Last night I took a cab home. I could see the taxi driver watching me through the rear-view mirror, making me wonder what was up (was it just the usual, curious, ’laowai’-stare, or was there actually snot coming out from my nose?!). It turned out it was either.
-You can speak Chinese? It suddenly came from the front.
-Where are you from? Germany? England?
-Oh… That’s also in Europe, right?
-It sure it, in Northern Europe.
-OK. I think all beautiful women are from Europe.
-Yeah, especially the ones from Germany and England.
-So… do you have a boyfriend?
-Where is he from? China?!
-Not in the near future.
(Big smile flashed to the mirror)
-So if you didn’t have a boyfriend… or let’s say if you broke up with him. Would you be willing to date a Chinese man?
-I don’t know. It depends what kind of man!
-Well, let’s say… me?!
-I don’t even know you. How could I tell?
-Well… I don’t think it’s that hard. I am a good man. I work hard. I have a house and a car. I will take care of my wife. And she will take care of my house!
-You’re saying that the girl you date has to do all the housework?
-Yeah, of course. I don’t know how to do house chores.
-I’m sure you can learn.
-No. I will work. She will cook. And clean.
-Well then I definitely wouldn’t be willing to date you.
-Why not?! I will work!
-Well I want to work too. And I hate housework.
-Oh… OK then.
Short silence, then:
-Do you have a lot of foreign female friends here?
-Any German or English ones?
-Ahhhh… OK. Well could you introduce me to some? Some single ones? Some pretty ones?
-I’m sorry but I don’t think any of them are willing to do all the housework either! You know, in most families in Europe the woman and the man both work and therefore the also split the house chores.
I could tell this frustrated my dear taxi driver. In his world, it was obvious that the wife would take care of the housework while the man would bring home the money.
-By the way, I said. Why do you want to have a foreign girlfriend?
-I want someone who is tall and pretty! And foreign girls are (hooorray!). But no American girl. I once met an American girl and she wasn’t nice. So I don’t want anyone from America.
-You don’t want a girl from America because you met ONE American girl that wasn’t nice?!
-Eh… well… yeah.
-So if you meet one girl from Germany that isn’t nice then you don’t want any German girl either?
-No no. Last week a colleague introduced me to a German girl. She was pretty but her personality wasn’t nice. I still want to meet a German girl. I just don’t want any American girl.
-I just don’t want one.
-OK then. Well can you speak any English?
-No.. but that’s just a small problem. I will learn that from my wife since we will be doing everything together… you know, eating dinner, watching TV, hanging out. She will teach me English.
-OK then… I see you have everything planned out for you. Good luck finding a foreign girlfriend (and really, dude: GOOD LUCK!)!
When it was time for me to get out of the cab the driver turned around.
-So, if you break up with your boyfriend will you call me?
-No… remember. The housework things. I don’t want to do it all.
-Ah yeah. I remember. OK. Well nice talking to you then. Bye!
Wow. In the Chinese meat market you lay all your cards and demands on the table from day one. Although I kind of like it. Leaves little room for disappointment and argument later.
Also. Not to be forgotten. A Chinese man just hit on me (I guess you could put it that way?). That means that yesterday goes into history as the day when a man in China came on to me. He’s the third one in three years (another taxi driver and little muscle guy are his front runners. Oh, then there are 2 Taiwanese men wanting me to become their mistress too, but those doesn't count. I mean, mistress? Come on. I only count the serious ones...). Geez, I am becoming real popular.