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Gareth is an Australian who has lived in JiangSu, SuZhou (Heaven on Earth) for a few years - he is a keen observer of the Chinese people, Chinese culture and the changes that are occurring in China at break-neck speed. He can often be found on his a nightly 'perch' in front of his bar in the famous Bar Street in Suzhou, talking to the locals in his bad Mandarin, teaching the 'flower-selling girls' English, eating street food and smiling at the local chengguan (neighbourhood police). Gareth also has several other businesses in China around Business and English training. His experiences have been varied and interesting and his years in China have taught him to be wary of promises but excited about prospects, not a bad situation to be in!
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But if she did, you'd like it, Right?    

By Garreth Humphris
4863 Views | 22 Comments | 7/13/2012 4:40:25 PM

I had a bit of a problem with a lady a few months ago - although she was a kind-hearted lady, and quite attractive, I wasn't so interested in dating her - the biggest issue was that we couldn't communicate. I mean, my putonghua is pretty bad, and so is hers! She came from a rural region in SouthWestern China and spoke her local dialect but through lack of use, her putonghua was heavily accented and mostly indecipherable to me.

This made our relationship impractical - coupled with the fact she wanted to leave her job, support network and family immediately and come to cook and clean for me! I tried to explain that this was not a good idea because she was isolating herself and that I didn't really want a housewife partner but a more independent friend.
I was introduced to her by an associate of mine - someone who had known me a long time and I thought had a pretty good picture of who I was and the type of women that interested me...I am not interested in vacuous beauties, I like real women with real lives!

Anyway, the introduction was along the lines of “I have a really good friend I would like you to meet, she’s around your age, pretty and well, you know, maybe you can see if you like her!”.
After a few attempts at asking me, cajoling and nagging me over the next week, she finally said, “Well, you just have to meet her because I have told her all about you and she is waiting in a local hotel now and you must meet her tomorrow otherwise I lose face and she came a long way for nothing!”. So the lady had travelled 800km on a “hope” and I was obliged to at least be hospitable to her. We were off to a less-than-helpful start as far as I was concerned!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we had a nice time showing her around my city, but the communication was very difficult and I was still working and not able to adjust my schedule at short notice, so she spent some time alone in my home waiting for me - he must have been bored so she set about straightening the place up - cleaning and ironing - which was great, but I am altogether unused to this type of thing...as well as being ’phonechecked’ a minute past when I said I would be back (I was in the roadway leading to my home, not out partying). She had prepared a nice meal and I assumed she wanted it served quickly after cooking, so that was a reasonable thing, I thought.

So although the meeting was nice, we didn't really gel and we drifted apart.

A few weeks after the lady in question left a little broken-hearted from her short visit to my city, I was able to quiz my associate on exactly what she told her ’good friend’ about me!

“she’s not really a good friend...i know her a year or two and we sometimes talk on QQ and she sometimes travels here on business” - oh, the Chinese “she’s my bestest friend in the whole wide world” fallacy - check one in the deception bucket.
“I told her you were a good guy"...Ok, if you say so!
“I told her you had your own business”...yep, ok!
“I told her you were handsome but a little fat"...wha?
“Actually, I told her you were a lot fat!”...ouch
“In fact, the fattest man in town”...ok, get off the fat thing already!
“I told her you like old women”...I’d use mature!
“I told her you needed looking after"...hey what?
I asked, “What do you mean looking after?”
“Well cooking for you, wash clothes for you, cleaning toilet for you, keeping house for you...that sort of stuff!”
I replied, “Well, no, I don't really want someone to do that!”
“But if she did, you’d like it, right?”
Thinking aloud, “not really, she would actually want to do this because she actually liked doing this, not feel she must do this”
“All Chinese women must do this, it’s her job!”
“I disagree..” I was cut short with a “You don’t know China!” look!

“Then I told her you want a quiet, stay at home, lady”.
I replied, “Well, no, I would like someone who can calmly and coolly accompany me wherever she and I might choose to go!”
“But if she did, you’d like it, right?”
“All Chinese women must do this, right, it’s their job!”
I received a “Well done Laowai, You are learning here!” look!

“Next I say you are important man, everybody know you! So she must make you lose weights, everyday walking and swimming and make your clothes smooth and nice, so you always look good”
“Wait”, I replied, “I don't need a slave, I'd like to find a nice lady to share my life, not make her work to keep me looking nice!”
“But if she did, you’d like it, right?”
“That’s because all Chinese women must do this, right, it’s their job!”, my sarcasm lost in the moment.
“Of course” with an indignant rising voice sans irony.

Now I understood why my new friend had ironed my shirts and hung them in the wardrobe - it was strangely nice - but also a little ’freaky’ having a stranger running their hands all over your breast pocket and smoothing your shirt tails and pressing your collar.

“Then I told her you are always very busy man, so she must have dinner ready and make sure you come home and eat!”
I replied, “No, no, no! Nobody should cook for me on a regular basis - I work at mealtimes, so I can never be there on time.”
“But if she did, you’d like it, right?”
“No, it isn’t practical midweek, and on weekends I’d like to share making meals!”
“Well, as you like, you cook on the weekend! But she should cook on the weekday and make sure you eat properly to lose weight.”

“Next I say you busy in this city so she must move here”
I replied, “It’s not that cut and dried! I have never said I would want a lady to move location to be with me”
“But if she did, you’d like it, right?”
“Eventually, but she has family, friends, parents...maybe child, you cannot relocate this easily without major troubles for her, both short-term and long-term... And who knows, maybe after a few months I could move business to be closer to her!”

“Oh, so you like her, right!”

“Well, I think she is a nice person, but...”

“Great, I’ll call her and tell her to come visit you next week...or maybe you should go there...meet her family!”

“No, No, No and No! I like her but we won't be together”

“Why not, you like her don’t you? I don’t understand, you said you ’have feelings’ for her but don't want to...you know...just try, see where it goes! You never know!...”

“Please don't call her, please don't arrange anything, no! I don't want her to come to see me again. You know this is a not ’see where this goes’ story...if I start now there is only one direction this trainwreck is travelling!”

“oh, I see, you don't want her to come, but if she does, you’ll like it, right?”

“No, it is a long distance for her to come and I have no feeling for her as a girlfriend or wife”

“Oh, you should try...she tells me she likes you!”

“No trying, no encouraging, no calling and giving mixed messages, no telling her ’my home is her home’, no planning trips to her hometown, no secret rendezvous, no organizing chance meetings, nothing, nada, don't go there, nothing, nil, zilch!”

You know, you are so fussy, I find you a nice girl and you aren't interested in her...you had better not ask me to find another girl that might be suitable for you!”

“But if I do, you’d like it right!”

“Of course, all Chinese women do! - it’s our job, to get all our friends married”.

Complete with that smug “You don’t know China” look.

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 22) 1 2 3 More...
#2012-07-13 20:02:01 by champagne88 @champagne88

long story.but not all chinese woman do this.usually in city lots of family have servant service them.maybe countryside women enjoy to be servant ,cleaning ,cooking etc

#2012-07-14 00:01:13 by Luc13 @Luc13

Hello, Garreth. I am a new member on CLM and ALM, here mostly to find some friends to learn about Chinese and other Asian cultures.

I find it interesting how Chinese women seem to automatically think Western men want a woman to stay at home and do all the housework, cooking, and rearing of children. Am I wrong in thinking even well-educated women have this attitude?

#2012-07-14 12:05:24 by bmccull @bmccull

Classic!

#2012-07-14 16:52:16 by aussieghump @aussieghump

This is really a comment on my personal preferences.

I tend to 'date' women closer to my age - and you will find that many of these women are quite 'traditional' in outlook and have a common view that their responsibilities lie 'in the home' and 'with family'. I think this is common amongst all people's, not just the Chinese...but in China the 'traditional' and societal pressures to conform to this ideas are strong.

Even as gender equity improves and income of women increases (and as career options improve) there is still a very strong 'good person/bad person dynamic' placed around performing gender roles in relationships.

As Champagne88 points out, there are exceptions but my general experience has been that they tend to be exceptions - and although 'hired help' may be available, the traditional gender roles are strong. Males following their traditional roles as much as females...hence this different dynamic I am writing about.

My situation is that I do enjoy having someone 'help' me, 'look after' me and be with me - but only if they derive personal satisfaction from this, and don't do it out of some sense of moral/social obligation.
I also have an Ayi, but would not expect her to do tasks that I would find unpleasant - sometimes she complains to me that I leave my home too clean and there is nothing for her to do!

#2012-07-15 21:34:02 by serenacn @serenacn

There are quite a few Chinese women are like this. But not each and every of them.

I guess you just need some more time, and a little bit good luck. Well, it is said in China there are over 20million females are single who are at marriage age. And I do have a few male classmates, who found their Ms Rt by introducing via his friends close by.

So why not ask your reliable Chinese friends to introduce you to other women? I believe there are lots of potentials outside. Just keep on trying!

Good luck.

#2012-07-15 22:37:06 by doctorj @doctorj

one of your best ever garreth...keep them coming!

#2012-07-16 02:31:32 by anonymous3924 @anonymous3924

gareth.... if there is one think I've learned from talking to 150 different chinese women it is that women WANT to have moral/social obligations. They feel it gives their life meaning. That's probably also why your Ayi was unhappy with you leaving the place clean. The Chinese love to work, they've been taught that life is all work and no play since the moment they came out of the womb. This is not so true for city girls anymore, but definitely so for girls with a rural background.

#2012-07-16 21:24:01 by aussieghump @aussieghump

My Ayi was unhappy because she had ridden her bicycle in 30 degree heat, 95% humidity for 30 minutes to only need to wash a few dishes - she was complaining I pay her too much for the little work she did, but when I offered to pay less, she was adamant that more work needed to be found for her!

I asked her to make us a cup of tea -and that seemed too cheer her up!

#2012-07-17 00:15:17 by luyennmengreal @luyennmengreal

Not all the Chinese women are like this. You know part of Chinese only. Keep your time, you will find out. Good luck~~

#2012-07-17 00:32:42 by smile01 @smile01

All chinese woman love to stay at home and do all the housework, cooking, and rearing of children?Not a truth .
aussieghump ,Your issue is not about "stay at home "or "housework ",your problem is about "communication ".I don't understand why your chinese collegue will encourage to see a gril you are not interested .
Frankly tell that girl you don't have feeling one her .If you feel embrassing face to face ,you can text her or tell her by Msn ,QQ.

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