I never said I wasn't a sucker for illiterations.
So, with wedding looming, it's a bit ridiculous to think that the topic of babies and such hasn't been breached with Maggie, rather 'by' Maggie. Chinese get married to have babies, ah, a baby. Just ask any mother in law. Actually, you won't need to, as if she's yours and she's Chinese, she's likely already asked you when the little bundle of boy is on its way.
'Babies' has always been a vague and loose concept that was way in my future. As was marriage, so I recognize things change. In truth, before coming to China I was scared of kids. Scared I'd break them, couldn't relate to them, etc. Now, having worked with kids on pretty much a daily basis for two years, I'm comfortable with them and don't at all get the willies when considering having my own – and aside from shooting a kid in the eye with a suction cup gun, haven't broken a single one.
I've sort of maintained one firm thing about Maggie and I living in China – once babies come into the picture, we're not. I know LOADS of expats raise babies here, and I've a great friend here that is doing it with his Chinese wife (wait, that sorta came out wrong… but well, technically fits as well) and their baby is healthy and happy.
The problem I see though, once you get past the air pollution, crap education system and hapless hospitals, you hit the cold hard fact that you just can't trust things in China. A baby trusts us, the parents, for everything. As us parents can't provide everything, we're forced to trust others. Namely, well respected companies that produce products that aren't going to harm our pudgy little droolers. This trust just isn't possible in China.
In 2004 milk powder made headlines when counterfeited copies of major brands were found in many supermarkets. The counterfeited products looked and tasted the same as your regular stuff, missing one major ingredient – any form of nutrition value above sawdust. This resulted in the death of a bunch of newborns and caused a "crackdown" on such products. A crackdown that did little good apparently.
So, raising a kid in China = dangerous. This is a country that counterfeits eggs for christ's sake. Eggs!
Well, turns out nothing is so cut and dry. Apparently a return to Canada is beginning to run the risks of similar problems. This recent CBC article explains that counterfeit business in Canada has increased by 1,000 percent in the last decade (as compared to 75 percent for regular business). Unsurprisingly, the products are coming from China…
Sorry Magz, you're going to have to breast feed the kid until puberty, psychological problems or not.
Canada has one redeeming quality over China in regards to the proliferation of fakes – it has a lot more consumer rights. Perhaps this will change in China before we have a mantou in the steamer. Not to tread on my previous post, but as fast as landscape changes in this country, things of a civil nature tend to be wrestling with the second coming for last place.