I started this blog because I had nothing on my resume. I’ve always been passionate about writing, and so it seemed like an obvious step: I was in grad school, majoring in Chinese studies/international relations, and wanted to have something to show for it (prior to writing a thesis and getting my diploma). So let’s take a look at what I said in my first post:
I really dislike laowai blogs … Laowai blogs are ceaselessly self-promoting. The laowai blogger will surreptitiously hint at his Chinese linguistic powers; he will analyze why China, in a word, is not America; he has the money to dine and drink at high-end bars, but those events never make the blog. Instead, he expounds on the occasional ground-breaking (and probably one-sided) conversation with a local taxi driver concerning China’s cultural superiority over The West. Bloggers have the power that was never granted to previous generations of writers and commentators; anonymity of experience, selection of detail, regurgitation of uncertified knowledge, and image-sculpting priveleges comparable to those of Donatello (I say privelege as opposed to abilites; you will surely read more about this conflict later).
So that’s what we’d call finding one’s voice, awkwardly. I couldn’t write a blog post without getting all twisted about sounding too much of anything. I guess you could say that over a long period of time, I shed that self-consciousness, as I’ve realized that there are many people out there who also enjoy reading about China regardless of who the writer is.
I’m not writing this blog anymore because I have a new job and a new life and have subsequently lost the interest. You can see some of my new writings on Seeing Red in China, where I post once a week or so. In the meantime, keep sharing your own China stories, and reading other’s. Never stop questioning, and don’t be afraid to have an opinion.
And no, I am not leaving China. Not for a long time.