Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random thoughts, recollections, and observations about and not about my Nanking trip

The Nanking Trip
I came. I saw. I didn't do much.  The trip was ostensibly so my wife could see her friend who lives in the suburbs of Nanjing.  Chinese suburbs are virtually indistinguishable -- Shanghai, Wuxi, Nanjing -- they all look the same.

Wedding Anniversary
Thursday (today) is Jenny and My third wedding anniversary.  I wouldn't have remembered if my mobile phone alarm had not reminded me.  So, no special plans.  I will say I love Jenny and the job she is doing raising Tony.

Nanjing Subway Posters
One thing that attracted my interest in Nanjing were these posters that they had on the walls of the stations --  historical photos showing among other things, parades in Beijing and the all the great leader Chicom leaders.  I saw one poster showing a photo of the October 1, 1968 parade at Tienanmen Square where the marchers were holding and waving Red Books.  Fascinating to look at.

I don't want to make that much money!
One of my last classes on Monday evening, I did a mock job interview with a young female student who had recently graduated from university and was working at Caterpillar.  I offered her a job where she would make 20,000 rmb a month and she refused it because she said she didn't want to have to work that hard.  20,000 rmb a month is an astounding salary to have in China.  It would put one in the top ten percent of earners in China.  But she didn't want that salary, telling me she would be happy with 5,000 a month which to me is a subsistence salary.

I found the girl's answer to be first astounding and naive at first, but then modest, honest, and unpretentious after reflection.  I remember working in a pizza restaurant in the day; and hearing all the moaning from the other workers about how little they were being paid, which was still more than the student was willing to take.  The western attitude would be take as much money as you get and not give two thoughts to the responsibility inherent in getting paid a high salary.  

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