Tuesday, April 7, 2009

READER SUBMISSION: Browsing for bimbos

A submission from our Shanghai sister D. Thanks for the submit!

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."

Silence.

"You know how I know you girls are smart?" he continued unfazed.

"How?"

"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?"

"No."

"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.

61 comments:

Christian said...

Just read your story: you just sound like a mean person.

Guy was probably already terrified (it takes some courage to open a girl) and therefore has not much conversation. No need to pounce on him

Peace!

Willow said...

I have noticed that foreign women in Shanghai assume that all men here are trying to capitalize on some perceived desperation that women in Shanghai have to get out of the country or get money, as though they see all foreign men as their ticket out of some desperate situation, whilst I do not deny that this is the case in some instances, I feel that your assumptions are based on a lack of familiarity with alot of locals and alot of foreign men in Shanghai and reveal a certain jaded or tainted view. There are villians of course, but it is not as carte blanche as you make it out to be.

Shopgirl said...

Are you joking????
The guys is just starting a conversation, nothing wrong with that.

The Pook Guy said...

chinadirt is a racist, overweight bitch who goes to china to date white men.... you get what you asked for.... fucking dirt bitch

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jimmy said...

you girls are properly Asian looking, so people guess you are from shanghai it is very normal, what a big deal...
en the problem is you guys really think the sunshine comes out your ass....enjoy die alone!!!!

Justin said...

"China Dirt", get over yourself.

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yaya said...

The core of the problem is that the majority of foreign expat men in China have some twisted idea that they can behave like a gross lechery asshole to Chinese women and get away with it. In fact, if they pulled this kind of shit back in their respective country, the female population would castrate the poor fella.

Don't get me wrong, there are good and respectable men in Shanghai...but they come one in a million.

ANYWAYS, it's not the fact that this idiot tried to start a conversation with me and D at the bookcart, but rather his manner in which he conducted himself. Sure we're Chinese Americans and have grown up with common chivalry extending from the opposite sex. But shouldn't we expect it especially from this American guy? Does living in China give him the excuse to treat any woman any differently? FUCK NO.

So the next time some idiot approaches me and goes on to demean my intelligence and automatically thinks he's that guy who I've been dreaming of to take me away from whatever kind of impoverished background I come from...yah, he deserved to be ridiculed.

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uklothario said...

sorry, Yaya. You're an idiot. Chinese girls come up to me all the time in China and make incorrect assumptions about me. Often they're ugly too and they haven't a hope in hell of me ever laying a finger on them, but do I castigate them in public forums? Of course not. I have a little chuckle but I'm generous, polite and give them a break. They made an effort and I should be flattered and kind to them even if they have no chance of me being interested in them.

This guy wasn't really all that bad at all. Like others said it takes a little courage to approach somebody in public and he shouldn't be shamed for trying. In 99% of cases he would have been correct that you didn't know Aldous Huxley. So you were rude and nasty. That's it.

Chill out and get over yourself.

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S.L.H. said...

You and your friend sound like total bitches. No wonder you're still single and full of angst. You must be ugly, too, since the only guys who will talk to you are short bald men. And to think, you wouldn't even give them the time of day. I guess the stereotype of Chinese women being friendly, polite, and charming is just a stereotype. Enjoy being single for the rest of your life.

pictures said...

That poor guy most likely spent alot of time building up the courage to walk over (terrified) and talk to you.

Nasty fucking bitches!

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TheHawk said...

You come across as a very shallow and bigoted person, certainly someone with some issues going on there.

You also look pretty stupid when you talk about men with yellow fever, but you are only interested in handsome men. Puts you both at kind of at the same level.

And if it was just the way he conducted himself, why be so nasty about his looks?

TheHawk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheHawk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
..AikiDude.. said...

i am actually surprised you say laowai in shanghai are better than in beijing. i lived in neither (i lived in hefei and longang - shenzhen). funny to read your post. i will read more, and avoid to shock chinese girls next time in your great country!! ;-)

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