Lie to me Because we’re Friends

Truth Hurts

“Lie” is a strong word but I’ve decided I’m going to use it anyway… As westerners get in closer touch with Asian counterparts, who seemingly hold the future of the global economy in their hands, we are tasked with understanding their ways. By “ways” I mean culture, language, and identity. You could read volumes on Chinese culture, history, and customs, but they wouldn’t prepare you for the actual events that you will inevitably experience. Just like reading the operation manual of a submarine, you might find that just jumping into one and tinkering with the controls would be loads more effective. But you should remember a few pointers and “lie to me because you care” is one of them.

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Fibs are for Friends: Dishonesty a Virtue in China

Saving Face

The other day I found myself in a taxi on the way to pick up my girlfriend. It was raining heavily and a we were on the way to the Zhuhai North light rail station. I knew the taxi was a little grimy inside and the driver was smoking a cigarette, so I thought I should dump it before picking her up. At first I thought, “maybe I should tell him a lie to make a stop somewhere so that I can politely switch taxis. After all, this is China and this kind of excuse should be common to save the other person’s (the driver’s) face.”

I texted my girlfriend to call me and ask me to stop somewhere in order to make the deceit believable. Her reply was something like “What are you talking about?” She was confused, at first and didn’t go along with the plot.

After I managed to find a good enough “reason” why I needed to get out early, I called her and said, “Why didn’t you go along with my fib?”

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Ben’s Dragon Year 2012

The Chinese New Year 2012 holidays have finished but I’ve had a great time visiting friends in both Taiwanand Wuhan. (I’ve posted photos in my Photo Album on QQ.) I was told that Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong province ID holders are allowed to visit Taiwan without a tour group now. So, if you are from one of these places, take advantage of your new freedom soon!

And, by the way, Wuhan is hiding most of China’s beautiful women (and handsome men) from the rest of the country!  


 图片   图片 (Alishan, Taiwan)                                                          (Wuhan, Hubei)

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Get over the Great Fire Wall for free Forever

Are you in China and looking for a way to get over internet censorship which blocks you from not only social media, but also productivity tools such as Google Docs? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Just follow the next few steps and you will ALWAYS have a secure internet connection, for FREE, FOREVER!

Step 1: Go to Ninjacloak.com, which allows you to get over the wall anyway… but sadly, you can’t use all of the functions of websites requiring javascript. Most social sites and productivity tools require this, so you’re out of luck by using Ninjacloak alone.

Step 2: On this browser-based service, you have to enter the website which provides the most recent form of FreeGate (by Dynaweb). If you have FreeGate already and it stops working, you’ll have no way to update unless you get to step 3.

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5 Ways to Keep from Losing Your Mind in China

"What the...?"

China is a very exciting country to be in for many reasons. For most foreigners here, you’ve come for business or travel. But with so many possible activities to do, there remains one thing you can’t avoid: communication. Communication in modern China is probably not much different than how it was a hundred years ago, before simplified Chinese came around. Contrary to one assumption, communication hasn’t gotten any simpler. In fact, if you aren’t prepared, it can be very easy to lose your mind. That’s where the group of foreigners in China gets separated… and the ones who can’t handle it end up going home “for good”. Here is what that group should have taken into consideration.

1) Laugh your problems away: This is one of the toughest things to get used to. It’s the awkward giggle/chuckle you hear when a something goes wrong. Perhaps you gave a direct comment that surprised your secretary. Maybe a friend didn’t help you do a task correctly. Anything that takes effort could potentially be done wrong, and a laugh is a way to combat losing face. In order to combat frustration, I usually make a game out of guessing what will go wrong. When a mistake is made, or a misunderstanding occurs, I compare it with my original guess. It is a little pessimistic, but it often helps me laugh the problems away.

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