Two Italians, a Chinese and a Japanese walk into a hospital…

This would be the start to a joke, if it didn’t end with a perforated ear drum, a smashed monitor, some dead fish and perpetuation of the stereotype that foreigners in China all view themselves as overly-entitled drunken douchebags.

From Shanghai Daily: The dispute took place about 11pm Wednesday night, when an Italian man with an eye injury was escorted by his son and two other people who appeared to be Asian. A witness said online that one was a Japanese woman who could speak Chinese and the other was a Chinese man.

The doctor, surnamed Lin, checked the patient one minute after the patient arrived, according to the hospital’s camera footage. An on-duty nurse, Fang Yuan, said the patient came in with a red face and walked unsteadily while entering the clinic and that he smelled strongly of alcohol.

After Lin finished checking the patient, he went to a computer to issue documents for tests. At that point the woman complained in Chinese, “Why did foreigner receive such slow treatment in China?”

Lin replied that Chinese and foreign patients were treated the same, and the patient’s son and the Chinese man responded by shouting and pounding on the doctor’s desk, according to the witness.

Camera footage shows the two men smashed items on the desk and pulled a fish tank and the computer screen to the floor. They even pushed and tried to beat a family member of another patient who tried to stop them. [more]

On Youtube as well

Granted, the Chinese guy in the crew wasn’t acting any better than his foreign friends, and there seems to be more than an average amount of conjecture in the piece (“witness said online that one was a Japanese woman”). It could be argued that this sort of stuff, though somewhat common in expat circles, is nothing compared to the domestic-bred drunken tomfoolery. And I agree, it’s apples to apple orchards.

However, we’re under a microscope. We may one day be seen as China’s beginnings of immigration and a multi-cultural society. When one of us spits in the face of China by declaring we not just expect, but deserve better/faster/higher quality service because we’re foreigners, it makes it just a little bit harder for the rest of us.

If for no other reason than as a reminder to myself not to get drunk, lippy and be the next hated foreign asshat on Youku; these stories are now getting their own “Bad Laowai” category — a sort of laowai Hall of Shame.


    • lol. I thought that might get some chuckles. Don’t get me wrong, China’s never going to be as diverse as countries that were founded on immigration (or at least as we identify the term today), but it’s hard not to see the opening and the influx of foreigners into China over the last couple decades as the start of some serious diversification in the country — if not in its cultural identity, then at least in chipping away at the ignorance fostered for so long of all things labeled “foreign”.

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