Smile and be happy, but there's a time and place for everything, right?!
Up early today in order to catch a 7am car to Helsinki and take part in the 300 Chinese businessmen ‘networking’ (or matchmaking as they have called it on the program!) event. Can’t say that I’m overly excited but that’s probably because I’ve only had one cup of coffee so far. I’ll have plenty of time to wake up during the 2-hour drive to the city, after all, it’s my boss –a Chinese man- who’s driving. I bet it’s going to be a fast ride!
Yesterday I prepared some questions (seeing I am very likely to be doing some interviews in Chinese) and in order not to make a complete fool of myself I asked my two Chinese work mates if I could try the questions on them, to see if my point got across. Sure I could and I thought things were going well, until I realized that they were laughing at everything I said?! Like really, everything? Was it my accent? The grammar? The questions?
Oh no, no, all fine! All good!
But please, surely it must be something?
No. Actually there wasn’t anything. I asked about 100 times, staring at my paper and at their faces… But what was ‘so funny’ that it constantly made them giggle remains a mystery….
However, this isn’t the first time it has happened. Quite often I speak to some Chinese people and find that they are giggling to everything I am saying. Is this some sort of nervous behaviour (because really, I have looked, and I don’t look necessarily ‘funny’ when I speak?!) ? Regardless of what, their smirks made me kind of self-conscious which is just what I don’t need to be today. Anyways, off I go. Some Chinese businessman better not giggle!