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Thursday, 31 December 2015


The days of my childhood and my early teens, were the days of rapid technological progress. The word “rapid” seems inappropriate if I would compare the pace of those long gone days, with the hurricane of technological progress that we face today, but those were the days of initial technological progress and back then it was not about enhancements, but about inventions.

When I first watched TV, it was still B&W and stereo sound was a luxury. So for me, for many years to come, the word “Stereo” was associated with sound only. But growing-up and approaching thicker and more seriously effecting (damaging) books I soon came across the term “Stereotype”. To tell you the truth in the beginning I thought that it had something to do with the type of stereo-sound, but soon this comfort of understanding was lost when I started coming across adjective use of the term and the use of the same term as a verb and other parts of speech. 
A person always feels better within his/her comfort zone and breach or shrinkage of that comfort zone is not a pleasant experience. I was forced to dip into understanding that techy sounding term “Stereotype” and soon I discovered that it had nothing to do with sound.
Stereotype turned out to be a very repulsive term. Unlike stereo it had no pleasure in it. This term means generalizing properties/features, tagging everyone with a single label or as they say covering everyone with a single umbrella. 
I soon started understanding that lots of certainties of life were in fact very stereotypical. In fact my understanding was that certainties were killers, because they hinder progress and mind you when I say certainties I don’t mean confidence in ones thought or decision. I mean perfection of thought, like being certain about creation of life, being certain about Darwinian evolution, being certain of superiority and inferiority gradings may they be racial or cultural, being certain that once a prostitute is always a prostitute, being certain that alcohol is evil, being certain that smoking kills, being certain that logic is the only viable scale and more so being certain that the logical outcome is the best outcome, being certain that logic and emotion cannot coincide, being certain that black negates white and vice versa, being certain that religion(s) is(are) a perfected doctrine and need(s) no modifications, being certain that if a person thinks about him/herself on priority he/she is selfish, being certain that the word drug points to evil, being certain that Japan is the land of the rising sun, and a lot of such certainties, upon which we base our whole lives and life styles.
So when we say that Americans are short-sighted, low intellect bunch this is stereotypical, because had the Americans been short-sighted Jimmy Carter would not had signed aid for Afghan resistance more than 6 months before they needed it to resist against the occupying Soviet army and had they been a group of low-intellect creatures, the list of Nobel laureates would not had carried so many American names and more so when we say that US citizens are Americans that in itself is very stereotypical. When we say that Russians are blood-thirsty this is stereotypical, when we say that Africans have smaller brains as compared to the White folks that is stereotypical, when we say that Arabs are fools that is stereotypical, because had the Arabs been fools Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle-Eastern kingdoms could not have avoided the carnage of a fine tuned destruction plan called the Arab Spring. When we say that Islam is an extremist ideology that is stereotypical, because it’s never the ideologies which are moderate or extremist, it’s the practitioners who make ideologies whatever they turn-out to be. When we say that democracy is freedom that is stereotypical because freedoms and liberties entail a lot of responsibilities so only freedom is nowhere to be found. And when we say that smoking is hazardous to health and causes cancer that is stereotypical, because nuclear radiation causes more cancer, solar radiation causes more cancer, electrical field is more hazardous, exhaust fumes of cars, planes, rockets and factories are more hazardous and mechanized means of transportation take more lives than tobacco does, spicy food is hazardous, extra fat is hazardous, which is the main components of fast foods, and the list of hazardous materials can go on for eternity, but we being stereotypically configured never extend our list beyond a couple of items.
Let me share a few happenings in brief. Back in the days, working for a construction materials supplier in Russia, specializing in natural cladding materials like granite and marble, we once found a good large-scale Chinese supplier of a particular type of granite. We proceeded through the usual business negotiations and at the end of all that we placed an order for a container load of 30x30cm granite tiles of 20mm thickness. Concluding all the payment requirements we waited for the order’s arrival and at the right time we did receive a container of granite, but when we opened the container for inspection, it turned out that the wooden crates carried 20mm thick 1.5x0.5m slabs of granite instead of tiles. As you can understand granite is not a fabric that you can be cut with scissors. You need to have special cutting facilities for such jobs and these jobs cost significantly. So it was not that the supplier had dumped us, but in a very tricky way the supplier had overcharged us significantly making the granite infeasible and in business terminology this is called fraud, when you sign documents at one rate and then some hidden charges come into action. So the Chinese supplier defrauded us.
A friend of mine and his fiancée, both of whom were in their early twenties, decided to get married. Being young and getting married for the first time they both wanted their marriage to be memorable, but at the same time being just out of university they had some financial constraints. So after calculating the available funds they decided to try buying their wedding dresses from an online store. Their search brought them to a Chinese vendor’s site, where they found very decent dresses at a very affordable rate. They checked all the details like fabric and shipment and every other relevant detail and decided to order their dresses. Soon they received their wedding dresses, which turned out to be made of not the material shown on the site, were of strange non-standard sizes and simply saying unwearable. When they contacted the vendor to report disappointment their disappointment increased because they were told that return shipment had to be paid by the buyer and that as per the vendor’s information there was nothing wrong with the dresses. They went through return shipment and all else that was required of them and at the end of the day all they got was further disappointment. Simmering it to the point of conclusion my friend and his fiancée had to buy wedding dresses on credit from a local vendor to be able to go through with holy matrimony. My friends were defrauded by a Chinese online vendor.
Another friend of mine was once looking for computer hard drives for resale. His online searches pointed him to a Chinese vendor, supplying replica drives. Once again the whole process of communication and then money transfer took place very normally and then one fine day the Chinese vendor sent my friend the tracking number of his parcel. Everything seemed cool except for the fact that the Chinese vendor dispatched the goods via ordinary mail, however, the deal included delivery by courier. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. After more than 3 weeks of waiting my friend finally received the parcel, but once he opened it the contents shattered all his expectations. The parcel was supposed to contain 1200$ worth of hard drives, but all it contained were a couple of USB drives, a headphone and three mp3 players, which collectively were worth less than 50$. My friend contacted the supplier, who in the first place demanded proof of supply of wrong goods and after getting images of the parcel and its content, declared that it was a mistake and would be amended. But more than 2 months later and after tons of e-mails the vendor just simply declared that the situation could not be amended and that he was sorry for it.
Now what would you call it? I call it fraud. So once again another one of my friends got defrauded by a Chinese supplier. This turns out to be a pattern of dishonesty deeply enrooted in the Chinese business community. Considering these three instances and a lot of other that I don’t want to load you with I have no doubt saying that Chinese large, medium and small-scale business people are not honest and it is not worth doing business with Chinese people, may it be online or offline.
So my conclusion that Chinese are dishonest business people, is it well founded or will you call it a stereotype?

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