Oct 232003

[i’m editing this because my dumb@$$ friends (which is most of my friends, but today, in particular, Josh and Tony) have made dumb@$$ comments about my cards and my thoughts on Chinese people. Dumb@$$! Also, I like to write this word like this:Dumb@$$]

OK. I went to get business cards press printed and they messed up and I’m really pissed. They messed up because they had to copy the Photoshop materials provided to them (developed by the most gifted Hagachan) into another format…and they couldn’t do this right. Then there were printing smudges and other errors on about 1/4th of all the cards. I went through every card in the shop and threw out the bad ones…then demanded they return 1/4th of the money (I need some cards…even not perfect ones, for my activities in the next couple of days) This is not why I’m mad. I’m mad because they acted like it was my fault. I didn’t yell at them though. OK. I complained. I said “If you had problems converting my materials, how come you couldn’t tell me what you needed before I gave you money?” Dumb@$$!!!

Now I’m in Starbucks eating a brownie. Ahhh…better.

You know, there are plenty of foreigners who live here and get sort of fed up with Chinese culture. I don’t plan on being one of those foreigners. But I really think that Chinese people have a severe lack of detail-oriented-ness in their culture. Maybe this only goes for Chinese people in the PRC; my old boss at Tekcon was detail-oriented from hell. All around me it seems that things could be better if people paid a little more attention. Not effort…attention. I just feel like everything – from the business cards, to the way buildings are made and provisioned, to the way waiters clean the tables at restaurants – lacks attention to detail. I’m not one to talk about concentration. I’m not a detail oriented person. China is a country full of non-detail oriented people

The drinking water tank in our apartment is leaking. I called up the land-lord representative, who showed up with the building maintenance dude (who was at the apartment the day before to examine the tank). The landlord representative is a cute short chick who speaks Japanese. They inspect it for 45 minutes before coming to the conclusion that it was leaking. While I’m waiting she tries to start up small talk with me. Somehow when other people try to initiate small talk with me, it fails and both parties get a little irked. Maybe I’m missing some language cues when I speak Chinese. Or a lack a mutual context for our communication. This is a common example of how everyone else seems to be in the conversation loop but me:

Short Cute Girl: So…you’ve had Japanese food.

Me: Here?

SCG: Japanese food.

Me: So?

SCG: Like sashimi, ahi, Yakitori…

Me: I know what Japanese food is.

SCG: Okonomiyaki

Me: Yes…I know what it is.

SCG: So you had no trouble finding it?

Me: I haven’t had it in China

SCG: Really? I can show you and Hagasan where there is Japanese restaurant.

Me: No need.

SCG: Oh. You don’t like Japanese food.

Me: I like Japanese food. I like all food.

SCG: There is a big restaurant in this building.

Me: I can show you 15 Japanese restaurants within 5 minutes walk of here. They are all bad quality and expensive. When are you going to decide that there is a leak in the tank and you can’t fix it. Just replace it!

SCG: It is past its warrantee period

Me: We have this concept where I am from that products past warrantee period break because they are designed to break. Since all of our products came from China, I’m sure it is the same way here.

I got to say though that when I initiate the small talk, it usually goes better.

 Posted by at 11:52 am

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