doesn't compare to what you wrote.

The new york cops are cops form new york-it is a statement of fact, and they represent a concerted professional organization with unilateral, publicly stated goals and policies, that is legally accountable for its actions. What does that have to do with this topic? Again there is no such laowai organization. The other links didn't work for me. If the question is, is the media (of many and perhaps all lands) often xenophobic? The answer is a yes.

You are caught in a deadlock because you want to be treated fairly, and not seen in a black and white manner, but since that is not forthcoming, you think that embracing the same logic that you object to will somehow get you closer to a practical stance. That is why I am calling you an uncle tom here. How could I call you an uncle tom if I don't think xenophobia is a real and big problem?

I am just totally sick of the "good laowai, bad laowai" dogma that every single xenophobe in china covers themselves with, and it is just as bad when you use it. Check the history of these forums, almost every time a local xenophobe comes on for the purpose of berating foreigners, they always play the same tune of the good laowai compared to the bad laowai, but everyone can still read the venom between the lines.

Every single Chinese born friend I have would never think to connect me to this incident, anymore than I connect them to anti-black marches in Nanjing that happened. They would consider my finger pointing at this Beijing laowai incident to be a cowardly attempt to ingratiate myself to people (xenophobes) who are simply not worth knowing, and who some Chinese people also find frightening.

I know I am not polite, and sorry for that, but I am clearheaded, and I can clarify any aspects of what I have written if asked. If enough others disagree with what I have written, I will reply to them when I get free time, if asked (I doubt anyone cares), and maybe you can read those replies if they interest you.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Laowai in Beijing trys to rape girl...

@ Robertp

Do I have to quote myself ? "And if they are, you should put them in their place, not apologize or call for harsher punishments for non Chinese." So what is your logic? They are still racist and not open minded, so, since they aren't ready for progress, let's help them in their xenophobia by promising to be good laowai?

That is not how progress happens.

Don't be an uncle tom. If xenophobia is a problem in China, and if it effects you, stand up for yourself, or write the truth. Don't promote that thinking by saying "Oh, but I'm a good laowai, those are the bad laowai". If xenophobia is a problem, the thread and thread title are supporting xenophobia. it is very simple.

For myself, I confront people about this everyday. The kids in my xiaoqu even teach other kids in our neighborhood not to say "Hello" to laowai, but instead to say "Ni hao", just in case the laowai they are greeting can't distinguish the "Hello Joke" or a sincere "hello", and as a way to discourage the "Hello Joke". They have this subtlety of knowledge about such things through what I teach them and their parents.

There are other things I won't talk about here, but, I am brutally against xenophobia. I don't think this news story in Beijing will effect most Chinese or the Chinese people that you know. Wether I am right or wrong on that point DOES NOT MATTER with regard to this issue.

In fact, if I am wrong, and you are in a precarious position as a laowai here, then the original post is THAT MUCH MORE TREACHEROUSLY XENOPHOBIC. If you think you are shafted as a laowai in china, hey, I agree. So go ahead and replace the word laowai in what you wrote with "black" or "jew", and see how disgusting, and self hating it is.

ps. there was lots of anti-foreigner sentiment before the period of western imperialism in China.


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This place was ok by wen lin jie standards. Better food and service than French Cafe, for sure. It changed owners and the staff all left for greener pastures. Who can blame them? It went down hill in every realm. The staff saw the writing on the wall, you should too.


This place has a pretty cool interior, and good sound system. Venue-wise, one of the best places in Kunming.

The service is a bit slow, but I think that is a GOOD thing, this is not KFC.

The only bad thing I can say is that it can be unfriendly. And maybe that is not bad, at least it is honest.

The first times I went there, I got some unfriendly stares from staff, and no greetings. Later, no more unfriendly stares, but always pretty cold, no greetings at all, and just kind of a bit unfriendly from the staff and some of the regulars. I know this is China, but I would say Laba goes another step in the coldness department. The truth is, I don't really mind that, and if you don't, then you will probably like this bar.