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Written by Mary Higgins
Simply put - why do we choose to come and stay in China? ‘We’ meaning non-Chinese nationals. Not all of us are white Westerners. There are also Africans, Indians, Middle Easterners, Asians, Eastern Europeans, South Americans and a host of others that come to China to make it their home.
As much as we find fault in and poke fun at our host and adopted country, it is still a good place to live. As your standard token anglo westerner in China, for me this means much more than just cheap DVDs and aiyis at your beck and call - these are just surface level fringe benefits.

When I think about going back to the United States to live, there’s a lot of appeal in the constrast that China offers. Generally, you can just live your life. There are certain freedoms in China that don’t exist in the US.

  • Freedom to think - let’s just put this is perspective here with the following events: The Dixie Chicks and Michael Moore. USA Today is far more of a propaganda engine than the People’s Daily.
  • Freedom to not think - Yep...
  • Freedom to feel secure - the level of violence in China is at enough of a low that I would feel comfortable in any city at any time to walk down a dark alley at 3 a.m.
  • Freedom to feel safe from prosecution - telling a tasteless joke or saying something considered non-PC could both lose you your job and land you in jail. Getting sued and suing others have become American’s favorite past time. You’re so wrong and bad I’ll prove it in court and scar you and your family forever!
  • Freedom from complex personal finances - from the number of bills to pay to filing taxes, it just takes too much work to live in the US. China keeps this relatively simple.
  • Freedom from road rage - No “make my day” pent up anger from me - that’s the taxi driver’s job.

Could we get these same set of appealing varliables in other places, such as Vietnam or Europe? Maybe. I haven’t lived in those places, so I can’t really comment. What I can say is that China is a relatively comfortable place to live from this perspective.
Our valuable Editor Mary Higgins has been with us since Tuesday, 24 November 2009.

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0 #1 Bumboo 2010-08-22 10:40
great article

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