My name is Arthur Meursault.
Obviously that is not my real name, but due to some of the things I’m planning on writing, it would be foolish to reveal my true identity. Just kidding: I’m not an anti-Semite, though I do think Leni Riefenstahl was a wonderful film director.
Ten years ago in 2006, I started blogging about my life in China as a form of self-therapy. I had been sent (funny how the word “sent” can easily be elongated into “sentenced”) to live in Qingdao where I knew nobody and endured an extremely shitty job. China wasn’t new to me: I had been living there for several years in other cities and had even studied Mandarin for four years, but Qingdao was a bit of a low point for me. To counter the misery I was going through during those cold Shandong winters, I began reading forums like Talktalkchina. Talktalkchina was a big thing within the miserable China expat circle of 2006; for the first time somebody was writing funny posts about our daily frustrations and allowing us to share a platform to vent our own inanities. Commenting on Talktalkchina led to writing my own blog – the sarcastically titled “Yellow Wings”* – which I was proud to say was probably the first China expat blog to provide absolutely ZERO insight or seriousness on its chosen topic. Instead, I used the at-the-time wonderful new medium of the blog to write half-arsed little comedy sketches about China and several beer-fueled rants. Yellow Wings led on to a collaboration project with four other commentators from Talktalkchina after that website finally went the way of a donkey prostitute and bit the dust. From the ashes of Talktalkchina, Sinocidal was born. Most of it was complete crap , but my posts (written under the name ChouChou) were not bad.
None of that matters now and nobody has the slightest interest anymore. So, introductions over, let’s crack on.
Ten years on and we live in a wonderful new and shiny world. All those horrible remnants of the past like job security, fiscal responsibility and communicating face-to-face with our peers has thankfully been consigned to the dustbin of history. Now we live in a glorious techno-utopia where I can press a button on my iPhone and get a pizza delivered to my house within HOURS, and HR managers can look up my internet history and use that as a reason to say that they wish me luck in my current job search. Truly we are living in a Golden Age.
China has moved on massively since 2006: on an upwards trajectory till around 2008, puffed up with lies, smoke and mirrors for another eight years, and as of today in early 2016 looks like it may be re-joining Argentina and Chad in the shitty countries club. I thought it was a good time to re-publish some of my old posts from the old days so that young whippersnappers moving to China today can browse through this online museum of bitterness and realise they weren’t the first white person in China to get shocked at a peasant family taking it in turns to defecate in a KFC bucket.
I will be publishing my old posts (with additional commentary and hindsight) as well as some new ones when the mood takes me. Let’s see how long I can keep this up before an angry member of the 50-cent army leaves a comment on here telling me “IF U DONT LIKE THE CHINA U CAN GO HOME!!! :-/”
*Yellow Wings: an old and now out-dated slang term during my university days meaning the fictional award a young man could expect to receive for accomplishing the act of coitus with a female of Asian descent. Just which governing body was expected to issue this award was never established. University students probably wouldn’t use such terms nowadays unless it came with a trigger warning.