Today is a special day in Northern North America, Canadian Thanksgiving. While it is (not surprisingly) less of a big deal for us than it will be in about six weeks for our neighbours to the south, it is still an important day on the calendar. While I won’t be heading to mom’s for a big feast, it doesn’t mean that I’m not thankful for several things. And since this is a blog centred around life in China, I thought that I would take a minute or two to make a list of things that I would like to thank China for. I would love to here what any of you out there in Comment Land have to add to this list.
So in no particular order, I would like to give Chin a big thanks for….
- …giving me career stability. The economy back in the West is suffering, and the job market is difficult for teachers in my home province of Ontario. Luckily I don’t have that problem over here.
- …paying me comfortably. As an aside to the first one, I am very thankful that I can live a comfortable (if occasionally decadent) lifestyle here.
- …the many friends that I have made over here. I’ve been very lucky to have made several great friends here in the Middle Kingdom. Granted they have mostly been expats, which is something that I want to work on. But there are (usually) a certain set of personality traits that are common in the kind of people who will move far, far away from home that makes for fast friendships.
- ..an opportunity to learn a new language. My Chinese is terrible, not going to lie (and far worse than Ericka’s!!). But I am very thankful for a chance to have Chinese studying as something to put off on a weekly basis.
- …being patient with my language skills. I am routinely amazed at just how patient the Chinese are with my butchering of their language, as I have received a ton of positive feedback and impromptu lessons from the most unlikely of sources. This is the sort of thing that we in the West could learn a lot from.
- …the 60th Anniversary Celebration. Sure I couldn’t understand most of it (see above) but it certainly was a sight. While I may not agree with the blind Nationalism, I can see why many people felt the need to celebrate. If nothing else it is a strange addition to the “Stories for the Grand Kids” File
- …having such good food. I know a lot of Westerners who hate Chinese food, but I can’t get enough of it. Sure my options are limited as a vegetarian, but there is still a lot of great stuff out there.
- …giving me chances to travel. I really am lucky to get the chances to see as much of this great country as I do. I just got back two days ago from a trip to Dali and Xishuangbanna, which is something I don’t think too many of my friends back home can say.
- …keeping me safe from violence. This is something that I think that we often forget. China is a very safe country with crime rates that the West would be envious of.
- …YOUKU!!!!! What’s not to love about this site? Faster than Youtube (even before it was blocked), less copyright enforcement. As an aside, if any of you find Youku too disorganized and overwhelming, then check out Videostic, which goes to the trouble of organizing the TV Shows on Youku and other video sites for you.
- …the Great Firewall not being worse. Sure it sucks, but it’s important to remember that it could be worse, a lot worse. So thanks China for allowing Wikipedia, Google, BBC, Flickr, Digg, and literally millions of other websites. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I’d give you double thanks for a little Twitter.
- …not blocking Skype. I know I already kind of said it, but double…nay TRIPLE THANKS for allowing Skype. It really makes it so much easier (and cheaper) to talk to people on the other side of the Pacific. So thanks for making me a little less homesick.
- ..giving me a platform for my opinions. I guess I should thank Ryan and not China for that one, but I am genuinely grateful and humbled to be able to have a chance to ramble about whatever I want on this site. While I have certainly received my share of negative feedback on this site, the majority has been positive, so thank you dear blogees for that one.
- …the advances that you have made in the last twenty years. I can’t even imagine what living in this country would have been like pre-89. Thank you China for liberalizing and having your economy explode, it has made so much of the other items on this list possible.
- …for just being you. For all that we in the Sino-English-Language-Blogopshere complains about you China, I know that we all love you. Sorry we don’t tell you often enough.