Decoding flirtation

By Wei Yifei Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/21 18:53:40

I  wonder if any other Chinese girls have met a similar situation: You think you are being annoyed by a foreign man but being afraid there are some cultural differences in communicating and wanting to preserve the hospitable image of a Chinese, you just pretend to be nice. 

A few days ago, I took a train to my hometown Suzhou from Beijing. Waiting in the train station I heard a man's voice saying in English "Hello." It was a Caucasian foreign man. Out of courtesy, I replied, "hello," but then he began to ask a series of questions like: "If this is the train to Suzhou?"; "Where are you going?"; "How should I go to Wuxi when I get off at Suzhou?" and "Could you check that on your phone?"

I, of course, would like to help foreign visitors, but since he had been working in Beijing for years as he told me, he should be aware of the information desk and train staff at the station. He also had a phone in hand to look for information, I wondered if he was just accosting me. 

Luckily, it was time to check the tickets, and I thought I could get rid of him, but he and I were seated in the same carriage. He once again started chatting with me, stating that the two of us should sit in another place. I was preparing for an exam, a perfect excuse I used to refuse him but when I was about to get off the train I began to worry if he would bother me to help him find the bus station.

Yet as I snook up behind him, I found him chatting with another younger Chinese girl. 

That made me think of some claims that Chinese girls are easy, especially for Caucasian Westerners.

I have to say, sometimes, Chinese girls are not as easy to say no to foreigners in a straightforward way since being nicer to "guests" are what all Chinese are taught since childhood. Also, due to communication barriers between many Chinese and foreigners, Chinese people still believe foreigners are more open, and therefore more tolerant towards certain privacy problems when they are communicating with a foreigner.

Of course, one can see that talking with a foreigner could be a good chance to practice one's oral English, as it is usually not easy to meet foreigners and those in the classroom have to be paid for.

While I hope to tell Chinese friends to treat foreigners equally, I also remind my foreign friends to not ask Chinese men or women out so directly.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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