Expat in the Corner

In lieu of a real post, I will link to a ChinaDaily article about some foreigner in China that probably thinks he’s hot stuff.

We bitter expats in China hate guys like this.

(Hmmm, could lack of posting correspond to my recent acquisition of God of War 2? Nah… I’m busy, I tell you!)


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Don’t you just hate “know-it-all” expats that make us lazy, “don’t speak Mandarin, don’t want to learn Mandarin” types look bad. πŸ˜‰

    Great interview. Congrats.

  2. nice article man! you are hot stuff!

  3. Wah! 名人! hi 5

  4. Congrats on the recognition John!

  5. Congratulations John!

    I’m a big fan of Sinosplice and I really admire your dedication and perservance in your language and life studies.

  6. Is the article Englihs-only or is there a Chinese version?

  7. All pay heed…the second coming of Da Shan.

  8. Way to go!

  9. Da Shan my foot. That guy left China for good. He’s no better than a mercenary. John has said he’s going to stay forever. He is the reincarnation of Rewi Alley.

  10. You arse! πŸ™‚ Nice!

  11. Congrats man!

  12. Did Da Shan leave China? That meeting between John & Da Shan must’ve been more symbolic than we had previously been aware of.

  13. That’s awesome! Congrats

  14. I admire your efforts of living in China as much as I hate mine in the US.
    I have a great understanding and compassion on you regarding all the possible difficulties you might have gone through.
    Take care!

    By the way, John has a bigger potential to grow because he is better looking than Da Shan. AND he has a Chinese wife.(the point is she is Shanghaiese)

  15. Complete with a pic featuring your better-than-thou-smirk. πŸ˜‰

    About time China Daily gave you a shout.

    What’s the story with Mark Roswell?

  16. This one time some guys in Guiyang took me to a dark alley and tried to put me into one of those “expat corners.” Scary stuff.

  17. Great stuff man.

  18. John, Congrats again.
    Wilson was right. I guess when you and DaShan met it was the passing of the mantle.

    One thing though….Did you have to start doing your hair like him, or is an natural evolutionary step when becoming THE ChineseSpeakingWhiteGuy?


  19. Wow, Prince Roy, I am in awe, I’ve only met two other non-Kiwis who even knew the name Rewi Alley, and they were Chinese. And yes, the new Rewi Alley is far more appropriate than any comparison to the Big Mountain, considering John’s role in revolutionising education.

  20. Very nice. The last article about me was in a tabloid with all the faces pixelated out.

  21. Nice Pic John, Your really getting more coverage as each year passes.

  22. Greg Pasden Says: March 21, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    I agree! Nice Picture… I guess it’s the good genes. haha. See you soon, cuz.

  23. Wow, thanks, everyone. I was quite reluctant to post this, because I didn’t want to come off as all conceited. But… I really had nothing else this week! Too busy.

    That said, I really don’t get all these Dashan comparisons. He’s an entertainer. I will never be one. His Chinese is better than mine, and quite likely always will be. I’m fine with that. We can peacefully coexist (and already have been, in fact, for years!).

  24. He’s Canadian, you’re not.

    Game. Set. Match.

    You win.

  25. These know-it-all smartarses just make me puke. Who wants to learn Chinese anyway? What would you do with it if you did?

    Well done. Congratulations etc.

  26. Worst of all is those expats that try to teach Chinese to everybody

    Congrats, John!

  27. Congrats! but this is the first time you are illustrated in the report, isn’t it?

  28. john, i was proud of you long before you became famous, but you’re just getting easier and easier to brag about! (“oh, yeah, that studly braniac is my little brother.”)
    the pic is very nice, but the b&w version makes it look like you have jay leno hair (or a reverse-skunk look).

  29. @amy – Thank you for noticing the hair thing. I told him the same thing earlier in the thread. It’s not his fault though.

    Whenever you learn Chinese your hair takes that shape… I dunno why, but it does. πŸ™‚

  30. I moved to USA when I was 10 years old., I think i mastered the Englished language and understand the culture pretty well. Its 20 years later and I am still waiting to be interviewed. What is is going on? πŸ™‚

  31. Congrats! Between this and CP you’re becoming an expat-superstar.

  32. Tony, moving when you’re 10 doesn’t count. Americans are also a lot less likely to try to insist on speaking to foreign looking people in a foreign language than Chinese people are. Not to mention the vast gap between ESL and CSL. Sorry dude, but learning English just isn’t that special.

  33. Mark: I think Tony was just pointing out that learning English is just as difficult as learning Chinese, but nobody pays any attention to people who have spent the better part of their life learning it. And I agree — I don’t think there is any vast gap between ESL and CSL. It’s just that the latter is much rarer.

    John: Why do you say your Chinese will never be as good as Dashan’s? Surely your role at ChinesePod and your studies in linguistics put you in a pretty good position! It’s not simply mastery of Chinese that has made Dashan a household name, it’s how he used this skill as a performer.

  34. John,
    Learning Chinese is definitely key to understanding the culture. I am a lot older than you. I started studying Mandarin and Chinese History in 1972, went to China in 1975 but we did not have relations yet and I could not live or work there when I finished school, though I might have in a different time. To live in China and not learn the language is an opportunity at understanding lost. One is relegated to the expat community. I appreciate your teaching on Chinese Pod every lesson I listen. Thank you.

  35. Regarding the haircut… (Excluding trendy asian guys) there are only 4 types/styles of male Chinese hair cuts. This is one of them. (Seriously, start paying attention to the hair of asian guys).

    The most logical conclusion regarding the hair, is that it just means that John had his last hair cut in China. (:

  36. OK, regarding the hair…

    I have been blessed with a very thick head of hair. Very thick. I am not in the least bit in danger of going bald anytime soon.

    But this also totally restricts my hairstyle choices! So I have pretty much two haircut options: buzz or puffy. πŸ™

  37. I came to the USA with zero English when I was 10 years old. As a matter of fact, I had to start with the alphabets and learn to count from 1 to 10. Took me 3 years just to have the confidence to speak to anyone. In addition, I live in the south (state of GA to be exact), and population of chinese people in those states was very little. For the first 3 years was one of the toughest times I had ever faced. Not to mention that kids in school would love to poke fun at a asian kid with little or no english speaking abilities.

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