Expat Lingo’s top ten predictions for 2014

Expat Lingo predicts 2014

I have gazed deeply into the tea leaves poured over my crystal ball and in 2014 all of this happens:

1. Food: An authentically delicious Mexican “taco truck” starts parking in my Tai Po neighborhood every Thursday evening.

2. US Hubris: Americans harmoniously conclude that it is shameful to have: (1) the second highest child poverty rate of any “developed” country (behind only Romania); and, (2) the most guns per capita of any country (with Yemen a trailing a distant second).

We unanimously take action to change this by relocating all Tea Party adherents and gun nuts to Kiribati, where they watch the reality of climate change unfold first-hand as the island nation sinks into the Pacific.

3. Tourism: The world realizes that Mainland Chinese tourists are no more or less annoying than anyone else.

We are all equally annoying.

If you are on vacation and don’t encounter an annoying fellow-tourist, then you are the annoying tourist.

(See: Ugly Americans, Ugly Chinese: the tourist trap)

The original "ugly tourist," the American

The original “ugly tourist:” the American

4. Censorship: The Great Firewall of China is permanently corrupted in such a way that instead of blocking Facebook, the New York Times, Twitter, this blog, etc., it only blocks Nigerian scam emails, non-vetted hyper-political Facebook rumors, those sidebar ads about tummy fat and all movies in which dogs talk. Oddly, the stealth modification applies worldwide and is unfixable.

5. Hong Kong Politics: A great leader emerges on the Hong Kong political scene who both inspires Hongkongers and doesn’t frighten Beijing. S/he is well-spoken, smart, savvy and a cunning negotiator for Hong Kong’s interests.

(See: Hong Kong as “the Great Chinese Experiment in Freedom” and Psst Hong Kong: was it handover or reunification?)

6. Sport: I run the Standard Chartered Half Marathon at a respectable pace for the duration. It does not rain. The air is crystal clear. The bananas at the finish line are delicious and are not rock hard, inedible green things.

7. Technology: Everyone in the world becomes slightly bored with their smartphones and mostly leaves them in their pockets. The “whistle” alert sound is disabled on all phones.

(See: Phone Addicts: Hong Kong welcomes you!)

Smartphones in Hong Kong

Smartphones in Hong Kong

8. Health: There is a cure for malaria.

9. Language: I understand jokes in Chinese.

10. Environment: Red Banner Sister devises a method to transform air pollution into mini-marshamallows that rain down from blue skies.

Beijing becomes a Willie Wonka-esque wonderland.

(See: “Learn from Lei Feng:” Expat Lingo becomes “Red Banner Sister” and Exclusive Interview: Red Banner Sister)

Red Banner Sister and unidentified child assist in Yunnan rice harvest.

Red Banner Sister assists with Yunnan rice harvest

Happy New Year!

What do you predict for 2014?

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35 responses to “Expat Lingo’s top ten predictions for 2014

  1. It will all come true. Here’s mine, if you would be so kind as to permit additions:

    WP, and all free email providers, stop the red-undersquiggling of British spellings. PLEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZ! It’s driving me nuts!!!

      • I’m sure if Americans could just bring themselves to put the stress in “permit” on the FIRST syllable, where it belongs, we could come to an agreement 😉

        Ta, same to you!

  2. Haha, you’ve got your priorities straight – taco truck at #1! As for my prediction – I predict my 200 rmb fan + hepa filter strap on (smartair filter) becomes my prized possession, and I start worshipping and bowing down before it every morning and upon my arrival home after work.

    • Sounds like you need a shrine-niche for your air filter. Will you offer it oranges and incense? Fingers crossed that the horrid Shanghai pollution earlier this month was an aberration and not a sign of worse things to come.

      • As much as I love incense, I sadly think it wouldn’t be too good for the filter-god. Oranges and beer (like I saw in Vietnam!) for this deity. Haha, and yes, please please, stop with the pollution!

  3. I am so glad number four, plus ladyofthecakes predictions are going to happen. That would be awesome!

    Oh, curing malaria also pretty cool, I guess.

    Congratulations in advance on your half marathon. I predict I won’t be running a half marathon this year, or possibly, ever.

  4. I most certainly will not be running any sort of marathon – half or otherwise. But best of luck to you! In 2014, I will be starting Expat Eye on … (anywhere but Latvia) 😉

  5. Pingback: Best of the Blog 2013: Your Top 10 Faves | GALLIVANCE·

  6. Jennifer, this is absolutely too cool! I particularly like #4 – do they really block your blog? And I definitely think you’ll get a taco truck. 🙂 We love this post and highlighted it in our Best of the Blog 2013. Happy New Year to you. We have so enjoyed getting to know you this year and look forward to more of your wonderful posts. 🙂 ~ Terri & James

    • Being censored by the Chinese government is nothing personal; they block all WordPress blogs. It would sound cooler if they’d personally read enough of this blog (such as my posts about Tiananmen Square) to block it strategically!

      The more wonderful people I meet through blogging, the more I love blogging! Happy New Year!

      (Eagerly awaiting the taco truck’s arrival this Thursday 😉 )

  7. Good list. Also: I will franchise the Taco Truck to Quarry Bay and we’ll hold a Mandarin comedy open mike for you every third Wednesday of the month.

  8. Great list – I also predict the women of Hong Kong will collectively gain 5kgs, which will still make them 3kgs less than a citizen of a famine-ridden country in Africa.

      • I don’t know about you, but going to a coffee shop and smelling things like three-cheese lasagna doesn’t sit well with my latte senses.

        How were your holidays?

        I’m currently in Tucson, where the median age is higher than the collective age of all the running shoes I’ve ever owned. The weather is nice, the cacti is not. I might go to a gun show for fun, but around these parts I might be taken for a Chinese spy. Say a Red Banner Sister prayer for me.

      • I recommend wearing a Duck Dynasty beard as your “cover.” And maybe a t-shirt with something trite about Christianity written on it.

  9. you sure PRC tourists will improve? I suspect they will continue to urinate and defecate whereever they go and continue to roll on the ground the second that PRC tourist didn’t get their way (or leave their trash all over sidewalks and parks.) http://ndrandom.wordpress.com

    If you are that naive, you will change your view when the parallel importing locusts shows up at your Tai Po neighborhood..

  10. Pingback: Guangbiao Chen is no Red Banner Sister: business cards for the fantastical | Expat Lingo·

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