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AmyLu grew up on a farm in South China’s Guangxi Province. She dropped out of high school early to go work in Guangdong and help support her family. Present living in Shanghai, AmyLu admits that when she talks she talks a lot, but when she doesn’t she listens, watches and learns. She likes to keep learning and to try new things. AmyLu is flexible and easily contented. When life knocks her down she stands back up and learns from the fall. This is her first time to write down her stories about her life in China, and she hopes to also debate society, culture etc. She says she also hopes to find another missing piece from our CLM mother! :)
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Wanna Marry? Wait Until Age Thirty 结婚要等三十岁    

By AmyLu
4077 Views | 6 Comments | 3/22/2013 4:10:51 AM

Mom contact uncle li (he send the woman for the agent company charge fees between agent and nanny) come to our house to see if my appearance is ok to be a nanny in this morning. He said “my look is not bad, just a little old, because the people from Shenzhen they prefer to hire who are under the 13 old. Easy to teach to be good, but this is not a big problem. Some people are like the age of your too”.

Final he tell us “3 day later concentrate in the station of town. There will have other village girls, aunts looking for the same job will go to shenzhen together”. I hear what did he said, kind exciting about that.

After uncle li left Mom said “All right you are happy now you can go out see the world, but remember have to be good girl and don’t find a boy friend, wanna to marry. Have to wait until you are 30 old”.

Dont worry about this. I dont have interesting with finding a boyfriend yet. But if i wait until 30 old to get marry dont you think is that too late for me? At that time I’m old nobody will like to marry me. Why i have to wait 30 old? Chinese women for marriage 30 is too old. Everwoman like you are married around 20 old.” I said.

“Just listen to me otherwise i will not let you get into the house. Dont have to worry nobody will not marry with you, When you old enough come back to home town, the matchmaker will introduce for you.” Mom said, serious and angrily. I can see that she is mean it. Then i perfunctory her said “ok” .

At noon finished my lunch plan to go meet my grandma if there something i can help. On the way i meet my big uncle (dads same parents older brother). He see me and asked “Why didn`t go to school?” I tell my thought and he nodded in understanding.

“Yi Xiu (my childhood name) go there, have to work hard, half of salary send back to support family, half you safe it for yourself. Do not wear bad and with patched clothes a lot. People will be looked down upon on you, will lose our familys face. Also the first impression is not good to the people, Girls need to dress yourself and be pretty, it is really helpful.” he said, serious.
“Ok dont worry i know what to do. Thank you.” I said, In fact, I’m plan send most of my salary for family retention, some for myself prevention in case.

Stay at grandma home until afternoon when i leave it was between 3pm to 5pm. From grandma house go straight to uncle three (dads same parents brother) want to check if sister three and sister four have some interesting hang out with. But uncle three catch me give me a lesson.

“Why dont you go to school you are so young. Do you know the importance of knowledge? We know you want to help mom support the family but you were their eldest sister set a good example for the younger brother sister. If you dont they maybe will have the same mind as your then you will be a bad example. Leaders.our rural people must study hard, university graduate later to find a good job future life more stability a good income. Not like us just went to elementary school a few years. There is no choose only can do a farm work, Sometime do little business be cheated also, If you determined to go par attention to learn technology that is good for you. If you dont have good educate a lot of people are relying on technical for live.” he said.

I keep nodded agree with he, except bad leaders example i believe that will not happen. Uncle three and sisters are keep try to persuade me go to Guangdong after university, but i have make my decide and no one can change it.

As soon as sun set im going home, prepare dinner for family, just then dad is back home. Usual rarely see him hope he can often come home to have a look us. I’m glad to see him but didn’t greet, he is not a responsibility to family of man. Although full of complaints to him he was my dad i was his favorite daughter. He see me come to kitchen. “Are you cooking? I have bring some food back, can you make fire for me? I can help you to cook the dinner.” he said.

The way we began to talk. “Daughter i hear that you drop out school want to go Guangdong. When you are there dont try to work in hotel.” he said while cooking. I psychological thinking about why a lot of question marks come out. Hotel is nice, high upscale rich people to go for eat and enjoys of place, why i must cant go for work in there? I was very naive girl - ask why?

“Where it is easy to learn bad, there is many young girls of miss the age as your in hotel, they lose face of whole family, everbody look down on them. People will say ‘Oh she is the miss in the hotel, she is the miss in the hotel.’ Then you cant stand up forever.” he said.

I thinking "Miss? This word is a courtesy call to all woman. Why for hotel ‘miss’ are become bad now?” Then i ask “Why? What the ‘miss’ do in the hotel?”

“Miss is prostitute in hotel, sleep with many man. Daughter promise dad dont go to work in hotel to be a ‘miss’?” he said.

“Ok i promise you but how about waiter?” i ask.

“No way, i dont let you to go. That is good for you, protect you, people in the hotel are very complex. If you close to hotel very easy to be bad and degenerate. We dont need you make a lot of money do you understand?” he said very angrily. I get scare also believe what he said

The above three person said to me i often think about and very reasonable for life in China for a Chinese girl:

1. Big uncle: “girls need to dress up.” I thought he just dont want me to lose his face and the family face, 20 old i began to dress myself after that people and thing around me change a lot. Good karma and lucky and be jolly .

2. Uncle three: “Knowledge is the fate, technology is the food.” Also at the age of 20 to deeply understand knowledge is really can change the fate, because when i was 20 i safe the money to learn the computer. Later work in the office of local company. After know people from different levels, always keep learning the technology with different professional. First is make when i was in Guanddong. Now intend to learn nail artist and infant care practices then tattoo artist to see which one i will like.

3. Dad: “must cant be a hooker”. Glad my family are infusion me face is importance, make me understand what i cant do. I didnt look down upon a "miss" part of them have difficulties. Some are forced to be, some are lazy, etc.

For my mom i can only say sorry because after one year i leave home town i got a boyfriend and married in 22 old too. I didn’t promise her because I don't know what will happen in the future. I love you Mom!

妈妈联系好了李叔,(李叔是给中介公司送保姆从中抽取中介费的人)今天早上来我们家看看我的形像,是否足够好,能到别人家做保姆。李叔说我长得不错,就是年纪不够小,深圳的人都喜欢请13岁以下的好教又听话。但这不是个大问题,也有很多人请你这个年纪的。就这样叫我们三天后在镇里的车站集合,因为还有其它村里的小姑娘,姑姑.阿姨们。听了之后好高兴。

送走李叔之后。妈妈说:这回好了,你可以出去看看外面了。出去之后一定要听话,记得不能交男朋友,想结婚要等30岁了才能结。我说:不要担心我还没这兴趣。但是30岁才结婚会不会太晚啊?到时我嫁不出去哦!30都老了没人要了。你们每个女的都20左右就结了呢!妈妈很严肃带点生气的说:我怎么说你就怎么做好了,不用担心你嫁不出去。等你回家媒婆会给你做媒的。如果30岁前结婚了不会让你进家门半步。看得出她是说真的。我就敷衍在答应她了。

吃了午饭就去找奶奶看看能不能帮她做点什么,去的路上碰到了大伯(爸爸的亲大哥)。他一见我便问为什么不去学校?把想法告诉他之后,点头表示了解,很认真的说:一休(我的小名)出去要努力工作一半工资寄回家,一半留着自已用。千万不要穿坏的和带有补订的衣服,会被人看不起。丢我们这个家族的面子。给别人的第一印象更是不好。女孩子要把自已打扮漂亮。对自已有很大帮助。我说:谢谢大伯放心吧!我知道怎么做!其实我是打算大半寄回家小半留着预防有个万一。

留在奶奶家直到下午3到5点之间才走,从奶奶家出来后直接去了三伯家(爸爸的亲三哥)。找三姐.四姐(堂姐)玩玩,看看她们有没有什么有趣的时情做。没想到碰到三伯又被他逮到,上家训课。他说:年纪小小就不想去上学了,你知道知识的重要性吗?我们知道你是想帮妈妈分担。可你是他们的大姐要上个大学做个好榜样给弟弟妹妹看。你不上了他们以后也会有这个想法。到时你就是个坏榜样的带头者。我们农村人一定要好好学习,上大学,以后才能找份好工作。未来的生活才急定的,有好的收入。不像我们去了几年小学,只能在家种田。有时侯做点买卖不认识字还被人骗。如果你执意要出去,在外面看看能不能学点技术。文化不高,如能学点技术活那也不错,靠技术吃饭的人也很多。我一直点头表示同意他的说法。但是关于做坏榜样的带头者,我相信不会发生。三伯和二个姐姐一直劝说要我去上大学再去广东。可是我已下定绝心谁也改变不了。

太阳下山了我才回家,准备煮饭给家人吃。正在这个时侯爸爸回家了,平时很少见到他,总希望他能常常回家来看看我们。看见他我有点高兴,但没向他打招呼。需然他不是个对家庭负责任的男人,对他也是满肚子的怨言。可是他比竟是我爸爸。我也是他最喜爱的女儿。他看见我在厨房里就直接跑过来,说在煮饭吗?我带了点菜回来,你生火。我来煮菜吧!就这样我们开始了谈话。他一边炒菜一边说:女儿啊!听说你不想去读书了,去广东千万不要到酒店那种地方找工作。我心理想着为什么呢?很多个问号冒出来。酒店是一种很高档消费高有钱人去吃饭的地方,那种地方肯定好啊!为什么一定不能到那种地方去呢?当时的我很单纯。就问为什么?爸爸说:在那里很容易就学坏了,酒店里有很多像你这么大左右的女孩子,在里边做小姐。父母和整个家的脸都会被丢光了,所有人都会看不起你和我们家,你一辈子也翻不了身!我心里又想小姐这个词是对所有女性称呼的一个礼貌用语,怎么在酒店里就变得这么坏了。我问?小姐倒底是在里面做什么的?爸爸说:小姐就是里面的妓女陪别人睡觉的。你要向我保证不能去洒店做小姐。我说:好的。如果到里面做服务员呢?爸爸就很生气的瞪着我大声说;那也不行,不让你去是为你好,酒店里有很多复杂的人,这么小就靠近酒店特别是在里面工作是很快变堕落的。我们不需要你挣很多钱明白吗?我有点被他凶的样子吓到。也很相信他说的话。就答应他不会到洒店工作。

上面三个人对我说过的话常常会想起。也很有道理。

一个大伯,(女孩子需要打扮)当时我认为,他和我说这句话只是为了不丢家族的脸,不丢他的脸。我是20岁之后才开始打扮自已。的开始注重穿着之后,周围的事和人都很大程度上有变化。人缘好了,也开始变得更幸运了。自已也开心好多。

一个三伯,(知识是命运,技术是饭碗)。也在20岁时才深深明白,知识是真的可以改变命运的,因为19岁时自已存钱学了电脑后去公司里做文员。认识不同层次的人。技术活自已一直都在学着不同的专业,第一次是化妆刚出广东的时侯,现在正打算学美甲和育婴师再学纹身。看看自已到底真的喜欢那种专业。

一个爸爸,(不能做妓女)。很高兴家里人常给我灌输面子很重要性,懂得那些事是不可能做的。爸爸告诫不能做妓女。我没有看不起做妓女的人,部分真的有她们的苦衷。有些是被逼的。有些是好吃懒做,又能挣好多钱去做的。

至于对妈妈我只能说对不起了,不但出去一年后有了男朋友。还在22岁那年结了婚。因为我不知道未来会发生什么事,所以当然没能肯定的向她保证。

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#2013-03-22 11:17:49 by xin73 @xin73

Hi Amy
Read your article, there is a pure and fresh and pure feeling.Very well, please continue to work hard.
Each person in the process of growing up, is a continuous improvement of the process of self-care ability.Only a free-standing self-improvement, to win the dignity and power of a country, a nation, a person also is such!
At any time to grasp the fate in their own hands,China has an old saying: "it yourself, have ample food and clothing."
I wish you good luck!
阅读你的文章有一股清新纯净的感觉,很好,请继续努力。
每一人在成长的过程中,就是一个不断提高自理能力的过程。唯有自立自强,才能赢得尊严和权力,一个国家是如此,一个民族是如此,一个人也是如此!
任何时候都要把命运握在自己手里,中国有句老话:“自己动手,丰衣足食。”
祝你好运!

#2013-03-22 16:33:10 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

AmyLu - this has really struck a chord with me. During my first few years in China, among other things I owned a bar in Shenzhen, in partnership with my then Chinese mate. Almost all of our employees were young people just like yourself, some young men but mostly young girls or women.

All of them had come to SZ from the distant countryside, from every province of China. It was an eclectic and (to me) fascinating mix. Of course in SZ that mix was common to all the bars, hotels and restaurants, and likely all the factories as well.

Unlike most Chinese bars at the time, we forbade our female staff to act as hookers on the side, but they were expected to sit and visit with the foreign men and keep them company. No doubt when your Dad insisted you not work for a hotel, he meant that to include bars. There's no doubt that a great many of the bars female employees were hooking, if not for the bar, then certainly on the side.

We had to fire a few of our staff for doing the same. One young woman from the countryside was sneaking men out to their cars and selling them some instant pleasure. I'm not a prude by any stretch, and I appreciate that she was doing this out of a desire to send lots of money home, maybe to buy a sibling a university education, maybe to pay for medical attention for a suffering parent, but this wasn't an image we wanted for our bar so we had to let her go.

But it was amazing to me that all of our employees, and all the bar employees in other bars I visited, were diligently sending home much, if not most, of their income to their families. This included even those bar girls who were hooking like the one I mentioned. I really couldn't believe it. That they were prepared to sacrifice so much to help feed and educate their parents and siblings back home.

Canadian kids would have never dreamed of making such a sacrifice. My own kids would have struggled to give up their video games to help out the family, let alone half their wages when they were basically making about $100 USD per month (and we paid more than the Crowne Plaza bar just up the stairs from us).

I grew to really love all those young people as if they were my own kids, and I admired them intensely. Of interest, my son came over to China to work with us, and fell in love with one of our employees. He ultimately turned to teaching English here for several years, and they married and had two beautiful little girls. They have since moved back to Canada as a family where they live in my home province. I get to see them much less than I would like and miss them intensely.

Anyway, you have taken me back to that time, and you have so eloquently described what those kids could not possibly explain to me, and that is how it was all seen by their parents and families. You painted such a clear picture, and it has helped fill in one more piece of the puzzle that is China for me.

Thank you for that.

#2013-03-23 21:50:58 by panda2009 @panda2009

Amylu, You let me to recall another girl who is my mother's little fellow-villager. My mon used to back her village where she lived before 30 years. This girl's family live in where is my mom's house foundation. Just her granny know my mom. The girl is very diligent, only she was willing to clean the chamber pot for her granny. Her father sent his three daughters into colleges. She is the second daughter. In her last summer vacation, I invited her to live with me two months. I taught her five stroke type, cooking, and recited New Concept English 2. She is not enough clever. My sister helped her to find a nice job in a high-school of Zhongshan. She can't become a teacher, but she is a floor senior now, problem in the field of aspect , safe job and life holding the post of long post of apartment house building , being in charge of schoolmates living. Gratifying is that she found her husband last year whose family operate a water company, supply spring water to schools and residents.

Thank you for sharing your story here. You are really a pretty girl.

#2013-03-24 02:24:22 by anonymous5822 @anonymous5822

@JohnAbbot - "That they were prepared to sacrifice so much to help feed and educate their parents and siblings back home." At what price to themselves and their bodies? I, like you, am not a prude. But at a certain point I believe we should all draw a line at what we will or will NOT do for money.

#2013-03-24 08:09:00 by anonymous5823 @anonymous5823

Never to be too old to marry if you find a true love!

#2013-03-25 01:00:07 by DanielButler @DanielButler

Amy,
Thank you again for your blog. The insight you provide is invaluable. To be honest I really didn't think that in this day and age that Chinese women still struggled so much. Reading this really makes me understand my own ignorance. Every time I read your blog my attitude toward how I think of Chinese women changes. I think that their self sacrificing mindset is very noble. Though, I would also hope that things in China will change so that such sacrifices are no longer necessary.

I feel I can not thank you enough for this kind of education. I feel I am clueless about so much. I treasure these insights. I wish for you the best of luck. Please keep writing.

Daniel

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