Please take my picture

I gladly tried to forget that this past weekend was International Children’s Day. On the one hand, it is because I am not a fan of children and kids. On the other hand, even though China is an aging society, somehow all these kids pop up out of nowhere during the weekends. What amazes me a lot, is how many pictures are taken of kids. I know in the Netherlands, most kids, I think boys and girls almost equally but for different reasons, do not like to have photos taken. Boys often find it takes too long, they might make…

Experiencing Chinese communication and family feuds

Fighting happens in the tightest families. I am blessed with families on both sides where this is limited, but that is often not the case for most Chinese. In general, life itself provides plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong, most importantly for the Chinese (and pretty much everyone else): money, work, partner, and kids. Now, a while back I was on a short trip with a friend of mine (also a foreigner) and indirectly experienced one of the most frightening fights ever. She has described everything in more detail on her terrific blog, go read that as well!…

Sound the fire alarm

Having just watched a film in a cinema today, made me realize a thing I already knew before. The world is filled with hypocrisy. In this case, I am referring to the fire safety clips they always show in Chinese cinemas before the actual film. It might be a strong and trustworthy fireman, an animated helpful robot or your average guy turned fire superhero, all of them urge you what to do in case of a fire. It is just as rote as most of the flight safety reminders when taking an airplane. Of course, in almost all other cases…

Hidden unemployment in plain sight

So, there are a lot of things you learn in high school that you never use afterwards. For geography, which was one of my weak subjects, this might actually count a bit less. It is quite useful to know about Pangea and why Dutch soil is weak and why exactly Amsterdam is built on stilts. But in daily life, I do not think or wonder too much about these things. Something that is very relevant though, is the concept of hidden unemployment. I have already mentioned and experienced enough that efficiency is not held up to the highest standards in…

Quiet, please!

So, I already mentioned China is not the most quiet place ever. Another train trip, which are the best way to submerge yourself in a full Chinese experience for several hours, confirmed this again in another way. I have talked in lengths already about being single in China and some expectations in general that we as societies seem to have about relationships. Moving past that, you obviously see many differences in child-rearing and education between countries. Something that amazes me all the time when I see Chinese kids, is in how much they are allowed to do and actually encouraged…

Travel makes the world go round

Since it was just the October Holidays, a slightly insane amount of people and money changed places. It is a time when everyone who can have a holiday goes somewhere to hang out with millions of others. These are the moments that you are reminded of and astonished by the scale of this country once more. Being a Dutch person, I of course was traveling as low budget as possible. And the good thing (for my wallet, not my back) is that seating places on trains are very cheap. The bad thing, besides your back hurting quite a lot, is…

Nothing to be done pt. 4

“When are you coming around?” Something I am not saying to anyone I would like to actually come, but my (un)trusty repairmen of course. “Do you know if your neighbors are home?” Surely one of the most logical responses to that question ever. Sidenote, no I do not know if they are home. So after a few messages on WeChat, setting a date and then not coming, setting a new date and still not coming, setting a final date and somehow showing up it was fixed. What was funny though, is that my contact person of the housing agency sent…