Questions for a Wuxi Expat #5: Blogger Andrew Cowlinch

Wuxi China Expatdom blogger Andrew Cowlinch, a.k.a. Wussie Andrew, a Canadian, has lived in the Wuxi China Expatdom for eight years. Recruited to the WCE by the then King of Wuxi, the Ayatollah of Mordor, Cowlinch became the soon-to-be-ex-King’s biggest critic. Cowlinch started a blog, Andrew Cowlinch in China Near a Lake Called Tai (ACICNALCT) and his first entries were said to be instrumental in the Caramel Revolution that resulted in the fleeing of the Ayatollah from the Wuxi China Expatdom and the subsequent ascension to the throne of the Great Conservative and Libertarian, King Gorzo the Mighty.

The WCE Blog interviewed Cowlinch in his Hui Shan apartment where his attention was diverted by demands from his wife Wilma that he sweep the floor and his son Bam Bam that he set up their toy train track. Taking the demands in good stride, Cowlinch looked relaxed in his Canada sweat pants and Ronald Reagan Sweat Shirt, and provided the WCE Blog with his no-holds barred view of things.

WCE: All our readers, of course, want to know about your relationship with the Ayatollah of Mordor. Were you two ever lovers? What caused you to turn so harshly on the Ayatollah, who many say was your greatest benefactor?

AC: We were never lovers or anything like that. To paraphrase the Ayatollah, I am not gay. Of course, the Ayatollah had this need to always tell people he wasn’t, so I wondered… I suspect that the Ayatollah was a homophobic homosexual — a contradiction in terms. Anyway, I turned on the Ayatollah when I saw he was an evil mixture of Stalin, Hitler, Trudeau and Castro deliberately put in the body of one Dom Delusie. And then there were his crimes against good tastes and morals — he liked the most horrible movies. This wouldn’t have been a bad thing — it would have been a thing that people would just disapprove of if the Ayatollah hadn’t insisted on capturing innocent Wuxi Expats and Clockwork-Orange-style made them watch the films with him. He liked to borrow things from you and then return them in such a state that you would suspect that he had rubbed his body with them — again this would have been thing worthy of merely disapproval if it hadn’t been for the fact that he was doing this with books and my back scratcher — I had this funny feeling that he was sticking them into his… ah… whatever…. I think you get the idea. Then there was his taste in clothes: Tartans and pinks and bright yellows that became instantly and permanently grungy. Yuck!!! But to sum up, it became apparent to me that the Ayatollah was illiberal and authoritarian in his political beliefs — so bad he had become that he was saying that Obama was a good President. He was seeking to make the Wuxi China Expatdom a Castroic-Stalinistic hellhole. He had to be stopped! And no amount of chocolate cake and chocolate-covered caramel balls was going to stop me from this goal. I started the ACICNALCT blog, and the rest, as they say, was history.

WCE: Was it easy to start the blog?

AC: Easy Smeasy. It was so easy! The hard thing was to get readers.

WCE: How many do you have now?

AC: I may have ten readers or so at any one time. I gain some and lose some. Of course, I lose a lot of local readers because of the Great Firewall of China.

WCE: How have you been able to get around that?

AC: I have my ways, but I have wasted lots of time trying to get to my actual blog sites. Most of the time I email entries to my blog sites to get them published.

WCE: Do you get much feedback from your readers?

AC: Not much as I would like, but I do have a few readers who have been nice to me. One man from Michigan has been sweet. And there is this reader I have in Brisbane, Australia. Most erudite fellow! I don’t know why he lowers himself to send me emails! I do lose readers because I am a strong proponent of human decency, market forces and human liberty. I have also had some readers hate the way I raise my child.

WCE: What is your philosophy of raising children?

AC: You should be never ashamed or embarrassed that you have children.

WCE: Why do you say that?

AC: I never realized till I returned to Canada how much China is a place that likes children. The locals tolerate children and accept the fact that when they go in public that there will be children.

WCE: Back to the Ayatollah. You are well aware that he is currently in detention in Gitmo Two awaiting trial for his many crimes. Have you talked him since he fled the Expatdom in disgrace?

AC: No, I haven’t.

WCE: Any wishes you have.

AC: I wish he would confess to his crimes and then submit to the punishment he deserves.

WCE: It is said that you yearn for the Ayatollah like a lost long love.

AC: Oh! Horse Hockey!

WCE: Let’s talk about the now in the Wuxi China Expatdom.

AC: Okay.

WCE: Many Wuxi Expats say you are overly critical of them. One would think by reading your blog that every Expat in Wuxi, except you, is either a pervert or a lazy English teacher or both…

AC: Well, it is true mostly. I am sure that are a few Expats who are here for good reasons, out of a sense of genuine human decency, but I haven’t meet them. Let’s face it by being here, we are dealing with the devil — the party. And think of it… The regime, since the adoption of one child policy, has killed more innocents than their great chairman ever did. I mean, if that doesn’t cause people to pause and feel ashamed of themselves, I don’t know what would.

WCE: Then why are you here?

AC: China is my in-law, an evil in-law. It is like I have married into the Manson Family and have to live with it.

WCE: Well, what about your wife?

AC: My wife? Oh God! She is the light of my life! The tiger-light but the light nonetheless!

WCE: What advice do you have to does who are married to Chinese women or are thinking of marrying Chinese women?

AC: To the latter, I say don’t do it, unless you believe in traditional marriage and have all the superior personal traits that people of the conservative persuasion almost always have. To the former, I say obey and don’t take all the criticism you get personal.

WCE: Do you want to tell us about your son?

AC: No! But I do want to put in a plug for the blog I do about him called Bam Bam in China.

WCE: You say you are a something of a Misanthrope. Do you have any friends in Wuxi?

AC: Not really.

WCE: Why do you think that is?

AC: I am unsociable. I am a bit of an asshole. I live in a suburb which is a hour’s bus ride from any pub. But even if I was close to a pub I wouldn’t buy anyone any drinks.

WCE: Are there any Expats you admire?

AC: Obviously, I love Archduke Harry Moore, five of the six members of the Wuxi China Expatdom Joint Chiefs of Staff, His Majesty and Her Majesty, Chief Inspector Harry Callahan, Prime Minister Mango, and the Chief Fireman of the Wuxi China Expatdom: Marcus Linius Crassus.

WCE: Have you ever meet them?

AC: It is my dream. I did set my eyes on the Archduke Harry Moore once. But a million people stood between me and him, so there was no way I was going to meet him and talk. But from a distance, I could not helped but be impressed by his presence. Some people are so great that your goal becomes not to be great like them, but to be in their close proximity and soak in their charisma — the Archduke is the first person I have ever seen in person who has this quality. And I have one hundred copies of the Poolside Harry Moore….

WCE: Who do you think should be the most despised Wuxi Expat?

AC: Oh God! What a question! If there was every such a competition to decide such a question, it would have to be run by the people who organize special Olympics or don’t keep score at children’s soccer games — there would be just so many winners or no losers. Better yet, everyone in the competition would be the last place loser! Anyway, I have a long list. The first that comes to mind is Duston Short but unfortunately there are so many others like him — not many have his troll like qualities but they do share his troubled soul.

WCE: Speaking of souls, are you religious?

AC: Yes! I hope one day to become Catholic.

WCE: The crazy corrupt Catholic Church?

AC: Any organization that knows it is corrupt and not perfect, while continually striving to be is an organization that I would be proud to be a part of. It also appeals to my desire to be able to step back from the world and be a fly on the wall.

WCE: Is it easy for you to be a fly on the wall? It has been said that you haven’t taken part in Wuxi China Expatdom society life since you got married and became a father.

AC: Once you realize that all men are fallen creatures, you don’t really need to keep abreast of what goes on in the pubs and the English schools of the Wuxi Expatdom. All one has to do is overhear something here and there, and the fact of man’s fall is once again proven beyond a doubt.

WCE: What are your plans for the future?

AC: I don’t know.

WCE: Any plans to rejoin Wuxi Expat Society?

AC: Goodness no!

WCE: Three words to describe the Wuxi China Expatdom?

AC: Dazzling, Daunting and Delicious. Can I say something in latin like my hero Archduke Harry Moore?

WCE: Sure!

AC: Victoria Concordia Crescit which translated means victory through harmony.

WCE: Thanks for your time Andrew!

AC: You are most welcome. Oh! Can I let my son say something?

WCE: Sure.

Bam Bam: I want Toby Train!


About wuxiandis

An English Teacher in Wuxi, China. Married to a local girl. Father of a boy born August 23, 2007.
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