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【My China story】我的淘宝生活

时间:2013-05-08 11:04来源:未知 作者:voa365 点击:
何保罗(Paul Huebner)跟随美国学生来到中国学习汉语和中国音乐 If you read the Western press much, you will get a very distorted view of what Chinese life is -really like. The average foreigner will probably assume that there is
何保罗(Paul Huebner)跟随美国学生来到中国学习汉语和中国音乐

If you read the Western press much, you will get a very distorted view of what Chinese life is -really like. The average foreigner will probably assume that there is little freedom in China, that daily life is highly regulated, and that most of what you buy is substandard and fake. You might find it strange that in fact, daily life is much freer and more casual in China than elsewhere, that there is a very large majority of honest workers and business people, that you can purchase thousands of high quality and authentic products here, and that the so-called "American Dream" is actually at the moment more alive and well in China than in America!

A simple way to describe what Taobao would be to say it's the Chinese equivalent of Amazon.com or better, buying online with "Chinese characteristics". The "old school of thought"here in China is that it is dangerous to buy online, that the products are all fake, and that you will often lose your money. Based on my experience, this manner of thinking is definitely "guoshi le" or out-of-date. Taobao has a system for reviewing sellers and helping you pick the responsible ones.

In the last few years, I have bought so many things online that I have lost track. I am now a "4 heart" buyer and soon to graduate to "5 hearts" (a scoring system based on how many items you buy and reviews you write). Some of the things I have bought online were expensive and many of my Chinese friends were really shocked that I would use Taobao. I used Taobao to buy a rare and beautiful guzheng made in Xi'an and later discovered that the sound was superior to those fresh from the factory, definitely an authentic Scarlet Bird zheng. I also used Taobao to buy an expensive coffee machine from Germany and although the process took a few weeks, the machine arrived at customs in Dalian triple wrapped and in perfect conditionand the seller quickly compensated me for the duty I had to pay, not to mention that the price was very good to begin with. When I traveled to Yunnan, I discovered how wonderful Yunnancoffee is, but paid a hefty price for a bag of beans in a tourist store in Dali. Returning home, I discovered I could buy the beans at a rock bottom price on Taobao and they were quickly shipped absolutely fresh from the factory. And the examples can go on and on…

You might think living in a foreign country means you will be a little lonely at times, but I most enjoy chatting online with the sellers and expecially enjoy the casual online language of Taobao. Of course, you have to be able to read and write Chinese, but not on a terribly high level if you have a good dictionary on your computer. I particularly like being called "Qin"亲!

This is an abbreviated form of dear which is a familiar greeting on Taobao. To go to the pay bill page is called "pai qian" 拍钱 or just "pai". "Kuai di" 快递 is the method most people want used for shipping because it will come to your door just like UPS. Your chats online can be quiteelaborate. The seller will spend a lot of time to explain size, color, use, etc. in hopes that you will eventually buy, and always in a very courteous manner. I have a young friend, who like me can be very indecisive in buying something. He will go so far as to ask the seller what color they prefer and how many people are buying what item, etc. You can surely test the seller's patience with all these questions.

Which brings me to the heart of the matter and the heart of Taobao. All over China there are these wonderful people who have a little Taobao business that is often part time. According to my experience, the vast majority are very sincere and honest. When you chat online, you maybe connecting with a computer in someone's kitchen that is running 16 hours a day on a littlet able with a few boxes of items stacked in the corner of the kitchen. They are very proud of what they sell and very attentive to good service for their customers. The extra money they make often funds a family vacation or a new car.

I once bought an expensive computer from Taobao and the seller turned out to be living just down the street, so I was invited to pick it up at their home. Yes, there was the computer running in the kitchen while the woman of the house prepared dinner. She carefully loaded the Chinese service pack on to the computer and explained how to use it. I returned to buy some accessories and met her husband, a really friendly young couple who were very interested in what I was doing in Dalian. If I am very clever with my Chinese, sometimes Taobao people will not know I am a foreigner, but she guessed because my Chinese name is not commonly usedby Chinese people. We had a wonderful time chatting in person this time, and I also wrote them a great review. By the way, the computer turned out to be the very best computer for studying Chinese I have ever owned!

Is it possible to have a real "Taobao life"? Maybe. You could spend hours online chatting with literally thousands of sellers and basking in their courteous attention. Then you could sit at home and wait for the "kuai di" guys and have a friendly chat with them. Better yet, when you are out they will call you and you can loudly explain that since you are away, please leave yourpackage(s) with the property management office (Wu Ye) 物业 (a very commonly received cellphone call). In this way, others around you will surely know you are prosperous and every day very busy! Also, don’t forget that packages often come with unexpected free gifts that will liven up the day. I just received one that looks like a very wide portable marker that can go in your pocket like a pen. However, pop off the top and inside you find a small fork and spoon as well as a set of collapsible stainless chopsticks!

And isn't having your own business a cornerstone of what some call the "American Dream"?

Aren't all these independent entrepreneurs scattered over the country honestly selling products and taking pride in their service and high numbers of good reviews so much like the small business America we are persuaded to think is uniquely American? I hope everyone will stop paying attention to the China bashing Western press. China in so many ways is just like America, a land of independence and self determination and Taobao truly represents a kind of"American Dream" "with Chinese characteristics"!

He Baoluo (Paul Huebner) came to China to study Chinese language and music after asuccessful career in Los Angeles teaching piano to mostly Chinese-American students. In 2003, he began studying in the summer at Liaoning University until he and his wife finally decided to move to Shenyang. More recently, he has attended classes at Dalian University of Finance and Economics. In addition to studying Chinese, he now studies guzheng and guqin and was honored to perform at a China 60th Birthday Concert in Dalian.


如果你读过够多西方报道,你将会对中国的真实生 活产生一种曲解。一般外国人都会认为中国人少有自由,日常生活受到严格控制,大部分商品都是不合格的假冒伪劣产品。但你会惊奇的发现,事实上,这里的生活 比其他国家都要自由而随意,这里有如此多诚实可靠的工人和商人,你能买到许许多多高品质、值得信赖的产品;你会看到所谓的“美国梦”正在中国一幕幕真实上 演,甚至超过了它的梦乡美国。

简而言之,淘宝相当于中国版的亚马逊或者比它更 好,进行的是带有“中国特色”的网上购物。中国的“守旧派”认为,网上购物是危险的,卖的商品都是假货,你会经常上当受骗。鉴于我的个人经验,这种想法当 然“过时了”。淘宝自有一套审查卖方的系统,能帮助你挑选那些负责任的卖家。

在过去的几年里,我在网上买了很多东西,几乎找 不完购买记录。我现在可是四星买家,要不了多久就荣升五星了(星级是根据你的购物数量以及评论而定的)。我买的东西中,有些非常昂贵,我的很多中国朋友对 此都非常震惊,我居然会上淘宝。我买过一架西安的珍稀古筝,它的音色比那些厂家刚产的古筝还要出色动听,当然咯,这是一架纯正的朱雀古筝。我还买过一台德 产的咖啡机,尽管这期间花费了几个星期的时间,当这台海外货达到大连海关时,它裹着三层包装,保护完好,卖家还很快补偿了我不得不付的关税,更别提这台咖 啡机便宜的价格了。当我去云南旅行时,尝到了云南咖啡觉得非常美味,但是从大理店里买下的一袋咖啡豆花了不少钱。回来后我发现淘宝上的这种咖啡豆便宜很 多,并且直接从厂家运来速度也很快。这样的例子还有很多很多……


这是“亲爱的”的一种缩写,是淘宝上熟悉的一种 招呼语。转到付款页面叫“拍钱”或直接“拍”。大部分人都会选择快递这种运送方式,因为它可以送货到家门,就像美国联合包裹(UPS)一样。卖家会花很长 时间来解释说明该款宝贝的大小、颜色、用法等,希望你最终能把它买下来,并总是用非常礼貌地方式和你交流。我有一年轻朋友,和我一样,买东西时常犹犹豫 豫,不知如何选择。他甚至会问卖家推荐哪种颜色,有多少人在买哪种物品等等之类的问题。当然你可以用这些问题来考验卖家的耐心。

正是这些让我深深体会到淘宝购物和淘宝的好。全 中国有很多做淘宝兼职生意的可爱人。根据我的经验,绝大部分人都是很真诚,守信用的。当你在线聊天时,链接的另一头可能是一位坐在厨房里一天开机16个小 时的人,他的电脑就放在小小的桌上,在厨房角落里堆叠着一些商品的包装盒。他们对自己的产品非常自豪,对顾客的服务十分上心。他们想用这份额外的收入换一 次家庭度假或买一辆新车。

我曾在淘宝上买过一台昂贵的电脑,结果发现卖家 和我住同一条街。所以我就应邀去他家取电脑。是的,厨房里开着一台电脑,女主人在准备晚饭。她仔细地在电脑上装载中国版服务包并向我解释如何使用。我回来 买一些配件时遇到了她的丈夫,这一对年轻的夫妇非常友好,他们对我在大连的工作很好奇。如果我汉语用的很溜的话,淘宝卖家有时是不会知道我是一名外国人 的。但是她猜到了,因为我的中文名在中国不常用。这次我们聊得非常愉快,而且我还在淘宝上给他们写了一段很棒的点评。顺便说一句,这台汉语学习电脑是我买 过最好的一台。

拥有一段真正的“淘宝生活“可能吗?可能。你可 以花很多时间一字一句地和上千个卖家在线聊天并享受对方尽心尽力的关怀。然后你可以坐在家里等待快递小哥,和他们友好地交谈几句。再好的是,当你外出时, 他们会打给你,你可以大声地解释说,现在不在家,麻烦把你的包裹放到物业那儿。这样的话,周围人肯定会觉得你很成功,每天都很忙!另外,别忘了,包裹里常 有一份意外的免费小礼物。我就收到过一个看上去很宽的便携式书签,可以把它像笔一样塞到口袋里。然而,拆开包裹,你就会找到一把小刀和汤勺,还有一双可折 叠的不锈钢筷子!


这些独立企业遍布全国,勤勤恳恳售货,以自己的 服务和买家们的高度好评为豪,他们不正和我们一直认为的美国特色小企业一样吗?我希望大家不要再关注中国痛击西方媒体的事件了。中国在很多方面和美国一 样,也是一块独立而自决的土地。淘宝真实地展现了一种具有中国特色的“美国梦”!

作者简介:何保罗(音)在美国拉斯维加斯有一份 成功的钢琴教学事业,他大部分教的是美籍华裔,后来他来到中国学习汉语和音乐。2003年夏天,他在辽宁大学开始了学习直到他和妻子决定搬去沈阳。最近, 他在大连大学学习金融和经济学。除了学习汉语,他现在还学习古筝和古琴,并有幸在大连的建国60周年晚会上进行演出。


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