Global Times: We’ll always have Beijing: An interview of Brick O’Neal®
So this is another one of those interviews where… Aaaaah, some writer, editor, journalist needed to keep their job by making up shit and finding ways to fill it for the novelty of others and calling it “PROPAGANDA PRESS“! But this time around it was a Chinese girl; you know the kind that obsesses over foreigner boys and everything that’s western lifestyle just in hope to be rescued from the cruelty of the red flag.
(Aaaaah, so many many many of these professional “men hunters” roam Beijing)
So funny to see these kinds of miscultured individuals. Mostly appear in the form of females, but none the less somehow she got my contact information and we decided to go for a spin. I was all nice and dandy the first 1 or 2 rounds but like Vampires, once these … things sink their teeth into an informational giving individual that has a bit of free time; they will keep returning day after day draining you to fill their fucken quota on that newspaper. Vampires!. Especially after they sent me information suggesting I should take the time to fill out two typed pages to qualify as “good answers“, only to read later how they spent their time picking out the shit for the final cut. Forcing the local hutong retard, seriously, to sit beside me so they could FAKE a photo shot.
“Now Brick, Laugh”!
View it at TIMES GLOBAL
So this was the last time I indulge myself a bit. You know, To say ” look mom! That’s me in the paper!” This Global Times individual was always on the ball in the wee hours of the morning… pressing me for a write-up due the next day. I guess they could never understand that I owned/operated a popular craft beer bar. Never seeing this as full-time job/commitment.
Thank you, Global Times.
PS: By the way, I lied!
With that all being said, now don’t get me wrong; There are exceptions.
Here’s what they had to say. (unedited)
We’ll always have Beijing
Expats reminisce on why they left the city, and why they’ve come back
As another year draws to a close, Metropolitan takes the opportunity to give voice to the love affairs that seven expats have had with the city: from the first blush of infatuation, to the pain of separation, and why, after all the trials and tribulations that are part and parcel of any relationship, they decided to come back.
Among them are dancers and school counselors, custom caterers and customer service personnel, teachers and bar owners. Each has his or her own reasons for coming back to Beijing – from wanting to escape the life of a postal service worker, to being seduced by the memory of all-night hair salons, to wishing to trace one’s father’s footsteps as told in childhood stories of China in the 1980s.
What they have in common is, like pieces of an old quilt that have been sewn back on for the New Year, they are part of the patchwork of life that makes Beijing what it is.
39, Switzerland, Chinese folk dancer
|I got a scholarship to study Chinese folk dance at the Beijing Dance Academy in 2012, so without a second thought, I quit my job at a bank, and moved to China’s capital.
From the minute I arrived, I was seduced by the aromas of rice noodle soup wafting from the kitchens. I loved eating local street food, from baozi (steamed buns) to red bean congee. I also became an ardent fan of Beijing’s hair salons, which I would frequent for a hair wash and head massage every week, usually late in the evenings. In Switzerland, the shops close at 5 pm every day.
I was forced to return to Switzerland in August this year, after my scholarship concluded and due to lack of funds.
Now I’m back in my hometown, enjoying the leisurely life and clean air of the Alps. But I’ve found myself missing everything about Beijing, especially the jostle and the energy. In Switzerland, I just don’t have the passion to pursue the life that I want.
So, with no regrets, I’ve decided to come back to China in April 2015, to continue chasing my dreams in Chinese dance. Beijing has already become a part of me that I can’t give up.
36, US, owner of Trouble Bar Beijing
|In 2010, having lived in Beijing for two years, my Chinese wife and I decided to relocate. My wife wanted to travel, and we both wanted to see if we could find a better life environmentally and economically.
After a little over a year of traipsing between different places in Asia and the US, it became clear to us that there was no place in the world we’d rather be than in Beijing.
We missed the people in China, who are good-natured and non-judgmental.
We missed the positive energy here. China’s economy is growing rapidly, and the people here are happy, compared to in the US, where everyone is constantly complaining about everything.
We realized that it was here in Beijing that we could achieve our hopes of opening our own family business. So we promptly returned, and we’ve been here ever since.
55, US, school counselor at Harrow International School
|After living in Beijing for a decade, I returned home to Carbondale in the US in 2013. My parents were not well, and my career had stagnated at the company where I was working.
I immediately found the pace of life back in the US to be unbearably slow. Having spent 10 years in Beijing, I had gotten used to a certain rhythm, a dynamic way of life among diverse social groups with friends from all around the world. You learn to live outside your comfort zone, to be challenged by views and experiences that are completely different from your own, and to communicate freely without prejudice. In the US, I couldn’t help but feel most of my friends had the same views, the same backgrounds, and the same biases.
I missed the Beijing Playhouse, for which I volunteered during my time here, writing scripts and performing plays that reflected our experience of Chinese society. I missed the feeling of limitless opportunities in my career, the possibility of always being able to find something interesting and compelling. In the US, I received eight job offers, but six of them were retracted at the last minute due to lack of funding.
So in August this year, I came back. I feel like I am finally home.
36, Romania, journalist at China Radio International (CRI)
|It was difficult for me to decide whether to stay in Beijing or leave at the end of 2010, after working for a year at CRI. As I majored in law, I ultimately decided to go back to my hometown in Romania so I could practice the profession in which I had been trained.
On the one hand, I was happy to come home and to be able to see my loved ones every day. But I knew in my soul that I would go back to China. The country is part of my family’s history: in the 1980s, my father moved between Beijing and Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province, working at a pharmaceutical company, so my siblings and I all grew up with stories of China. I remember, even as a child, that I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps.
China is also linked to the history of my homeland. While I was growing up, Romania was a communist country. Being in China, I recognize a certain kinship.
So in April this year, I finally came back to Beijing. This time, I want to stay as long as I can.
27, Russia, customer service planning manager at Alibaba
|When I first returned to Russia in 2008, it didn’t take me long to start missing Beijing. My life in Russia was quiet, domestic; even the familiarity of family was wearying. I wanted to feel alive again, to pursue my dreams, and I knew I could only do this in Beijing. I returned the next year.
I love Beijing. I love the pace of life – every weekend there’s something new. I love riding my scooter along Liangma River on warm summer evenings, eating in hutong hole-in-the-walls, communing with the cherry blossoms in Yuyuantan Park, hiking along the Great Wall, and whiling the wee hours away at the city’s many music festivals.
My defining memory of Beijing is having five bicycles stolen, one for each year I’ve been here. I remember on one occasion, I was so upset, I just stood there, not knowing what to do. A Chinese guy who was just walking by noticed my distress, and asked me why I was in such a state. I told him my bicycle had just been stolen, my third in three years! He told me that this was simply what happened in Beijing, and that it meant that I was a true Beijinger.
Suddenly, I wasn’t so upset. I was a true Beijinger.
I feel as if Beijing is the place where I really discovered myself. Although I recently moved into a new job in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, I know it will always be a part of me, and that one day in an as yet indefinite future, I’ll be back.
33, Canada, Operations Manager of Kyle and Gillian Education and Consulting Company
|I originally came to Beijing in 2004 because of my love of martial arts, but after a year, I wasn’t able to find a job that made me happy, so I returned to Vancouver to work at an international school.
After five years in Canada, I still had pangs for Beijing. Most of all, I missed going on long “hutong marches” with friends in the summer, walking from one end of the city to the other with beer in hand, shooting the breeze and just taking everything in.
I decided to come back in 2010, and in the four years since, my life has completely changed for the better. The biggest change has been that I now find myself married to a lovely Chinese woman, with whom I’ve established our own education consultancy.
36, an American born in Taiwan, co-founder of Fatface catering company
|On Christmas day of 2007, I broke up with my girlfriend and also lost my job. So, like a drowning dog, I went back to the US.
It was the lowest point in my life. Back in the US, it was nigh-on impossible to find gainful employment. My parents even sent in a job application on my behalf to be a mailman!
After licking my wounds for three months, I decided that I couldn’t take my defeat lying down. I bought a one-way ticket to Beijing. I set myself a simple goal: I wanted to return to China to build my own startup company, doing something that I liked.
I love Beijing.
It has the feel of a metropolis while retaining the hopeful naivety of a small village. I think this combination encapsulates the spirit of the Chinese dream. Here, Beipiao (“Beijing drifters”) can win fame and make something of themselves from scratch. In the process, they find themselves.
I was one of these drifters, who discovered here who I was and what I wanted to do, among the colorful coterie of entrepreneurs and creators who have come to what is now being called “China’s Silicon Valley.”
My next ambition is to open my own restaurant, as well as to start an IT company that will put China on the map – one that can match the Apples and Googles of this world for innovation and ingenuity, but remains distinctly and proudly Chinese.