Category Archives: Life

诸葛亮的后代

03/27/2015

我开始学习中文的时候,我不知道我汉字姓是什么。我学了大概一年后才发现我姓诸,然后是跟诸葛亮一样的诸。从那天我中国朋友开玩笑说我可能是诸葛亮的后代。我当时觉得这个可能性微不足道。是为了开玩笑而已。不过我一直很欣赏诸葛亮。即使他不是我祖先,找个姓诸(或葛或诸葛)的人真的不容易,遇见这种人更不容易。我记得我在成都时去武侯祠然后跟诸葛亮的塑像拍了自拍。

前天我叔叔来首尔。我们一起聊了天后来刚巧一起看我家的世谱。那刹那我发现我真的是诸葛亮的后代。人生好奇怪。

我起初有疑心。我不知道这个世谱是不是靠谱,不知道我叔叔的话有没有道理。那个情况太突然了,我跟这个宏大的人物诸葛亮怎么有关系?我是一般人而已,而且是个一般韩国(加拿大)人。

因此叔叔去睡觉后我在网上搜查了来看一看这可能性多大。找到这个文章:http://learning.sohu.com/2004/…/24/85/article219578547.shtml。是有关一个韩国老人去武侯祠去给看专家韩国诸葛氏的世谱。他带了六本,后来专家的结论是“这种可能性非常大”。(如果我读错了,请告诉我)

其实我觉得发现我是诸葛亮的后代对我的生活没有大的影响力。我还有点不相信我的世谱(因为历史很糊涂)而且有点觉得无所谓。不过我觉得有关我祖先的知识非常有趣。我们加拿大人跟我们的家族背景不太熟。我们离开了我们祖国去找较好的存在,但是同时离开了我们的根本。跟我两千年多生存的祖先造成联系,我觉得这是一个非常大的光荣和幸运。

Nostalgia in terms of Being and Becoming

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(Bad picture of the Coliseum in Rome, “the Eternal City”)

Note: This post is a response to my other post Goodbye Nostalgia

After one month of insouciant summer days in Montreal I came back to Toronto, speeding at 100km/h in the highway by bus to the city I always eventually return to where my feet meet cold hard concrete. Every time I am banished from lofty idylls I feel an incredible nostalgia for days of eternal youth, where the daily rhythms of life set in gently, hinting at the possibility of happiness.

Departure came (speeding at 100km/h in the highway by bus) and exiled from Paradise, I likened memory as being pieces of myself, torn and imprinted externally in cityspaces and friends (people who “demand a greater piece, torn from a deeper place, a slab of vital flesh”). Faced with the eventual loss of memory, I felt “full of holes [feeling] a nostalgia for wholeness.”

What I wanted was to remain eternally in the past, a past outside the tick tocking of time wherein I could exist with fixed, unchanging dimensions. What I wanted was the unchanging state of being, not the dynamic state of becoming.

Nietzsche speaks of this dichotomy in the Gay Science, 370:

“Every art, every philosophy may be viewed as a remedy and an aid in the service of growing and struggling life; they always presuppose suffering and sufferers. But there are two kinds of sufferers: first, those who suffer from the over-fullness of life and then those who suffer from the impoverishment of life … the question whether the desire to fix, to immortalize, the desire for being prompted creation, or the desire for destruction, for change, for future, for becoming.”

While his insights may not have a direct implication to my situation, being a way to analyze romanticism in art, there are parallels that are fruitful and good to think with.

Being and Becoming. By desiring this idyllic past, while disregarding the future, all I did wish was an eternal fixation into these idylls, a product of my imaginations and reimaginations with perhaps no direct basis in reality. All I wanted was to keep dreaming these illusionary reveries repeating ceaselessly, put to a gentle sleep surrounded by white soft beddings and white cotton pillows. Possessed by an unending somnolence, as the boundaries between wake and sleep blur and reality is consumed by twilight, all that would remain is death* a permanent state of Being if there was one.

Life while I am alive is in movement towards Becoming, as the future opens up moment by moment in transformation and destruction before my eyes. While blissful deathly sleep of the past may tempt me in all its romantic sentimentality, standing before an endless blood red poppy field I cannot indulge in its deathly aromas.

As Nietzsche says:

“He that is richest in the fullness of life, the Dionysian god and man, cannot only afford the sight of the terrible and questionable but even the terrible deed and any luxury of destruction, decomposition, and negation. In his case, what is evil, absurd, and ugly seems, as it were, permissible, owing to an an excess of procreating, fertilizing energies that can still turn any desert into lush farmland. Conversely, those who suffer most and are poorest in life would need above all mildness, peacefulness, and goodness in thought as well as deed …”

Narcissus chose to die beautiful and young and in perfection, immortalized in beauty. I would like to explore the future beyond this first innocence with a resounding Yes to life.

 

 

*not in the same way I mentioned in the previous post

Pity for Man pt. II

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Part II of this post.

Some months prior, I wrote a reflection comparing my previous experiences and hopes for (what I would call) an earthly communal paradise with Albert Camus’ The Fall, in which lawyer Jean Baptiste Clement confesses his selfish virtuousness in his unpaid work with orphans and widows – “the noble causes.” My encounters with the disabled and the poor in China left me not with a sense of deep sympathy, but a feeling of detachment, a complete 180 in comparison to my prior emotions of solidarity in my pre-China state of innocence, when I would watch the spectacle of the wretchedness of the Chinese poor behind electronic screens from the comfort of my airconditioned Canadian home. Justice spoke and I felt a vague wave of indignation, which I found to be empty once confronted in the flesh with dirty dismembered coal miners and rural sojourners who lacked refined and civilized urbanite mannerisms. My reflections led to a cynical conclusion as I realized that my solidarity and respect only extended to (wo)man in the abstract, not (wo)men in the concrete.

I thought of young university liberals full of moral righteousness and indignation as being unreflective and selfish unbeknownst to themselves, as they used the floating images of third world bodies as a way to clothe and brand themselves to gain status in a moral hierarchy and rise above so as to be able to look down on others from the elevated heights of ‘correct’ morality.

Jean Baptiste Clement confesses that he aimed for a moral highground that would let him become beyond reproach, setting him “above the judges whom I judged in turn, and above the defendant, whom I forced into gratitude.” While he may have provided his services gratuitously, with no strings apparently attached, even offering financial help to the family of the defendant in what appeared to be an action of pure kindness and benevolence, he did not leave them light and free but with the greater burden of existential debt.

Anthropologist David Graeber, writer of Debt: The First 5000 Years calls (in this interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnOqanbHZi4, 9:00 ~) debt a crucial aspect of human sociality. Debt cannot be reduced to control and slavery (a forcing into gratitude). Debt is the chain linking and creating a relationship between two social beings or groups, with mutual indebtedness being a sign of a social relationship. In fact, according to Graeber, the paying off of debt was an insult, a rejection of future social interactions.

In China in full contact with some of the impoverished Chinese, I felt repulsion. Forcing these people, who I could not begin to relate to, into gratitude (or debt) would have meant the formation of a relationship, one I was not adventurous enough to start. But my cynical conclusion does not necessarily extend to everyone else, who may be by constitution more willing to engage in a relationship with this ‘other’ a fruitful, longlasting dialogue between two equals both indebted to each other. For some, (wo)men in the concrete reaffirm their belief in (wo)man in the abstract.

Goodbye Nostalgia

Existential accounting: A relationship formed equals a relationship lost. Just as a debit equals a credit, a gain equals a loss.

 

I must admit that I am a nostalgic despite my young age. I stay turned towards the ever fading past, a past that I search for in the present and in the future forever approaching.

In all lassitude and languor I go about daily life, the future an unwelcome presence, wishing to slow down the passing of time. Time tick tocks quiet to my pleas.

I have lived many lives and died many deaths, with the curse (or blessing?) of remembrance. Approaching each new life abroad in ecstasy, only to be drained to the depths at the eventual and eternal depart.

From these lives I have learned that memory does not only reside within, an organized bookshelf with past events readily available. Memory leaves its impressions externally, in the uncared-for roads, the decaying structures, the small insignificant stores and above all in human relationships formed by fortune. Each sensation leaves behind a fragment of the self, a fragment that links me to that which I came in contact with. Human relationships demand a greater piece, torn from a deeper place, a slab of vital flesh. Full of holes I feel a nostalgia for wholeness.

Then comes the great separation, a sudden and violent slash as all bonds are irreversibly cut. The heart remains while the body parts at great speeds, going from 100km/h by bus up to 1000km/h by airplane.

With this separation only faint impressions remain, soft suggestions that soon fade like footprints in the snow during a storm, leaving a general white blank. What happens then to the pieces of myself that I have so gratuitously given out?

So I think of the past in the present, in the future, a past that slips through my fingers like fine grains of sand. With time only a few grains will remain I suppose. With the slipping of the last grains forgetfulness is complete.

But all the grains of sand will slip through eventually, a fall as I fall with my last breath into the final death. Until then, the future always awaits, always advancing in confrontation. I do not want to rush into this future, running blindly towards forgetfulness, but I must yet challenge it bravely and with un amour absurde. The future cannot be a bleak, dark, hopeless space while so much of it remains. But as I advance I will still grip tightly onto the grains of sand remaining in my hands.

Adieu Montreal

(Wrote June 13)

Il y aura bientôt, une mort. Une autre mort de moi- même. Dans une semaine, je vais partir de Montréal, et mon séjour ici finira. On peut dire que ce n’est pas grand-chose, puisque ne suis Torontois, et le voyage de Toronto à Montréal a besoin de peu de temps pour s’y rendre. Cependant il s’agit d’une mort quand même, un adieu éternel à mes expériences, à mes amis, et à toutes les petites et grandes chose auxquelles je m’habituais à Montreal à 24 ans.

La mémoire est quelque chose non-fiable, capricieuse et inconstante. Elle se souvient seulement de ce qui lui plaite, soit c’est des souvenirs heureux soit c’est des souvenirs pénibles. Pourtant même les souvenirs que la mémoire nous raconte ne sont pas fiables. À travers du brouillard d’oubli, ce n’est pas la vérité qui nous affronte, mais un passé difforme qui est toujours en muance. C’est un passé séduisant et infidèle, mais le brouillard s’épaissit et rend le passé introuvable, jusqu’à la disparition complète.

Le présent, si plein, si beau, se glisse doucement en s’éloignant, en se dissipant en morceaux insaisissables, comme le sable fin qui glisse tranquillement des mains.

(Wrote in June 17)

One by one we leave, we vanish, until I remain in a bustling city left only with the reverberations of the past, full of spectres who float around visible only to me. The world outside races on but I am left in the world of my memories, a world disintegrating.

Un adieu, un au revoir. It is a death that awaits the end of these adieus. I wait timidly, uncertain of what to express in the face of an approaching inevitability. What kind of adieu can pay homage to this death?

Every rencontre is a piece of myself left behind. And now the pieces are spread far and wide, a puzzle impossible to fit together and remake whole. I feel within a longing for fullness, a nostalgic cry that goes echoing on unanswered.

Adieu

Au revoir

Search for Self

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My sister went to New York recently to find herself, but she couldn’t. She thought that the city was too busy and too similar to Toronto for this purpose. It reminded me of myself a couple of years ago, when I applied to become an exchange student in Italy. Back then my knowledge of Italy was non-existent. I knew that it looked like a boot and it was where pizza came from. I knew nothing of its culture nor its history. I wasn’t going to Italy for Italy. The purpose of my travel was the same as my sister’s, it was to find myself. Italy just happened to be the location for my soul searching, an incidental destination that could just have easily been France or Brazil, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

I thought that by travelling, I could find my essence. Stripped of the baggage of externally imposed tendencies, pressures and norms (from sources like family, culture, and society), perhaps this core self could be expressed in the purest way. I could obtain perfect knowledge of my core and let it drive my actions, living as a liberated individual, floating above external structures. Digging to unearth this precious core, I find myself in a great wide space instead, a space in which I floated not outside of structure but invariably inside, a space tempered and transformed continuously by arbitrary situations. My personal search for self ended up in a discovery of selves, all of which had a legitimate claim to the title of me.

As the search wore on it started to resemble a flight. The search for the elusive core was perhaps an excuse for the flight from the aforementioned burdens that I couldn’t accept for whichever reason. It was a childish flight for freedom, with fiscal responsibilities borne by my parents. However, there comes a time when one must say good bye to Neverland. One day the Little Prince would have found himself resembling the grown-ups who perplexed him.

Individuals formed by the whimsies of history, running about trapped in rooms walled by endless distorted mirrors, will a clear image ever appear? Perhaps neuroscience (and associated branches) will advance to the point of perfection and fully explicate human nature. Then God’s absence on his heavenly throne will be replaced the material authority of spectacled Mr. Science. Similarly, perhaps one day there will be created a test (like an absolute version of the Myer Briggs personality test) that can fully represent the complexities of the individual. Then a divine light will suddenly appear from the ceiling of the room walled by endless disfiguring mirrors and a piece of paper will gently flutter down, the paper which will reveal personal destinies. The way to the One True Mirror will be illuminated, in which the self can finally be reflected with complete clarity, all for the price of a couple of hundred dollars to the local clinical psychologist.

YOLO and Happiness

YOLO. You only live once. It is a popular phrase in North American society among the 20 somethings. Often yelled out before undertaking audacious actions which express the spirit of youth – after all, this phrase is said to remind you that you only live once and therefore must live to a fullness without regrets – this phrase represents a mentality for the generation. What better can    represent this generation who is on the lookout for happiness? A generation who actively seek out new experiences for the semblance of fulfillment? YOLO has caught on for a reason; it touches and impresses deep into the heart. YOLO is not just a catchphrase. It is the affirmation of a lifestyle.

After being caught up in YOLO North America, I was given the chance to move away and examine YOLO while undertaking a YOLO trip in Asia for a year. In the process of a gradual de-YOLOization, I started having thoughts about YOLO and the happiness it represents.

When I was in the “Spring City” of Kunming in the Yunnan province of China, there was a clear blue sky and sunlight and some friends to get drunk with in the hostel, so I stayed for a week to restore my energies after a 20 hour train ride to the city. I studied Chinese during the day and drank beer and baijiu (Chinese white wine) at night, and in the midst of this routine I came across Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christ by Nietzsche in the hostel library. One sentence I distinctly remember remarking upon was this one, “… for him (Nietzsche) the only happiness worth having is that which is the by product of strenuous efforts in various directions, effort without a thought for the happiness they might produce.” Upon reading a brief history of his life, in which the latter part was marked by illness, solitude and a lack of success or recognition, it seemed that this phrase described his own life pretty well.

A month passed in the sunny Yunnan province, and I went through various conditions, from the warm tropical town of XiShuangbanna in the Southwest to the cragged snowy Tibetan mountain town of Shangrila up 3200m in altitude in the North. It was time to move on to the next province, to Sichuan where I made my homebase the provincial capital of Chengdu, a city that was humid and cloudy in contrast to the sun. From this ancient city famous for its spicy cuisine and “spicy” girls, I made a trip to the neighbouring city of Leshan, which held the monumental Leshan Stone Buddha.

It was still the period of the Chinese Lunar New Year, and the whole of China was on holiday. Many Chinese people had the same idea as me and there was a three hour line up to see the Buddha. Slowly the line crawled, from behind and around the massive head of the Buddha, snaking down to the feet, as the immensity of the Buddha revealed itself. In the line I felt increasing reverence to this figure, which was 70 metres tall and made the worshippers below seem like clothed ants.

Once at the bottom I looked up, craning my neck to see the whole figure. Carved into the mountain facing a flowing river rushing past, the Buddha seemed as though it was a hidden extension of the mountain that found expression. I leaned back on the railing which blocked the river, and stared up for a long time at its head, which seemed to be a part of the ceiling of the darkening sky. The eyes were in a placid meditative state, staring across the rapid river and far beyond the city and through it, resting its gaze past the world of smaller sentient beings to a world of mortal incomprehensibility with fullness and compassion behind a knowing smile. Sitting straight on its humble mountain throne, as it had done for centuries, weather worm but without a hint of cumbrance, there was a feeling of naturality in its deportment, as if it was comfortably waiting for the right moment to awake from its age long meditation. I felt humbled and although I am not Buddhist I felt compelled to bow down to this great figure before me to express my veneration.

I then imagined the building of the Buddha from the point of view of its constructors. It took almost a century in its making and its makers toiled assiduously, removing morsels of stone at a time, meticulously chiselling through rock over decades and generations of man. The end result: what was once a wall of stone, now a towering Buddha. What an inexpressible feeling of delight one must have felt at its completion! To look up, exactly as I had, toward the Buddha, up to the head that seems to be a part of the ceiling of the sky, looking to the same tranquil, meditative eyes that I had stared at. Examining every detail of the limbs and body and understanding, with the process of work deeply impressed into the body, what exactly every inch of the Buddha meant. What a feeling it must have been to have one’s existence tied with this creation, which will be admired for centuries to come. All out of a lowly and insignificant being with human flaws and a weakly mortal body did such a manifestation of grandeur appear.

The YOLO mindset could not have built such a marvel. Focused on fleeting instants of “happiness” and momentary gratification, there is no ensuing fulfillment in the YOLO mindset. All that results is a hollowness and growing anxiety, mounting as the years mount on the physical body. Perhaps inside all of us there is a Great Buddha that lies in wait, waiting to be revealed. Unworked on and only with brief flashes of its true figure, we may pass over it while living for the moment, scrambling after quick “hits” of “happiness.” But what if we started this slow arduous process of sculpting? Working with patience towards an End, with care and painstaking effort? I think it would be marvellous to look back (and up) at personal creations, and feel warm waves of contentment emanating from deep within. After all, you only live once.

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一夜台北

Note: This is a mandarin version of this blog post/story

http://jaezhu.com/2014/04/09/the-plastic-bag-of-raw-meat/

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2014年3月1号发生了这个故事。几乎过了一年,但我还不知道这黑夜的事件怎么发生了。可能我当时的中文听力不太好了,所以听不懂解决这神秘的必要细节。人生中有好多莫名其妙的事,这个故事也是一种。

当时的我是在台北当交换学生的。丰富的空闲时间是当交换学生的好处之一,所以在这繁华的城市里我跟同学常常趁了这个无忧无虑的生活出去派对。

那晚上也是这种晚上。我发挥了我年轻的精神,乱喝酒来达到高高的心神,但乱喝超过我自己的极限。每一杯子带来了开开心心,但最后一杯带来了后后悔悔。口里出来不该出来的事物,情态从端及快快得降落到低。总而言之,喝太多了。

后来,我跟新相识的法国朋友一起坐出租车回去了。下了出租车,外面下了细雨。他转了右边去吃汉堡,我转了左边去回家。我那时的情态稳定,不醉而清醒。路上看到了营业的面店,有好吃的鸡肉汤面。我想起了我老爸的劝告,酒后喝汤,不喝头痛。因此我说我要来一碗。

当时三点左右,半夜老板总是一样。老板是个七十四岁的老奶奶(离开台北前问了她),矮瘦脆弱,声音粗硬。面店还有个客人,吃一吃夜晚面。老板煮面时我看了她的手,吃了一惊。手跟全身比起来有矛盾。手扎实坚硬。

正吃面细雨变了爆。听着大雨的节奏觉得有掩蔽很幸运。便我后面听了声音,扭头看见出租车司机大声说话。听力不好所以听不明白他讲什么,但是听懂了几句话。他说:

“一起。。。送给你。。。“

老板去那边回来拿着塑料袋。看来跟我一起坐车的人要给我这个塑料袋。塑料袋朴素,去买蔬菜时收的那一种。不过里面的东西明显不是蔬菜。重固黏黏。出租车出去,我看里面的东西到底是什么。塑料袋里有几个大块生肉。

当时不知道该怎么想。我的觉悟糊涂因我喝上高峰喝到低到。整个情况像梦一样。

因为不知道把这生肉该怎么处理,我问老板她要不要。她去看里面便说她不要。所以我出发回家的路,大雨下下,右手拿着确凿的重实物。离我房间一百米把生肉放到一座公寓前面,后来没再见。

 

 

Stars in Beijing

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During one of my last nights in Beijing, I saw a familiar sight, one not oft seen when moving through the concrete jungles of Asia. All around me were the walls of the dusty hutongs, and as the group walked through a narrow alleyway, I just happened to look up. It was a rare night when the original lights in the dark sky made their appearance and shone their way into the vision of man past its successors which man built before it. It was a sight familiar but foreign, as I had grown accustomed to a life without them. Far above and beyond the touch of my outstretched hands, Orion and his belt reminded me of his flickering existence and told me not to forget his story, as it would not be visible to me for another many days to come. Three weeks have passed without me seeing this constellation.

I remember seeing the full splendour of a star-filled night during a middle school field trip to a distant camp site hours away from the promising lights of the city of Toronto. A group of classmates and I followed a camp counsellor outside, where there was organic life around and the clear night sky above. It was magical, observing the eternity of stars which blew up the heavens, and the vertical white streak of the Milky Way brushed right in the center.

Can you picture the skies as such? A cool midsummer midnight, in an open clearing, with grand trees surrounding cozily, being the edge of a forest whose depth is estimated with the profundity of darkness suggested between its members. All above, a boundlessness of stellar forms, created with chance and divine process, each patiently gliding through a blank black canvass as they head towards individual destiny. All below, man, small against the multitude, the grandeur, the truth. Time stops and so does thought, with only the infinity of the present. Man’s physical form is surpassed and the consciousness spreads whole.

Like many in the world, I am a city dweller who knows little about the awestriking entities sharing their natural illuminations with the world. Instead, I grew up with the lights of man, which are the lights of progress and promise; the lights that we incessantly follow as they blink close to us tantalizingly, blinding us and teasing us towards wishful manifestations of our desires. These reachable lights hang in the controlled environment of the city; the city whose physical representation is that of efficiency and logical conception. It is an environment safe and suffocating, precise and predictable, unnatural.

There was a 高考 (Chinese high school entrance exams) essay question that I read on the Internet one day. It was the following:

A grandfather and a grandson look out of a window in the evening. Lights twinkle here and there, and look like a rainbow. The little boy says, “How beautiful it is; without electricity, modern technology or high buildings, there would not be such beautiful sights.” The grandfather waved the head, fell into reflection, and said, “It’s a pity the sky with studded stars cannot be seen anymore. The ancient people who had bonfires beside the mountain cave, watched the moon and the stars, and could enjoy a more beautiful sight.”

There cannot be a co-existence between the lights of man and the lights of the stars. Although stellar illumination may dance in the background, quietly and steadily, with the same unchanging form of wisdom that intrigued our ancestors through the millennia, the obtrusive lights of man drown out the truth that they have continued to share, in loud, attractive bursts of excitement, competing with each other to call us in with their unique assortment of poisons. They get louder and louder as time goes by, trying to overcome one another, as the greatest and fanciest of lights seduce the greatest number of heedless fruit flies. The stars in the background continue to fade as the lights that are artificial and temporal outshine the lights that are eternal and true.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture is of the Hong Kong “the Symphony of Lights.” No stars were visible

China and Gross Overgeneralizations

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It has already been over a month in Beijing. I cannot believe that time has passed so fast. It seems like last week when I first arrived, registered for the Chinese academy that I currently study at and spent a week and a half searching for a place to live. Already autumn is well underway and the cold approaches.

I have wanted to come to China for a very long time. Ever since the Shanghai Expo in the summer of 2010 I have wanted to come but could not. Even in the long four month university summer vacations afterwards I remember trying to find opportunities to come. Taiwan and a short stay in Korea, help from my parents with the Chinese visa and some luck (as applicants are required to go back to their country of citizenship to apply) has led to this stay.

Before coming here, I have heard from many non-Chinese sources about some “special” characteristics of the Chinese. In 2010, my parents used to scare me away from my desire to come to China by telling me a story about a Chinese taxi driver and a Korean couple. Apparently, a certain Korean couple snuck away from their package tour group to explore China on their own on a particular evening, taking a cab to start their adventure. The cab suddenly experienced problems and the driver asked the husband to push the cab from the back in order to provide momentum, leaving the wife in the cab by her lonesome. When the husband got out, the cab driver drove off into the night and the wife’s dead body was discovered the next morning with her organs missing. Apart from this story, I have heard other comments laced with misunderstandings. There were many times where I heard acquaintances that the Chinese were “the most pitiful people on the planet,” and other such unfair statements in different variations.

However, so far I am still healthy and with my organs intact. I have not been robbed or mistreated or beaten up. The most major things have been mild food poisoning after eating some street food in the middle of the night and a fever for a day for sleeping with my windows open. Contrary to what people say, the sun often shines very brightly in Beijing as it did today. Everything that I was told did not happen, except for my inability to use Facebook without a VPN.

I think that people often hear one or two things about the Chinese that creates this image in their heads. It is often not known to them how large a place China actually is. China has an area of 9,596,961km2 , which makes it slightly bigger than or smaller than the United States of America, depending on the source you consult. It is only slightly smaller than all of Europe (not just the European Union), which has an area of 10,180,000 km2. In terms of population, China is bigger than the USA (318,793,000) and all of Europe (742,452,000) combined with a population of 1,350,695,000 people. Certain Chinese cities are more populous than certain European countries. Shanghai is the most populous city in China and has a population of 22,315,426 people, which means that the Shanghainese outnumber all but nine of the fifty European countries. With bad news often being the best news for media companies, the one or two bad things that escape to the North American public are unfairly reflected onto the countless Chinese masses.

Unconsciously, this is unavoidable as our brains are hardwired to think this way. Our cognitive biases project individual characteristics onto the tribe, and are drawn to qualitative individual stories instead of quantitative data and numbers. Because of this, the Chinese are not the only one affected. We might hold certain unjustified feelings towards particular nationalities, subcultures or any distinct groups of people. Without our conscious awareness, the individual fades away and disappears into the crowd. Ultimately, it is us that prevent ourselves from obtaining the truth about people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But there is one accurate bias. All Korean men smoke cigarettes, drink soju and have small eyes if they did not have plastic surgery.