Yesterday I took a taxi and the driver started with the usual chit chat. Where are you from, “your Chinese is so good” etc. Then he asked me where my husband was and what he was doing. I told him he worked in a factory an hour north of Nanjing and that he wasn't here, because he is busy.
There it went wrong. Are all Dutch ladies so 漂亮, 健康 etc. I was feeling a bit 不舒服 and started acting if I did not understand. The guy started making suggestions I should have an extra guy and shamelessly promoted him self. That went on for about five LONG minutes. Chinese men will satisfy all your needs etc. To be honest I was completely shocked and had no clue what to say. This never happened before and have never felt unsafe because of anything else then driving and traffic related things, which of course is almost all the time. I was alone in the taxi and got a bit scared and thought: hmmm he might take me somewhere and I should say something good (which of course I could not remember). I could only think of showing my wedding ring and saying I am a 天主教徒 and the bible says no 小三。That did not really impress him and he said 阿门.
After a while, he asked me why are you going to 湖南路 and I told him I was seeing a friend (I was going to buy a name chop, but I figured shopping would NOT be a good answer): he asked me if the friend was male or female. In the meantime I was frantically looking for the taxi number which of course was not there! He was just scary, creepy and constantly looking in the mirror at me (and not on the road). “I can wait for you and bring you back home!”.
I tried to call my husband and of course the phone was busy. So I figured the following: I should make myself very unattractive. He started talking about my age (42 first time I added 10 years) and then he asked me why I did not have any children yet?! And that was an excellent opportunity to tell him “I hate children”: I think they are 麻烦, 贵得不得了and continued to say all the “wrong “ things.
The the money topic came up. “You must have a lot of money so you will give me a big tip later” (really this guy had a lot of nerve). I said: No, in Holland we have split accounts, we are famous for being stingy and my money is my money and I do not have my husband’s card. So I am not rich! I continued stereotyping and trying to explain all the differences between Chinese and European women. I told him: my husband is not allowed to drink 啤酒和白酒, no Karaoke, has to cook himself and do house all the choirs, never listen to him and refuse to do anything basically! Wasn’t much help either.
Then I started to shift the conversation to food. He asked me if I could cook Chinese food: and I (proudly) told yes my 阿姨taught me. His face lit up and I thought: WRONG answer! :-P. THANK GOD we arrived at 湖南路. Was the longest driver to town ever! My husband called me back and asked me: why did you call me during a meeting? I answered: “Well, I wish I never started learning Chinese, makes your life sometimes so much easier!”. Ignorance is bliss.
Later, I arrived at the stamp shop and there was another “nice guy”. I was asking the boss about stamps, and if he had a particular type of stone. I told him I would like to have a little dragon because my husband is a 龙 (我属小龙).Then the other customer started to comment, you are a foreigner, you cannot have a Chinese sign, and it was not appreciated either I bought a name chop. Why did I have a Chinese name at all?! That was silly to have! Then I needed to get some cash because I could not pay with my card and after I returned that nice guy blocked the door and did not want to let me pass and had to push the door to move him.
What is wrong with you guys? I am writing my name IN CHINESE, having the whole conversation IN CHINESE (yes it is not perfect but I really do my best), and you dare criticize me? Honestly I do not care! I will buy an even bigger name chop next time! I will put on it “I survived 2 years in China!” I put up with this crap (spitting, cutting lines, cheating, laughing, staring, messing up my house, coming late, not showing up at all etc.) for 2 years and that just gives me every right to buy one! Actually they should give it to me!
Note: the first 6 months I hated China, now I am the one who wants to stay.
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