Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I took a taxi to a prestigious University for the purpose of attending an interview- I had intended to relax, contemplate their questions and my responses. The 50-something-year-old taxi driver had a few questions of his own for me along the way:
"How old are you?"
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Yes" (that was a lie)
"You are the same age as my ex-girlfriend. A beautiful girl like you deserves to have a man who can take care of you. How old is your boyfriend?"
"You need an older man; someone my age who knows how to take care of a woman. My ex-girlfriend says I am the best lover she has ever had. She said all young men are terrible in bed; that they f&#k like rabbits, but I know how to pleasure a woman."
"Really?" I said in a less than enthusiastic tone.
"So why are you on your way to M*&%$# University?"
"I'm attending an interview for entrance to post-graduate law."
"Oh you will be fine- I know these things. Just give the men a nice smile and pull your skirt up a little higher- that's my advice. Here, I will give you my business card. Contact me whenever you like."
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
When I lived in Beijing, I found the place to be crawling with Since I moved to Shanghai, I haven't been really been bothered by any guys who have tried to pick me purely on the merit of him being foreign. Most of them will attempt intelligent conversation or at the very least pretend that they have a lot of money. After not having contact with the I'm Special Because I'm Foreign expat guy for so long, I nearly forgot that they existed until a couple weeks ago when one tried to pick not just me up but my friend all in one, rather unimpressive swoop.
We were intently rifling through a book cart on a street corner. For those of you not versed in book carts, a very Shanghai thing, they are literally vendors towing wooden carts full of bootlegged books. The selection is not that great and consists of a pretty schizophrenic selection of books from either A list (Malcolm Gladwell) or D list (Sophie Kinsella) authors but still each book costs only USD3 so they tend to be well worth a browse.
I had just picked up Huxley's Brave New World when I heard a voice next to me.
"I read that."
I turn and saw a short, squat, 30 something with beady eyes and a balding head.
"Yeah, is it good?" I asked silently wondering why good looking males never seem to browse bootleg book carts.
"It's okay." he pauses and then continues carefully articulating his words as if speaking to a child "Did you know? That author is a verrrry famous author,"
My friend let out a loud snort of repressed laughter and I felt my inner nerd prickling with indignance. "I know he's famous." I glared.
"Thanks for telling us though. That was so... helpful." my friend chimed in, her voice laced with barely contained mean girl glee.
I'll have to give it to baldy. While most guys would have taken the hint from the way I was stabbing him with my pupiles and left he continued, "Oh. Yeah. You girls look pretty smart."
"You know how I know you girls are smart?" he continued unfazed.
"Your English is so good."
This was so unexpected that it caused us to stop and turn to look at him incredulously.
Finally my friend spoke, "Gee, thanks."
Sensing he may have misspoke, the guy faltered. "Oh, you girls aren't from Shanghai are you?"
"Are you students?" he pressed on hopefully.
I guess for some people, if you can't be a local, the next best thing is if you're a student. Financial desperation is almost a good a target as passport desperation for a smarmy guy with not many - or any - redeeming qualities?
"No," I replied evenly, my eyes unconsciously narrowing (Y later told me that I looked like I was about to club him over the head with my copy of Brave New World), "are you a student?"
"No, I work for a magazine," bald man said uncomfortably, shrinking away from my gaze.
"Oh really? Do tell us. Which one?" I purred venomously.
"You wouldn't have heard of it. It's a magazine for..." he pauses and on his face, I saw a look that seemed oddly reminiscent and then I remembered - it was that all too familiar look of wheels turning in a dim head that I had seen guys from Beijing get. Memory lane! "...It's a magazine for doctors!" he finished looking at us obviously hoping that we wouldn't question him further.
Much to his relief, my friend and I decided to let it drop. We paid for our books and headed on our way. As I carried that armful of books down the road I thought how funny it was that I had already been treated to a story that night without having to read a thing.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
After a long week at work, Friday night arrives. It’s time for me to dress up a bit and go to my favorite bar - a well-known lounge hangout in the CBD - before joining friends for a birthday party.
I know a lot of people who are already at the bar so I sit down next to them. Then I’m introduced to a guy who I’d never met but was with their group.
He was a European guy, early 40s, who tells me straightforwardly after gallantly giving me his seat, "I like George Bush".
I should have backed off right away, but a bit of paradox ... and actually, why would I care?
Seeing that I’m not biting on his pro-Bush agenda and have instead opened up my Economist, he keeps on after studying my face for a bit before speaking.
"You’re very beautiful."
"Well, thank you."
"All the men at the bar are watching you."
I was the only blond and the male to female ratio was 5:1 with the male contingent belonging squarely to the of 50y old, beer belly in a power suit, 2 cocktails in and balding sect. I don t think I’m butt ugly but I know these factors sure help. But hey, thanks for the compliment anyway, tipsy Bush fan.
Seeing how his drunken speech (and armpit BO) haven’t sent me swooning just yet he persists trying to engage me in another conversation. Below in our abysmal dialogue that spanned 20 excruciating minutes. I’ve put the my non-expressed thoughts (was trying to stay somewhat civil) in brackets.
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Actually no (it’s more complicated than that, as it always is)"
"If I didn’t have a girlfriend already, I’d ask you to become my girlfriend. Do you want to have babies?"
"But you re beautiful and you seem kind, you should have babies."
"I m sorry but my biological clock is AWOL, so be it. I’ve a dog."
"I’ve a baby. It’s wonderful. You should have one. When you will meet the right one, you will know immediately (Great, that’s an interesting piece of information I already got from Barbara Cartland, thanks). In Beijing, men only want to fuck (and women never?), you’ll never meet somebody in this bar (Yeah, the more I’m talking to you, the more I’m realizing it). It’s difficult here for women." (No! really? I should tell my girlfriends, that’s a scoop)
"Yes, and?" I turn back to my magazine. It’s my Friday night and I’m getting a lecture only not from my therapist or my mum, but from a drunk, profusely sweating Polish guy. What a joy!
"You re very beautiful, I am talking to you like a friend. How old are you?"
I give him my age, more than Bridget Jones, less than Jesus. He looks at me solemnly and slurs,
“You only have 3 years left to have babies. After 35 ..." he pauses here in a horrified silence with a beer glazed look on his stupid face.
By now I’m fully annoyed and I go off on him.
"Hey, I don’t think I need you describing to me about the guys here in Beijing. I’m actually living it so thanks. As for the rest, it’s none of your business. I’ve worked all week (getting up at 5.30am and studying outside of my working hours, I m very, very tired), and it’s Friday night, my only night out. I want to enjoy my drink without you nagging me in my ear and by the way, it’s Valentine s Day tomorrow, so just don t rub it in anymore. Believe me, I know.
And hey, I don’t know you so thanks for your concern but let’s just limit ourselves to subjects that aren’t so personal. I think it’ll work out better for the both of us. "
He looks at me like I had deeply, deeply hurt his feelings (you got to love the navel-centricity of some males)
"But I m your friend, and you’re really beautiful, but you only have 3 years left."
He’s obviously not getting it so I pointedly turn back to my magazine.
He repeatedly comes back with "I’m your friend", till I raise an eyebrow to which he says,
"Don’t frown, it makes you wrinkle on the forehead."
I’m too polite to make a scene and couldn’t be bothered to try reason him again (an obviously losing battle). I was running late for my party so this seemed like a good time to leave. I guess if you can’t beat them, get the hell outta there.
I excused myself to the other people and left.
I later found out that the guy was actually there, boozing away, because he had had an argument with his girlfriend/mother of his baby. I also heard that this caring gentleman left the bar a bit later, loudly calling all my friends still there, “a bunch of gays” after they realized what he had said to me and gave him the cold shoulder. How charming.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thanks S for this email tip and let this be a lesson for all the guys out there: language exchange does not always mean an easy romp in the sack.
--------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 18:31
To: N******* C*****
I not know what you mean for your prices. And I also not know what mean taht i am pretty i thinkj my pretty have nothing to do with my english lesson. I really just want english lesson. I do not know about what else you mean.
On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 17:14,
N******* C***** wrote:
I think we should wait to discuss prices until after we've met. i think that with a girl as pretty and open as you, we could probably work something out. I don't really want to discuss over email what I had in mind, so let's just meet in person and see if there's a connection. If there is then I'm sure the english will just come naturally for you. I think that after we spend time exploring and touching each other, things will feel much easier. I assume that's why you emailed me for "private classes" instead of going to EF, right?
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2009 12:38:15 +0800
To: N******* C*****
Yes i think that if can help me with the english i can help your chinese. My working is very busy so i should not make the plan if i need to work. I have rest time on saturday and sunday if you want to help me stufy on those days. Can you please tell me the prices of your teaching?
On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 04:38
N******* C***** wrote:
No problem S. EF's prices are a bit high, I agree with you. But I didn't just approach you last week because I thought you needed english lessons. I thought maybe we could be teach each other a little something if we just spent a little time together My cell number is 1501******* if you want to call or text and then we can find some time to hang out.
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2009 04:31:34 +0800
To: N******* C*****
Hello n*** it was very nice to meet you at the EF place this last week. I very want to have the class there but i think the price is maybe too high. I hope we be friend so we can have the english lesson. Thanks you for your helping me.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
"As I am a young, mid-20s Asian-American professional living and working in Beijing, I’m oftentimes mistaken as a young, local Chinese woman. This means frequently being asked "where have you learned such good English?" even AFTER introductions (where I repeatedly say that I was born and raised in the US) have been made and getting completely ignored at networking events where Western men introduce themselves to one another yet do not bother to introduce themselves to me (and, to add insult to injury, pass me over when giving out their name cards).
S, a tall, dark-haired Australian wine distributor, introduced himself to me, shakes my hand, and slings the other arm around me, hand planting nice and hard on my right but tcheek. The shock and indigence on my face must have given away my reaction, as he says "Lighten up, honey, this is the way us Ozzies are!" I shake my head at him and say "Yeah, but I’m not Australian. I’m American", extract my hand back from his viselike grip, and start to walk (more like run) away.
But the fun didn't end there.
As I try to calm my nerves waiting for a cranberry juice (no alcohol - New Year's resolution to lose weight) at the bar, he comes up behind me AGAIN, pats me firmly on the behind (as I am facing the bar, waiting for the bartender to pour my drink). This time I utter a loud yelp of surprise, and he mimics my outcry, then disappears back into the crowd. Good thing too as my hand is ready to land across his pretty little face.
I managed to tell a good number of people at that networking event of these delightful incidences, and received the small consolation that they would most likely report this man to the folks involved at this event.
Unfortunately this is not the first (nor probably the last) time this sort of thing has happened."
Monday, January 12, 2009
“Call it laziness, drunk goggles, or whatever you like, but I have a friend who decided that the only way to rate girls was on a binary scale – 1 or 0. Do her or don’t do her.
Of course he wanted my opinion on this scale and whether I'd rate guys the same way. After being in China for a bit, I realized that I had thrown my 10 point scale away because let's be honest, if we were to honestly rate the guys here on the same scale as we do those in Australia, Holland, Canada, or Sweden it would just be sad. Instead I've started rating guys on this four point scale:
1) Not a chance in hell
2) Maybe a make out if I’m blind drunk
3) Cute enough to make out when sober
4) Let's skip dinner and just go to my place”
Thursday, January 8, 2009
"I have alas left Beijing but the memories of complete otherworldly base behavior still boggles the mind even if it's not a physical presence in my day to day life. Before I get into the biggest douchebag I met in my three years in Beijing (if not in my life), I do have to say that I think the dating scene is gradually getting better. The massive influx in foreigners over the past few years has meant a surge of men who have no attraction to Chinese girls and a huge downfall in the number of disgusting pricks with a girl they clearly have no business with. The problem with white guys in China is that most of them don't realize that, despite how awesome they all of a sudden feel they are, most Chinese girls actually aren't attracted to them. Put simply - more white guys and a constant number of girls who are interested in them means less leeway to treat girls like shit. Though of course, that's just one man's opinion.
So yeah, I know I don't have to live this shit firsthand, but as a guy I get to hear a lot of stories. It's sort of amazing because a guy you barely know will open up to you based on the simple premise of "hey, you're a guy so you must also secretly not think of women as equal human beings and enjoy a good 'objectifying' story." So, onto the biggest douchebag I met in Bejing.
Let's call him New Jersey John.
He was living with a friend of mine and holy shit this kid was a complete liability. The first night I met him we were out at Souk where he openly bragged about cocaine and delighted in talking to the fuwuyuan like she was a peasant. We then headed over to the nearby Black Rose where my friend assured me that we're in for an epic game of darts since NJ John dropped out of uni for a year to focus exclusively on the craft of darts. This cat had been working on his bachelor's for something like 6 years already and according to him "if i really bust my ass I can probably finish in 3 years." Well that year off focusing on darts was well spent since me and my friend, who never play, beat him pretty easily. NJ John proceeded to get incredibly drunk then headed off with his friends to Mix while me and my friend hung back to have another game. About 15 minutes later the kid comes knuckle-dragging back in with a look of utter disdain. "Fuck those kids," he callously utters in reference to his 'friends' who left for the club without him.
Apparently they weren't happy with him stealing a jacket from the bar and made him return it. We walked out to the street where he proceeded to explain to us that this jacket clearly belonged to a drug dealer and had hidden gold coins secretly sewn into the sleeve. As such it was fair to steal it. While he's bitching about the injustice of being forced to return it, he stops, mid-sentence, feeling the presence of two western girls walking by and shouts "hey ladies, show me your pussy," before seemlessly returning to the story of the gold deblooms in the sleeve.
Not that bad considering the people you meet in China, but the stories from this kid continued to compound almost daily. My friend had his girlfriend over one night and all her friends. He stumbles in, wasted, and immediately gets on the phone to the nearby brothel and asks for their youngest girl. When he learns the youngest they have is 16, he demands a 14 year old. Having placed his order he tells my friend he's going to run off and get some McDonald's and will be back in a little bit.
NJ John was unemployed and aspired to write a travel guide of all the prostitute hangouts in Beijing. Luckily he teamed up with some shady dude who shared his love of employing prostitutes and filming their acts. It was comforting to hear his theory on how one should "bust in a prostitute's face". "See what you do is, right before you cum, you take your arm and pin down the girl and then cum in her face." Luckily he heard one day that Wuhan has the best and most affordable prostitutes in China and just packed up and left, leaving us all to breathe a massive sigh of relief. I could honestly go on for another hour on this fucking asshole."
xoxo's to A for the submit.