Rich Talk

JM does some work each week tutoring small groups of Chinese students who are learning English to study abroad. These students obviously come from families with money, as they can afford the hefty fees involved with going to a foreign country for college.

During conversation practice, JM got a feel for how the well-to-do students like to kid with each other. The topic was: My parents’ work.

“What does your father do?”

“He’s in government. He’s the 5th most important man in the city.”

“Really? How did he get there?”

“Lots of hard work.”

Here’s where his classmate chimed in:

“And paying lots of money!” [i.e.- bribes]

JM asked this student what his father’s business was.

“He runs a metal factory.”

“What kind of metal does he make?”


Here his colleague had his revenge:

“Your dad’s factory makes pollution!”

Hmm.. Some things we hear about back home in the States seem to have some basis in reality here after all. The transparency of it to the young students themselves makes it all the more remarkable.


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December 2008
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