BLOG: Homesick Chinese officials

By Assunta Ng

Do you know what high-ranking Chinese officials can’t live without when traveling to Seattle?

Of course they don’t carry their luggage or buy their own coffee like U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke did when he was at the SeaTac Airport on his way to China.


Instead, Chinese officials bring along a cook or several. Seattle’s reputation may be about scenic mountains and waters, but one thing it does not have is the best Chinese food. Chinese officials are not fond of American food. They want to eat authentic Chinese food while in Washington state. And they are particular about what they eat and how it is prepared. None of them have any intention of eating poorly cooked Chinese food during business travel.

Once, an official’s aide even asked for help in shopping for authentic Chinese ingredients, such as dry abalone.

So, in contrast, what did Locke take along when moving to China? Pets. This would make his homesick kids feel less lonely in a strange land.


Sometimes in American, pets are more important than anything else, because they are perceived as friends and part of the household. However, some people might call it a waste of money to fly them to China.

Now we see contrasting worlds between Chinese and American officials. While Americans value independence and do everything themselves, the Chinese officials’ lavish manner of employing servants and aides, does have its merits. It provides more job opportunities, said my friend. He might have a point, though. Huh! (end)

2 Responses to “BLOG: Homesick Chinese officials”

  1. BlogReader says:

    They want to eat authentic Chinese food while in Washington state.

    When I went to China I only ate Chinese food. This is like asking for some alder plank salmon while in Beijing.

    But I agree wholeheartedly with their sentiment: the Chinese food around here really sucks. Just as bad as the Midwest.

    What’s really odd is that we have really good Japanese, Thai, and Indian food. And there isn’t a shortage of Chinese immigrants. I’m not sure what’s going on, maybe the market is flooded with junk places people don’t think a good one can succeed.

  2. Bernard Dahilig says:

    It’s 2 different sides of the world. You have to treat it care & respect. I am borne & raised as a 2nd generation Filipino-American & from what I understood in this writing does have merits in what is mentioned of Americans being independent & wanting to do whatever it is on Americans’ own terms & lifestyles. Whereas, the Chinese & Filipinos in their own country do hire servants, cooks, to have that convenience for their lifestyle because it is a necessity. We, Americans which I’m referring too, basically don’t need that kind of service for we have our own way of thinking and our modality / mentality is far more different than what the Eastern culture perceives to be the way their lifestyle suits them as ideal. Food for thought…


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