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aries1988 : gaijin   75

Class dismissed: Surge in arrests of foreign teachers in China - Reuters
“What has changed is that many government officials think that kicking out Western influences like English teachers is doing the Party’s work, and the schools are taking advantage of it” said Harris, the Seattle lawyer, who now advises against foreigners teaching in China. “The risks of going to China to teach far outweigh the rewards.”
gaijin  china  work  english  teacher  drug  police  risk 
8 days ago by aries1988
Twitter
有一次我在波士顿等地铁,坐在站台椅子上感觉到了一点儿风的变化,于是随口嘀咕了一句“车来了”,旁边一个美国人听到后走到站台边缘探头看了看隧道,回来对我说“How do u know that?”
fun  life  anecdote  communication  language  gaijin 
april 2019 by aries1988
Twitter
RT : "C'est un mur de l'argent" : des personnalités s'engagent contre la hausse des frais universitaires pour les non-Eu…
2019  university  français  fee  reform  gaijin  student 
january 2019 by aries1988
Naomi Osaka, a New Governor and Me

When we moved back to California two years later, I entered fourth grade and suddenly, I was the Asian kid. Ching chong chang chong ching! boys chanted on the playground, tugging at the corners of their eyes. Classmates scrunched their noses at the onigiri — rice balls wrapped in dried seaweed — that my mother packed in my lunch bag. When our teacher mentioned Japan during a social studies lesson, every head in the class swiveled to stare at me.

Here we are known as hafu, which comes from the English word half, and our existence challenges the strain in Japanese society that conflates national identity with pure-blooded ethnicity.

Ms. Osaka delivered the best possible reply: I’m just me.

When I have been reserved or less assertive than people think a situation calls for, they have attributed it to my Japanese side.

when colleagues have mistaken me for another Asian employee in the newsroom, I realize some people still instinctively want to pigeonhole me as one, but not both.
japan  japanese  identity  gaijin  anecdote  society  self  conflict 
october 2018 by aries1988
The Korean Health Club: A Cultural Trial by Fire, Ice, and Nakedness – BLARB
When I brought up the hot tub conversation later with Garam’s family, they laughed and assured me that he must have said “mo-shid-da” (멋있다) , meaning “handsome,” a difference of just one vowel, easy to mishear without context. A whole lot better than “delicious,” I thought, but still a weird thing to say in the hot tub.

I reflected in disbelief on the fact I had survived, and to a degree enjoyed, this wonderful and completely embarrassing experience, and left the helseu with my body clean — and my privacy violated as never before.
fun  korea  gym  gaijin  bath  bain 
october 2018 by aries1988
Korean 101 (or, How to Win Over Your Girlfriend in a Semester or Less) – BLARB
Like many Asian women in their homelands or abroad, Garam spoke to her mother on the phone daily, which let me learn about her family by osmosis.
learn  korean  usa  gaijin  family 
october 2018 by aries1988
Meeting Her Parents, Meeting Her Country: an American's Taste of Korea
Garam returned with a triangle-shaped, seaweed-wrapped rice ball, and a short, rotund beverage container full of banana-flavored milk. She handed me the ball and explained how to open it: you were supposed to pull the tab marked “1” on the the back of the plastic wrapper which bisected the triangle, then you gently tugged on the corner marked “2” to remove half of the plastic wrapper, pulling next on the corner marked “3” to remove the rest of the wrapper.

Pleased with my triangular snack, I tried the banana milk, which made me question why it had taken me until the age of 24 to discover such a taste halfway around the world from my native country.
gaijin  korea  anecdote  food  plane 
september 2018 by aries1988
History of Japan : Episode 248 - Family Matters
This week we take on the history of the von Siebold family -- father Philip Franz, son Alexander, and daughter Kusumoto Ine. How does the story of this unusual family fit in to the story of 19th century Japan?
family  japanese  japan  netherlands  history  medicine  study  gaijin 
september 2018 by aries1988
French windows: an expat’s view of Paris

The most striking thing about the city, of course, is the people who live here. After almost two years here I’ve concluded that three terms sum up the Parisian experience like no other: la terrasse, faire le pont and la rentrée.

If in London you’re defined by where you work and in New York you’re defined by how much you earn, in Paris you’re defined by your ability to converse on books, philosophy or art. The French can discuss ideas for hours but equally can respond to almost any question — how was Saint-Tropez? Will Macron manage to reform France? How will the feud over [late rock star] Johnny Hallyday’s inheritance conclude? — with a shrug of their shoulders and two words: c’est compliqué.

in France there are 11 jours fériés or public holidays each year. If a férié falls on a Tuesday, you skip work on Monday as well, and make a bridge from the weekend. This is such a national pastime that there is even a section dedicated to le pont on the French public administration website.

€1m A four-bedroom duplex apartment in the loft of a recent building in the 20th arrondissement near Père Lachaise

€2m A three-bedroom apartment in the 2nd arrondissement overlooking the Places des Victoires

€5.9m A four-bedroom 294 square metre apartment at Trocadéro in the 16th arrondissement, south-facing with views of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower
temoignage  paris  british  français  life  gaijin 
september 2018 by aries1988
马里兰没有北京烤鸭店_易速利_新浪博客
不管小说中或者实际生活中,华人仍然基本自成体系。我们的生活戏剧中不太需要白人、黑人、印度人、犹太人、拉丁人扮演重要角色,我们只是上下班经过美国。我们的生存状态或许就跟《纽约时报》本周发表的书评标题一样,“Neither Here Nor There”。他乡难成故乡,故乡已成他乡。
usa  gaijin  chinese  sigh 
july 2018 by aries1988
Why I Taught My Son to Speak Russian | The New Yorker
As the psycholinguist François Grosjean stresses, language is the product of necessity. If a child discusses, say, hockey only with his Russian-speaking father, he may not learn until later how to say “puck” in English. But he’ll learn when he has to.

I see friends who came over at the same time as I did but didn’t keep up their Russian raising their kids entirely in English. Sometimes I feel sorry for them and all they’re missing; at other times, envious. They have finally liberated themselves from Russia’s yoke, just as their parents wanted them to. They are free to be themselves around their children, to express themselves with ease. They always know the words for scooter and goat and sheep.

Most of us were more comfortable in English than in Russian, and none of us had any wish to repatriate. Why, then, were we doing this? What did we want to pass on to our children, exactly? Certainly nothing about Russia as it is currently constituted. Perhaps it was fitting that we were listening to children’s songs.
english  russia  language  children  learn  story  memory  parents  angst  moi  music  gaijin  kid 
june 2018 by aries1988
Bill Callahan
Bill Callahan teaches identity politics and politics of culture at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His recent work explores the hopes…
documentary  china  gaijin  1960s 
may 2018 by aries1988
Ecarts segmentaux les plus fréquents - Enseignement/Apprentissage de la Prononciation du Français
Les consonnes
[p], [t], [k], [b], [d], [g]
Les sourdes ne sont pas distinguées des sonores (chinois, allemands,…)
list  français  gaijin  pronunciation 
may 2018 by aries1988
Kazuo Ishiguro - Nobel Lecture: My Twentieth Century Evening – and Other Small Breakthroughs
As the only foreign boy in the neighbourhood, a kind of local fame followed me around. Other children knew who I was before I met them. Adults who were total strangers to me sometimes addressed me by name in the street or in the local store.

When I look back to this period, and remember it was less than twenty years from the end of a world war in which the Japanese had been their bitter enemies, I'm amazed by the openness and instinctive generosity with which our family was accepted by this ordinary English community. The affection, respect and curiosity I retain to this day for that generation of Britons who came through the Second World War, and built a remarkable new welfare state in its aftermath, derive significantly from my personal experiences from those years.
japan  immigration  gaijin  story  childhood  children  uk  literature  writer  memory  politics  today  world  human  future  manifesto 
february 2018 by aries1988
异乡人——雷立柏:东西方的对话不只有手机和高铁,还有孔子和柏拉图|一周精选|深度|异乡人|端传媒 Initium Media
“中国古代的理性文明都遇到了天花板,他们的科学研究没有连续起来,”雷立柏说,“反倒是黑暗的欧洲中世纪里,天文学、物理学、数学、逻辑学和工程学都和神学一起发展起来了,产生了哥白尼和伽利略这样的人。宗教的强大并没有阻碍科学的发展,它不是科学的敌人,反倒是朋友。”
gaijin  beijing  latin  language  study  greek  science  history 
february 2018 by aries1988
異鄉人——馬立安:在深圳住了二十多年的美國人類學家,為什麼執迷城中村?|端傳媒 Initium Media
「沒有城中村就沒有深圳。」二十餘年來,她看到「深圳奇蹟」背後的歷史,亦發起對命運選擇的追問。
shenzhen  story  gaijin  american 
january 2018 by aries1988
Memories of Thanksgivings Abroad and In Between

I remember tweeting into the void about Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce on the morning of my first Thanksgiving abroad. Nobody who might have cared was up yet.

In it, she writes about realizing, after becoming a foreign correspondent, that the picture she had of America hadn’t been complete—that one hadn’t seen the whole picture of America until one had left the national borders, because the whole picture included foreign interventions, cultural exports, and various modes of thought that were invisible at home.

The agonizing particulars of the Presidential race, which were doubly nerve-wracking to watch from afar, had been hard to explain to inquisitive Spaniards. I craved American company—to be able to dish and spar with some compatriots in the know. So when a group of expats invited me to dinner, I accepted, bringing a bottle of Rioja.

All of these celebrations offered, and birds ritually consumed, have led me to a single, significant conclusion: If it’s true, as my colleague Calvin Trillin long ago suggested, that everything exotic that isn’t chicken tastes like chicken—rattlesnake, ostrich, etc.—the one thing that can be said for certain, on Thanksgiving, is that no matter what you do to it, a turkey will always taste like a turkey.
gaijin  expat  home  festival  nostalgia  work  paris  ukraine  stans  turkey  food  eating  story 
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人—胡清心:香港,我和你,在最美好的时间点相遇|异乡人|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
这是我第一次直观地明白了何为一国,在中央集权大一统的秩序之下,竟可以将地理的自然分布与地域之间的文化差异几近抹杀,统统都打造成一个模样。北方城市与南方城市、沿海城市与内陆城市、平原城市与高原城市……国家教育我们为中国的地大物博、文化源远流长与丰富而自豪,确实无论是祖源、语言还是风俗之多样性,一直是国人津津乐道的。然而,却少有人意识到,这些多样性在党国深入基层的控制与集体主义思想这个大背景下,就像蛋糕上的裱花,主菜旁的配菜,不过是用来装点门面的细枝末节。只有经过比较,我才体会到,当你踏入大多数中国城市,首先感到的并不是本地的文化特色,而是社会主义中国的无处不在。
story  gaijin  hongkong  student  city  china 
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人——三浦研一:在中国演了十八年“日本鬼子”的日本人|一周精选|异乡人|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
有一位陕西农村的老人家让他很意外。那是2006年他拍电影《围剿》的时候,三浦研一出演日本军官河野队长,没想到村子里一位近80岁的老人突然对他说出了日语。“好几十年没说了,村里人都不知道他会说日语。他知道我是日本人,就告诉我说这边有个山,上面原来有砲台,有炮兵。炮兵是只针对天上飞机的,陆地上和村民交情都非常好,一起玩。村子里有婚礼,日军都会来参加,还一起喝酒,他就是这么学的日语。”

如果有孩子,他还是会让孩子在日本,“要让他有自由的空间,独立思考”。
gaijin  story 
november 2017 by aries1988
Letter of Recommendation Dunking

Those first few dips completely changed the way I eat at family meals. Part of what won me over was the pleasure of the thing itself: Wine-soaked bread is sharp, puckery and delicious, a double hit of fermented tang.

Rather than yielding to temptation for a second helping of anything, it’s far wiser to melt a bite of Chianti on your tongue instead.

the first time I watched my teacher at weekend Spanish school do the same with pieces of cheese and hot chocolate — a popular Colombian treat — on a recess break, I nearly gagged.
food  experience  experiment  culture  fun  family  gaijin  drinking  idea  discovery 
october 2017 by aries1988
The unexpected benefits of getting lost in translation | Aeon Ideas
Applying the noisy-channel idea to understanding L2 speakers, we can think of the errors in non-native English as a noisier language model than a native-speaker model. Listeners expect more errors and are therefore more likely to think that L2 speakers mean something sensible when they say something implausible. But if a native speaker says something nonsensical, listeners are more likely to take them literally, because they know their language model has less noise. Kissinger was advising Huffington that, given her accent, listeners would likely give her the benefit of the doubt.
fun  research  language  gaijin  accent  moi  communication 
october 2017 by aries1988
行·见 | 印象·里昂

当时生活的重心就是努力去适应法语这门陌生的语言,大多时候都是挺好的,也有那样的时候感觉自己像是活在鱼缸里,周围热闹的人和事都隔着一层玻璃,还有时候也必须要独自去面对很冰冷很淡泊的事。虽然有时候也会很遗憾因为语言的问题不能很好地和周围的同学表达自己的想法,但更多时候是来不及想,有那么多要做的事,赶快成长,必须自己去判断。
story  lyon  gaijin  moi 
september 2017 by aries1988
'You should consider our feelings': for Chinese students the state is an extension of family | Merriden Varrall

What is immediately notable is that while the student is not satisfied with his teacher’s position, he does not even attempt to deploy what he may consider to be relevant facts or rational counter-arguments to support his own case. He is not trying to draw on his understanding of history, or setting out what he might see to be the relevant details of the arrangements that currently influence the relationship between the mainland and the island.

This tendency to be easily offended taps into the narrative of “national humiliation” which many Chinese subscribe to – the idea that the outside world deliberately carved China up during the opium wars of the mid-1800s, leaving it weak and vulnerable. President Xi Jinping’s “China Dream” of rejuvenation is a direct response to this view.

Some Chinese people have explained to me that the tendency to take offence when an outsider comments on China in a way they perceive as a criticism stems from the idea the country and the family are conceptually conflated such that they are understood as deserving equal loyalty.

Officially, the status of Taiwan is a “core interest” for China. That is to say, most Chinese consider the idea that Taiwan is an indisputable part of China is sacrosanct. They learn it at school, and in almost everything they see and hear as they grow up. To them, Taiwan is a family member; that is why discussions about its sovereignty tend to be emotional. Many Chinese students find it difficult to articulate why they feel the way they do about Taiwan – particularly because they have not had much training in debating or critically arguing a point. And they find it impossible to fathom that foreigners cannot understand their position on Taiwan.
chinese  young  uk  student  gaijin  conflict  emotion  explained  education  taiwan  reflex  university  mentality  instapaper_favs 
september 2017 by aries1988
East Goes West

In the life of a Chinese tourist, guides play an especially prominent role—translator, raconteur, and field marshal—and Li projected a calm, seasoned air. He often referred to himself in the third person—Guide Li—and he prided himself on efficiency. Everyone, our watches should be synchronized, he said. It is now 7:16 P.M. He implored us to be five minutes early for every departure. We flew all the way here, he said. Let’s make the most of it.

We might think you could just make a fake card or manipulate the records—no big deal, Li said. But, if you get caught, the fine starts at eighty-eight hundred euros, and they take away your license! That’s the way Europe is. On the surface, it appears to rely on everyone’s self-discipline, but behind it all there are strict laws.

In Europe, he warned, tactfully, Throughout our trip, breakfast will rarely be more than bread, cold ham, milk, and coffee. The bus was silent for a moment.

some of his older travellers used to have a habit of hiding cash in the toilet tank or the ventilation ducts. The worst case I’ve had was a guest who sewed money into the hem of the curtains,

At a Malaysian casino hotel in 2005, some three hundred Chinese visitors were issued special meal coupons bearing cartoon pig faces. The hotel said that the illustrations were simply to differentiate Chinese guests from Muslims, who don’t eat pork, but the offended Chinese tourists staged a sit-in, singing the national anthem.

Handy and Karen kept an eye on every cent. Within a few days, they could tell me exactly how much we’d spent on each bottle of water in five countries.

On average, a Chinese tourist buys more than a thousand dollars’ worth of tax-free stuff abroad—more luxury bags, watches, and designer clothes than any other nationality, including the Japanese, according to Global Blue, the tax-free-shopping refund service. Chinese tourists abroad spend nearly twice as much on shopping as they do on hotel rooms. Several in our group told me how sorry they were that we weren’t stopping at a place called Aotelaise. The name baffled me. Someone explained that it’s a new Chinese word: outlets.

I didn’t sense overwhelming sympathy. The Chinese have been the world’s most abundant migrants, but these days many believe that they have better job prospects at home than abroad.

He was a sanitation specialist by training, and he couldn’t help but notice Milan’s abundant graffiti and overstuffed trash bins. As Li had explained it, The government wants to clean, but it doesn’t have enough money. Handy tried to be polite, but he said, If it was like this in Shanghai, old folks would be calling us all afternoon to complain.

I was struck that, for all his travels, Zhu saw an enduring philosophical divide between China and the West: two different ways of thinking, as he put it. We will use their tools and learn their methods. But, fundamentally, China will always maintain its own way, he said.
europe  china  tourist  story  youth  gaijin  reportage  travel  shopping  thinking  anecdote  world  work  stereotype  tourism 
august 2017 by aries1988
« Appels mystères » pour traquer les discriminations à l’embauche à Bruxelles
Outre-Qiévrain, des inspecteurs pourront utiliser de fausses identités ou procéder à des appels téléphoniques truqués. Le Conseil d’Etat en a validé le principe.
belgique  gaijin  job 
july 2017 by aries1988
Lunch with the FT: Donald Keene
as an 18-year-old, he came across a translation of The Tale of Genji in the Astor Hotel in New York.

worst of all, there were troops of Chinese children being led through. I was just so heartbroken by that. They deliberately inculcated hatred. These terrible things happened, yes. But you must get on with it.” These are sensitive matters, that still dog Asian politics. I could ask why Keene seems more troubled by Chinese propaganda than by Japanese atrocities.

while men were writing in classical Chinese, women more or less took over a whole new Japanese syllabary, hiragana, sometimes known as “women’s script”.
japan  japanese  american  literature  story  bio  china  war  gaijin  immigrant 
may 2017 by aries1988
La clause Molière - Jacques Attali

le nationalisme se révèle dans la culture avant de s’exprimer dans la géopolitique.

parler français ne peut être un critère d’exclusion a priori ; cela doit être un résultat d’intégration a posteriori.

quand se protège des autres, il ne faut pas s’étonner que les autres en fassent autant et se protège de nous.

Si on veut que plus de gens parlent notre langue, ce qui est la clé de notre puissance future, et qu’ils viennent nous apporter leurs forces de travail et de création, il faut bien les recevoir en France ; en particulier imposer aux employeurs français que leurs employés étrangers reçoivent les mêmes salaires et les mêmes prestations sociales que leurs collègues français.

la réelle souveraineté n’est pas dans l’isolement et la fermeture. Elle est dans la confrontation pacifique et décomplexée aux autres, à leurs forces et à leurs talents.
france  gaijin  policy  immigration  job 
march 2017 by aries1988
How I Learned Japanese: The Freedom of the Non-Native Speaker

I was taken by an aunt to an ethnological museum, and there among the exhibits was a scroll painted with the Chinese character for sheep: 羊. I can still remember vividly the impression it made on me.

I was drawn to the beauty of this new way of writing, so different from the German alphabet, which struck my childish mind as unnecessarily longwinded and cumbersome. I loved the idea of each symbol conveying a single concept, or a whole world. And I loved how quickly the characters could be written. (Sometimes I tried writing the character for sheep and spelling out the word out in German and timing myself to see which took longer.) The fact that it was possible to write a whole word in such a small space impressed me as extremely practical and rational. This might sound like a typically “German” way of thinking about things. But I had made up my mind: One day I would learn how to write these wonderful characters myself.

On TV, the on-screen text “subtitles” that are such a characteristic of Japanese television were a great help, whether I was watching the news or one of the light entertainment programs. Watching television turned out to be a great way of learning how a word was pronounced and how it was written.

I wrote my blog for five years. It changed my life massively, not just by improving my Japanese, but by allowing me to discover something more fundamental—the joy of writing. Japanese has lots of words to express emotional concepts that we don’t have in German. For some reason, I feel these expressions match my personality. My sense for Japanese might not be quite the same as a Japanese person’s. But conversely, I have come to feel that as a foreign-language user of the language, I am free to use Japanese in a free way that might not be possible for a native speaker.
gaijin  language  learn  story  life  deutschland  kanji 
march 2017 by aries1988
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Boxer Rebellion
In the hot summer of 1900, Peking, the capital of China, was under heavy siege. But the surrounding forces were not foreign, they were Chinese. This was the Boxer Rebellion, the moment when the 'Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists', known as the boxers, purged China of foreign merchants and missionaries. The Boxers had came out of the northern provinces, they claimed their fists were stronger than fire and they were invincible to bullets. But they were also desperate and starving and they blamed foreigners for their plight. In the end, the Boxer rebellion failed but it changed China and, more than a hundred years later, the spirit of the Boxer Rebellion lives on. They may have lost their battles but they may have won their war.
shandong  china  history  gaijin  conflict 
march 2017 by aries1988
Rester ou rentrer, le dilemme des étudiants marocains en France
Le Forum Horizon Maroc ouvrira ses portes ce dimanche 22 janvier à la Défense. Près de 2.500 jeunes Marocains qui ont étudié en France sont attendus pour rencontrer une quarantaine d’entreprises...
france  maroc  student  job  gaijin  numbers 
january 2017 by aries1988
生活在南京的日本人
“素晴らしいビデオ。
現在500人程しかいないという南京在住日本人、その4人の声を拾った。
(もちろん先日の12月13日南京大虐殺記念日に合わせたもの)

【生活在南京的日本人】
https://t.co/pAh9wuZoQd”
china  japanese  gaijin  life  story  video 
december 2016 by aries1988
A Shamelessly French Chicken in Cider - The New York Times
“My boys, they play soccer in Queens. And every time we drive home, going down the B.Q.E. back to Brooklyn, when we see the Manhattan skyline ... every time, it takes our breath away, and I think, I’m a New Yorker.”
français  gaijin  newyork  cuisine  recette 
december 2016 by aries1988
不跳广场舞的日本老人为何关心中国政治?
段宏庆:在日本这个社会,老年人不跳广场舞,也不帮子女带小孩,那他们怎么打发日子?这使我十分好奇。
gaijin  story  japan  china  university  elders 
november 2016 by aries1988
Inspectors knock | The Economist
TO BECOME a Japanese citizen, a foreigner must display “good conduct”, among other things. The rules do not specify what that means, and make no mention of living wafu (Japanese-style). But for one candidate, at least, it involved officials looking in his fridge and inspecting his children’s toys to see if he was Japanese enough (he was).

officials may visit applicants’ homes and talk to their neighbours. It does not help that wannabe Watanabes must renounce any other passport: Japan does not allow dual nationality. And applicants must have lived in Japan for a minimum of ten years. Other requirements—speaking Japanese, holding sufficient assets—are similar to those in many countries, but still daunting.
japan  explained  gaijin  nationality  japanese 
november 2016 by aries1988
A narrow passage | The Economist
Shin-Okubo is a rarity in Japan. The country has remained relatively closed to foreigners, who make up only 2% of the population of 127m, compared with an average of 12% in the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries. Yet Japan is especially short of workers. Fully 83% of firms have trouble hiring, according to Manpower, a recruiting firm, the highest of any country it surveys.
japan  gaijin  workforce  youth  2016 
november 2016 by aries1988
The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla review — ‘the default is always white’
September 23, 2016 by: Arifa Akbar The idea behind this collection of essays by black, Asian and minority ethnic writers came out of the absence of BAME voices…
book  gaijin  uk 
september 2016 by aries1988
Sing to me in Vietnamese: A daughter learns the language of her refugee parents through song
A Vietnamese-American woman stays in touch with her cultural roots through language and song. But which languages will she pass on to her own children?
podcast  vietnam  heritage  language  children  parents  gaijin  usa 
september 2016 by aries1988
Japan opens door to temporary foreign workers
Trend is a little-noticed effect of Abenomics stimulus
workforce  japan  gaijin  immigration 
september 2016 by aries1988
Back to School, in a New Country

No, I insisted. I wasn’t going to ask anyone. I didn’t want some American sales clerk knowing I couldn’t understand simple, elementary-school English. We’d look for that Ziploc bag in another store. I wasn’t about to let anyone think we were Middle Eastern immigrants coming here to steal jobs from honest Americans. I would not be responsible for a surge in Islamophobia over a Ziploc bag.
story  gaijin  usa  children  shopping  school 
september 2016 by aries1988
My Father, the YouTube Star
https://www.instapaper.com/read/754795268

As a child who immigrated from Hong Kong, I was raised as an American during the day and Chinese after school. I brought home Western ideas that confounded my parents: sarcasm, irony, recalcitrance.

Our relationship reached a plateau of cordial indifference: We lived 2,000 miles apart and talked on the phone once a week about nothing important at all.

The videos are earnest and adorably cheese-ball, bearing the production tropes of ’80s VHS: There are spinning wipe effects, gratuitous zooms, saccharine background music.

Watching through nearly two dozen more videos, I realized every single dish had been served in my childhood home. Macau-style Portuguese coconut chicken. Pan-fried turnip cake. Sweet-and-sour pork. This time, the wave of nostalgia washed over me: I was 12 again, sitting at the kitchen table, my family’s mouths too preoccupied to squabble.

The only thing your mom had left was the memory of her taste. We’re afraid that if you wanted to eat your childhood dishes, and one day we’re both no longer around, you wouldn’t know how to cook it.
parents  distance  telephone  family  food  usa  gaijin  memory  record  video  instapaper_favs 
july 2016 by aries1988
The American Promise in a Free Refill - The New Yorker

I returned to the booth with a fresh Fanta and delivered the news. It was the first time since arriving in Illinois that we smiled as a family. Refill was the first word my toddler son spoke in English, and when I heard him say it I felt some small new hope about our prospects in America.
gaijin  usa  culture  children  food  fun  instapaper_favs 
july 2016 by aries1988
老书虫:中国最活跃的外文书店
B:你心目中美好的书店是什么样的?

P:我去任何一个地方旅行都会去当地的书店,那种特别小特别老的书店。在里面工作的店员会问我对什么感兴趣,喜欢看什么,然后他会在那个堆了一万本书的角落里找出来我要看的书,他清楚地知道每本书放在什么地方,了解他店里的每一本书。有时候我是漫无目的地在翻书,他会问我说你最近看的三本书是什么,然后他会从店里挑出几本书给我,你甚至可能从未听过这些作者,但是当你看了,你就知道这就是我要看的。

B:像今天这样,坐在自己的书店里,你在想些什么呢?

P:我经常一边喝酒,一边看着在书店里进进出出的人,像在看一部部电影,每个人都带着故事进来,带着新的故事离开。如果有一天我不开书店了,或许会把这些故事写下来。
city  beijing  bookstore  gaijin 
may 2016 by aries1988
Japan, and How I Failed to Figure it Out - Wait But Why
An extreme politeness example would occur when someone would take my credit card—they wouldn’t take it with their fingers like I’m accustomed to, they’d hold their palms out like a platter for me to put it on, returning the card to me with another hand platter. All of this I’m going to miss.

But Japan feels different. People I interacted with in Japan seemed to be intent on being honest and conscientious in their work because it was part of a cultural code of conduct. That’s just the way we do it in Japan is what it felt like to me. One piece of evidence for this is the nonexistence of tipping. In fact, when I tipped a waiter on my first day without realizing that I wasn’t supposed to, he ran after me on the street to give it back to me. Tipping, to him, seems like an insult—it suggests that he provided good service just to make a couple bucks.

Within a few days in Japan, my cynicism was replaced by trust, which made me begin to feel an obligation to the society as a whole to keep within the social code of integrity.

When the Japanese are horrified at the prospect of losing face and a foreigner doesn’t understand what it would even feel like to lose face, they don’t know what it feels like to be Japanese, so there will always be a distance between them.

For those who haven’t seen the doc, here’s the story: there are only about 100 restaurants in the world awarded three stars by the prestigious Michelin guide, and almost all of them are fancy restaurants. But one of them, Sukiyabashi Jiro, is in a Tokyo subway station and has 10 seats at a simple sushi bar.
story  japan  japanese  fun  society  gaijin  game  children  travel  instapaper_favs 
december 2015 by aries1988
Meet the American Who Joined Mao’s Revolution — War Is Boring
But after the outbreak of World War II, he was drafted into the Army and sent to Stanford's Army Far Eastern Language and Area School to learn Japanese. When he arrived, he chose to learn Chinese instead  —  believing that learning Japanese would mean serving in the lengthy post-war occupation.

He wanted to return to the United States  —  and his labor activism  —  as soon as he possibly could. He thought China would be a nice short adventure. He wouldn't return to America for more than three decades.

More importantly, Mao had a knack for making everyone around him feel like they brought something important to the table. "He was one of the best listeners I've ever met," Rittenberg adds.

Rittenberg believes that American officials' perception of communism as monolithic led to major miscalculations throughout the Cold War. The United States had a golden opportunity to exploit the factionalization of communist governments and movements  —  and failed to take it.

Instead, the Americans' refusal to negotiate sent the Chinese communists down the path of not just closer ties with Stalin's Russia, but toward Stalinist ideas and governance. "History could have been very, very different."

"I had been a true Leninist," he says, which meant he believed that to establish a perfect democracy one had to first create a perfect dictatorship. But his years in China led him to believe that dictatorship only leads to dictatorship, and that Mao's ascendance to power is more than enough evidence for it.
story  mao  american  communism  gaijin 
august 2015 by aries1988
The Chinese Lingerie Venders of Egypt
In her opinion, the Chinese are direct and honest, and she appreciates their remove from local gossip networks. They keep their secrets, she said.

I was certain that even the most self-confident American woman would be mortified by the idea of shopping for lingerie with her fiancé, her mother, and her teen-age brother, not to mention doing this in the presence of two Chinese shop owners, their assistant, and a foreign journalist. But I had witnessed similar scenes at other shops in Upper Egypt, where an arusa is almost always accompanied by family members or friends, and the ritual seems largely disconnected from sex in people’s minds.

Inequality between men and women, he said immediately. Here the women just stay home and sleep. If they want to develop, the first thing they need to do is solve this problem. That’s what China did after the revolution. It’s a waste of talent here. Look at my family—you see how my wife works. We couldn’t have the factory without her. And my daughter runs the shop. If they were Egyptian, they wouldn’t be doing that.

Their strategy is to make economic linkages, so if you break these economic linkages it’s going to hurt you as much as it hurts them.

through the Suez Canal. In addition, Egyptian universities are home to approximately two thousand Chinese students, most of them Muslim. The Chinese government is concerned that these students will acquire radical religious ideas, which is another reason that they feel they have a stake in Egypt’s stability and prosperity.

More than two decades ago, at the start of the economic boom in China, bosses hired young women because they could be paid less and controlled more easily than men. But it soon became clear that, in a society that traditionally had undervalued women, they were more motivated, and over the years their role and reputation began to change.
story  chinese  entrepreneurial  middle-east  life  people  gaijin 
august 2015 by aries1988
Meet the Somalis | Open Society Foundations (OSF)
Meet the Somalis is a collection of 14 illustrated stories depicting the real life experiences of Somalis in seven cities in Europe: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Leicester, London, Malmö, and Oslo.
gaijin  story 
june 2015 by aries1988
Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard
There is still the awe-inspiring fact that Chinese people manage to learn their own language very well. Perhaps they are like the gradeschool kids that Baroque performance groups recruit to sing Bach cantatas. The story goes that someone in the audience, amazed at hearing such youthful cherubs flawlessly singing Bach's uncompromisingly difficult vocal music, asks the choir director, "But how are they able to perform such difficult music?"
"Shh -- not so loud!" says the director, "If you don't tell them it's difficult, they never know."

An uninitiated westerner can no more be expected to understand such writing than Confucius himself, if transported to the present, could understand the entries in the "personal" section of the classified ads that say things like: "Hndsm. SWGM, 24, 160, sks BGM or WGM for gentle S&M, mod. bndg., some lthr., twosm or threesm ok, have own equip., wheels, 988-8752 lv. mssg. on ans. mach., no weirdos please."

A passage in classical Chinese can be understood only if you already know what the passage says in the first place. This is because classical Chinese really consists of several centuries of esoteric anecdotes and in-jokes written in a kind of terse, miserly code for dissemination among a small, elite group of intellectually-inbred bookworms who already knew the whole literature backwards and forwards, anyway.

In fact, one of the most gratifying experiences a foreign student of Chinese can have is to see a native speaker come up a complete blank when called upon to write the characters for some relatively common word. You feel an enormous sense of vindication and relief to see a native speaker experience the exact same difficulty you experience every day.

The study of Chinese characters can become a lifelong obsession, and you soon find yourself engaged in the daily task of accumulating them, drop by drop from the vast sea of characters, in a vain attempt to hoard them in the leaky bucket of long-term memory.
chinese  gaijin  language  explained  opinion 
june 2015 by aries1988
One Woman's Struggle To Survive 'Too Much Vacation' In France
The rhythm of the seasons in France is dictated by the school calendar. And French school kids spend less time in the classroom than their European peers. Along with a two-month summer vacation, French kids have a two-week break every six weeks throughout the school year. Thank goodness the Paris elementary schools run a system of day camps during the vacations called centres de loisirs, or leisure centers. The cost is minimal and the kids get a hot lunch and are even taken on field trips to museums or a farm outside the city. It's operated by professional animateurs as they're called. Running a kids' vacation leisure center is actually a full-time profession in France. Let's face it, the children who spend their vacations at the leisure center aren't as lucky as some of their friends, and the kids know it. There's nothing like a glut of vacation to highlight the gap between the haves — those with the country houses and grandparent networks — and the have-nots, mostly the children of African and North African immigrants. On this four-day weekend we'll be celebrating Ascension. That's right, this staunchly secular nation is marking Jesus' rise to heaven 40 days after his resurrection.
france  work  gaijin  opinion  expat  holiday  vacation  français 
may 2015 by aries1988
Lessons in Britishness
William Richardson, general secretary of the HMC (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference), says British boarding schools are very good at making children resilient adults who can earn a good living. “Children in boarding schools win out in the graduate labour market. They do well all round, and are self-confident, resilient and networked,” he says.

Reading is a red-brick university which ranks in the top 20 per cent of UK higher education institutions. Not numbered among Britain’s elite “Russell Group” — equivalent to the US Ivy League — it has nevertheless risen steadily through the rankings and is now rated third in the country for research on environmental sciences.
uk  education  school  idea  gaijin  teacher  chinese  globalization  british  today 
may 2015 by aries1988
39 Hours Inside The Biggest Human Migration On Earth
Looking across this sea of anxious faces, it’s easy to forget this is a holiday. Knotted brows frame weary eyes in a crowd as deep as a football field, all of them waiting to catch a train out of Beijing.

The mass exodus from China’s cities is the roaring crescendo leading up to Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it’s known in the country. On paper the holiday can be equated to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s rolled into one, but on the ground the holiday unfolds on an entirely different scale.

Even in the dead of night, fluorescent lights in the hard seat compartment never shut off. It’s a policy with a purpose — total darkness in a packed car would be an invitation to mayhem — but the unceasing illumination presents passengers waking at 4 a.m. with a Pompeii-esque tableau: hundreds of men, women and children slumped unconscious across the booths, sinks and stairwells.
gaijin  chinese  holiday  family  train  photo  xinjiang  reportage  story 
february 2015 by aries1988
Meet the Unlikely Airbnb Hosts of Japan
Using the IBM data, and later incorporating the research of other social scientists, he came up with six measures to help define and analyze the values, attitudes and behavioral impulses of any group — from something as small as the population of a single office or factory to something as large as a nation. These include individualism versus collectivism, indulgence versus restraint, power distance (a group’s acceptance or rejection of hierarchy) and, perhaps most important for Airbnb, uncertainty avoidance.

it seemed, everyone had some defining experience with outsiders. Two of the couples were multinational — Japanese natives with partners who were American and Chinese. Other hosts were Japanese by birth but had lived in other countries or traveled a lot. This appeared to give them a certain renegade perspective, a degree of global cross-pollination and comfort with strangers that seemed to put them at odds with many of the people around them, but also made them more like other Airbnb users internationally.

She was even tolerant of the French, who she admitted, when pressed, could be the most challenging guests of all.

One of her daughters lived in Los Angeles for eight years, and Miki had gone for extended visits. She knew acutely what it felt like to be dislocated, the stun of a country that’s not your own.
culture  hotel  hostel  gaijin  japan  japanese  home  temoignage 
february 2015 by aries1988
老外店主在中国:他们把最美的风物带到了这座城
国际大都市上海已经成为了许多老外的第二故乡,他们之中,有人在这里结婚生子,有人定居开起了小店当起了老板。“大城小店”(微信号bund-shop)探访了上海6家洋老板的小店,每位店主都来自不同的国家,并把最好的东西带到了这个他们热爱的城市。
restaurant  shanghai  list  gaijin 
december 2014 by aries1988
China Strikes Back! by Orville Schell
Beijing’s awareness that despite all its economic progress, Western-style democracies not only still look down on China’s Leninist system of governance, but wouldn’t mind seeing it fundamentally changed. Western attitudes toward Chinese Communist Party rule are, not surprisingly, experienced as condescending, and they rankle many proud Chinese.
opinion  china  usa  gaijin  politics  world 
october 2014 by aries1988
Take Me Out to the Ballgame, in Taipei | The LARB Blog
In Taiwan, however, baseball is a legacy of Japanese colonization, which stretched from 1895 to 1945. Though the Japanese initially tried to maintain baseball as “their” sport, as the British did with cricket in India, local Taiwanese soon took it up and continued playing long after the island’s colonizers had left (a story detailed in Colonial Project, National Game, by China sports historian Andrew Morris). They played it well: between 1969 and today, Taiwanese teams have won 20 Little League World Series titles, and the Taiwanese $500 bill shows a young team jumping for joy, hats thrown in the air.

even in my isolated seat, I was suddenly suffering from sensory overload. I longed for the relaxed vibe of Thursday night and realized that maybe I should have let that experience stand uncontested, a perfect game in an unexpected place. Trying for a second only two days later was bound to be a letdown.

I had missed baseball—maybe not as much as I missed my family and friends, but far more than I’d realized. Shanghai’s import supermarkets and plentiful Starbucks are nice conveniences, but I’d happily trade a few of them for a baseball team to watch.
story  sports  taiwan  gaijin 
september 2014 by aries1988
Cairo in Chinese
When Shen Yitong left her home in China to study French at Cairo University in 2008, she didn’t know that she would come to think of Egypt as a second home, or…
egypt  gaijin  democracy  food  comparison  china  debate  idea  youth  female 
june 2014 by aries1988
Jason Irwin dot See Eh? | Isolation
This is common whenever I try to strike up a conversation with people around town, even when it's just simple small talk. I'll admit that these interactions are more for me than the other person, as I'm trying to improve my Japanese, but I also believe that people enjoy communicating with each other from time to time. This isn't Canada where everybody will ask your name and how your family is doing with every coffee purchase, and the culture is such that people working in retail are treated worse than dog poop on the sidewalk, yet there is still the fundamental need people have for communication ... no?

Clearly not. It's not in the culture of city-dwellers to communicate with others, as strangers are threats. Speaking to foreigners is also taboo, as that would draw too much attention. We must keep to ourselves, perform the functions we're expected to perform, and wait until we can punch out to relax and shrug off our cloak of socially-mandated isolation.

There are a lot of things that I like about living in Japan. I just wish it were easier to talk to people.
people  life  japan  gaijin 
november 2013 by aries1988
Manish Rai Jain's answer to Which is a better place to live: Switzerland or USA? - Quora
Foreigners are tourists: Swiss don't believe in foreigners contributing to their society. For them, foreigners are something they have to bear with, and protect their society from. They're really kind hearted people once you get to know them, but you wouldn't feel at home living there.
swiss  temoignage  gaijin 
september 2013 by aries1988
一个留美女博士的七年----分享给所有还相信梦想的朋友
经过两年孜孜不倦得英语训练,开始有人见面夸我your English is really good了。我颇开心了一阵,后来我想了想不对,其实这只能说明我的英语对方能听懂,但是同时对方很轻易就能听出来我是外国人,所以才会自然得夸英语好, 什么时候听见美国人夸另一个美国人英语好来着。于是我对自己说,你还有很长路要走呢。英语有三个境 界,vocabulary,pronunciation,intonation,刚来时候结结巴巴不知道怎么说,颠来倒去那几个词,那是 vocabulary问题,我的pronouciation还可以,所以要提高就要在intonation上下功夫。这个东西,无他,唯手熟尔。留意别人 说话的语调,然后模仿,这个和我小时候练书法一样,开始就是临摹,到你写100遍的时候,提起笔来就可以写自己的style了。

我在渐渐得融入美国的生活,但我从来都没放弃过中国我的根,我有太多东西和中国分不开,以后不管做什么,中国背景都将是我的一个 asset,而不是缺陷,所以我冒着被check的危险年年回国,体会和适应国内的变化,和朋友们吃饭聊天,最重要的是陪父母外婆尽孝心。

我们的dean告诉我,没有人能真的什么都懂,但是人和人的差别不是谁懂得 多,而是谁学得快,她说她和很多人谈之前是不知道他们说的东西的,但是谈话的过程就是她学习的过程,谈完她可以去和别的人绘声绘色的说的像一个专家。我用 了同样的策略,现学现卖,而且要卖的如同你对此已经很熟悉,了然于胸的样子,这个事情并不难,只需要三样东西,超强的自信心,超快的理解能力,和超好的表 达技巧,其中没有一样是可以短时间内获得的,我多年的折腾paid off。
gaijin  expat  success  story  chinese  usa  youth 
september 2013 by aries1988

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