Racism or Reality?

Today I am still angry.


When I first went to Taiwan, the lessons were fantastic. There was a partner rotation system – you didn´t just stay partners with one classmate the whole time; you had to change every day. Homework was graded every class – if you didn´t do it on time it affected your final grade. Students were required to make an oral presentation once a week. We talked in class, we learned grammar, we wrote letters and essays. It was a normal learning process, as confirmed later by my language courses in Germany and England…

Here, in Mainland China, I have spent 3 (three!) years in the Chinese language program of one of the best universities in the country. Sometimes I am the only one in class. Nobody takes attendance. The ¨written¨ Chinese class became a talking club for me and the teacher. She hasn´t assigned a single essay since the midterms, and even before that I was the only one who submitted them regularly. Why did I stop? Mainly because she couldn´t explain my mistakes to me. By the way, we still don´t know our midterm grades. She said she gave everyone around 90%.

This is but one example of how people in China don´t care about their jobs and just go with the flow. I am tired of complaining about things not being done properly in this country. I had to complain about another teacher, who instead of giving a class, decided to watch my (much younger) classmates engage in an arm-wrestling contest. For 20 (TWENTY) minutes. Call me a bore, I don´t care – I paid for these classes.

The hotel where we are currently staying doesn´t serve lunch at lunchtime (even though the in-room menu says room service is available from 10 am till midnight), because they are ¨too busy¨. The maid doesn´t wash the provided cups for tea unless you make an obvious hint by putting them in the sink. The cleaning lady at our previous apartment would come knock on the door and if we were in, she would go away and never come back to clean (unless you asked her specifically). They wouldn´t do this or do that, they would just literally sit at their job and do nothing until they are caught and someone complains.

Today a customer left a dirty plate at the part of the hotel buffet for drinks.  I don´t know why it was put there, but I couldn´t pour myself a cup of tea, as it was in the way. I gave the plate to the hostess. She just put it back, a little bit further. I guess, she thought it was beneath her to give it to a waitress or to take it away herself.

Is calling a majority of Chinese people lazy and irresponsible racist? Or is it just stating the obvious?


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