GOOD Halfpat Article on China’s Expatriates

Saturday, April 26, 2008 21:55
Posted in category The Big Picture, The Halfpat Life
Comments Off on GOOD Halfpat Article on China’s Expatriates

This Month, GOOD Magazine has put together a China issue where they have profiled a number of expatriates living in China in their article Strangers in a Strange Land.

Having done our own series on Halfpats before, there are a lot of things that come through in this article about the future of expatriate professionals in China. They are young, language capable, culturally open, and are willing to get paid less than the US poverty line for their chance.

Their role in China’s pool of human resources is growing, and their stories are interesting.

Best quotes:

Mojo – A Chinese girl was walking past me and muttered a strangely straightforward phrase in Chinese: “Wow, there are a lot of black people in this country now.” So I turned around and yelled back to her “Yeah, there are a lot of black people in this country now … and they speak Chinese, too.”

Sherry – “I’m too smart to be paid by the hour.” So I moved to China to earn less than someone living below the poverty level in the U.S.

Mike – You can’t study animals at the zoo; you gotta come to the jungle.

Dan – My wife and I have a standard response when people ask us how long we plan on staying here: indefinitely, but not permanently.

John – We can learn a lot from the level at which they revere an education. I would never wish the Chinese student life upon anyone (way too much pressure and stress) but I respect the ones who make it through.

Lisa – I have almost zero interaction with expats. They live in their high-walled wealthy suburban ghettos, I live in China; the two rarely interact.

Jon – Whenever people hype China, remember that China is still two-thirds farmers. That means there are roughly 800 million farmers here. That is the real China. Even I don’t go to those places.

for more on Halfpats, feel free to peruse the profiles or the white paper Halfpats: The New Expatriates I wrote about 18 months ago. Halfpats are the future of expatriate professionals in China, so I encourage anyone who is a hiring manager to learn about us.

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