Please help a young middle-class Westerner in China

The Annual Meursault Charity Appeal

Please read below to find out how YOU can help a young middle-class Westerner in China.

This is Tim:

“Do you like my scarf? It’s made from Fair Trade Wool. Is yours?”

Tim is 26 years old and lives in Suzhou. He comes from a loving family and graduated with a second-class degree in East Asian Studies  from Loughborough University. Although he looks healthy, Tim is deeply troubled and in urgent need of help. For you see, Tim is a middle-class white man, and living in China is not easy for him.

All over China, young middle-class westerners like Tim are forced to work in the most humiliating and working-class conditions imaginable, and often have little comfort apart from a bi-monthly parcel from home containing packets of Yorkshire Tea, Custard Creams and old copies of The Guardian. Bored with their comfortable lifestyles back home, middle class expats like Tim often find a strange emptiness tugging at their hearts after graduation. Though they’ve been trained all their lives to go straight into investment banking after university, an overly liberal set of morals and too many nights spent smoking pot and watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon instills a sense of guilt so great that they simply must pack everything up and move to China.

However, on arrival in China, they sadly find less than middle-class conditions awaiting them:

  • Some middle-class westerners are forced to teach for upwards of TWO hours without a break for a nice sit down and a cup of tea.
  • Middle-class youths are sometimes placed in provinces which contain hardly any stores selling cheese, and often have to make do with inferior Chinese red wine as their only solace.
  • Even developed cities like Shanghai and Beijing are lacking in shops selling wind chimes, guitar picks, and pictures of Jim Morrison. One unfortunate middle-class student in Beijing People’s University had to resort to decorating his room with photos of India, when he knew for a fact that somebody in the corridor opposite had the exact same photographs.
  • Traditional British middle-class games like hockey, rugby, and cricket are virtually unheard of in China, and middle-class males have no alternative but to watch more working-class games like football and racism.
  • Chinese apartments are generally small and under-heated, creating an atmosphere unsuitable for holding candlelit dinner parties where the host can offer guests his homemade paté.
  • China ranks only 154th out of all the countries in the world in its number of horse-faced young women talking about shoes in pretentious coffee shops whilst sipping imported Pumpkin Spice Lattes- a disgusting figure in this day and age.
“Oh, the things we endure for this internship opportunity!”

The statistics speak for themselves: 87% of middle-class westerners eventually leave China and return to jobs in accountancy firms; perhaps only mentioning China again in an effort to pull that new girl in Human Resources at the Christmas Party. The other 13% often remain bitter and discontented in China: reduced to talking about left-wing political ideals when drunk and establishing expat cycling clubs. Some even start writing blogs.

Though this blog is first and foremost a working man’s blog, we extend the hand of friendship out to our middle-class brethren and appeal for your help. Over seven people have read this blog, and if each one of them could contribute even one yuan, we would have at least seven yuan. Take a look at what your money could bring:

  • Just 55 RMB would be enough for a male middle-class westerner to drink a pint of Boddingtons in some bars, or a good cappuccino for a middle-class female. This would enable them to sigh contentedly, make an exaggerated gesture of satisfaction, and proclaim it’s better than the Chinese crap they’ve been drinking for the last two months.
  • Just 100 RMB would be enough to buy a Christmas Card which declares on the reverse that all of the company’s proceeds go to charity, which can maintain a correct and healthy level of pretentiousness in a middle-class expat for a full year.
  • 200 RMB can provide a middle-class westerner with a two-day old copy of The Guardian on Sunday which they can then read in full and quote as their own opinions.
  • For only 8500 RMB we can send at least one middle-class westerner on a return trip to Surrey, where they can walk around green fields with the family dog and frequent wine bars for a whole week. One lucky middle-class male on his last trip home even managed to quote enough bullshit about China in an Irish theme pub that a neighbouring executive offered him a low-level consultancy position at PriceWaterhouseCoopers!
  • A mere 20,000 RMB a month can house a family of middle-class westerners in a community where they can meet like-minded middle-class families. Not only does this satisfy accommodation needs, but it also leads to bored housewives setting up charity cake bakes and Christmas Carol Choirs which revitalise expat communities.
“What do you MEAN expat bubble? I’m wearing a fucking 2008 Beijing Olympics shirt!”

So come on, readers! Dig deep into your pockets and do your best to help a middle-class expat near you! Proceeds can be sent to my offshore bank account registered in the Cayman Islands. Tim really needs your help.

Thank you and take care. And I do mean take care.


(This blog post is based on an original blog post I wrote back in 2007. The bastard was called Charlie in those days.)


If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy my book Party Members – a dark comic fantasy that exposes the corrupt underbelly of modern China.

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