February 23, 2008

Visit China

Just a quick note to introduce you to a fantastic blog, click here, for the expat community in China.

Maybe Alan Paul -- an American expat in Shanghai with his family and contributor to the Wall Street Journal -- should tune in and learn a few things about Chinese culture. From his column, The Expat Life, (click here), I have the impression that China is a kind of Disneyland whose main reason to exist is to entertain and provide endless opportunities for expat excursions and sightseeing. His children certainly enjoy all the excitement and rushing about, but are they investing in their CQ while living in China, or will they remember only lots of five-star hotels, weird old buildings, and their friends back at the gated expat community? Certainly a different experience than that of Barack Obama at six to nine years old (click here for blog entry)and the cross-cultural skills he gained while attending an Indonesian school and living Indonesian daily life.

Just a reverse cross-cultural moment...

a domani,
E

4 comments:

gillian said...

very interesting perspective on his blog...he is new to the expat game and it is a disneyland/honeymoon at first...not easy stuff to take the next step and start to understand - not just observe where you are...sounds like he might want to look into some of your cultural tools!

Anonymous said...

Most thrilling! It won't last of course. His chidren will eventually become quite bored with it all. Indeed, it sounds like they already would have, were it not for their parents' tireless efforts to keep them on-the-move, in-the-groove, feeling "lucky" (?).
I appreciate this father's concern, and only hope he comes across someone like you real soon.

In any case, I enjoyed viewing China from his slant. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Let us consider China's openess or lack thereof to foreigners' living a life more integrated into their society.

Elizabeth Abbot said...

Thanks Gillian -- you know what I mean...
Anonymous (1) -- I would love to work with someone like Alan and his wife, they are smart and curious but don't know where to start to get beyond the disneyland phase. all they are missing is a few tools. I agree, though, his articles are interesting and fun to read.
anon (2) -- point well taken. Although, even if we can't integrate, we can observe closely and be curious as to why...