Rumor has it that Tom Waits once said this to Jim Jarmusch over whiskey and pop tarts, but it could have been Ben Franklin.
I find it to be a pretty decent appraisal of what is possible in today’s world. In the US, I believe people chose “fast and good” whereas in China people chose “fast and cheap” and that’s why there are so many misunderstandings.
When it comes to blogging and just writing in general, its important to get your groove on. For a while there I was writing wak destination guides using bad reviews from the web and memories — either mine or some one elses. That actually hasn’t changed. part of my job is still exactly that: armchair traveler.
But the over the last 10 days I’ve had the chance to write some blogposts about places I’ve been and heard about and with Aimee making sure my run-on sentences are kept a minimum … well I must say I’m proud of what’s been churned out.
Today I picked up the cash portion of my pay. here at Ctrip.com we foreigners have two different forms of payment:
1) Taxable income that is wired in
2) non-taxable income that is given in cash
The non-taxable income is basically our rent. In the initial negotiations with HR, we were going to hand them a wad of receipts for all manner of things, but when they realized that that would add hours into their workday, they said just hand us a rent receipt and that’s cool.
So in China its pretty normal to have your landlord give you a receipt above and beyond what you actually pay, because the more you can claim the less taxes you pay. And it doesn’t hurt them because I have to pay for the rent receipt.
I still choke up every time I read about the kids that died in the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake.
I’ll remember the pictures of a girl impaled on rebar as screaming parents reached up to her … one of them balanced on crumbling concrete trying to reach her before she faded out. I’ll see the blood drip hot down on their faces and just bust out crying.
I’ll remember the picture in Shifan of the little girl whose body was crushed between two floors of her school … her torso was stretched unnaturally and her shoes just missed touching the rubble below.
Or I’ll remember a picture of a father cradling his daughter — one of the survivors — mouth open in a silent scream as he contemplated what could have been.