amw (amw) wrote,

immigration same old same old

I just had a screening call with a (foreign) company who told me their last visa sponsorship took 7-8 months so they weren't really willing to hire foreigners any more. Even some of the local body shops say it can take 1-2 months. Of course English teachers get fast-tracked. Because rich people in the government want their kids to be taught by someone with milky white skin and a General American accent. But for everyone else it's the same old shit like immigration everywhere.

It is so fucking frustrating and demotivating looking for work in another country. Let's temporarily ignore the fact that i hate work and wish i never had to do it again and just focus on being an immigrant. Yes, my knowledge of Chinese is still at the level of a child and any decent local developer would easily outperform me simply by virtue of being able to communicate more efficiently with their colleagues. But some companies are foreign companies that specifically have an English-language office. Other companies have specific roles for people who are fluent English speakers. But these companies are crowded with the partners of English teachers and western men with Chinese wives. Of course, because why should single people be given an equal playing field? And what kind of entitled nonsense is it that foreigners expect to be evaluated on their suitability for the job instead of their residence status anyway?

Fucking, fuck. I know i have ranted about being an immigrant before, but i need to rant again. I knew trying to find work here was going to be difficult from the start because i have already been through the process elsewhere, so this isn't a "poor me" whinge. This is a "fuck everyone else" whinge. It is so exhausting to have to deal with the countless ignorant people who think that immigrants have a fast-lane to the good life. Fucking, seriously. No. We do not. The well-meaning folks are almost worse than the out-and-out racists and xenophobes. Someone trying to comfort you and saying "don't worry, there are plenty of jobs for foreigners, you will find something easily" is so out-of-touch i can't even. Moving countries is extremely difficult; there are mountains of bureaucracy, and the vast majority of employers do not want to help you cross them. It costs a shit-ton of money. And often also a lot of time. Visa waiting lists in America are measured in years. In Canada and most parts of Europe it's months. And often, while waiting for the visa, you are banished to the limbo of your so-called "home" country, because whatever the fuck stupid flag is on your passport is somehow supposed to be meaningful? Yeah because no. Fuck borders. Fuck fucking countries. They are so stupid.


Staying here in China my values have been challenged because this place is an authoritarian state with a government that actively silences those who threaten its rule. It's exactly the sort of place neocons like to "liberate" and liberals like to condemn. And yet, the vast majority of people appear quite happy and the country is relatively successful and a lot of positive things are happening. It isn't "free", but it's working, and for most people that's just fine.

In the west we are allegedly free, but the reality is that children born with light skin and to parents with a fat chequebook are going to live a far freer life than the rest. Because i was born white and to "moderately prosperous" parents, i got to run around in my 20s as a techno-hippie with neocon sympathies, then spend my 30s pondering about how anarchism might be a better way to organize. But although i was free to philosophize all i wanted, i still spent most of my life unable to leave. What is the point of freedom of speech if you're not free to walk around or sit on the sidewalk or travel anywhere to exercise that speech? Freedom of movement is fucking everything. Without that you might as well not be free at all.

Which means pretty much no one anywhere is free.

In a lot of countries most land is owned by private interests that almost universally restrict freedom of movement. In China all land is theoretically public, but because the government grants leases of up to 70 years the effect is pretty much the same as private ownership anyway. Even if China was a utopian communist state it would still carry the original sin of restricting citizenship.

Here's a thing. Immigration requires the navigation of a very difficult obstacle course just to be granted permission to reside in the new place. Fortunate immigrants may flourish, in time. But for wanderers like me, what makes us happy is the traveling. We will be navigating this obstacle course all of our lives.

Perhaps it's that wandering life that has made me so skeptical. Here in China i talk with people about women's rights and gay rights and income inequality and - yes - freedom of speech. (Locals do get a bit upset when a funny internet meme gets deleted because it offended someone in the Party.) But i don't evangelize representative democracy because, honestly, i don't think it makes much difference. Especially given most modern representative democracies have been thoroughly corrupted by a handful of rich interests who expertly manipulate the beliefs of the general public. And anyway all democracies exclude those of us who aren't privileged enough to be members of the voting class.

Maybe i have just become a nihilist. I have come to the conclusion that everywhere is shit. The only thing that really matters is if a diverse majority can still eke out some happiness despite the oppression. And, well, become "moderately prosperous".


Anyway, back to me. Fucking. If i can't find a company to sponsor me here in a few months i will neither be happy nor prosperous. I will likely be sad and poor. And cold. So. Back on the horse. Fuck. Why do i keep doing this to myself? If i had just saved my cash and stayed put i could have a house and a car and take a fabulous vacation every year and retire early with oodles of toys and trinkets.

Eh, who am i kidding? That wouldn't make me happy. Apparently i am happy when i can sit on a plastic stool and eat noodles while stressing about my future and grumping about borders.
Tags: china, freedom, immigration, politics, rants

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