Wednesday, January 24, 2007

email loving--worlds of china fantasy--LOBO

Many people, especially my friends and family, have written me emails with questions such as: "Why are you such a failure?" and "Why do you always fail at things?" and also "Why are you such a failure?"

The answer to these questions is very simple. The fact of the matter is that I really quite enjoy failing at things. Among the things I am good at failing at are: 1) keeping small promises to people, 2) doing anything I set out to do, 3) remembering things, 4) jazz-funk-robo-dance, and 5) befriending other foreigners.

Although number five could easily be included with number two (and four) , they are slightly different. Usually I fail at doing things that I set out to do because I forget them, or because I get overwhelmed with all the people and China that exist in China and go home and read a book or write meaningless drivel on a blog. However, I have difficulty befriending other foreigners--especially Westerners--because many who have recently arrived in China live in their own special world, which seems to be one in which no other foreigners are allowed. I can't blame them. I lived in the same world for a while. When I went out on the street I wanted every foreigner to know that I wanted nothing to do with them because they were messing with my experience of hardcore Chinese life. I figured that most other foreigners were probably just doe-eyed tourists busy thinking about how everything around them was just positively dripping with oriental magic--and, as everyone knows, oriental magic is actually just a solution of pollution residue and phlegm, and is not really very special at all.

Anyway, once you get into the rhythm of life in China, that feeling quickly goes away. You realize how obnoxious you were, and they are. After a while you just want to hang out with people and speak English--real English, the kind where you can make obscene jokes and offend everyone, or say something that is not politically correct and offend everyone.

There seems to be something unique about mainland China that turns people inward and makes them attempt to exclude other Westerners from their experience. When I was in Hong Kong it seemed that every Westerner wanted to talk to me, especially if they were racist Irishmen who spoke incomprehensible English. There was a kind of camaraderie among the Westerners in Hong Kong that I've never found on the mainland. Why is this? Why are so many Westerners here as obnoxious as I was when I first arrived?

I asked LOBO, who is an expert on botany, why this is. The conversation went as follows:

ME: Why are so many Westerners here as obnoxious as I was when I first arrived?
LOBO: Narcissistic tendencies.
ME: What?
LOBO: Suck it.

I think LOBO summed things up quite well. But if you have further questions about this phenomenon, which is also known as the China Experience Exclusionism Complex, please ask any Westerner you see on the street in China, or Jesus, or plant life.

Thank you.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I'm a family member of yours and I can't remember ever asking you why you're a failure. That question with the pejorative label nestled inside doesn't fit me or my conversation. Must be you're being 'poetic' and not literal, yes, must be that. You see, no one in the family has ever ventured to China and pursued a dream like you have and that, my family friend, is testimony of your unique success. Congratulations!
Any you know me by my #4.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin,
I was in the hostel doing an on-line search for "jazzfunkrobodance" and your blog popped up.
You should really go traveling-- foreigners on the road are a lot friendlier.--Channa

2:30 AM  
Blogger KMM said...

Channa--I hope so. I'll be down in Kunming on the first and I guess I'll find out then. The only problem is that since you left the English speaking muscles in my mouth have atrophied, and I can only mumble and drool--or speak bad Chinese.

6:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home