A Few Words About This Interview

I was thrilled when Suzanita, the author of the LostInChina blog agreed to do an interview with me. I asked many of the similar question  I asked my other participants. Suzanita went above and beyond what was necessary and I am thankful for that. In answering my simple questions she touched on so many different subjects.

Currently I’m composing my personal statement for a few PhD Program and I ended up quoting J.M.G Le Clezio an Anthropologists and Novel prize winner in Literature

“Notre siècle n’est plus un siècle à trésors. C’est un siècle de consumation et de fuite, un temps de fièvre et d’oubli.”
J.M.G. Le Clézio

To translate Le Clézio says: “Our century is not any more a century with treasures. It is a century of consummation and of escape, a time of fever and neglect.” I’ve often asked myself what is it that we are escaping from, what is it that we are neglecting, and so far what I’ve come up with is that we are neglecting each other and escaping from our responsibility to each other. In such a time when the media paints for us our enemies and our friends, it’s reassuring for me that without knowing Suzanita, and without asking proper questions something real, honest, beyond the constant sensationalism that pollutes our tv’s and radio and innumerable electronic gadgets can come through. It says a lot.

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When you think of the phrase celebrating women what comes to mind? For me I think of baccanalian orgiastic rituals, sexy sandals, and a tightness in my abs ?

When I think of celebrating women I think of women in their various roles as mother, daughter, scientist, athlete, business woman, etc., and how women excel in all those roles and how “versatile” they are. I think of women as being more “versatile” than men in some ways, because they can be nurturing, which is what is expected of them traditionally – and yet, then can also kick ass and compete the boys.

You’re a modern woman and that’s pretty sexy. I would like to have your view on the women rights around the world as you are a world traveler. Have women been liberated really? What is left to accomplish?

This is a pretty interesting question, because others may see me as this glamorous world traveler with my own business, but to me, I’m just trying to make a living and it so happens this is the way I do it. When people place me, or any other women, in a certain “role” in the context of how women’s rights have progressed, blah blah – I don’t even understand this context.

What I mean by this is that these limitations and roles about women are in our head in the 21st century, when we live in North America or Europe. Perhaps in the 19th century or the Ching dynasty, it was poo-poo’d for women to go out and pursue a career instead of having babies at home. But even then there wasn’t a law which said you couldn’t do it, just public derision and peer pressure. In the 21st century, we are much more open-minded than we’ve ever been before. Gay marriage is happening state by state. There’s no reason why a woman can’t do what she wants. But many don’t do what they want, because of societal pressures of how men and women should be. I think this thinking is the biggest thing standing in the way of letting women achieve their potential. Of course, upbringing, family background and circumstances also play a role. I’m also not sure we can say we’re truly liberated, till most of the world’s female population can rid themselves of the gender role restrictions that their culture places on them.

If you pay for the meal, and most of the date should the guy put out? What does your answer say about the changing gender roles. How do gender rolls change country to country.

People treat money as a big deal in relationships – consciously or subconsciously – and money is tied to power roles, even though people say it isn’t a big deal. But you’ve illustrated it right here with your question. Usually, I want the money part of the relationship to be as equal as possible (I know a relationship can never be 50/50 absolutely equal). I think guys especially are put out by women earning more money and paying for everything, because it threatens their manliness. But I wouldn’t *expect* anything from the guy if I pay and I’d hope to be dating a guy who feels the same way about me. I don’t know how gender roles change from one country to the next, but China is still pretty macho in many ways.

Women are expected to stay at home after marriage and kids, as a working wife is a sign of a financially struggling family (although this is more true in the smaller towns and countryside than a big city, nowadays). People in China of course almost all want to have boys, especially since they can only have one. Most people should know about the killing or selling of infant girls. Orphanages in China are mainly full of girls or handicapped children. In Taiwan you can see families of 6 with the youngest being a boy, and you know that poor wife tried 3 times before hitting jackpot with the last one. If a wife can’t have a boy, sometimes she’s shunned by the Mother in Law, since the husband can’t carry on his lineage.

How do Chinese people feel about the Wu tang Clan: the Rza, the Gza, Inspector Deck, The Method Man, Ghost Face Killa ?

You mean China Chinese? I don’t think they care all that much, though people in the cities might know of them. The Chinese here like that crappy Celine Dion ballad type songs – it’s everywhere and sound all the same. The Communists keep the Chinese population very restricted in terms of exposure to Western culture. Madonna is considered risque here.

I think the chinese have been pivotal in forging a national identity here in the states. The work of so many chinese immigrants help build this country, despite that there is a growing what seems to be antagonism between what normally would traditionally be call the western countries as represented by the US and China? I think this is in part to karma for the sphere of influence thing, and the growing economic Puisssance of China. however I am not so certain that the economic boom in china can continue without money going out to the villages and the addressing of certain humanitarian issues

Well, my friend – this is a loaded question. You’re talking about Western antagonism against China, probably with regards to made-in-China crap flooding western markets and China’s increasing economic dominance, which can no longer be ignored (as you mentioned). Now, the Chinese are immigrating to the US in droves. There’s some investors E5 visa, which will allow any person with an investment of 500k USD get a visa. The money goes to some US-government designated thing, like a revival of a neighborhood that’s gone to pot – the money is never returned, but the investor makes dividends or rental income. It’s basically handing over the US govt 500k for citizenship. And the Chinese are buying it up in droves.

The problem with China is the continual threat of its citizens organizing and starting another revolution – like the one in ’49 which led to Communism in China in the first place. The only difference today is the tight Chinese government control over ALL aspects of the Chinese media and people’s everyday lives. Here are just a few examples:

      1. Internet lines are blocked from searching anything about Falun Gong, Tianamen Uprising. Of course, people can’t get Facebook or Twitter either. Periodically, the Chinese government sends out searches through the IPs to check out companies’ databases and activities on people’s PCs. That’s when people experience a major slowdown in internet speeds. a) I had to apply to the Provincial government to increase my internet bandwith for my company. Once a company requests a certain amount of bandwith, the government looks at the company to see its activities and what not. Until we applied, all of our servers (which were located in the States) were down. We couldn’t access them for weeks.
      2. The Chinese government recently revised its wordage for the pledge of allegiance lawyers must take when they get their licenses. The path now includes a line about being true to the Communist party’s ideals and supporting socialism. This pissed off many lawyers, who said that they would face a conflict of interest when faced with taking on humanitarian cases. This was the government’s plan all along – to reduce the voice of the opposition.
      3. Recently, there’s been a huge stink about a guy from Chong Ching: Bao Xilai. It’s even in the news in the States. He was the darling of the party leaders and was up next for promotion to the big boy league. He started out fighting crime in Chong Ching, with the help of his police chief, but somewhere along the way he got too into his own thing, the power- and became ruthless and foolhardy, like Mao Tse Tung was with the Communist Party way back when. He wasn’t acting in accordance to the way the Party wanted. He even wanted to nail his police chief, who suddenly took off to the US Embassy in Beijing for shelter. Bao Xilai is probably in custody now and party leaders have come out condemning his actions. The message is clear – don’t sway from party rules, or you’ll be sorry.
      4. When I first arrived in China, for a period of time I was emailing an ex about the conditions here, particularly something about the government. It was quite innocuous maybe something like what I’m writing to you now – just relating facts and observations – nothing about organizing a committee or revolution. For that period of time we emailed each other, our emails never reached each other. And we never had such a problem before or after. One day, some guy in Korea emailed me and said, Hey, Man! Why do I have your goddamn emails? The Chinese government had probably kicked my emails off to cyberspace. Good thing I didn’t attach any naked pics to the emails. I think the government runs searches on certain phrases and terms and blacklists the emails or users. I talked to a China-born and raised friend of mine about when a revolution might come to China. She said that she doesn’t see it happening in the near future, because the Chinese government squelches any little fires and uprisings as soon as they happen. Tibetan monks burning themselves, villagers calling for rightful use of their land, displaced citizens…. This doesn’t allow for one leader, who can unify all of these different factions. The previous Communist revolution, Mao rose as the supreme leader, because he wasn’t kept in check by the Communist Party leaders. This time around, they’re not going to slack off about it. In fact, people say that the Communist government is sometimes too paranoid about this. But I think they have a good reason to be.

Why is it so fun to call my Canadian or American Born Chinese friend Gweilo, and lao wai, Also what is up the whole turtle egg thing and really eggs in general ?

I dunno why it’s fun to call people gweilo and lao wai, personally, but direct translation could be “whitey” or even “honky” (the term is a little demeaning). Turtle egg means “bastard” in Chinese. This is because turtles dig a hole in the sand, lay their eggs in the hole then take off, leaving the baby turtles to fend for themselves. Thereby, leaving them “parentless”. Red eggs are traditionally given for a kid’s one-month birthday (a big event). Very very long ago, when all of China was dirt poor, having an egg to eat was like the epitome of luxury. Some people would eat half a dozen at one time. Even today my Mom tells me to eat eggs for nutrition to recover from the surgery. I know it’s got protein, but I’d be better off having a protein shake, and the shake won’t give me high cholesterol.

I know the hoods and slum are non-existant in the greater scheme of things but I wonder about outside of business how well and Chinese and black people get along. A lot of Negros (guys) like Asian girls (Wesley Snipes) How does one approach a rather pretty Chinese lady without getting called a “Black devil” – (forget the Chinese word for that I used to know it)

People in China are generally racist towards negros. Several years back, some African dude was dating a Chinese girl and he was beaten up by Chinese guys. Chinese people do judge people by the color of their skin. I once had a Chinese person ask me if the “black ever washes off”? Last year I went on a company trip with my employees and there was this trio of Africans (they didn’t look Afro-American) rapping up on stage. And afterwards all these Chinese people went up to the stage to pose with them and have their pictures taken, like they were at a zoo, taking a picture with an elephant. Everyone wanted to *touch* the Africans. I’m attaching a few hilarious pics.

What do you really feel about Russel Wong, do you also don’t wanna see Vanish Son the return: Qwego lives?

Nothing? No.

About Susanita

I don’t know anything about Suzanita in the sense that I’ve never chatted with her over coffee. I’ve never told her my crazy story over pizza about trying to score one night on new years after ingesting a record 4 bottles of champagne in  under an hour  to complement her The Day I tried to Cut Down on My Drinking story. I am a fan of her blog as much as you all are, but to go with the analogy that to walk through a garden is to walk through the mind of the gardener, I would like to recommend the follow posts as they showcase  her sense of humor and wittiness, and how she is just like a Boss with stuff

Post I Enjoyed from Suzanita

Things My Elderly Chinese Parents Say to Me
Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: A Foreigner’s Guide on What NOT TO DO While Living in China
Toilet Tales
Gadzooks, I’ve Been Tagged!
“Help!” (Wanted): The Story of Boogie Wang, Chloe Chu, Pinky Lo & One Kinky Ho
Teaching My Elderly Chinese Parents the Computer
Why I’m Still Sarcastically Single Part One: Steak

 

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