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Barry from Australia is a questioning soul who looks at social issues from an alternative point of view and instead of asking, “Why?”, he asks “Why not?” He’s convinced that many of his previous incarnations were spent in China. He feels drawn to the people there; attracted by their rich culture and way of life. If given one wish from God, he’d reply, “I want everyone on Earth to be the same colour, speak the same language, and treat each other as they themselves would like to be treated.”
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My China Trip - Day11 我的中国之行—第11天    

By Barry Pittman
13392 Views | 71 Comments | 6/4/2014 2:18:41 PM

The pouring rain that occurred again this morning slowly dissipated as I began my day. Tina had warned me before coming here, that this area frequently rained in summer, so requested that I please bring two pairs of all the important clothing and footwear that I needed.with me, plus any other pertinent rain gear I could think of.



As usual, I was alone in the hotel room, located about fifteen minutes fast walk from Tina's place. She still had paid for everything on this trip, refusing my requests to go to a bank to convert my Aussie dollars to Chinese yuan.



In one way, living separate from her had its advantages. I could go to bed in the hotel room as late as I liked, that was how I was typically able to write these daily journals. Last night for example, I'd been writing till after one in the morning, whilst Tina no doubt was blissfully sleeping back in her apartment.



It also allowed us some "apart time". We weren't living constantly with each other, that in my eyes meant that the time we were actually together was more precious. Quality surely is better than quantity?



On this morning however, Tina had walked up to my hotel, bringing me some fresh fruit for breakfast. We discussed what to do during the day - it was decided to visit the "Big Buddha" on the outskirts of Leshan, a larger town than Shawan where we were now. It meant a 40 minutes bus ride from here.



Having made our plans, we then needed to go to Tina's place to retrieve a few bits and pieces for the day's outing. We set off on the two kilometre walk to her abode that soon saw us jogging along the river that runs through Shawan. Soon Tina tired of this but for some reason, I felt great and jogged the entire short hop back to her place. She was a little surprised at my running ability, I think.



"If we go to Leshan by taxi, it'll be much quicker", said Tina.



"But won't it be a bit expensive?"



"No Barry, because we'll share the taxi with some other people."



This practice is common in China, much more so than in Australia - the reduction in fare costs through taxi sharing. It makes a lot of sense. If a taxi driver can't immediately get someone to share the trip however, what he does is stop at every major bus stop, shouting at people, telling them where he's going. Soon enough, the taxi becomes filled with four or five paying passengers.



In our case, the half hour drive to Shawan cost us 30 yuan per head, less than five dollars for a thirty or forty kilomtre trip.



To my surprise, on my way to the Big Buddha, I saw something I'd not seen before in either of my previous two trips here. A traffic accident that had just occurred. Or more accurately, a pushbike rider had been hit by a motorbike rider and was lying on his back by the side of the road, with half a dozen people tending to him. Much as I would have liked to have rubber necked a bit more at the accident scene, the taxi I was in rushed by, so I can't report any more than this. I really hoped the hapless victim was okay. Particularly if he was the breadwinner in the family – the last thing a trusting wife and a hungry kid needs is for the father to end up in hospital (or the morgue).



For those who are unaware, traffic in China is best described as chaotic. Drivers are continually blasting their horns at each other, double lines mean nothing, nor do any discernible road rules. Pedestrians trying to cross the road at zebra crossing take their life into their own hands. Earlier today I even saw a police vehicle completely ignore some citizens half way across the road at one of these crossings, veering around them as if they were just a damned nuisance. I'd seen this before with another police vehicle, so it was no surprise. Other times I’d seen cars swerving left and right around people walking across the road on a crossing, rather than have to suffer the indignity or inconvenience of stopping. It’s rather comical to watch for a Westerner like me. I chuckle inwardly to myself every time I see a hapless citizen attempting to cross a road at a crossing, watching all the cars completely and utterly ignore them. I don’t know why they even bother to paint crossings at all!



Yet despite all this endemic chaos, accidents amazingly seem to be somewhat unusual. maybe because everyone’s been brought up from childhood that motorized discord and disorder is in fact the norm. The Chinese appear to be able to somehow create order out of seeming chaos, a special ability indeed. Possibly their brains are a little more advanced than Westerners? Asians tend to always do well on IQ tests, after all.



In any case, Tina and I were in due course dropped at the Big Buddha by our taxi, an ediface carved in rock adjacent to a fast flowing river. I was told this in fact was the largest Buddha in the world. Wow, that’s saying something, given there are so many thousands of happy, bai bai pang pang Buddhas out there.



Housed in this precinct also were a bunch of temples, all with smaller gold plated Buddhas in them. In the largest one of these, I pulled out my portable video camera and was merrily filming when suddenly I received a tap on my arm. A stern faced monk motioned to me to get out. No filming allowed. He didn’t look too pleased with my actions, so I quickly skulked out of the place, tail between my legs, akin to a cowering mongrel dog that’d just been caught by its master licking the gravy off the dinner plates on the dining room table.



Yet in all of the many other temples I’d visited dotted around Mt Emei, filming had been permitted in most of them. So I was a little surprised at my admonition and was secretly pleased that I’d been able to get some great video footage of the interior. Sadly video can’t be shown on the ChinaLoveMatch.net website, only still photos.



Given that no camera flashes or lights were used, why are cameras or vidcams barred from certain places anyway? Perhaps to maintain a certain mystery and intrigue about what they house? If this is the reason, then being a bit of a rebel occasionally, I’m happy to practice a little civil disobedience from time to time.



Tina and I were still getting on very well. I continually appreciated her sweet disposition. In return, I think she liked my slim physique and overall fitness. She’d often ask, “Are you tired, Barry?”, to which I’d always respond, “No, I’m fine… let’s keep going.” Now that I reflect upon it, small questions like this were helping to affirm in her mind that despite our fifteen year age difference, I wasn’t an unfit, tired old fart after all.



In the early afternoon, we had a fish lunch. A live fish was scooped out of a plastic tub lying on the ground in front of the little eating place by the lady proprietor, lifted up above her head and then the fish’s head was slammed violently against the stone floor.



Oh my God!” I thought when I saw this. “I’ll never eat another fish in China!”



As we were eating, from time to time other customers also ordered fish. I witnessed the same procedure again and again – a large fish would be lifted out of the tub in a small net and then violently slammed against the floor. I saw one Chinese lady do this three times to a hapless creature before it finally stopped moving. Mainly because the Chinese woman - unlike other restaurant ladies who I’d witnessed doing this task - wasn’t putting enough strength into her hits. I’m a believer that if you must kill something, then please do it quickly and humanely.



I also saw helpless turtles sitting in some of the tubs, no doubt awaiting a grisly end. How they’d kill a large turtle though was something I dared not reflect upon. Surely not lift them up and slam them down on the stone floor as happened to the fish? I took some photos of these animals and upon seeing this, the lady in the shop laughed at me, wondering “What’s that silly Westerner doing?”



I felt sorry for the animals but sadly, one must eat in order to live. I draw the line however, at ingesting beef, pork or chicken. Tina and I are thankfully compatible in this area, she eats very little red or white meat, unless buying it for her daughter, Wendy.



Following our tour of the impressive Big Buddha, Tina and I caught a three wheeled bicycle driven pedicab back to the central business district of Leshan, awaiting a bus ride back to Shawan. It was hilarious though, as part of this ride involved a pot hole filled dirt road and the pedicab had no springs or suspension in it. So we were merrily bouncing up and down as we moved along, like pieces of popcorn being baked in an oven. Ahh, experiences like these are what I love, things so out of left field and outrageous in the Western world that here they become downright amusing!



To my great surprise on the bus trip home, I witnessed another traffic accident. Two cars had come together, with no one hurt. But this was two accidents I’d seen in the one day – unusual indeed!



Bopping along in the bus I feel asleep, drooping my head forwards.



“Wake up, Barry!”, Tina prodded me. She wanted me to stay fresh and alert for some reason. But within five minutes, it was Tina that then fell asleep, lightly snoring in a feminine way. This wonderful Chinese woman looked so cute and radiant sitting there, oblivious to the world. I mused to myself, “I’m so glad I came to China.”



That evening back in Shawan, Tina took me for a walking tour around the city. It was full of men playing cards, presumably mahjong. Usually money was involved. Tina explained to me that many Chinese males don’t stay at home with their families, but prefer to “go out with the boys” and have a bit of card playing fun.



We also entered a KTV bar, just to take a look. In each room, a large projector and projector screen were evident, with a set of cordless microphones.



“I never sing because my voice no good”, advised Tina. I agreed with her, saying the same thing about my karaoke singing. The KTV bar charged 30 yuan per hour for a smaller room or 40 yuan per hour for a larger one.



We then headed home to Tina’s place, just as her daughter Wendy arrived home from school. It was 9.20pm.



This was my cue to head back to my hotel in one of those interesting pedicabs with no lights nor reflectors. I did this each evening now, heart in mouth stuff, wondering each time if I was to be hit by a car driven by a drunken driver or one of the many speeding and law breaking cabs in the town.



For the first time on this trip, as I was leaving, Tina told her daughter, “Give Barry a kiss goodnight.”



At this, Wendy stepped forward, without seeming to be in any way reticent or shy, which pleasantly surprised me. I leant over and gave her a peck on the cheek. She smiled at me as I then departed.



As far as online Chinese dating goes, there are no set rules. But Tina asking her daughter to please give me a quick goodbye kiss seemed to be a major signal of approval toward me. I hoped then I was on the right track, as far as this intriguing courtship was concerned.



Somehow though, something wasn’t quite right. A vague dissonance was present, a ripple upon the millpond.



"What am I worrying about?”, I wondered to myself on the trip home. These same feelings that I felt most evenings now rattled me a bit. A trumpeting elephant was in the room with me, but where?



I knew that when the time was right of course, all would then be revealed, for good or for bad.  I hoped it wasn't for bad.



早晨的倾盆大雨慢慢的停了下来了,我也开始了我的一天。在我来之前,TINA就警告过我,夏天的时候这个地区经常下雨,并且要求我带定两双鞋,还有其他一些我所能想起来的和雨有关的东西/. 



和往常一样,我一个人呆在离TINA家约有15分钟远的宾馆晨。她仍然支付了这次旅程的所有费用,拒绝带我去银行将我的澳元换为人民币。



一方面来说,离开她自己住有综的好处。在宾馆的时候我想多晚睡都可以。这样的话我就可以每天记一下日记。例如昨晚,我就写到凌晨1点,那个时候TINA肯定在她家里睡得很香呢。



这样也允许我们有些“分开的时间”。我们没有一天到晚都在一起,这在我看来我们真正在一起的时间就显得更加的珍贵。质量当然胜于数量了,对吧?



然而,今天早上,TINA却走来了我的宾馆,带来水果给我当早餐。我们讨论着今天要做什么最后我们决定去参观乐山外围的“大佛像”。乐山镇比TINA住的沙湾镇大一些,坐公车过去要40分钟。



定好计划后,我们回到TINA家带一些外出所需要的东西。我们开始我们的两公里的旅程,很快我们就沿着穿过沙湾的小河慢跑了起来。很快TINA就对这些感谢到疲倦了,但是不知出于某种原因,我却感觉棒极了,我慢慢跑着,小跳回到她身边。我想,她对我的奔跑能力感到一点小吃惊。



“如果我们会的士去乐山的话,那样会快很多“,Tina



“但是那样不会很贵吗?”



BARRY,不会的,因为我们会跟其他一起分担费用。”



一起共用的士以减少费用,这种状况在中国很普遍,比我在家里的时候多多了。这很有道理。如果一个的士司机不能马上找到顾客的话,他所要做的就是在每个公交站集下来,大声地跟人们吆喝,告诉人们他会去哪里,很快,他的的士就里坐满了四到五个付费的旅客。



我们的情况去,去乐山的半个小时的旅程仅仅花了每个人30元,就是每3040公里不到5澳元。



让我惊奇的是,在去大佛像的路上,我看到我在所两次中国之旅都没看到过的事情。刚刚发生的交通事故。或更准确的说,一个骑单车的被一个骑摩托车的撞倒了,躺在路边,大约有6个人照顾着他。然后,的士去匆匆忙忙的开了过去,所以,我没办法报告更多了。



对那些没什么概念的人我要说一下,中国的交通真的可以是用混乱来形容。司机们不断地相互的按着喇叭,双黄线没有任何意义,其他可以辨认得出来的交通规则也一样没有意义。行人们则拿他们的生命当赌注试图穿过斑马线。今天早些时候,我在一个十字路口甚至看到一辆警车完全无视很多行人正在过马路,直开了过去。其他的时候我也看到过在十字路口的时候,汽车在过马路的行车中间一会转左一会转右的开过去,而不是稍稍屈尊一下在路边等待。象我这样的一个西方人看到这些真的是觉得相当的滑稽可笑。



然后尽管这么的混乱,看起来事故却不是平常。也许是因为每个人自小就被教育习惯混乱,混乱实际上就是一种规范,是一种自然天生就可以理解的东西方



不管如何,TINA和我被准时是送到了大佛像处,这个佛像刻在连在一条快速流动的小河边的岩石上。我听说这是世界上最大的佛像。这片管区的房子是一群寺庙,所有的寺庙里都有镀金的小佛像在里面。在一间最大的寺庙中,我掏出我的手提相机,开心的四片拍照。突然有人拍了拍我的肩膀。一个一脸严肃的和尚示意我出去。不许拍照。



然后在所有的我参观过的座落在峨嵋山附近的寺庙里,大多数的寺庙都允许拍照。所以,我有点吃惊地收到警告,虽然还没有拍到一些很好的里面相片,我就带着负罪感走了出来



考虑到没有使用相机闪光灯或照明,为什么有些地方会禁止拍照或录像呢?可能是为了保持一定的神秘感和激起对室内有什么的兴趣吧。



TINA和我仍然相处得非常的好。我一直都很喜欢她温柔的性质。我想,她喜欢我修长健康的体格。她经常问我“BARRY,你累吗?”我总是回答,“不,我很好不累,我们继续吧。” 我现在回想起这些,我想这些小问题有助于帮助她在心里确认一点,虽然我们有15岁的差异,但是我可不是一个容易疲倦的老家伙



下午刚开始的时候,我们午餐吃了鱼。当然鱼是从女老板放在吃饭的地方前面的塑料桶里面勺出来的。女老板将鱼高举过头,然后把鱼的头拍打在石头地板上。



“我的天啊”当我看到这的时候我想“在中国我以后不会再吃鱼了!”



在我们吃饭的时候,旁边的顾客也时不时的点鱼。所以,我一次又一次地看到这个相同的场景一条大鱼被从桶里拿出来,然后被狠狠的摔在地板上。我看到一个女人将一条无助的鱼在地板甩了三次直到这条鱼一动也不动了。



我也看到一些桶里坐着绑着的乌龟,毫无疑问等待他们的是可怕的命运。然而,他们是如何杀死一只大乌龟一直是一件我不敢回想的事情。我对这些动物感到抱歉,但是,让人悲伤的是,人得吃饭才能活下去。然后,我也有我的底线,只吃牛肉,猪肉和鸡肉。非常感谢,在这一点上,TINA和我非常的合拍。她告诉我她很少吃白肉或是红肉,除非是买来给她女儿WENDY吃的。



游完大佛像之后,TINA和我坐了一辆三轮单车回到乐山的外围,等公车回沙湾。然而,滑稽的是,有一段非常糟糕的路布满了洞洞非常不平担,而我们所坐的车,我想它根本没有任何防震装置。所以,一路上我和TINA在车里面晃来晃去,就象在炉火上烤的爆米花一样。啊,所有这些这样的经历都是我所喜欢的,在西方社会中的事情太令人气愤了,以至于它们变得如此的可笑。



让我最为吃惊的是,在坐公车回家的路上,我看到了另外一起交通事故。两辆车撞到了一起,没有人受伤。但是,这是一天之内我所看到的两起事故,这真的是不寻常的。



坐在摇晃的车内回家的路上,我睡着了,不停的向前磕头。



“醒醒BARRY”,TINA捅捅我,出于某种原因,她想让我保持清醒警觉。但是在五分钟之内,却轮到TINA她自己睡着了,轻轻地发出女性所特有的打鼾声。她看起来是如此的可爱,坐在那里是如此的光芒四射,忘却了整个世界。我寻思道“ 很高兴自己这趟来中国。”



那晚回到沙湾后,TINA带着我绕着城市走了一圈。那里到处都是男人在打牌,打麻将。通常会赌钱。TINA跟我解释道很多中国男人都不会在家呆着陪家人,而宁愿出来和朋友们一些打牌寻开心。



我们也进了一个KTV吧,只是进去看一看。每一个房间里,都有一个很大的投影机,投影屏幕也很大,带有一排的无线麦克风。



“我从来不唱歌因为我的嗓音不好听”TINA说,我也同意,说我的直接OK也唱得很难听。KTY包厢一个小房收费30元一个小时,或是一个大房收费40元一个小时



然后当我们回到TINA家里的时候正好是920分,她的女儿WENDY正好从学校回到家。



这是一个线索,意味我该去坐一辆没有照明没有反照灯的三轮车回宾馆去了。现在我每天晚上都这样回去,心悬着,每次都担心我会不会被一辆麻将司机或是醉酒的司机开的车撞上。



然后,今晚,第一次,TINA跟她女儿说“亲亲BARRY,跟他说晚安。”



说到这,Weddy看起来一点也不害羞,朝前走过来,我向前弯了弯腰,在她的脸颊上亲了下。她朝我微笑,并挥手说再见。



到目前为止,中国网络交友看来毫无规则可言。但是TINA让她女儿亲亲我道晚安,看起来是一个重要的信号,表示她认可我了。就求爱而言,我希望这以后一切走上正轨。然尔,不知怎么搞的,有些事情好象不太对。就象湖面上的涟漪一样,有模模糊糊的不合谐。



“我在担心什么呢?”回家的路上我不停的想着。我知道当时间的时候,一切都会有结果,或是好或是坏。


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Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 71) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 More...
#2014-06-13 05:43:43 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Barry, there were several things that have stood out for me in this post. One that I think demands immediate attention, and others I am just checking to be sure, but all that involve some well meaning advice that I hope is not being too intrusive.

First, the possibly urgent advice:

1. Run, do not walk, RUN!!! to the nearest ATM that will accept your foreign card, and pay Tina every dime she has spent on you and give her a heartfelt gift with it.

In most cultures, even yours and mine, it is common courtesy to reject the first attempt to repay a small debt, expecting the debtor to insist, and then graciously accepting it on the second offer. But in Chinese culture you can multiply the importance of this social play by 10 times.

I have observed this play out in China over and over again. Just as an example, you might invite me for dinner, wanting to use the time to seek my advice. We both know this dinner was arranged by you, I am giving of my time, and by implication you are expected to pay. However, when the bill arrives we will both reach for it and I will say, magnanimously but not meaning it, "Here, I'll get that." You will quickly grab the bill and say "Don't be silly. I invited you and I'm getting the tab!". I will then graciously accept your kind offer. About a 30 second conversation.

In China this same scenario may play out for 5 minutes, going back and forth like a lengthy ping pong rally. But in the end, after a long (and very boring to us Western bystanders) jostle, inevitably the true debtor will always end up paying the bill. And my guess is that if he/she didn't, it would be the last dinner involving these two parties to ever happen.

Tina is being extremely polite, but also, I suspect, very Chinese, and I am becoming deeply concerned she may be reaching the conclusion that either you are a cheap bastard or you don't like her much, or perhaps both (and I know neither is the case). Because in true Chinese tradition the man will not only never let the woman pay for anything, not his expenses and not even her own, but he will also be showering the woman he is wooing with gifts.

Things are changing in China, but not so fast and not so much, that you should feel free to let this gesture of hers ride.

NOTE: in 2 thru 4 I imagine you are doing the things I am suggesting, but I'm raising it here because you haven't specifically said you are. Ignore if you are simply not mentioning these small things in your blogs.

2. You wrote: "We weren't living constantly with each other, that in my eyes meant that the time we were actually together was more precious. Quality surely is better than quantity?" But is it possible that Tina would really want you to think of staying in her home as the very best "quality time" and is hoping you'll ask her to do so?

3. You wrote: "On this morning however, Tina had walked up to my hotel, bringing me some fresh fruit for breakfast.". You haven't mentioned it, and maybe you are doing it, but have you ever walked over to Tina's with a pre-made breakfast for her and Wendy? Or any other gestures like that? This goes back to the tradition that in China the men really do woo the woman and do a lot of things to make her feel special.

4. You wrote: "Soon Tina tired of this but for some reason, I felt great and jogged the entire short hop back to her place. She was a little surprised at my running ability, I think." Is it possible that she was a little surprised you didn't feel some compassion for her and slow down to walk with her and keep her company during the trek home.

For that matter, she seems to frequently ask you if you're ok, if you want a rest, etc. Is it possible she hopes you'll ask her if she's ok, if she wants a rest?

Again, I'm hoping this may be helpful and it is not meant to be critical or intrusive.

#2014-06-13 06:49:27 by anonymous10383 @anonymous10383

John, I whole heartedly agree with everything you say. Barry, listen to John before it is too late.....

a Chinese woman will not ask her daughter to kiss you goodnight unless she deems you worthy.......

It also seems Tina is trying hard to be a little more western for you but she is also giving signs to you...many signs.....

if you wait too much longer I am afraid the opportunity shall be lost mate...

you are 11 days into your trip........how many more are you going to let slip by?

Remember George is waiting in the wings.......

I am wholeheartedly rooting for the both of you.....

#2014-06-13 08:13:59 by anonymous10386 @anonymous10386

@John - I have to totally agree with you on the debt-must-be-repaid thing. I have experienced this many times, with Chinese women and Chinese men. You MUST satisfy the debt, no matter the level of friendship or courtship. It is expected. Otherwise, like you mentioned, the person will be viewed as a cheap selfish bastard.

Regarding Tina's gift breakfast...once again, Barry needs to return the favor. I would have thought Barry would be doing nice things for Tina throughout the trip anyways, but it sounds like it has all been in one direction so far.

Finally, running or walking ahead of a woman is ridiculously rude. I have seen a lot of Asian men do this to their ladies, but it is completely unacceptable for a westerner. Barry should know better. I hope he is not doing this.

All is not lost however, if Barry gets it in gear and starts showing he's a provider and a gentleman!

#2014-06-13 08:57:36 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

I have to agree with John on the financial situation. In China, there is often an elaborate kabuki (sorry for the mixed cultural reference) over paying the bill, which John has described quite accurately. In the end, the person who is supposed to pay the bill, pays the bill--and everyone knows who is supposed to pay the bill. If that person does not, the amount of face lost is devastating. So I would encourage you to follow John's advice about hauling ass to an ATM machine and throwing in a nice gift in addition, since my sense is that you are losing a lot face, respectability, every day not only by having someone else pay but having a woman pay. Tina may be different than any other Chinese girl I have ever met (and she is the only Chinese girl I ever heard of who passed up an opportunity to sing) but the culture certainly expects you to pay--and I am pretty certain she expects you to pay as well. If you insist she take the money, and I mean forcefully, imploringly, as if your relationship depends upon her taking the money (and it might) she will, because this is the right thing to do (just like if you insisted she sang, I guarantee she would have sung--false modesty is as much a part of Chinese culture as chopsticks). Good luck!

#2014-06-13 11:41:03 by aussieghump @aussieghump

@JohnAbbot
Couldn't agree more JohnAbbot...and I too am giving you this 'advice' in good faith!

1) money and paying for things is very important!
In China the game is 'No, No, No....Yes!' with money and you are a 'rich man' in this environment and regardless of what Tina says, she is racking up a considerable bill for the hotel, food and travel. Putting it simply, I suspect that your trip has cost her somewhere in the vicinity of 3-5 months salary!
If she will not accept money for 'hospitality' then urge her to keep it for her 'daughter's education'. She may be proud to accept money from you for being a host, but nothing says more than 'good husband material' than thinking about and providing for her daughter!

2) Quality vs Quantity - same thing in China - she deliberately showed you the 'bad men' of the town to tell you not to be one of them! Being together is important, but being together in the home is 'quality time'... you have to think husband and wife... walking around she is being a good host - not a wife! Get in the home and show your usefulness here - then you will advance in good ways.

The kiss goodnight is also a huge indicator of your acceptance in the family - no doubt mother and daughter have been talking about possibilities and the daughter has agreed to accept you as her mother's partner! If you want to up-the-ante, offer to do something with the daughter - ask her to take you shopping for vegetables so you can make a meal for them! Be careful that you do not impose - just say 'I'm going to buy vegetables for dinner, would you like to help me!' or ask if you can walk with her to school to see where she goes to school, or suggest that you both go meet the daughter at the school so you can walk together as a family!

You need to be very careful here - if you are not serious, you need to not get ensconced in the family... if you want to go further, you have to join in the family activities as a 'father' in the Chinese sense.

She is looking for alignment to her values!!!

3) If you want to move in a family way, get in the kitchen and prepare something 'as a family'. Maybe ask the daughter what she wants to eat when she gets home after school and prepare (or buy it) and take it along. Even some snacks or fruit on one of your evening strolls is good!

4) Show some compassion man! You are not trying to out-run her! What a silly competition you are setting up here in your mind!
Yes, she looks after you when you are ailing (and you like that) and when you could be 'giving some concern back' you are off being yourself...alone!
In general, Chinese ladies are looking for little points where you help and show concern for them...we have seen in other comments that they are concerned with health and fitness and living a long life together - don't mess it up by ignoring this fact.
If you want to move to a 'permanent position' slow down, offer to rest or even gallantly 'stop to take a sip of water' and offer her some!
Your new found levels of testosterone are messing with your head, Barry!

You are right Barry - a storm is coming! But the storm centres around you and what you are prepared to do to show 'alignment' in a Chinese sense - are you a good husband, father, provider and support for the family?

#2014-06-13 12:03:17 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbott
Wise words. I know from experience that this Chinese game is hard to play but you do have to play it and pay when the time is right. Sometimes you have to pay early, you don't wait for the bill. I have paid a bill early and then watched the dramatic bill paying contest with interest. My partner told me afterwards that all her friends were envious of her. She gained face by my actions.(probably the men lost some face but my partner was happy, and I can probably get away with something like this once - after all I am an ignorant westerner) The other point you made about gestures that put your partner first is also very important. I used to sometimes walk ahead of my partner to check a street sign to make sure we were going the right way. My partner I hated this. Now we always walk along side each other and I don't worry about saving a small amount of time.

#2014-06-13 13:54:54 by yueming @yueming

Too tedious lengthy travels, trivial, no key, filled with criticism, he did not know, a lot of Chinese will not have his behavior!
Barry was a trip by Tina responsible for reception, I can't see a man to the beloved woman from afar, I only saw Barry hesitation and inner suspicion, I admit that the East West cultural differences, but Barry in the face of a woman that I like, immediately after his mistake holiday, but also hesitated more than, I felt he was not worthy of Tina, Tina and her daughter should get happiness, Tina should have a better husband, like a real man, brave, persistence, open-minded, love in action and pay, I expect Tina to have better result!
I am opposed to Tina let daughter kisses Barry, this is in Chinese rather than in the west, and they are just friends!
I don't know if Tina's hometown, but I understand Barry said environment,

#2014-06-13 15:59:37 by anonymous10399 @anonymous10399

(giggle)(giggle)What am I worrying about?”

When you feel happy,warm and nice to be together.No need to worry about...

#2014-06-13 19:55:04 by Barry1 @Barry1

@JohnAbbot

@anonymous10383

@anonymous10386

@aussieghump

@melcyan

@woaizhongguo

Thanks so much for all the great advice, gentlemen.

I apologise in advance for answering you all as a group, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to go off by myself and tap away on the laptop. Tina has so far exhibited great patience with me in this area but my radar is detecting a slight lowering of her patience in this area.

Not that I blame her - the purpose of this trip is to concentrate on her, after all.

Let me say though that your well meaning and helpful advice won't go unheeded. I'll start pressuring her to take me to a bank - and I'll stop running ahead of her on our walks - and everything else that you've suggested. Except maybe for cooking a meal as I'm hopeless in the kitchen! (giggle)

#2014-06-13 20:59:36 by anonymous10403 @anonymous10403

Extremely useful cultural observations and advice from John, Gareth, Paul and the rest. Thank you all. It's not enough to be enamored with the idea of marriage with a Chinese woman because of the many general positive qualities we may appreciate from the man's point of view. One indeed must remain cognizant of the many cultural differences and subtleties inherent in such an undertaking. At the very least, such recognition shows a level of mutual respect, affection, and caring that any marriage would need as a foundational basis. I'm sure Barry understands this, but I admit to wondering at times. I'm definitely cheering him on. He has a great friend in Tina, at the very least.

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