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  • lubo
    Points:12
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    Do the "If you don't like China why don't you leave" people actually h

    We're seen it time and time again on ECC. There is a lot of complaining about the difficulties of living in China and dealing with Chinese and inevitably someone will say something along the lines of "If you don't like it here why don't you leave? No one ever invited you or asked you to stay." These people get shouted down as a lot of people respond that it's not as simple as that, they have family obligations, financial goals and other reasons to remain in China. At the risk or generalizing I'm going to try to categorize expats based on their attitudes towards China. 

     

    1. The complete sinophiles - people who love China and inherently prefer China over their home country. I've only met one foreigner who truly fell into this category - he believed that China was basically superior to his home country (the USA) in most ways - he praised Chinese education, believed his Chinese co-workers were superior to his foreign co-workers, ate dog regularly, and chastised any China bashing. These people don't complain because for whatever reason they just love it here. 

     

    2. The otherwise happy venters - people who have settled down happily in China but take to the internet to vent from time to time. Maybe they have no other outlet to voice their frustrations so they come to ECC. But these people basically like China or at least see a bright future here. They have no reason to leave as they are happy here despite the occasional complaint. 

     

    3. The people who see China as a deeply flawed place but are happy with their own life here - these people are fully aware of the massive problems with the environment, education, healthcare systems and the society as a whole. They have long since thrown away their rose tinted glasses. They would certainly not want to raise a family in China but might end up doing it anyway.  They would rather live somewhere else but they've built a good life for themselves in China so it makes more sense to stay than leave. 

     

    4. The people who have come to despise China and are planning their exit - these people wish they could leave tomorrow but can't due to family and work related obligations. They are saving money, helping loved ones apply for visas and dealing with the logistics of leaving China. They complain because they hate China but they can't get out yet. 

     

    5. The people who hate China every bit as much as those in cateory 4. but stay year after year. They complain incessantly on echinacities and other forums, spend most of their time with fellow expats talking about how shitty China is and basically hate their lives here. Yet they never leave. These are the people for whom the advice of "why don't you leave China if you hate it so much" really makes sense. No one forced these people to come here. They are deeply unhappy with their own life in China and likely hate the society too. So why stay? Often they don't have high paying jobs in China or other major ties to the country. I get that planning to leave takes time but I'm talking about people who might claim they're planning to leave in theory but never actually get around to doing anything about it. They have a vague idea of studying back home or finding a job as a mechanic or something but put no effort into making that happen. Now I fully understand that some of these people might not have many options back home and a comfortable life as a teacher (or other job) might be better than their alternatives. But it's pretty ridiculous to blame the Chinese for getting into a pretty awful situation. These people willingly came to a Communist third world country with a  reputation for horrible pollution, human rights abuses, lack of basic personal freedoms, shoddy counterfeit merchandise and widespread corruption. They wanted an adventure but never bothered to leave. Now they hate their lives. So why don't they just leave? Or if they have no better options, why blame the Chinese for putting themselves in such a predicament? 

     

    As for me, I was in category 2 for my first 2 years here and really liked China as a place. I saw the flaws but envisioned a bright future here of China as the world's foremost superpower. But now I'm drifting between 3 and 4. I have built a comfortable life here but I am more than aware of China's problems. In fact, I spoke to my father last night and he asked me why I'm still in China if I have so many complaints. I basically answered that 1. I am planning to leave soon and 2. Most of the problems don't affect me. I don't have kids in the education system, I'm young and healthy and I can basically put up with a lot of the other annoyances of daily life without getting too down on my situation. What really scares me is I sometimes feel myself creeping into category 5. They day I'm one of those guys is the day I'll consider myself a loser. If I become completely miserable here, I sure as hell hope I can man up and get the hell out of China. 

     

    So, how about you? What category are you in? Do you know anyone in category 5? And by the way, none of this post was directed at any particular forum member.

    4 years agoin General-Xiamen
    Answers(7) Comments(2)
  • 1Mitchell
    Points:90
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    I'm a one, I reckon. I'm retired in the USA, and I find it boring there...for starters. I am fascinated with this ancient culture, and I too see it becoming westernized (unfortunately), but I am SO glad to be out of the US!
    3 months ago
  • 1Mitchell
    Points:90
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    I'm a one, I reckon. I'm retired in the USA, and I find it boring there...for starters. I am fascinated with this ancient culture, and I too see it becoming westernized (unfortunately), but I am SO glad to be out of the US!
    3 months ago
  • isabel
    Points:30
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    I'm a 3 but, nevertheless, will be leaving sometime. I couldn't be a 4 because I don't despise China. Don't despise anyone, not even the filthy spitters, as they know not what they do. Some do, and maybe I despise those ones
    4 years ago
  • kater
    Points:30
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    you've resorted to putting various people with various backgrounds from various countries into a 1-dimensional ranking system. i'd be a 3 or 4 just like most, but is the category really that important?

    making categorization top-5 lists where the top looks best for Chinese, might signify it's high time you left China too. What do you think?

    4 years ago
  • christ
    Points:30
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    I'm probably between a 2 and a 3. For people in category 5, then yes they should gtfo because they're not happy here and no one appreciates them being here. They probably had a superiority complex when they first arrived and fell hard early on.

    4 years ago
  • lauren
    Points:30
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    I don't know where I fit. I came to China because it will be ground zero for something big soon. Something historical. I can't say I like it here and I certainly don't want to raise my family here. But China is interesting and my stay here has been very educational. I've made myself as comfortable as I can reasonably expect and I have an exit plan. Maybe I am closest to #3.

    kater:

    May you live in interesting times....
    4 years ago
    4 years ago
  • aderian
    Points:30
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    I think there's a flaw in the categorisations - and it's a flaw that would be appropriate to any and all countries (and workplaces, cities, etc).

    There's a difference between 'China' the land, "China" the environment, "China" the people, "China" the culture, 'China' the government, 'China' the society, 'China' the history .... etc etc.

    Obviously, putting them all together into one simple category can make it hard to make a clear call.

    I'd say for most/many of us, things like pollution will be at Cat 5, government is also about Cat 5.

    isabel:

    Totally agree - placing people into such categories can never present a totally accurate picture but when averaging all of the factors you mentioned I think most people can still put themselves on the basic spectrum. The point being - when everything is a 5 it's time to get out.
    4 years ago
    4 years ago

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