Steve's China Blog

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Leftover Women

Leftover Women (sheng nu) is a relatively new term here used to describe women in China who are unmarried career women. The age threshold for leftover women fluctuates. It was once 30, but can now mean anywhere from 25 years or older. Being a leftover has its distinct variations in meanings depending on age.

Between the ages of 25 and 27, leftover women are considered “fighters” (sheng dou shi) which means they are still romantic enough to keep looking for true love. Leftover women between the ages of 28 and 31, fall into a different rather unpleasant tier known as the “doomed to be left” (bi sheng ke). This category of woman is said to have little chance of ever catching a husband as their work keeps them too busy to almost not care. For those leftover women who fall within the age group of 32 and 36, there is even less hope of marriage as they remain single in the professional world and are “leftover fighting Buddha” (dou zhan sheng fo). Last but not least in this hierarchy is the category of leftover women 36 and older who are considered “leftover goddesses” (qi tian da sheng).

Leftover women of today tend to be highly educated, highly paid, and highly independent; so they usually have higher standards when looking for a prospective mate.

The lyrics in English...

Warm sunshine, shining on your face
Looking at the young guys all around, every one of them are very girly
Having a house and a car is what women long for
Marrying the right person is the biggest wish

Asking you if you have a car, asking you if you have a house
My mother will also ask you how much savings you have
If you have no car, if you also have no house
Hurry move aside and don't block my way

I also have a car, I also have a house
As well as RMB in the bank
If you guys aren't even as capable as me
Don't depend on me, I'm not your mother

You don't have a car, you don't have a house
Don't expect to get a beauty into bed
Pretending to be poor, you only drive a lousy BMW
Don't pretend you're a rich guy who can keep me as his mistress


You don't have a car, you don't have a house
Yet you still want to get married and be a groom
If your life isn't well off
Why should I accompany you in wandering

You say I am realistic/practical, that I may as well admit
You can call me a gold-digger and I won't feel hurt
A man after all should be like a man
Without a car, without a house, forget about finding a bride

Needless to say, most Chinese guys do not like this video! Hehe

In the 1970s, Chinese people chose a bike, a watch and a sewing machine as the "must have" gifts when married. And in the 1980s things had changed into a refrigerator, a TV set, and a washing machine. Along with the economic development of the last decade, the gifts for marriage have become more expensive, and now many brides-to-be will ask for apartments and cars.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Got salt?

My internet here has been having a lot of problems lately. Here's an article that explains why...

China Tightens Censorship of Electronic Communications

If anyone wonders whether the Chinese government has tightened its grip on electronic communications since protests began engulfing the Arab world, Shakespeare may prove instructive.

A Beijing entrepreneur, discussing restaurant choices with his fiancée over their cellphones last week, quoted Queen Gertrude’s response to Hamlet: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." The second time he said the word "protest," her phone cut off.

The increased internet censorship hasn't been very effective. Just very annoying. Luckily they haven't done anything noticable to my phone.

I was hoping to post some last week about the effects here of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but didn't get a chance. There were a few things that seemed odd. The first was all of the rumors flying around about big radiation clouds coming to China, etc... I got a lot of panic filled messages from friends. One of them was about how eating salt would help resist radiation poisoning. This was the result...

Stop hoarding salt, China tells radiation-scared shoppers

China's economic agency told shoppers Thursday to stop panic buying salt, blaming baseless rumors that the iodine in it can stop radiation sickness.

The Chinese government has repeatedly said the country's residents will not be exposed to radiation from a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan which engineers are frantically trying to bring under control after it was damaged by last Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

There is actually a store near my apartment which in English is called The Sichuan Salt Store. When I first saw it I thought that maybe the the name was mistranslated, which happens a lot here, but it turns out it is a store that sells salt. Usually I never see any customers there (mostly because Chinese do not use a lot of salt in their food), but last week there was a line of customers around the block!

This is the story this week....

Chinese salt hoarders pepper stores with demands for refunds

The nation was caught up in a buying frenzy last week amid Japan's nuclear reactor crisis. Now people are lining up to return the seasoning after learning it won't protect them from radiation.

One of the most interesting results of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is the reaction of the Chinese people. Normally Chinese people will tell you that they hate the Japanese, which is what the government here has brainwashed them into believing. But most of the Chinese I have talked to, and seen posting on the internet, have a great deal of respect for how the Japanese behaved during and after the disasters.

Of course, there are some idiots here who still cling to their politically induced hatred. They remind me of the mind-numbed zombie liberals in back in the USA.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Big plate of chicken and a trip

Last weekend the weather started getting a little chilly again. My friend Cindy and I met up with Reese and Anson to go out for some DaPanJi. Cindy had never had DaPanJi before, so she was really looking forward to it. Actually, it seems like a long time since I've had DaPanJi, since my first choice with the cold damp weather of Chengdu in the winter is hotpot.

The restaurant is a little XinJiang food place near a medical college here in Chengdu. Reese sent me the address of the college in Chinese on my phone, so I could show it to the taxi driver, since I could not remember where it was. The taxi driver dropped me off at one of the gates of the college, but it was not the right one, so I ended up asking a student passing by for help finding the gate. She was nice enough to walk with me to where I needed to go. I offered to buy her dinner in exchange for her help, but she had to study and could not join us for dinner.

The DaPanJi was very good. We also had a spicy fried fish dish and some lamb kabobs. We had hoped to have some flat bread also, but they were out. Cindy enjoyed the dinner a lot. She also enjoyed meeting Reese and Anson.

A few weeks ago I realized that I had not traveled anywhere tropical in all of 2010. The week before last and this week I have been trying to arrange a trip to Thailand for early April.

At first I was thinking of going to Mauritius, but the airfare from Chengdu to there is really expensive! The price was fluctuating between around $4,000USD to a little over $7,000USD for round trip tickets. Then I thought about going to Maldives, but Maldives seems too romantic of a place to go to by myself, and there wasn't enough time to find someone to go with me. So after looking around at a bunch of other places I decided to go back to Phuket in Thailand.

I used a travel agency here in Chengdu and we finally got all the flight and resort reservation completed yesterday. They were not too efficient, but after everything got put together I found that my airfare would be half the price of what it would be if I had booked it online with an American travel agency. Nice! Now I need to figure out where I put my sunscreen.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Chengdu Best

You can see a lot of really nice pictures of Chengdu and areas surrounding the city at this link...

Chengdu Best from the China Daily.

It's a Chinese site, so I hope it does not load to slowly for those of you outside of China.