“Pointing” Syndrome

Not sure if this is a real psychological syndrome but in China people of all ages like to “point the finger” either in the case of adults metaphorically and in the case of children physically.

I was on the train the other day and passed out as I had not really slept well the previous days.  I was out from the moment I got on the train until somewhere about an hour from home.  It was the strangest experience as I woke up to adults shouting at someone to be quiet, a couple next to me complaining that they could not sleep because of the noise, and the people behind me saying they were grateful to be getting off soon.

So I went to investigate.  There was a child which kept repeating the same words over and over again so I wandered over there and asked the parents if they could keep their kid calm.  They seemed confused and I realized that I was so tired I was speaking in English.  But they answered in Mandarin that they were really sorry but they could not do anything about their child because he was always like this and I realized that their child was autistic.

Because I started the conversation in English, I did not want them to think I was yelling at them or anything along those lines so I started a conversation with them about things that might calm him down.  If you actually bothered to look at the child, you could tell that something was developmentally wrong since he was the size of a 7 year old but behaved like a 2 year old.  He could only say about five words over and over again and kind of lurched about.

What I thought was interesting was the other people in the train car.  So after the father said some Chinese words which I think were describing autistic, the other passengers went from complaining about a child who “would not shut up” to “something was wrong with the parents.” Basically they claimed that because something was wrong with the parents they created an ill-behaved child with issues.

The funny thing is that these parents had an ill-behaved child who was autistic which is a recognized genetic and metal illness.  What do you have to say about your ill behaved child peeing in the street, throwing crap, and hitting adults who are perfectly physiologically and mentally normal?

My issue with many of the adults in any country is the fact that when it comes to their problems, “it is everyone else’s fault” and when it is someone else’s problem “it is their fault.”  My biggest pet peeve is when others but especially professors and other educators say, “Well why didn’t they do something about it?”  Seriously, the question you should be asking yourself if, “Why didn’t you bother to help out?”  If you are going to be so righteous and supposedly so much better than everyone else then get over there and help out.

Granted I get overly involved in other people’s issues but I certainly will never be the person sitting around doing nothing.  In this particular case, I did screw up a little – I offered the kid a taro treat which usually, you never give an autistic child more sugar, but the mom was nice and said thanks but he can’t have that.  But we did have a good discussion about trying to seek help for their son and options about enrolling their child into an autistic school.

Unfortunately, while there are some international educators who go to some of the more remote cities in China, most are centered in areas where parents can afford to pay for autistic services.  As I had never even heard of Changsha until this recent trip to China, I am assuming that their special needs, educational services are close to none.

Maybe a Fulbrighter should start a project on special needs education in smaller cities and rural areas in China and how to change the overall cultural impression that the parents did something wrong.  It is more likely that the terrible environmental pollution in China caused the parents to have an autistic child than the parents being “bad people.”  Afterall, look at all the shining examples of healthy and crappy children one encounters on a daily basis.  Most of the time, their parents and/or family encourage them to do idiotic things like cut lines.  See Wuhan cultural festival post, where the parent told the child to cut in line because the adults would not let him stamp his book and he did not want to wait.

Identity Theft – Face Issues

Ever since I have come to China, I have had issues with identity theft.  There are a group of either Chinese girls or guys running around NYC pretending to be me.  So far they tried to use my existing credit card accounts to buy things in Macy’s at the Queens Center Mall, Elmhurst, NY in October and November 2015.  They also tried to use my credit card to pay parking tickets and for parking in NYC.  They tried to buy home furniture, Coach purses, and make up.  However, the Chase system was pretty good because the charges were immediately declined and I was notified.

Turns out that this band of criminals were pretty sophisticated because they used a machine to create a fake credit card with my account number and name.  We don’t know if it was a boy or a girl who actually had the card because the Macy’s employee did not remember – there were a group of “Asian looking” people at the time they tried to purchase things.

Recently, the criminals have started to open accounts using my name and mailing address which is readily available on the internet because its considered public information.  So the Macy’s bill showed up at my house.  The account was not mine and neither were the purchases.  Called Macy’s and found out that someone opened a new account in my name and mailing address but used someone else’s phone number and SSN.  They made in store purchases for a Coach purse, Mac makeup, and Guess clothing.  Oddly, they purchased three different lipsticks from Mac, in three different transactions, and clothing of S,M, and L sizes.  So I think there were at least 3 girls there that day.

Currently, Macy’s has launched an escalated investigation without my proding because they think the usage pattern was suspicious.  They have asked for my picture.  I think they have the criminals on tape because they opened the account in Roosevelt Fields Mall, Long Island NY.  By the time I called Macy’s the investigation was already underway.  So relatively speaking, I got off lucky because at least I found out about the fraud.  Unfortunately, this is a pain because now I need to call all the credit agencies to figure out how they even managed to open the account because I have my credit on lock down which means that they are not suppose to allow anyone to open an account in my name without my verification.

So just in case any of you will encounter this unfortunate situation, you need to file reports with the police station, file a report with the FTC, and then call the big three credit card companies who issue reports.

Federal Trade Commission ID Fraud website = https://www.identitytheft.gov/

Current Mood:  Feeling Blase because with a billion Chinese people running around the world, it is going to be really hard to catch the Chinese people running around pretending to be me.  Am I surprised at the turn of the events?  Nope, just like I was not surprised at receiving fake money.


Blue Moon Snow Mountain

Chinese tourists love their selfies and are willing to go to extremes to get that photo.  Most people are not willing to die for their photos but there are always those rare few.


While I was on the mountain at 4500m, there were a group of college students from Guang Zhou who were posing for photos with the snow and landscape in the background.  The photos are obviously really nice and could have been shot for a fashion magazine.  However, while it was 35-38F, some of the students were stripping down to their tank tops or just taking off their shirts for their photos.

Current Mood:  Love photos but not willing to sacrifice too much for photos with me in it 😀

Legal Trivia Game – Fact or Fiction?

These articles remind me of this awesome trivia game which is all based on outdated laws in the U.S.  The basis of the game is to laugh at the laws that we now find irrational and guess which state and what law was still on the books.

Many states in the past had co-habitation laws which prevented different sexes from living under the same roof because of our puritan values.  The fines were steep if you consider the fact that most of these laws were passed in states from the 1800-1870s.  This was a big deal in North Carolina a few years ago when the statutes were repealed but did not know that Florida, Michigan, and Mississippi laws were still on the books.

Unwed couples in Florida can now legally live together – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35983288

Current Mood: Happy that torts and interesting law cases are making the news.  Makes teaching American law more entertaining.  Now if I can only get the students to read and watch the news clips I send them on qq group.

Kettle Black?

I think we can all agree that there are some people who behave badly no matter which country or culture they are part of.  I personally think that you are most offended if you think it applies to you and therefore, if you are not like that, it certainly would not bother you.  I need to preface this by admitting that I am told that I have thick skin and do not understand social mob and group mentality.

I am not sure why anyone needs to sit there and bash an entire culture when you can bash a particular person who has wronged you.  I do not blame all Chinese people for the fruit lady who has an advertisement which says 5 yuan lemons and then charges me 6 yuan at the university fruit store.  (Had I thought to bring my cell phone or camera with me, I could have photographed the sign which will be removed before I head back there).

I do not blame all Chinese people for the photocopy and print shop lady who has school accounts, who charged me 1.5 yuan and insisted to me that it was the correct price when color copies are only 0.4-0.8 yuan depending on how many you copy.  (Paid it because I was in a crunch but have not returned since.  Next time I go back, I am going to bring a receipt from a previous purchase.  Currently, I just go to the chop next door where the other foreign teachers go.  Might be a little more expensive but honesty is worth the extra money to me).

I will say things like the general view of my own culture is X.  However, that also does not mean that I believe the same thing or that it applies to everyone.  I do not consort with people I dislike, there are many people in the world, no reason to associate with someone I dislike.

I certainly would not bash the culture of the person I am dating because if you think they are so bad then dump them.  If the only reason you are dating the person is for sex, there are plenty of sex workers who are around who would be happy to earn your money and it might cost you less in the process – I do not want to encourage prostitution but I believe that those women would not be involved in the trade if they had another choice.

Until I read these set of articles, including the Global Times article, I did not realize that people could be so mean, idiotic, and/or culturally insensitive.  Seriously, why is there a comment section on Reddit that refers to Chinese girls who date expats as “Rainy” and what the hell does that even mean?  Do you not realize that if you insult your girlfriend then you are insulting yourself?

Also, I do not approve of the Chinese comments about expats either.  Seriously, just because most of the people who are in China are teaching their own native language to Chinese students, both sides are benefiting.  Chinese students learn another language if the person is any good.  (If the person is a terrible teacher then the fault is your school or institutional administration who has low standards).  Foreigners then get to travel on lower pay than what they make back home but at least they get to travel.

Foreigners on Reddit Are Slammed by Chinese Newspapers


Article referred to in the article above – please note that this fake story was created by a Chinese woman not a Foreigner who was looking to bash Chinese citizens.  Apparently, she wrote this story because her husband made her mad.  Who knows what the real story is…

Fake News! Shanghai Girl’s CNY Dumping was a Big Hoax


Current Mood: Disappointed at the illogical and highly irrational emotional people out there.  Good thing the aliens do not read we chat or internet news 😀

Rumor Has It…

I have no idea what it is with people and the fascination about rumors.  If you go and question people about their rumor mongering the response usually falls into the following categories: 1) well it is fun, 2) as long as the other person does not know I am talking about them it is okay, 3) well subject X deserves it, and 4) it teaches people not to do action X,Y,Z.  Ask those same people about others gossiping about them, the reaction is the complete opposite – usually a mix of anger, feeling of victimization, and “why are they talking about me.”

While I do love the internet for its information sharing and the humor of misinformation sharing, I strongly draw the line at violence, damage to reputation (monetary damages), and out right idiocy.  Hopefully, the recent legal actions back home will change the misinformation spreading.  See the articles previously posted about the Erin Andrews and Hulk Hogan cases.

Hulk Hogan awarded further damages in Gawker sex tape case – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35868127

Do we really need to wait until someone dies or loses millions of dollars to stop people from doing bad things?  Seriously, you would not use the internet to tell someone off if you had the guts and the notion you were actually in the right.  See the following articles from the past weeks.  Sorry behind.


While the teachers in Britain are apparently fearing for their students safety as the youngest victim is 7 and the average is between 13-16, they are also in fear of their own safety.  See the quoted section below as well as the full article.

Teachers fear for pupils’ safety on social media – http://www.bbc.com/news/education-35881350

Teachers’ reported online abuse by parents

“Parent got child to take a photograph of me whilst teaching.

“I used to teach the parent many years ago.

“The parent then posted the picture along with derogatory comments, ‘I can’t believe he is still teaching.

“She made comments about my capabilities, made up lies about the state of the pupils in my class, she discussed with her friends and husband about knocking me out, her friends called me abusive names and added to the threats of violence.”

“Told daughter off at school, mum put on Facebook that she was going to come to school to punch me.”

“Parent threatened to come in and ‘sort that bitch out’.”


The Slenderman case is back in the news as the girls who stabbed their “friend” 17 times are in a new documentary.  The girls’ lawyers are now trying to avoid prosecution in ciminal court as an adult.  The parents have no idea why the girls decided to follow a fictional online character and join the “Slenderman cult.”  Sociologists have stated that had the children had more personal contact with real people versus internet websites, they might not have tried to stab their friend to death.

Slenderman director on the ‘faceless’ character’s fascination – http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/35816715/slenderman-director-on-the-faceless-characters-fascination


For those of you who are in China and understand the viciousness that is within the gossip circles here and the insistence that the most vocal is always right – see the previous post about a man who insisted on commenting on the lack of a woman’s period and her barenness to three other women at dinner, this is a classic.

A woman on a flight from Britain to Beijing was allegedly exposed to racially upsetting words by another passenger.  While this is defintely wrong on the passenger’s part, I am not sure how this is the fault of Virgin Atlantic?  Boycotting an airline company because of another passenger’s bad behavior is silly because the airline cannot control his actions – at most they could move the man.  Also, there are so many racist and sterotypical comments thrown at foreigners in China that you would think the reactions by netzins are extreme.  See comments about boycotting Virgin and comments above.

If it is true that the Virgin Flight attendant participated in the passanger’s bad behavior, he should be fired.  You cannot encourage bad behavior on a flight of all things – no place to hold a rowdy passenger who wants to fight.

Virgin Atlantic Probes ‘Racial Abuse’ of Chinese Woman on Flight – http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzA3OTgwOTczMQ==&mid=438587540&idx=2&sn=8833668d5fdb88e565dfb1a4d3150bd2&scene=5&srcid=0319eybKHfsBKR9HNnlFli4Y#rd


Lovely to see that we have new ways to harrass people on the internet – sarcasm people.  Man claims that he was only creating banter – how is calling someone a slut, whore, and being sexually promiscuous banter?  For those who don’t know, the definition of banter is the following:



an exchange of light, playful, teasing remarks; good-natured raillery.
verb (used with object)


to address with banter; chaff.


See the article below and the youtube video link and its comments.  Saddest thing of all, this guy might actually be a total stranger.

YouTuber says she is the victim of a ‘baiting out’ video – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-35828073


Current Mood:  Disappointed in humanity.  These issues with the internet and their resulting legal actions and/or legislation have occurred within a period of 10 days 🙁

International Women’s Day 7: Military Service?

While I do agree that in general, a man of the same height, weight, and stature can outrun and outlift a woman due to biological differences, I am very happy that the U.S. military and command structure, is now enlightened enough to realize that women and men in combat have the same intellectual capabilities. 😀

Lori Robinson nominated as first US female combatant chief – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35845226

The American Addiction to Self Esteem?

I loved Politically Incorrect when it was on.  The comedian from that show now has a new one called Real Time With Bill Maher (?) – not sure if I spelled his name right.  Anyhow, there are many expats who like to rag on the fact that Americans have a seemingly unquenchable self esteem.  Bill Maher showed a clip on his show of an advertisement from before my time illustrating how everyone is equally important.

Now most people either find me nice, intelligent, compassionate, and passionate OR they find me intimidating, arrogant, and uncaring.  How to account for the bipolar verdicts?  I really think that it comes down to self-esteem.  While I do not feel that you should hand out awards to every child on the field for participating or tell everyone that they are wonderful just the way they, you do need to instill some sort of self esteem into your child.

Most of my friends who do love me will say that my attitude is due to a healthy self-esteem followed by wanting to accomplish things.  While they do find my lack of attention to surroundings and sometimes other people’s feelings irritating, we have very logical and factually based conversations which I find stimulating for work and play.

People who have no idea what I am about and who are extremely emotional will never get along with me.  I just do not feel strongly about things that have nothing to do with me and prefer to just problem solve.  Also, for the most part, I do not engage in speculation about people or things that do not directly effect me which makes me a very boring conversationalist when coupled with the fact that I do not watch enough television and movies.

Basically, I lack pop culture and cannot get along with people who lack substance.  There are only so many jokes you can crack and so many facts that you can spew before it becomes all the same.  This leaves me two choices, either leave the situation entirely or start an argument so that you go away when I cannot figure out a nice way to tell you to stay away.

So upon self reflection, maybe it is true that I am scary and intimidating and I do need to find a better solution.  I am very bad at pretending so I am not going to survive faking and lying through my teeth.  I did meet a girl who was very good at hiding her emotions without being dis-ingenuine but I have no idea how she does it and asking her would probably be insulting.

Current Mood: Trying to find the correct social balance.  Really hard.  Dinner was eye opening.  Had a How I Met Your Mother moment with glass shattering a few weeks ago but dinner tonight just reaffirmed my first impression and everything that happened since.


The Lorax China Style

Now I do not know how authenticated and verified some of these articles from We Chat are.  However, I jokingly told my friend about two years ago during a screening of the Lorax Movie that this is what they should do in China.  Told my friend that if they bottled up the air from the countryside and sent it off to Beijing that they would make a killing because people were already into air purifiers when I left China in 2009.

If the stories in Guang Dong are true this is a pretty big deal.  They literally took the idea from the evil villan in the Lorax.  Bad thing is that they are using plastic bags which will increase the pollution and garbage load as one smart We Chat commentor pointed out already but those people are making a killing – 30 yuan for a big bag and 10 yuan for a small one?

Yellow Alert Issued as Heavy Pollution Chokes Several Cities – http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzA3OTgwOTczMQ==&mid=438780823&idx=2&sn=e8ecb31b2328b3fa11f9815dde10cc1a&scene=5&srcid=0320VGz1tN7Ji50xjTuq4JtH#rd

People are now buying clean air in bags – http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzA3OTgwOTczMQ==&mid=438780823&idx=3&sn=4e542ca502883b674a9302e74ced88e9&scene=5&srcid=0320Xx9DIcxw9iiVtSqLUaAI#rd

Current Mood: Amused 😀



International Women’s Day 6: Disney Princesses and Body Image

While some people find the issue relating to body image an issue which is overplayed, I believe that it has caused some rather unhealthy behavior in men and women.  In China there is an internet challenge which dares people to take an A4 size paper lengthwise and see if your waistline could be smaller than the 8.5 inches.  Personally, not appetizing to me – I rather eat to my hearts content and be myself.  Yes, joke all you want about my food hoarding and protectionism mechanisms, I am serious about what I want and like to eat.  Deny me what I want to eat and you will get stuck with whatever eating utensil happens to be near by 😀

On the other hand, I am really happy about Shanghai Disney opening up soon and its new mass marketing and monkey making scheme of inclusion.  I love the fact that the new Disney Princess is Latino inspired.

Disney reveals new Princess – she’s the first of Latin descent  – http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/31053428/disney-reveals-new-princess—shes-the-first-of-latin-descent  

I also think that the other article that appeared almost at the same time has everyone imagining themselves as Princesses and applying it to their own lives.  If Disney princesses were Filipina – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35340371.

Current Mood:  Feeling rather happy at the state of being for women.  Still a man’s world but we are catching up.