Many overseas Chinese returnees suffer from reverse cultural shock when they go back to China. Often they have difficulty adjusting to their new lives in their homeland. Rong is one such example. He is having trouble getting along with his co-workers and his boss, so he asks his friend Niuniu - considered a successful returnee among her peers - for advice. 'What's happened to me, Niuniu? I feel so isolated at my workplace,' he tells her. 'I see certain problems with the way we do things in the office, so I point out that in the United States, we do it differently. But they never take my advice even though it is obvious that my way is better. It's like nothing I say is valid.' 'Well, it is no easy task to blend back in to your own culture,' Niuniu says. 'If you want to be a successful returnee, there are some rules you will have to follow.' Rong listens intently. 'Rule No 1: Never start a sentence with the words 'When I was in the US ...' People just don't like it. And, frankly, they don't care either. You will only distance yourself with such claims,' says Niuniu. 'I see. I didn't realise they didn't like that. I guess I need to keep a low profile,' says Rong. 'Absolutely. Now, rule No 2: Never drop English words into your conversation. And never ask someone, 'How do you say this in Chinese?' ' 'Why?' asks Rong. 'Even if you have honestly forgotten how to say something in Chinese, the locals tend to think you're faking it. They'll think you're just showing off and they'll resent it. Sure, they respect your education and experience in the west, but they don't like to have their noses rubbed in it. We are talking about sensitive, proud people. If you come across as being too westernised, it can backfire.' 'Okay. I've got it. What else?' Rong asks. 'Rule No 3: Under no circumstances should you wear shorts to work or to meet with your friends. Show them some respect.' Rong looks down at his bare knees below khaki shorts. 'It seems I have to make a few changes. But, what about me, Niuniu? What if I don't feel that I am being respected?' 'Okay. This is a tough one. Some Chinese think those who return to China only do so because they failed in the west. So you have your work cut out. You might want to do some things to show you were successful. For example, you could place your Berkeley coffee mug on your desk.' 'Oh, that is too contrived,' says Rong. 'Okay, I've got a better idea,' says Niuniu, 'Next time you go back to California, see if you can attend one of those political fund-raisers. If you can get someone to take a picture of you shaking hands with new governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, it may cost you a few thousand dollars, but it will be worth it in the long run. Hang the picture on your office wall and I'm sure you'll see the difference.' 'So, Rule No 4: Display photos with big shots,' Rong says. 'Exactly,' says Niuniu.