Friday, March 30, 2007

Profound thoughts

Proof that laowai men's brains turn to mush upon landing in China.

Overheard at the airport:

"So, is like the great wall built by humans or something?"

Friday, March 16, 2007

We're sorry for being so mean... HAHAHAHA

We usually post praise and we know we've been saying over and over "Anecdotes, anecdotes!" but this angry email was too good to not share. We left it in its original, glorious form: long winded and devoid of punctuation.

Dear China Dirt,

I must take exception to your comments. It is a basic tennant of logical debate to refrain from generalizations and vast wafting statements of fact with little of no referring or deference to saidfactual source.While there are some dead beats in China and all over the world forthat matter, your summation that all foreigners here are useless isin fact naive and telling of your own insecurities that you vicariously live out in denial while attacking others.

In the past China was a hardship post and jobs here reserved for the career expat worker, in recent times, the shift has moved from one of localization to that of younger self made foreign workers. As suchthe quantity of non Chinese speaking sleazy Shunyi expat men are reducing, so are the local losers who also don't speak or write Chinese and offer little sans teaching.

There was a saying back in HK called FILTH. Failed in London, Try Hong Kong. And while that is a common enough trait in any colonial empire, it is not to be mistaken for China and the difficulties here.The men that you dish dirt on - 25-35 years old, are far more equipped than you could ever hope to meet back home or in China 5 years ago for that fact. They are self made men, successfull at whatthey do, entrepreneurial, bi-lingual and full of potential bothacutal and yet to be realized. They come here because theenvironment is fertile enough for them to spread their seed and watch it grow (keep your thoughts above the gutter her Darling). The career english teacher hippy and the career Shunyi expat may well fit into your definition, but the rest of us don't. And do not lump the others in with the "Ex-Pat" label. They often are not expats but posted here for 1-2 years.

An expat is someonewho has migrated here and lives here indefinately with real roots,residential investments and spousal visa's and not work visa's and/or temporary business visa's. Again, self made men. Entrepreneurs. Wedidn't settle for the institutionlaisaton or "Truman Show Monotony"of home, so don't assume that we settle for your character assassinations or bile breathing beguiled remarks to other grumpy self loathers either. Go find a spaniard voter after a train bomb ifyou need that sort of self defeatism to perk you up.I have lived in China since 1999.

I have been married for 2 years, I hold degrees in Computer Science and Accounting, as well as a HSK certificate. I spend my time working, making money, playing squash and rugby and playing with my wife and puppy and helping my sister in law attend university here in Beijing from her small village inwestern Xinjiang. There are a lot of men like myself, most older,some younger (I am 30 this year). And we are quite capable of living back in our own countries and making lots of money there too and being responsible members of civic society. So why do we stay?

Well unlike you bitter, finger pointing women who have hang ups on Chinaand men here and are still "working for the man" we are off being ourown bosses and not salary whores and earning more and living life more here than back home. Anyway, if you don't like it? Piss off. China is not for everyone. Certainly least generalist nay sayers with chips on their shoulders,axes to grind who are living their lives here the same as they wouldback home - to some guidebook of life expectations. That is why you will not succeed in private business, love and China. You are too myopic, too bitter and too un suited for life in a place like this. There is no demographic for people like you.

You may not be an english teacher or a man married to a broken english speaking local. Yet as evidinced by your regaling of pub trawls and misadventures,you are not living in the same strata that successfull people here do- otherwise you would not have the opinions that you do. Justbecause you are a foreinger does not place you above others. Andjust because you are not an english teacher, that also does not placeyou above other foreigners. You really have little comprehension ofjust how disconnected you are from the real expat and successful Sinophile scene.You are all a dime a dozen. People like you come and go. I have seen it many a time in the past 8 years. You will amount to nothing and you will leave no mark on China or anything of significance thatis attributed to your ingenuity, hard work and creative approach tothis vast fertile land. Life is too short for people like you, enjoy your solace in myopic bigotry spawned hate my darling.

Your blog is being forwarded around through the sporting and China Entrepreneur mailing lists. You have offended and marginalised a lot of honest men here with this divisive racially and socially subjective discourse that your call a blog. How about you state your constructs more clearly with an apology to the rest of us while you are at it?

It is being laughed at and LBH t-shirt discussions and a national LBH t-short wearing drink-a-thon festival is already in the embryonic stages.

If you can't get what your want, either learn what it is that you are messing up, or build a bridge and get over it. Who cares if a bunch of lame arse frat boy wannabe's arse it up around town on a weekend. Good for them. Who are you to judge them and their attitudes. Who are you to complain about it and frame it as a indictment of foreign men formulating their behaviour through the prism of China? People are arseholes, the world is full of them - just don't be one of them.

You think it is bad now. You should speak to my ex-girlfried who I am still mates with on her experiences back in 1997 - why I came to China. And if you haven't been in China longer than 5 years you will have no persective to judge the differences in BJ compared to other cities and how this city has changed so much and how life is different for all, foreigners included. A little bit of research and anecdotal comparisons of 2007 vs 2002 may open up your eyes to the real cause of your apparent LBH trend.

I'll give you a little hint, use the explosion of Wudaokou urban in fill post Solutions bar era and Sanlitun post Qi Lin Da Sha makeover as metaphors for the changing city and demographic.........then think Russia in 1991.

You are a "Tourist" in the Fight Club sense of the word and because of that, you have placed yourself directly in line with these people. That is why you find them to exist everywhere. Try stepping out of your little "me too" bubble of China and experience the full buffet before commenting further.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

China Dirt Goes International

Not so long ago we received the following email:


My expat friend in China sent me your link and I love your site. Especially that bit on Parisians. I laughed uncontrollably as I read that piece. Being a foreign girl, I find from swapping stories with other expat females, many of the stories are similar. (Although, I must admit the expat men that go to China seem to be ATORCIOUS reminders of the slimeball hs kid with too much acne and the 24/7 porno high-look.) I’m an American and Korean girl (horrid combo to be in, my “exotic” foreign look and thick American accent seems to scream, “PLEASE OBJECTIFY ME!” or “FOLLOW ME HOME!”) in Paris and I have never been as objectified or glad to have a home in the red white and blue. I’d love to share some of them and I’m sure other expat girls around the world would love to share theirs too.


We immediately responded with a "mais oui!" and two days later, a nice, plummy story about love (or lack thereof) in Paris landed in our email box. Read on...

Not So Much Fancy Lover as much as Fancy Rapist

Okay, the story isn’t as severe as the title. But, it still is the most appropriate for lack of a better word as you will soon see. So herein begins my first and what I hope to be my only naive sleaze accident with a French man. I had just arrived in France a month ago still trying to figure out the details of culture shock. For the most part, I could tell, in France, hobos on the street and random old men had license to follow you around, even at times physically tug at you, offer you money, and at the very least, drop a line, like, “Vous etes belle, ma cherie. Zoo you hab a bouyfliend?”, which despite an affirmative response is returned with “But, you can hab two.” It also did not help that my cheap craigslist find was in a shady district with neighbors warning me of the drug dealers on the street.

Needless to say, I was very happy and optimistic when I met, - ohhhh for anonymity’s sake, let’s call him - Slimeball #1. He was in his 20’s, often hung out with a gorgeous model, and in other respects seemed completely sane. He had happened to notice my fluffy dog at the cafe a couple times and eventually, this led into a conversation, wherein he discovered I was from the States and I discovered he wanted to practice his English. He eventually invited me to sit with his friends at the cafĂ©. Upon discovering I hadn’t toured Paris yet, he offered to be my tour guide on a free weekend, and he expressed keen interest in obtaining a similar tour guide if he were ever in the States. Wow, at this point all seemed like a natural fair deal between two people of the opposite sex with no other intentions than an exchange of language and culture. But somethings are too good to be true.

The tour seemed to be fairly innocent. In fact, in general, he was a nice gentleman and he certainly did make that weekend more pleasant than it could’ve been spent alone battling French bureaucracy. Afterwards he invited me for tea and when I arrived for tea-time at his apt joined again by some other friends. Harmless enough right?

The next night he invited me over for tea again; however this time when I arrived, I discovered it was just me. Great. I knew that it would be extremely rude of me in the French culture to cut the evening short and leave early, so despite being alone, I said nothing and sipped my tea politely; my first mistake.

I was soon to find out etiquette was only part of his dangerous con. It was probably an hour later, I found the room really hot and I could feel my heart beating. As an anemic, I didn’t think it was caused by anything external but my own dizzy inclinations. I asked for some water and as he walked to the kitchen he chuckled and my haphazard French picked up something like, “I purposely put more in, so you’d have to stay over.”

Me: What?!
Him: Haha. I will return with your watah.
Had I imagined it? My French was spotty.

Man, second mistake. Feeling sick I asked him to walk me to my ghetto street but he declined saying he had to wake up early but he said he wouldn’t mind if I waited off at his place. So, instead of stumbling to my ghetto street lined with drug dealers, I decided to wait off the buzz from the “tea”, which found me 30 mins later dozing off on his couch. Unfortunately, 15 mins later I found my hands being caressed, and I mean the unsexy kind, where he’s playing circle circle dot dot from third grade, and his skinny French arms pulling me into an embrace. Gross!

Me: What are you doing!
Him (with the ever so innocent puppy eyes): You don’t like it?

Like it? What the hell? Since when did somnambulism under sleep-inducing tea equal consent?!

Me: What?! I’m leaving.
Him: If you go… I’m not going to be your friend anymore!

Friend? I think we crossed that line when he practically tried to rape me in my sleep. Okay, it wasn’t rape per say, but being cuddled in sleep induced by him isn’t consent.

Me: I don’t care. I’m leaving.
Him: If you go, I’ll take you off my Buddy list!

Oh man… Buddy list? This guy really must’ve been stuck in the primary school years. As if my biggest worry was not being on his list of friends. I bolted out of there and just to rub it in his face, I laughed in his face as I left. Vindictive, but totally justified. If this had been home, I could have called the police.

The amazing thing about not just rapist but French men in general, is that despite the rejections, they keep coming back as if they were the nicest, most innocent gentleman. Primary school slime rapist #1, yeah I feel like calling him that now, still texts me every 2-3 months with something like, “Hello, How are you? You forget me? Missing you. Bisous.” Ewww… shudder. It’s a good thing I screen.

For the record, ever since, I haven’t visited any French men’s homes unless accompanied by a mutual female friend, or for that matter spoken to any unless he was my waiter or my employer. I’ve even earned a couple, “Casse-toi, Bitch!” by angry snubbed men. (What a double standard, huh?) But, even Puritanism gets shady, as slime rapist #1 was followed by slimeball #2, slimeball #3 as well as the additions I can make for my other expat friends. But those are shocking stories reserved for other times. In the meantime, now I understand how a country like France could wait until 1944 to enfranchise their women.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Why I'll never understand men

When I first moved to Beijing, I got myself a boyfriend and was quickly sucked into the expat party circuit. My Thursday through Saturday nights were a constellation of destinations like Kai, Nanjie, Vics, Taku (I was living out in the Wu at that time) and other ever-so-classy spots. One night, boyfriend, me and friends were out in Sanlitun when a table of Americans, two guys and two girls, sat down near us. As the night progressed it seemed that no matter where we were on the Sanlitun strip, the same group was in our vicinity. Finally around 3am one of the girls of the group approached me and I had one of the weirdest conversations I'd ever had in my life.

GIRL (pointing at my boyfriend): "Is that your boyfriend?"
ME: "Yeah."
GIRL (pointing back at nervous looking guy behind her): "My friend thinks you're amazingly cute. You should go say hi."
ME: "Um... I'll have to pass on that. You see I'm already with someone. Thanks though."

As I turn to escape, she clamps onto my arm and pulls me close to her and whispers hurriedly, "No, I mean my friend really likes you. I think he's going to fight your boyfriend."
ME: "..."
GIRL: "Really, my friend wants to fight your boyfriend."
At this point, I looked over to see her friend glowering in the direction of my boyfriend.

I'm a fairly tolerant drunk having done a fair amount of silly things when under the influence but even my alcohol blitzed mind, I was bowled over by the ridiculousness of the situation. The whole thing was a flashback to middle school minus the note saying "Do you like me? Circle Yes or No" and dripping with a John Wayne machismo that I never find attractive.

I was actually at a loss for words and, if you've read the posts on this blog, you can probably guess that rarely ever happens. As my alcohol-soaked, mind slowly chugged away at what to say to duck out of the situation, I see her friend coming at us as his friend's hand held me firmly in place.

HIM: "I'm from California. I like you. You're too good for that guy you're with."
ME: "Oh, you gathered all that from stalking us tonight? I gotta go."
HIM: "... Ok, but you want to get my number just in case?"
ME: "If we're meant to be together I'm sure I'll see you around."

I then yanked my arm out of his friend's grasp and walked quickly away. Where was my then-boyfriend during all this? Downing shots in the back of the bar oblivious to what happened. I soon tired of doing the 10pm-6am drink fests and decided to drop that lifestyle and the boyfriend. As for the guy at the bar who wanted to fight my boyfriend, I never saw him again so I guess it wasn't meant to be. Darn.

Monday, March 12, 2007

numeration and clarification

Sorry we haven't been posting. With all the emails and comments, it's been far easier and more time-efficient to just kind of let the comments and emails run their natural course. However, with reading the comments and our slew of emails, we at China Dirt feel compelled to remind everyone what this blog is about and what it is not about. Read on...

1. We are not here to try and get dates. Please stop sending us emails with "advice" about how we're never going to snag a man.

2. Guys get away with a lot in China, moreso than in their home countries. Once again, this is a fact, not something that we fabricated. Given that point, guys in China also oftentimes act in a way that they would not act in their home countries given the social constraints and standards of decorum there. We're not quite sure about why some people may think this blog is meant to be illuminating on China as a whole or provide some sort of insightful commentary on the culture of the country.

This blog is meant to give anecdotal accounts of idiotic guy behavior in the context of China. If the story is about a guy and he acts idiotically and this something we experienced in China, then it ends up on the blog. If you want to read blogs that delve deep into the psyche of the Chinese culture and history, you've taken a wrong turn and took yourself to a dark, dark place. To escape we suggest visiting this site.

3. Please stop with the "common denominator is you" and "why don't you look at yourself" emails and comments. A. We never had this much trouble finding a decent guy in our home countries yet in China it's one loser after another. *

B. As for the, "look at yourself before you start blaming other people," we'd like to refer to a scene in Bridget Jones' Diary. (Once again, if you were looking for a complex and riveting social commentary on China, please stop reading now.) It's the scene where Bridget tells Mark Darcy something to the effect of, "You neednt make me feel stupid, I feel stupid on my own most of the time."

Do you really think we bounce from relationship to relationship pointing the finger at the other person shrieking, "It's you DAMMIT, It's YOU AND NOT ME!"? Well, maybe. We're here to tell you that's not the case. Often we find girls painstakingly analyzing how she can make her relationship work. How she can modify the way she acts, how she should loosen up and go with the flow more. A girl who is rationalizing lowering her standards. We at China Dirt say No More Rationalizing. So you want someone who's life ambition goes beyond getting trashed every weekend, you want a guy who stays not just when things are going well but when things need to be worked through. Why shouldn't you get one like that? It's not impossible to find someone like that in China, but it's pretty fucking hard.

*To preempt the comment that goes "Well if you had such a decent guy in your home country, why are you alone and dating in China?" We're dating in China because obviously, for whatever reason, those relationships didn't work out; however, our home country relationships ended because it just wasn't working out and not because a. the guy was an alcoholic b. the guy had an over-inflated ego c. the guy bolted at the first sign of difficulty or d. mix and match choices a through c.

4. It's our blog and we'll bitch if we want to. This site is how we deal with our frustrations about the dating scene in China. Anyone reading has probably experienced the pain of a break up or complained about a unreasonable significant other. Some girls deal with break ups by sobbing into pillows, some burn the ex-boyfriend's posessions, some (true story) stab the guy with butter knives, we've decided to make a snarky blog. We know that we're all taught to hold in our emotions, to play off the hurt, to keep the pride. Sometimes you need to be messy before you can start playing it cool. This site lets girls do that.

5. Girls with personality and who know how to speak their own minds are a "pain in the ass"? China is too fucking easy for you guys.

6. We realize that we've been throwing a lot of 'tude around in this post so we'd like to take number six to thank all our readers (even those who are vocal in their disagreements). We appreciate and are a bit shocked by the attention this blog has gotten. We're glad that the blog has taken a life of its own and hope to keep up the momentum. We also hope that people keep sending us more stories and this site can be a collection of anecdotes rather than just general rants because generally ranting tends to get boring and old rather quickly.

A reporter recently asked us how we feel about the "personal attacks" we've been getting on the site and our view is that everyone is welcome to their own opinion. We've certainly stated ours and most of them are quite unflattering so of course we expect emails that are unflattering towards us. That being said, take the blog for what it is and judge it on that platform. Thanks for all the feedback and like typical girls we hope to get more, more, more in the future.

Keep Dishing,
China Dirt

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Hardass Western Girls

Yesterday, I met a man. Not in a bar, not in a club, not somewhere sleazy. We met at 798. I'm giving out this detail to indicate why I was more receptive than usual to chatting with this guy since we weren't in a cheapie, hookup joint. He seemed nice so I agreed to meet him that evening for a quick drink at Centro. Ok, not the most creative location but hey, it's down the street from my office and due to the sad lack of chivalry in this town, I considered his willingness to brave traffic down from 798 to CBD as a grand gesture. (Hey, when you're starving, any crumb of bread looks delicious!)

He paid for the first round of martinis. I insisted on covering the second round. "Ah, you Western girls," he said appreciatively in his sexy northern European accent. "Nice to be out with a girl who can treat me." I smiled, pleased.

Two martinis for each of us later, the mood was relaxed and the chat was getting flirtatious. But it was a work night so around midnight, I indicated that I was ready to go home. "Your place or mine?" he asked, patting my bum.

I scooted away from his hand. "I'm going home to sleep."

"Sure you are," he laughed and winked.

"No, really."

He looked shocked. Shaking his head in disbelief he walked off, but not before muttering "Damn hardass Western girls."

Since when did buying a girl one martini entitle a man to public groping and an assumption of sex? Oh yea, in China.

If "western girl" means having enough self-respect not to hop into bed with a man I've known for less than six hours in gratitude for one lousy 60 kuai dry martini, then I'm proud to be a hardass Western girl.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Reader Submission

We've gotten off our lazy asses and have managed to hit Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V in that sequence. Thanks for the entry M. Keep them coming girls! While we don't advocate racial stereotyping, we figure the Parisians have already been made fun of so... why not add another country into the melee?

"I'd like to make an addition to the China Dirt lexico - Former Eastern Bloc Sleaze, or FEBS for short. Don't get me wrong. I'm not racist or anything (I'm half Polish/half Czech, by the way), but there are so many of these guys around town (apparently all here on "beesneez") that it definitely deserves a category of its own.

Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. You've been FEBBED if he:

a. his wardrobe consists of mesh muscle shirts
b. sounds like Borat's cousin
c. hits on anything that has a pulse

I've been seeing a FEBS for about a month now, after a disastrous relationship with another for about two years (okay, so I have soft spot. shoot me). Granted, some FEBS are pretty charming at first (it's like finding really cute vintage Italian or French designer at a second hand store). And they're really good at chess and stuff (no joke, all of them are like Superduper grandmasters or something). And, to be fair, they can be pretty chevliarous. But after a while, Count Dracula shows his true face. The FEBS they start expecting you to behave like you're thier property.

So being the redblooded southern girl that I am, I'm like, "Fuck. That. I'm AMERICAN. You can't treat me like your serf!" And then the FEBS accuses me of invading Iraq or ruining his culture with McDonalds or some bullshit. Ugh!

Example: We went to Nan Jie last Friday with some of his Euro/Latin friends. We get in and he literally pats me on the behind and tells me to "go graze." Maybe his English is not stellar, but am I his goat or something? I give him the benefit of the doubt and I go get a few drinks at the bar. I'm talking to this really cute Chinese guy, and my FEBS gets really jealous and start making fun of the guy by going "Chingching chongchong" and pulling his eyelids like he's Asian. Uhh... I couldn't believe how insensitive/stupid he was. Is he in seventh grade?

Here's the kicker: my FEBS tells me, verbaitim, "Man, talk. Women, listen." Earth to FEBS: Misogyny does not get you laid.

PS. I haven't spoken to him for five days. I heard he was hitting on drunk girls at a party on Saturday night. ugh."

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Running Man (or as commenter Meursault says, "The Gypsy")

Dear Running Man,

You came along when I was slaving away at a job in which each day felt like a tour through every layer of Dante's Inferno. You were like a breath of fresh air rushing through lungs that were drying out from ten hours a day in hell. You taught me to relax. You taught me there was more to life than work, work, work. You assured me that it was OK and even noble to enjoy life.

You seemed to live life so well. "He seems so calm, so happy, so Zen," I thought to myself, "whereas I'm always frantic and stressed." Looking around at the stacks of reports and screen full of unanswered work emails that made up my life, I realized that my long hours in the eternally 23 degrees celsius office had robbed me of the knowledge of even what season it was outside. I decided you, with your carefree manner, jovial laugh and long nights spent bonding with friends, had a better way. Almost spiritual.

I learned a lot from my time with you. I learned to live in the moment. I learned to put friends ahead of meetings. I learned that an extra hour of intimate late night conversation is well worth being tired the next day. I learned to leave work behind when I exit the office.

But the biggest lesson I learned is that you're not the deep, spiritual, life-embracing man I thought you were. You're just a scared little boy.

Your call for another round of drinks may seem to everybody else simply merrymaking but I've learned it's a way for you to numb whatever is hidden deep inside. Staying out with the boys for just a little longer is a way to avoid being alone, and later, avoid dealing with problems at home. Your disdain of being tied to an office, or any job, isn't a noble rejection of "evil corporate culture," it's a refusal to acknowledge that there are responsibilities in life.

I admired the way you seemed to embrace life. But life consists of more than just what's happy, easy and carefree. Truly embracing life means accepting the difficulties as well. It means recognizing that there are obligations to fulfill, bills to pay, arguments to work through, illnesses to battle, jobs to lose and jobs to gain, hard times to comfort one another through, unexpected circumstances to contend with and problems to solve. It means recognizing that a fulfilling life is not handed to you on a platter but something you work to create.

You're quite the traveler. The pins upon the world map you have on your wall, marking where you've been, are so many that if I squint a little, the numerous metallic pintips blur the whole paper into a sheet of gray. But you don't travel just to see new places. You travel to run away from an old place whenever the realities of life catch up there.

I have no doubt what you will do. Another place. I've already heard you mention the plans. And don't think I haven't heard the rumors of the lovely new travel partner. It doesn't matter. Real men don't hide by roaming distant streets or finding comfort in another's arms. Real men stay and embrace all that life offers-the good, the bad, the easy, the difficult.

They say you can run but you can't hide. I don't think that's true. You've been doing both successfully for so long. But if you ever stop running for just a moment and look around, you'll find that all you have are quirky travel stories, boxes filled with pictures of exotic lands, a map punctured with holes, but nobody real to hold while you stand still.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Love us or hate us

Everyone is talking about us. Our ears are growing warm from all the attention.

We apologize for being so lax in responding to comments and emails but it seems like our readers are doing a good job picking up our slack.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

In reference to the previous entry, "J" commented: Apparently your website is working, you've civilized every expat male in the Beijing area. Congrats!

Oh J! I wish! I so wish! Sadly that was a culture shock story involving a place that most certainly isn't Beijing.