Here in Austin, TX I called into a radio show I enjoy to contribute to an on-air debate about some selected school districts adopting (horrors!) a school uniform policy.
I mentioned that my wife and I are expecting a kid, and there’s a good chance that we may return to her country (Taiwan) at some point so that he/she could benefit from TW’s school system. I also voiced my opinion that generally, Asian schools do a better job of educating kids than American ones, esp. regarding math and sciences. And, BTW, Taiwan kids wear school uniforms.
From the radio hosts’ reaction, I might as well have called in and started spouting off about my belief in an international Zionist conspiracy or something. This reaction included:
[ol][li]If Asian education is so great, why are all Asians so desperate to come to America?
[li]Why would you (i.e., me) want to give up all the opportunities in the US to go to a region of dirt-poor wages and poverty?
[li]Wouldn’t it be better for you to find an American private school that offers the kind of education you want for your kid?[/li][/ol]
My own offhand response, which I didn’t have time to elaborate on the air:
[ol][li]This reflects an ugly attitude that’s developing toward immigration in general here, and a patronizing attitude toward Asians in particular. And it’s ignorant: most Taiwanese I know have told me to forget about working in the US, mainland China is the place to be. But try telling that to these yokels.
[li]If I were in Asia now I could be getting rich, instead of living the life of Dilbert.
[li]I don’t much care for a society in which I have to pay a premium and join the ranks of an elite for what I consider to be a minimal standard of education.[/li][/ol]
Try telling people here what a blast living in Asia was for me, and their eyes glaze over. Try telling them why I think it might be better to go back to TW for various reasons, and they look at me like I’ve got a disease. And try telling them my belief that China and other Asian countries already have the US economy by the balls in the near term, and are poised to overtake America in the long term due to a stronger work ethic and educational system, and they back away like I’m a member of the Taliban.
It’s not just reverse culture shock; I’ve been back for three years, and I’ve actually adjusted pretty well. But I’m starting to despise this provincial attitude I see around me all the time, among educated people no less.
Just venting, but if you have thoughts or similar experiences pls feel free to share.