Here's another thing I have to work through... how to handle different contexts for bribery and backscratching? From what I read, in China it's customary to either use contacts to get things done, or to offer cash incentives where those relationships don't exist. Me, I come from a place where each person is judged on their merits, and where hidden advantages are something to be embarrassed about. This is coming to head right now because of the revelations about how UN officials were skimming off Saddam's Oil-for-Palaces fund... as a westerner it's pretty outrageous, but I'm also trying to process how people in other cultural situations may find such bribery and hypocrisy normal, even admirable. Even the English words "bribery" and "backscratching" carry strong connotative content. I worry enough about reconciling the differing capital flows across societies (someone in California finds it easier to buy a Japanese good than someone in India, for instance)... the bigger issue may be how to reconcile such different attitudes towards doing business with each other. I guess I've made progress in realizing, non-judgementally, that societies do differ in use of off-the-board connections, but I'm not sure yet how to congruently work with such differing worldviews in practical terms.