This is my second time in China and I'm studying at a Chinese university in Shanghai. Ask me anything!

Edit: Alright good folks, I've been at the AMA thing for hours. It's 1:30AM here and I've yet to do any of my work. I'll check back in the morning to answer more questions. Thanks for being interested! :)

Edit 2: I didn't realize how much time I put into this lol, and I still haven't done my homework. I'll come back sometime tonight to finish up any loose ends. Thanks for the questions!

Comments: 674 • Responses: 48  • Date: 

b3388132 karma

Do you ever put on a basketball jersey and they think you are famous?

Patsson77202 karma

I'm like 5'10,5'11 ish. They'd probably just call my bullshit, BUT I did convince a group of people that I was a recently signed rapper. It's amazing how people will act if they think you are/ are going to be famous.

evencorey102 karma

Have you had to deal with racism there or are the people tolerant?

Patsson77180 karma

Surprisingly,no. I say surprisingly because almost every ABC (American born Chinese) person I know told me that people would treat me poorly, but that hasn't been the case at all. Every Chinese person I've come in contact with has done nothing but treat me with respect and dignity.

r_antrobus85 karma

Also, a general rule of thumb in Shanghai is that foreigners are treated better. Preferably Caucasian foreigners.

Patsson77124 karma

I'd say that white people are treated better in Shanghai, but I'm treated more like a normal person as opposed to a holy, rich, white person. I think I get to see people's real personality more because of it.

tazzy53148 karma

I've found that black guys that speak Mandarin have a high level of respect in Chinese cultures.

There used to be a black security guard at this Chinese market in Chinatown, NYC that would always speak to the old ladies in Chinese. There would always be an initial shock but a sudden respect in response.

Patsson7768 karma

Contrary to popular belief, we're raised to respect other's cultures and to try our hardest no not be douchey (many of us just don't listen).

oh_tacotruck55 karma

What made you want to study in Shanghai?

Patsson77116 karma

I chose to study Chinese because growing up, I always imagined China to be the worlds coolest country. I chose Shanghai because Beijing is gross and they don't speak Mandarin in Hong Kong. Plus of all China's cities, Shanghai feels to most "alive," and it's fun living here.

bridget_jones35 karma

What do you mean that Beijing is gross? A lot of air pollution or something?

Patsson7798 karma

For the week or so that I was in Beijing, the air pollution in Beijing was atrocious (and I apparently came during a good week). Also the city itself is more spread out and dirtier than Shanghai. Not to mention the people are much less welcoming to foreigners.

r_antrobus40 karma

Why not Taiwan? It's cleaner than Shanghai, it's more international, facebook and youtube isn't blocked over there. Its a larger version of Hong Kong thats just missing Hong Kong's famous walled city and it has a less-cyberpunk vibe.

Not to mention, NTU offers a great exchange program.

Patsson7750 karma

My school has offices in these cities, but unfortunately, not in Taiwan. They must have wanted to stay as politically correct as possible (absolutely no offense intended)

robolegs47 karma

Is there a lot of anti-american sentiment in China? How are the stereotypes for black people in China as compared to black stereotypes in America? How about American stereotypes? Thanks.

Patsson77411 karma

Anti-American? Usually, no. The only people I've ever known to be blatantly American have either been absurdly ignorant or a nouveau-rich douche. Most people in China look up to America's hegemonic power, and hope to be just like it someday. Moreover, although the Chinese government does censor many Western (American) things, American culture is EVERYWHERE here. Not just in Shanghai, but even in the most rural of villages. They tend to like us.

From what my Chinese friends, co-workers, and neighbors have told me, as of now, most educated Chinese people have a good understanding of America's history and the place that black people have in it. They know about slavery, the institutional racism and the civil rights movement, and things like that (although I think the government only teaches these things to show that America isn't perfect). Many Chinese people see black people as being potentially scary, but also very innovative and creative. There are still a few racists, but I've come across less here than I have in America. Plus the fact that Chinese people LOVE Obama, and think he's the most handsome president doesn't hurt. Many people here think we're cool (plus they think we all can dance/sing and are physically stronger with bigger dicks. That's always a plus.) Also keep in mind that I usually only talk to educated people in the city or people who spend everyday around foreigners. I'm sure some people (if not many) do not like me because of my race, but I'm not terribly concerned about them.

As for the average American overall, they usually think we are all rich people who are bad at math, but can think ourselves out of most situations. They envy America's creativity in a way that I didn't expect. People also think that Americans fathom themselves to be the best at everything, and that we can do no wrong.

OH! Chinese people always say that Americans are more "free." Not free in a liberty kind of way, free in that we just don't give a shit. We will hit on a girl, start a fight, argue with strangers, talk about sex (and our own sexual history) like it's nothing, and we don't mind being told we're wrong in public. We smile a lot, and are usually happy to help each other. Chinese people really like these things about America. Sorry if I ranted a bit too much. I can get carried away at times.

your_aunt_pam22 karma


Patsson7722 karma

That's exactly it! Here take an internet high five

DukeEsquire21 karma

Chinese people generally love America and everything American.

The Chinese word for "America" translates to "Beautiful Country".

Patsson7760 karma

It does, but not in the way you think. It's called Mei Guo (mei = beautiful, guo = country) because there is an emphasis on the "m" sound in America, and mei was just a nice word to use. It's not actually because they thought this about America in 1776.

wiscondinavian40 karma

I pointed out that I was a white girl living in Chile and everyone attacked me for thinking I'm a special snowflake apparantly for pointing that out. Oh, the double standard.

Patsson7792 karma

Life's a bitch, ain't it?

mediocre_robot31 karma

When I visited China, As a white guy I found this funny, As a black man how do you feel about these Underwear?

Patsson7739 karma

I haven't had a laugh that good all day! Although they're not entirely my style, I approve completely. I wish they'd have some black models though, that way they can show all the asian women what they're missing.

shrubbythepope28 karma

Where do people assume you are from? Where are you actually from?

Patsson7777 karma

I'm straight up 'Murican, and somehow people always seem to know even before I've opened my mouth. I've never been mistaken for an African or anything.

Benthetraveler14 karma

It's probably the stuff you wear...that's also how you can tell if it's a Chinese, Japanese or Korean person (in China).

Patsson77145 karma

I've worked out my own way of telling the difference between the three and it usually comes out just fine.

  • Chinese = average asian

  • Korean = Chinese with bigger heads and more outwardly confident

  • Japanese = The ones that are dressed the best, yet are most social awkward. They also have the worst English.

Captain-Obviouss26 karma

Are the Asian ladies surprised when they see your dick?

Patsson7779 karma

Yes and no. It's kinda like they're expecting it but at the same time, they're pleasantly surprised. That being said, only two of them have seen it since I've been here, so I can't speak too much on it.

Captain-Obviouss17 karma

Good show sir, follow up; Once they go Black, do they indeed never go back? (To their Chinese fellows)

Patsson7790 karma

Unfortunately so :(. There just aren't enough of us here to fill the need.

CaptCurmudgeon26 karma

Do you have a problem when people pause in their conversation and use an alternative to, "umm?" Also, do you find that people are more outwardly racist in China?

Patsson7723 karma

哪个?那个。我不在乎。Although it did take some getting used to, I've been studying Chinese for more than two years now. I don't even hear it now. And no I don't. People have always treated me kindly/fairly.

mypenisdoeswork24 karma

While in China, can you find condoms that fit you?

keostyriaru7 karma

This needs to be answered, for manscience

Patsson7721 karma

I brought my own.

Accepted_Challenge19 karma

Does KFC taste better in the US or China?

Patsson7749 karma

The U.S. KFC in China comes across as trying to put lipstic on a pig. They try to make it nice...but it still wallows in shit.

JonnyN18 karma


Patsson7747 karma

I'm not that cool...or that loud.

dafuq_dude19 karma

Thank you for not making Americans look bad.

Patsson7736 karma

No prob. There are plenty of there people to do that for me lol.

BeautifulBlackPeople16 karma

Do Chinese people imitate any black culture at all? I know of friends who went to Japan and saw kids that dress like rappers, and listen to Tupac all day. Wondering if anything even close exists in Shanghai

Patsson7732 karma

Hmmm. Not that much that I've seen, especially not in that 90s era style. I have seen people dress like That's always cool. I don't think Chinese (as a whole) care as much about their own unique style, as compared to how expensive their clothes look.

OmniDeus15 karma

What's your favorite type of food to eat in China?

Patsson7766 karma

Szechuan all day, everyday.

BenzArt13 karma


Patsson7780 karma

I'd say that Chinese people in general are overly materialistic. China went from being a dirt poor country and a relatively wealthy one in a short period of time, so people don't know what to do with their money. You'll see $60,000 cars parked in front of the cheapest high rises because people think having a good car is the epitome of "making it." People in China like to show their wealth in a way that can be sickening. People will starve themselves to get a real Gucci bag, or they'll use a H&M bag as a purse just to show that they've shopped there. Then again, as a Westerner who has never been poor, maybe I'm just being overly critical.

icmc9 karma

Cars and Cell phones were the other big one I noticed when I was there.

Patsson7729 karma

Everyones got to have the new iPhone or Samsung. I think it's kind of ridiculous.

cherrysnow12 karma


Patsson7771 karma

Nah bra this is Willow.

fightinscot11 karma

I have to ask this. I used to work in a cell phone store off of a college campus that had about 5,000 Chinese students. They would flood into our store about 50 at a time and would all end up talking to one another in Mandarin mostly. Sometimes I would hear them say something similar to "nee-guh" or a word close to it which obviously sounds like the "social" form of the N-word. Your first time hearing this, if you have heard it, what was your reaction? I have always wanted to ask someone who was black, but the college campus I worked by didn't have too many black students.

Patsson7737 karma

I've been learning Chinese for years, and the chinese word for that one is "Nei Ga." That is also their version of "ummm." Because we learned this world within the first two weeks of class, you understand that there is no culturally negative meaning behind it, so I can't respond pejoratively. It's just something that's required for the language.

r_antrobus10 karma

For 5 seconds I thought u were a guy called Lance that teaches at a Hagwong all the Koreans in my school go to. Also, where in Shanghai? You wanna hook up? I live in Shanghai too XD

Patsson7711 karma

Sorry to disappoint. And sure! but I leave in a week or so. I'm currently up in Yangpu at Fudan.

r_antrobus7 karma

Damn! I'm in midterms end next week and start tomorrow...enjoy Shanghai!

Patsson7712 karma

You too!

mediocre_robot10 karma

Can Chinese people tell you apart from other Black folks?

Patsson7751 karma

Yessir. A few of them have actually poked fun of this stereotype and told me that I'm handsome because I look like Obama...I look nothing like Obama.

HiPal9 karma

How often do people stop you on the street to have their picture taken with you?

Patsson7748 karma

Maybe once every few months in Shanghai. Because Shanghai has plenty of foreigners come through, I'm usually not the first black guy person have seen. That being said, when I went to the touristy parts of Beijing, people actually lined up to take pictures with me while I was sitting on a bench in the Forbidden City. I didn't mind, plus I got some cool picks with this Uzbek family, so it works out.

When I went out to the parts of China by the Stan countries, people always snapped pictures with me, or had their kids take pics with me. Again I never minded it. I think of it like this, seeing an American black guy in this part of the world is like seeing a elephant in the U.S. You always knew they existed but seeing one in city will totally take you off guard, and lord knows you won't want to miss the photo-op.

icmc17 karma

My dad was working on a project for the Canadian government. There was a family there Father was 6'2" ginger, the mother was like 6'1" blond and they had an adopted Jamaican son (probably 3 or 4 at the time). The looks that poor family got people in small town China weren't exactly discreet with their ????'s

Patsson7711 karma

At least they have something new to talk about!

loller9 karma

That's a very positive attitude.

However, I think you should work on your self-image. I don't think you are nearly as fat as an elephant.

Patsson7730 karma

There are just so many carbs here. The neighborhood kids make fun of me every single day :(

Sean888889 karma

Have you figured out how to use proxy to visit banned websites yet?

Patsson7728 karma

I bought a sexy VPN, and I have another free one provided my U.S. home school. There are somethings you just can't go without.

Cambridge_Shoulders6 karma

What is the dating scene like?

Patsson7727 karma

I can say that dating here is both easier, yet more convoluted at the same time. It's easy to find a Chinese gf, but they become very clingy. Many Chinese here don't date for the fun of it, they date to find a mate. I didn't want a gf while I was here, but I have friends with Chinese gfs and they seem relatively happy.

menaceiisociety6 karma

Can I touch your hair?

Patsson7717 karma

Only one person has asked, and they loved it. By all means.

Sean888886 karma

Do you listen to Chinese music? Are they good?

Patsson7755 karma

I tried to, the majority of it is crap (in my humble opinion). The most popular songs have been described as something Mariah Carey would have written in her car on the way to the 1995. Right now, the scene lacks creativity. It's honestly quite sad.

r_antrobus9 karma

I don't know about @Patsson77, but the Chinese recently discovered the marvels of auto-tune and electronically programmed beats. So lets just say that Chinese music is facing the same crisis that American music is facing.

There are still a handful of artists that I have a soft spot for, namely Jay Chou-that guy's fuckin' awesome.

EDIT: Jay Chou was in the Green Hornet

Patsson7718 karma

I like Jay Chou but even the new electronic music sounds like something from Korea or America. Nothing about any of this says, *Chinese*

r_antrobus5 karma

@Patsson77, what's the thing that you miss the most in America that you can't have in Shanghai? Social networking websites? Food? Your parents?

Patsson7734 karma

I have a decent VPN so I can facebook it all up all the time. I miss American food the far. Not that I don't miss my family, but they're always a click away. You don't realize how often you eat pizza and hamburgers until they're not readily available to you. I've found myself getting McDonalds delivered (you can do that here) at least once every two weeks. I never eat McDonalds in America, I just miss the food.

Plus Christmas time is my favorite time of the year, and although the Shanghaiese are trying, it's not the same.

r_antrobus3 karma

Never celebrated Christmas, had the same problem with Taiwanese food too. It's not Chinese food...I find myself calling my parents asking them for recipes when I should be studying for midterms....

Patsson778 karma

My friends and I just treck around the city looking for American spots. At least it leads to adventures haha

SandPocket5 karma

So we get a free magazine here at out office called Profit. Today I was reading that Western companies often release different versions of their product in China to accommodate their Eastern customers. For example, over here in North America, we fuckin love Oreos.... however when they were released in China in 96 they didn't do very well. So to boost sales Oreo came out with a waffer version of the cookie, and also alternate fruit flavoured Oreos. So basically what I'm getting at...... do you often find different versions of North American products there? How different are they? PICS MAN!!!! The pictures of the orange/mango Oreos facinated me. O.O

Patsson774 karma

People keep asking for pics of things. Yes there are waffer Oreos here and I hate them lol. I'll put of pics when I go out. It's about 9:30 here and I just got up.

NippyDrizzle4 karma

How different is the food there compared to the US? And whats the best thing youve eaten there?

Patsson7715 karma

There are basically four different types Chinese food from four different parts of China. Sweat, simple, spicy and hearty. In China, the food is mainly starch based with meat and vegetables. You don't eat as much meat or fat here, mostly carbs. In my time here, I've lost 15 pounds while not changing my eating or exercise habits at all.

My favorite by far (also the most difficult to eat again) was this rice pilaf from a city called Kashgar in the western part of the country. It was utterly delicious, but I know that I'll never have it again :(

mcfattykins3 karma

you think it'd be cool to live there the rest of your life?

Patsson775 karma

For the rest of my life? No. But I wouldn't mind a six month stint every few years. I wouldn't want Shanghai to be my base, but it's still a great place to be.

2orangey4crows3 karma

How do you feel about all the black people working as drug dealers in Beijing (and assuming the rest of China)?

On most street corners around the Sanlitun area in Beijing there are one or two black guys selling drugs.

Considering this will be most Chinese peoples only interaction/sighting of black people, does it make you angry?

Patsson7716 karma

I wish it weren't a thing, but unfortunately it is. It's not like that in Shanghai, so I can't speak much to it. From what I've heard, it's usually Nigerians who do, and black people from America and Nigerians don't look alike. I can just hope that people can tell the difference.

Chainblaze3 karma

I've heard much about this place you speak of, but I am curious... Is the food there comparable to any Chinese restaurants you've been to in America?

Patsson7711 karma

Yes. I live in a major metropolitan area in America, and we have a large China town area. You can go there and get some decent Guangdong style Chinese food.

TechnoBismol2 karma

Which University were you at? I taught at ECNU last year in their graduate program. My time in shanghai was the best experience in my life. Not to mention all the travel I did afterward. Try to make it out west to yunan some of the best scenery I've ever experienced, that and the Philippines if you get time. There are super cheap flights.

Patsson7711 karma

I'm at Fudan, and I did the whole Silk Road tour thing, with the over night trains and everything! Although I haven't seen the Western half of the U.S., I think that China might have us beat when it comes to scenery. My only regret is that I haven't left the country yet. I feel like I'm wasting such a good opportunity.

imclone2 karma

What do you do for work/money?

Patsson7712 karma

I'm a full time student and I worked part time (today was my last day) at an American international trade firm. Between my parents, my school and my job, I've never been hungry or missed out on any meals.

Iamboogieman1 karma

Proof? What is the best thing about being black in China?

Patsson7720 karma

I would post a pic of myself with the city in the background (I have a decent view) but it's midnight here. I'll just send a Mod a message.