Some of our shows can be admittedly negative about China, given all of the pressures and stresses that people deal with living here. But China also remains the world's happiest nation, at least according to North Korean media. So for all of the grumbling that we do, there is plenty to love about living here. Which is why we invite everyone feeling down about life in the Middle Kingdom to join Sylvia and Echo today for an advanced podcast in which we chat about everything we really like about life in China. We keep things upbeat for a change, how about that?
 said on
October 25, 2013
Things I love about living in China: setting up utilities. There's no monthly bill or weird service fees or credit checks and security deposits. Just get a card (I guess you might call that your security deposit) charge it whenever you are running low on electricity, gas, etc., and swipe it in your meter ... gives you a real sense of accomplishment too, getting to swipe your card and seeing the power come back on. After that power-high you of course tell yourself to remember to buy more electricity BEFORE the power goes off next time. Also, I love the no-contract cell phones/SIM cards. Sure, the U.S. has no contract plans too, but if you've lived in China you know it's just not the same.
 said on
October 26, 2013
There's a lot to love I think. For me, the fact that China has not been brainwashed by the hokum that cholesterol and saturated fat are bad for you as we have in the West for the past forty-something years (now said to be heart-health protective), together with a rejection (with some exceptions such as papaya here in Guangxi) of GMO and the plentiful and cheap fruit, veg, nuts, poultry and meat means the food culture is absolutely fantastic - even factoring in sewage oil and plastic rice etc. Here in the south of China, people still find time to sit and chat on street corners about life, the Universe and everything; I really value that human contact often sanitized into oblivion in the West's larger cities with their unrelenting pressure to be productive and generate profit with every breath. Dehumanised enslavement camps. In contrast to that, this is more humane and natural by far it seems to me and less enslaved, paradoxically. The tax situation is a boon: you actually have money left at the end of the month and can save - unheard of back home for most normal people who serve as a kind of fodder to feed the avarice of privatised utility and other stitched-up rackets and endless scams. I can easily afford my bills and I guess people on lower incomes here are not faced with the life-or-death choice to quite the same degree either: eat or winter heat, but no longer both for many of our seniors: a disgrace. I could go on...No place is perfect, but China has so much going for it. Oh, did I mention the most beautiful women in the world live here? ;)
 said on
October 29, 2013
They were some really good points, thank you David.
 said on
November 2, 2013
I have a question about the pronunciation of 为了。In this dialogue when discussing government investment in public transport, it sounds like the first hanzi is pronounced with a slight 'v' sound rather than a 'w' sound. It reminded me of a debate I had with my Tianjin ex-wife who insisted it should be pronounced as a 'v' sound, quite the opposite of what everyone else teaches; viz, that it's a 'w' sound. So, what's the story? Is it just a Tianjin thing? Which opinion is correct? Thank you in advance for any informed view. ;)
 said on
November 2, 2013
@davidwilljack,

In Chinese pinyin, there is no "v" sound. So "为" is definitely "wei". Is it a Tianjin thing, I can't say, but I do have friends from Tianjin and even other parts of China pronounce "为" with a slight "v" sound. So it should be the dialect thing or just depending on different people.

Anyway, "w" is correct, that's for sure.
 said on
November 3, 2013
@Grace Qi

Thanks for your input Grace.
 said on
November 4, 2013
Dear David,

I think that although there is a large population in China that enjoy a good lifestyle like you do, there are many millions who do not. The Gini Coefficient (or a representation of income inequality) for 2012 for the US and China was pretty much the same; the US being called the "land of opportunity" is truly hypocritical. Just an FYI, the US is in the same income inequality bracket as Iran, Turkey, Thailand, Cambodia,Kenya, Camaroon, etc. Egypt, Libya, Bolivia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Greece & the rest of the 1st world countries are all better than the USA. "Land of Opportunity" we are not, more like "Land of Exploitation" or "Land of Hypocrisy."