The New foreigners are coming to China

English: This flag is for the Chinese communit...
English: This flag is for the Chinese community in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been here for five years now and I have seen many things and met many people from all over the world.  What I have noticed in the last couple of years is that the foreigners that are coming to China now are not the same as the ones that came over when I did.

I notice that the Americans that are coming to China have a bit of an attitude and their work ethic is not very good.  I am not sure people are coming over here for the right reasons anymore.   Those of us that have been here for a while have learned to adjust and even live like the locals.  We took the time to understand not only the language but also the culture.  We wanted to live like locals and fit in the best we could.   We came over not only to explore the country but also to share our culture and our knowledge of English with them.

However, I have noticed that a lot of people…. not only Americans.. but I am focusing on my own people right now are coming over with an attitude, and not a good one.   I have helped many people come to China to teach, or visit.   I try my best to give them a heads up about the country and how to deal with the schools and what kind of things they should bring with them to make their lives a little more easy.   However, some of these same people are coming over here and demanding things like they are China’s new ruling society.

They are expecting their lives to be the same as it is in America… they are demanding extra time off, they are late for work, they are traveling with out notice, they are complaining about the food, they are not happy with the living arrangements, they are just pains in the arse.

People you come to another country and no matter how kind the locals try to be and how well they try to suit you … you need to be able to be flexible and also remember why you came here.

I have so many people come to China and then say to me… “Jo I don’t know how you could stay here so long under these conditions” …. I could stay here so long because… I adjust to the country.. I didn’t try to get the country to adjust to me.   I worked hard and showed that Americans are hard workers and intelligent.  I broke down the barriers about Black Americans and I was kind and friendly to everyone… no matter how they treated me.

This is not the attitude that the new foreigners are bringing to China…. and I am pretty embarrassed about it.

I wanted to take this time to tell people who are thinking about coming to China to check their attitudes at the door.  Just because many of the locals will take your photo and think you are handsome/beautiful or special…. you’re not.   They do not owe you anything for coming here.  China is a poor country… you are not going to get carpeted floors, you are not going to always have hot water, you are not going to always have heat, you are not going to always have the foods you like.  Things are not going to always be as clean as you like and the people are not going to think they way you think.

If you are not willing to adjust to the culture and the thinking here I suggest you stay in America or England or Canada.   I can see why so many locals don’t like it when foreigners come…. I think the worse part about the new foreigners is that they don’t want to work.   They come here for a teaching job…. that means… you need to teach.   Not complain that you have to work so many hours… not take off work because you went to the club and your tired…. not take of 3 days because you have a cold…. what is happening to the work ethics of people?

Okay….. sorry for the venting… but I have just had it… with some of the people who come thru here.   What has really set me off… is the fact that …. some teachers have made plans to travel purchased tickets and hotels…. and THEN… informed the school that they were leaving at this time….. in my world… you need to ask for the time off first…. then you plan your trips…. this is a business… you cant just make your own time off….   I know i have been out of the states for a while.. but I don’t think you can do that in America either.   Just no thought whatsoever for the school or for any other teachers that might work there.

You all know I am leaving my current school for a better position at another school in another city.  Out of the kindness of my heart I gave the school 2 months notice so they can have time to replace me and get new teachers.  I have even helped them in finding new teachers to replace me.  But do to the work ethics of the other teachers… I have had to delay my departure time… because the school will not have any foreign teachers to teach any of the classes.

I know I don’t have to … because I was very good with my notice.. but I understand the relationships in China… and the local thinking and it is just respect after five years of employment here.

My boss was very grateful and so where the students to have a foreigner teacher to teach them…..things just are not the same as five years ago… and it is not a good thing.

until next time…


24 thoughts on “The New foreigners are coming to China

  1. I’ve met people with this sort of attitude in Taiwan. Some people’s ego get hurt by the fact that they have to leave their home country in order to have a good opportunity. For an example, there’s a certain British guy who keeps talking about, “England does this,” “the English do that”, and even would try to teach other students English phrases from England. On the other hand, he said that Chinese characters wait for it (pause) stupid. Yes, stupid. He even told the Japanese students how their “emperor” should have used western letters instead cause it would be easier. Yeah, easier for him.

    My mom is from Mexico. I hate to say this, but I have Mexican friends who say Mexican pride this and Mexican pride that. I ask them, if you think Mexico is so beautiful and wonderful, why you’re not living there? It’s like the mentality, “I know I had to leave my country for a reason but I have to say so many good things about it to make up for it.” I don’t know. When I hear these things, I just tune out and deal with my own issues.

  2. I’ve noticed this too. A bunch of whiners who think the world owes them everything. Coincidentally, most of them have been late 80’s or early 90’s generation. Most of the young guys I came over with bailed after the first few months. Some people just can’t hack it.

  3. The attitudes you are experiencing are not only prevalent in China but at home as well. The attitude of entitlement is a disease and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

    1. Sunny

      Applauding over here!
      I was taught that your work ethics should speak for you. To work harder than the next man or woman and strive to be greater…not good. This new group of young people (not all but most) act like they are entitled to everything! It makes me sick to my stomach to see how lazy society has become. In my field if you make a mistake it could kill someone but they don’t seem to get it or just don’t care. They complain because the work is so hard…then find a new job and stop expecting others to pick up the slack! Sorry…just had to get that off my chest!
      …BTW I’m an early 80’s baby and I can see the difference.

  4. meaghan

    i have problems with some things but what expat doesn’t?? I am vocal about things that don’t make sense to me, but I am also the first one to tell others about all of the good things (including my work environment). I don’t think it’s bad to express the frustrations that one may have, as long as you take the steps to adjust to a new way of life.

    1. @Meaghan… If there is some serious problems.. like your housing isnt liveable, or Your salary isnt paid or you feel they arent following the contract you signed … yes I agree… but expecting your experience in China to be like your life in American is wrong…. and expecting your school to act like an American Company is also wrong…. your not in America… and the country of China doesnt owe you anything… that is what I am saying… you came to their country…. If they go to America.. they need to be American…. why do Americans think when they travel to another country… they dont need to adapt?

      1. meaghan

        that’s definitely true, if I wanted to live life the American I would go back to America and get a job there. I think some people just can’t get past the differences in culture and instead of dealing with them in a progressive way, they take to insults and degradation. Not an excuse, but that is what I think.

      2. Many Americans assume that they should get the same service as if they were back home. Because of our ugly attitudes, we are called the “Ugly Americans” I remember one American woman complained that there were no “Western” toilet at this place. My 12 year old daughter, told the woman, “You should have read about the country before you came.”

  5. I can remember the first time I was in China back in 2000. I was the only Black person everywhere I went. I was the “Special attraction”, lol. Since that time, I have seen a slow increase of Black’s coming. My last trip three years ago, was the first time I have exactly seen a large amount of Black’s. I must say that I was pleased to know that Black people are making the effort to learn about other cultures.

  6. Honestly, one of the two things I am really going to have issues with is lack of natural hair care products. For my hair I am going to
    have to ship in products. Oh and getting balls to talk to men. That to me us very scary

    1. @Aquariusamber…. You cant expect everything… it is a country that doesnt have black people.. so they do not know anything about Black Hair Care or products…. we have to learn to adjust and do it ourselves.. ship it in or research how you can make do with what is available here. Your not in Kansas anymore Dorothy…

    2. Sonya

      Hi I have natural hair and lived in Shanghai and Hangzhou. You can order products internationally. Also, there are stylists in Shanghai and Beijing. Let me know if you are interested in finding out more information.

        1. if she is only staying for two months… she can bring all her hair supplies from the states…. it is the best way to go. Please tell her the air is very polluted in Beijing… and if she feels sick… like bad sinuses or headaches.. is the air. She should cover her face with one of those masks that surgeons use.

  7. Nekeisha

    what is so hilarious is that most Americans will get angry and say people who come to the states should adjust, but then they head to other countries and fail to make the adjust. smdh

  8. John Lee

    Jo you have a good point there, look like these foreigners are very spoil from other countries they came from. That why I say do some research about China, about their culture, their live, how they live

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