sweeping generalisations

Back on the Chinese wagon!

I think it’s really funny how the people I have met over the course of the last three days have reminded me so strongly of their respective countries’ stereotypes. Our main topics of conversation have been our disatisfaction with various classes we have attended.

The German guy wanted to have more formal Chinese — this colloquial stuff does NOT work for him. He wants to read, write and speak shumian 書面 “book style” Chinese.

The Russians I have met, without fail, all agreed: they wanted everything to be harder. Even when they report back from Newspaper class — one of the hardest topics — they complain it’s not challenging enough. Suckers for punishment if you ask me…

The Americans — well. I haven’t really registered any complaints coming from them, other than one guy telling me everything was “really hard”, but they are living up to their reputation of being extremely LOUD. You can always hear the American students from the next room. Or down the corridor.

The Korean girls I’ve been in class with all manage to look deceivingly lost and confused but inevitably turn out to know more than anyone else — if you can hear them, that is. Even when there are no American students around they are very quiet!

I will stop now with the stereotyping… (yes, there is more in my head but some of it perhaps less charitable!) but I do find it entertaining. I wonder if I behave in a particular way — does massively monopolising every class discussion sound like a behaviour representative of any one culture?


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