Friday, October 21, 2005

I Surrender!

Living in Asia is one giant process of surrender. I have come to realise that we need to surrender as soon as possible in order to move on past the agony of futile resistance.

We surrender our anonymity.
We surrender our privacy.
We surrender our ideas of socially acceptable behaviour regarding spit, snot, and phlegm.
We surrender our personal space.
We surrender our sleep, when the cleaning lady arrives at 5.30am and starts banging about in the kitchen.
We surrender our concepts of safe driving, and our traffic rules.
We surrender our notions of what is an edible part of an animal.
We surrender the belief that you don't eat a pet for dinner.
We surrender our health.
We surrender certain manners about not pushing into lines.
We surrender the idea that lamb's placenta shouldn't come in a tablet form.
We surrender the hope that there will be at least one meal on the menu not containing meat.
We surrender our budgets when we want to buy some western food.
We surrender the ability to move our limbs on the subway in peak hour.
We surrender the expectation that a cheap meal should not end in hours spent on the toilet.
We surrender the skill to converse intelligently, or even at all.
We surrender the dream of a Sunday morning sleep-in.

We surrender. Full stop.


Anonymous said...

Then get lost yourself. Go back to your own country, where you don't have to surrender at all. Complaining is useless, only making people look down on you for your incapabality to handle the changes in a new environment. Suggestions - speak Chinese, know the city - you can solve at least 2/3 of the problems. Get yourself prepared.

Louise said...

First of all let me commend you for being so brave as to leave an anonymous comment. That must have taken guts.
Secondly, you missed the point entirely. The "capability to handle the changes in a new environment", as you put it, comes ENTIRELY from surrendering ones' perceptions of what is 'normal' in your old environment.
Get it yet? Or do you need me to explain it more slowly?

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love it when people insulting you don't have the guts to sign their name, or where they're from.

But he/she's right. Learn Chinese so you can understand people talking about you like you're not even there - and like you're the stupidest thing to be born. No, really, the more Chinese you speak the more you're experience is...errmm... yeah!

But maybe we should just follow the experience of so many Chinese international travelers: go to a foreign country, eat our food, sopeak our own language and hang around with "our" people. be just, not all are like that, but you need to learn about racism dear.

- Philippe
(the site you visited just before this one)

Anonymous said...

first, don't know from when there is a discrimination towards ANONYMOUS. If it is one of the choices listed in your blog, if people still have right not to show their name, just be fair about it. No need to make fuss about a neutral selection, 33% of probability to click it. Didn't know there is a skew in your brain.

Then,I hope your 'new mentality' in the old environment makes your life easier. Or you deliberately want to make it difficult (e.g. surrender all these) to make yourself glorious by keeping a 'normal' perception.

You made your choice to come to China (i believe nobody forced you). I believe you knew the situation before you came (if not, then do more homework next time). You have right to leave this place. You have choices to make your life better in this city if you know the way. The only issue here is to have an attitude to solve the problems, not showing that you free-willingly want to be a 'victim'.

To phil: We learn English so we can understand people talking about us like we are not even there - and like we are the stupidest thing to be born. No, really, the more English we speak the more...errmm... yeah!

But maybe we should just follow the experience of so many immigrants in Canada or Australia: go to a foreign country, eat our food, speak our own language and hang around with "our" people. be just, not all are like that, but you need to learn about racism dear.

Anonymous said...

I agree!!!

"Copy'n'paste" are FABULOUS inventions!

I wish I could kiss Steve Jobs!

Philippe <---- my name <--- my website

...wishing Anonymous changed names to Ubugougalibooh!

Louise said...

Once again you have missed the freaking point. I have no objection to you disagreeing with what I have to say, but I think that first you should at least UNDERSTAND what I am saying.
Are you ready?
Ok. Cultures are different. Countries are different. Therefore the process of adapting to a new country means that you have to let go (i.e. surrender- look up the definition if you have to) your ideas of what is socially normal. This process of surrender allows you to fit in to your new country. This is a natural part of immigration.
Secondly, of course you are allowed to make anonymous comments (however I still have your IP address). Although I live in China I have not yet entirely abandoned the notion of free-speech. However, in return I am just as entitled to think that you are gutless. It’s called an “opinion”.
Speaking of rights, it is just as much your right to complain about your experience in Australia or other English speaking countries as it is my right to discuss the weird and wonderful facets of life in China.
Finally, as far as I am aware, nobody is holding a gun to your head, forcing you to visit this blog. So if you don’t like what you read, then just get the hell out.