Tonight when I walked in a 7-Eleven shop in my local town, a “foreign” person caught my attention.
I don’t know his nationality, by only seeing he can’t speak Chinese I know that he’s a foreigner. An Asian guy, probably Korean or Japanese.
Through time, China’s economic status has increased, it seems more and more foreigners are flowing in in this newly emerged power.
The past two years I have seen a substantial increase of foreign people in my little town near Shenzhen. I don’t necessarily know their motives, but I guess it’s just how things pan out when a country gets stronger. Like America, like Japan, like any developed country–a lot of “foreigners”.
The person did not catch my attention because he’s simply foreign, but rather how he behaves in this alien land.
7-Eleven, due to China’s incomplete or crippling development, has already become a convenient shop brand where rich or upper class Chinese go into. Whereas you go into 7-Eleven in Japan or US just like any local convenient shop.
So, you’d see a lot of “well social profile” people in Chinese 711 stores. They dress fancy, they look good, they buy a lot of stuff and they don’t really care about the money.
I think, any developed country has this social structure where middle class are the main force in economy. In China, it’s different.
Because of huge inequality, it’s either filthy rich in China, or rich enough to cover necessities. I was brought up by middle class family.
Middle class have this certain mindset where people believe hardworking can produce positive results, so they teach their kids to be hardworking people. And in reality, the majority of them do get positive feedback from their hard work.
But middle class in China are still a small number, the past 2 decades did not produce many middle class. Instead, the economic miracle produced massive amount of millionaires and of course, workers. The most primal form of Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.
And the millionaires have taken huge benefits from government because how the system works.
The kids these “capitalists” raised are really distant to even us middle class people. They seem really distant to common people, and careless to wealth. Yet, the same time they are very demanding. But, probably the same as the rest of world, these kids don’t need to retake the work their parents did. Tasks left for these wealth inheritors are maintenance for family business and the ability to mingle.
But, even the above two tasks place a question mark before me: Can these Chinese kids do it?
To me, these people simply don’t have the mindsets upper class have in western countries. Their minds are still very superficial and demanding for all.
It seems like you gave a huge sum of money to a poor person in one night. And tomorrow he asks you for more.
Back to the foreigner. Most foreigners would come to China because they have lower social profiles in their own countries, I can’t disagree with that. However, no matter where you go, middle class, or lower-middle class are majority.
The foreigner does not look distant to me at all. His eyes shine the same light as mine. His face looks calm. Whereas everybody else in the store looks really soulless from behind, and their eyes… don’t shine.
It’s so strange that I find the foreigner familiar yet strange the same time.
He did not dress fancy, his look was even mediocre. Probably his homeland has 711 too so he chose the same convenient shop to walk in.
He left quickly after he bought some groceries, whereas everybody stayed in the shop after they ordered something from the clerk. I looked at him, sitting before my table with piles of leftovers before me. He was busy, whilst everyone else was free as much as they wanted to be.
This put a heavy contrast image before me.
Speechless, finished my food clean and I took my leftovers out to the garbage bin as I usually do.