Archive for October 24th, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seven Japanese friends – FRIENDS?!

There aren’t only Westerners who seem to get a bit tired of globalisation. A Chinese train captain who made an unscheduled stop so that seven Japanese passengers could get off the (delayed) train to catch their flight is facing criticism online. He explained his position (translated at zhongnanhaiblog.com), but this seems to be exactly the right moment for angry souls to vent their pent-up mortifications. Some of them look at preferential treatment for foreigners in the usual nationalistic way:

If it was Chinese, would you stop for them? I look down upon some people who cater to foreigners, soft bone! Double faced! It is not shameful to be in a low social position, it is shameful to have a low spirit.

Others address the pretty obvious difference between this courtesy and what they, as Chinese nationals, would have to expect in similar situations.

Do you have time for an old story? OK. Once upon a time, me and five more Laowais reached a train – we were two Australians, three Germans, and one Japanese. That was in Shanghai, mid-1990s. We had lost our way inside the railway station for a while, but were still in time. Now we stood in front of the open door to our compartment, and a conductor (an elderly woman) was standing inside the door. She stared at us, and her face was not friendly. If I remember it right, this situation lasted almost thirty seconds. She wouldn’t let us get on the train. Then the door closed, and the train left the station without us.

That was no drama at all, and maybe the conductor’s guidelines told her to spend at least sixty seconds on checking our tickets before we’d board, and besides, we also met many friendly and helpful Chinese people during our stay. But I think that the Chinese netizens who are so angry at the train captain’s attitude towards his Japanese passengers might draw comfort from this Shanghai Railway Station experience.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Question Time: Jesús the Carpenter vs Joe the Plumber

Imagine Joe the plumber and Jesús the carpenter. Think of them as typical men in the street. Jesús is for the death penalty and wants it to be applied in every US state. Joe is against the death penalty and wants it to be abolished in every US state.

Who of the two, do you think, is more determined? Why?

Please state your opinion as a comment. The winner will be chosen on December 24 and will get a hand-made picture of Jesús from justrecently! *)

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*) Justrecently’s decision (or that of the big or small jury he might convene) is final. Any kind of recourse is excluded. And Justrecently may also turn out to be an unreliable bugger who “forgets” to send the winner the picture, or the postal services may not be reliable, or the winner may not like the picture, etc., etc. In short: the winner is not entitled to getting the picture. Much of it will depend on what kind of man justrecently will be in December.

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