While I'm On THAT Subject...steemCreated with Sketch.

in #china3 years ago


In an article earlier today I wrote about the nightmare of dealing with Chinese corruption and incompetence at the bank. This is the aspect of this blog that I often overlook: accounts of my own experiences. I try to publish cited and sourced research frequently, but there is something to be said for simply telling my OWN story of the "wonders" of life in China.
In previous articles I have written about the neverending parade of idiocy that comes from defending oneself against accusations here, another to my baffling experiences in their education system, and I have devoted three articles to the horrors of dealing with their medical system. But it occurs to me, after reflecting on the brief mention of police unprofessionality that the last article entailed, I have never published an article on Steemit outlining any of my experience with China's cops.
Fortunately, I DO have an article I wrote a few years ago on Facebook to describe this same experience. This article, which I have reproduced here with a few minor formatting alterations and some redacting to take out names that might identify me (letting my name get attached to such an openly anti-China blog while I'm in China would be... "unhealthy," to say the least), is from 21 July, 2016, at 7:18 A.M US Central time (which would make it 8:18 P.M on the same date, Beijing time). It's a bit different in style from the way I write nowadays (I wasn't even making an attempt to be scholarly back then, so the ranting flies fast and furious right from the rolloff). The original binary (and clunky) title was “On Holiday,” or “The Chinese are Scheming Idiots and Their Cops are Useless Fucktards”

If you want to skip over the stage-setting, just skip to the paragraph that begins with “Do I even need to say.”

The nightmare started when the textbook ended.
As soon as we finished the textbooks in both classes, work became a non-stop clusterfuck of getting the final ready, getting it ready again because the morons in the office gave us the wrong template, and repeating this cycle three or four dozen times while trying frantically to get the report cards printed out when a functioning copier does not seem to exist at BIS, all while attempting to prepare lesson plans for two different ten-day summer teaching camps (one in the mornings and one in the afternoons), both of which are run by Chinese morons who can’t communicate to save their lives, and who do everything at the last minute.
But that wasn’t so much of a fuss. None of it went beyond what I have come to expect from China. Indeed, that was just the prelude. And mind you, I’m not including every “Oh my God, you’re kidding me, right?” moment here. I’d need an external hard drive just for this note if I did that. No, these are just the highlights. Let me just say for clarity’s sake that nearly every Chinese National I have crossed paths with in the past 8 days has been either completely corrupt, completely incompetent, or both, and this country does not really consider either of those two things socially unacceptable.
The first day after the end of school was my first glimpse into the Hell that was waiting for me. That was the day I started the first of the two summer camps (they’re mostly on the same days but slightly staggered). For this, I have to journey from [my International School], about an hour’s bus ride away from Changying Station or Jiangtai Lu station (depending on which line I want), which are the closest two stations, to Dawayao Station and back again. If you have an internet connection just look up “Beijing Subway Map 2016” and see what a joy that is. It wasn’t that bad on Saturday because that was only the opening ceremony, from 2 PM to 5 PM. The next day (Sunday), it began at its normal time: 8AM.
Do I even need to say that a subway ride like that, in time to reach Dawayao at 7:30 AM for an 8AM class, is not my ideal way to start a morning? But at least I have the motorbike to get to the subway station so I’m not stuck waiting for the bus, and that saves SOME of the time and headache, right? sigh Insert foreshadowing here.
Sunday went without incident. Monday though, I started the second camp: the one in the afternoons. For this, I have to beat-feet from Dawayao to Taoranting as soon as the morning camp lets out, because there is only a two hour window from the end of the morning camp to the beginning of the afternoon camp, and when you factor in 30 minutes to the station and another 30 from Taoranting on arrival, that leaves one hour for a 3 transfer journey. Wonderful. And on day 1 of this afternoon camp, five minutes prior to my arrival, the head of the afternoon camp (who has assured me for two months that there will be a car there to pick me up from the station) sends me a text saying “you better get a cab. I’ll pay for it.” Problem #1. There are no empty cabs at Taoranting. They’re all on their way to Beijing South Railway Station. What few do pull over have no desire to take a foreign passenger and they know just enough English to say “fuck off, Guailou” as soon as I open the door, before I have even shown the address. Guailou, by the way, means “white devil” or “white ghost.” It’s an old racial slur for whites that is used in China when “Laowai,” meaning “barbarian,” just doesn’t get the point across.
I managed to get there by a Tuk-Tuk full of garbage. Yeah, you read that right. I had to hop in the back of one of the damnable City Maintenance carts driven by the old men in blue jumpsuits to get where I was going. And when I got there, lo and behold, the students were the rudest little monsters I’ve ever met. These hooligans make my [International] bunch look like cadets at a military school. Better yet, it’s a fourth grade science textbook I’m teaching, and these are third graders who have never had a science class and don’t speak a word of English. The entire camp, by the way, is composed of three hour sessions right after they’ve been pumped full of sugar on their lunch break. Eff me. Well, day one hasn’t even ended. It hasn’t even warmed up.
When I got back to Changying Station, where I left my bike chained up, I put the key in the ignition and found nothing but empty space. Upon closer inspection, half of the ignition mechanism is missing, and the half remaining has scratch marks on it that are the right shape to be a knife. Some fool jammed a knife into the ignition and ripped a chunk of it out. The wheel chain was still in place and locked, and there’s no sign that it was even tugged on, so whoever did it had no plans to steal the bike. It was a simple “let me fuck with someone” act. Well, fortunately, this bike rack is 20 meters away from a police station in full view of the station commander’s window. So all I have to do is report it, right?
Let me cut through the next three hours of headache, which involved trying to get the useless cop manning the station after hours (yeah, patrol stations keep bankers’ hours here. WTF?) to wake up, finding out no cop in Changying speaks English, and having a few batons waved at me while being told I can’t leave the station. Suffice it to say there was nothing they could do.
You read that right too.
Nothing. They. Could. Do.
About an act of auto vandalism, that occurred in broad daylight, right outside the window of the station commander’s office, in viewing range of 8 surveillance cameras, one of which was less than 2 m away from where it occurred. And the one officer in Changying who actually pays any attention offers this excuse, which he relayed by typing it into his iPhone and showing me the translation: “people here all look same. Sorry.” Great fucking job, China.
But there’s a bit of good news here, if you want to call it that. One of the officers finally deigns to walk out of the station and look at the bike. After taking a look at the ignition mech, he takes something out of his pocket and... well would you look at that. It just so happens to be a piece of the missing machinery. Not the whole thing, mind you, but a piece that enables him to put in the key, jimmy it a bit, and start the bike. And he just, you know, happens to have this in his pocket. How convenient. And this is the part where the guy from CinemaSins would say “Obvious-Crooked-Cop-ex-Macina.”
So I get on the bike, start to drive away, and the cop grabs my arm and holds out his other hand, palm up, saying “mei yuan.” I can’t tell whether that was “don’t have money” or “American money,” but the grip and the rub-fingers-together-gesture ‘pay me’ sign lead me to think it was the latter. I can only surmise from his dumbfounded expression that a foreigner wrenching his arm away and driving off was not the response to which he has become accustomed after extortion like this. Fortunately, Chinese cops are as pussified as they are crooked, and in less time than it would have taken him to run back to his station and jump on his little bike, I had vanished into Beijing traffic, no worse for the wear except about a 200 RMB repair bill on my bike, which is not urgent because jury-rigged though it may be, it does at least start now. I managed to come dragging hom at about 9:30, half an hour later than I should have been in bed knowing I had to get up at 5 the next morning... And that was Monday.
Tuesday gets even better.
On Tuesday it was raining. Not that heavily yet, but it was raining, so the trip on the bike to the Subway Station (Huangqu this time) was miserable. I got to the morning camp and... I won’t bore you with the details, but that’s the day I learned that the material I prepared was WAAAAAAY over the level of these kids and I have to scrap the whole syllabus and go from scratch: not easy to do when my co-teacher at this camp doesn’t even speak enough to understand what I’m saying (and she’s the one teaching English to the kids most-days?). The morning camp ends, I make my way to Taoranting, and there are no cabs again. Not even a garbage tuk-tuk. So I’m stuck walking there. It was raining just hard enough for the water to be about shin-deep on Beijing’s poorly-drained roads, so this walk was miserable, and having the hellions waiting for me at the end of it didn’t help any. Skip to Wednesday.

Wednesday: This note has already gotten ridiculously long, so let me summarize. On Wednesday, traffic jams (which resulted from China’s sorry drainage and their drivers’ absolute inability to drive even on the best of days, much less in heavy rain; seriously, to all my American friends, Houston and Chicago, or New Orleans at Mardi Gras, have nothing on Beijing in terms of traffic), slippery floors, the cowboy boots I was wearing (because my shoes were still drying after soaking through on Tuesday, thanks to China’s pathetic drainage), and the rush to compensate for traffic jams, all resulted in a hurried run and a hell of a fall, and I’m now missing about a quarter of the skin on my right hand, with a nice colorful bruise on the same elbow to match. Fortunately, this was the one day this week that the afternoon camp actually had their driver waiting for me at the station.

Thursday: What can go wrong that hasn’t already? How about getting mugged and having a wallet stolen? Fortunately there was only 400 RMB in it, but jeez... The only silver lining was that beating the shit out of the only one of the two who was unlucky enough for me to catch up to him (who was not the one with the wallet, of course), was a great outlet for a week of pent up “fuck the Chinese” sentiment.
Oh, but wait, [Patriam]. They mugged you in broad daylight, and right under a security camera in front of a train station in the Capital City! Surely you can just go to the cops, right? Insert ironic laugh here

I’ll give the Chinese this much credit. They still have Shanghai. The rest of this banana-commonwealth (I won’t dignify it by saying “Republic”) is earning itself more and more disdain in my eyes with each passing day, but at least Shanghai still stands out. Shanghai was my first glimpse of the country (you made me think that’s what the whole country was like, you tricky bastard). Shanghai is what I was trying to get back to both times that I worked my fingers to the bone saving for a Chinese visa and a plane ticket. Shanghai is the one city where (nearly) every memory I have is one of excitement, of a constant sense of being on the cutting edge of the twenty-first century, even while the rest of the country runs screaming back into the nineteenth. I wonder how soon I can get back there...


I understand your writing a bit, but it seems to satire the bad habits of the Chinese.

That, and to convey the irritation and exasperation that comes from living surrounded by contemporary Chinese. Especially Beijingren. From my experience, the people of Beijing seem to embody the worst of China.

The Chinese have a habit of conquering their competitors after running out of competitors's patience.

Most countries conquer other countries through violence and then rule them nonviolently.
China conquers nonviolently and then rules through violence.

And not their "competitors" per se. More like their smaller neighbors.

What a wonderful insight and expression!

On the other hand, Japanese people, treat people kindly and conquer the gaps of their competitors.

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