Right or Rude? An Expat’s Etiquette Guide to China was published on Wall Street Journal in 2015. The photo looks stale at the time. And so did the content, so much so, it garnered many comments mines included. The comment section is no long available at this writing but I think my comment was most likely in the neighborhood of “What? In 2015? So passé! I couldn’t believe WSJ would have such out of date journalist …”
Yes, Chinese asked such questions, especially “How much money do you make?” I had been asked on the street of New York by new immigrants from China. But, my strong reaction was, ‘dude, it’s 2015!’
During the ensuring five years, reading and researching have enriched me enormously, which has put me in a far more secure and confident place. I learned more about the world, China and myself.
Re-reading it today, I felt less defensive. Was the writer lazy for writing such shallow ‘guide’? Yes, he was. Journalists, as any other profession, come in shades and grades. Can’t ask everyone to write Pulitzer quality reportage. What would I do differently? I definitely would leave a comment more like, “dude, please dig deeper. You’re a WSJer.”