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The Xenophobe's Guide to the Chinese


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With a first name meaning bamboo, Zhu Song cannot be more poetically Chinese. Although she has spent more than three quarters of her life in various barbaric lands, she can frequently be found clad in silk sipping tea from fine porcelain. What others think of as decadence is only her birthright after all. Despite having been educated (like all Chinese) to within an inch of her life, she shows little interest (unlike the Chinese) in following one of the favoured professions, much to the chagrin of her grandmother. However all is not lost - she may yet produce offspring who will. There are three phrases she dislikes: "Where are you from?", "Why, you speak perfect English!", and "You're so lucky to be able to speak Chinese!" Her responses are "How much time do you have?", "Why yes, I speak it better than you", and "That's because I am Chinese. Fancy that." The Chinese expect rusty Mandarin, the English an Asian accent, and the Americans an American one. She routinely confounds them all.


'Hilarious because it's (mostly) accurate! I bought this book while I was living in Hong Kong, and I read it again and again often to and from work while on public transport. I would look around me at the people surrounding me and then chuckle. It just described Chinese society in such a way that you found it hilarious and informative at the same time.' -- Reviewer from Sydney, Australia 'Spot on. Short, funny, accurate and an insight into the 'essential' character of the target group. Good preparation for anybody thinking of living amongst this remarkable set of people.' -- Reviewer from Singapore Excellent and useful. I highly recommend this book for people going to China. It is informative and interesting, and, as well, I am told by my girlfriend who has lived in China for many years, that it fits very well with how the Chinese actually are. -- Reviewer from Denmark

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