I’ve written blog posts in the past about the fact that Chinese people often reply with a laugh/giggle when faced with something uncomfortable/when they don’t know what to do. I know it’s all innocent and harmless, still, it has managed to freak me out from time to time, like for instance when I speak Chinese to people and all they do is laugh back at me…
Anyway, laughing or no laughing, I still cannot get away from the fact that at some times, the whole “giggle reply” makes very little sense to me. Like yesterday. We were having a staff meeting and our boss told us that due to our massive workload, we now have to do some compulsory hours of overtime. I, like many others, wrote it down in my diary with a silent sigh, thinking about all the stuff I had to do and all the yoga classes I’m going to miss, just to watch my closest workmate (a Chinese girl) scribbling in her diary, while giggling away. Once the meeting finished, I couldn’t help but asking her:
-Why are you laughing?
-What do you mean?
-Why were you laughing when we were told that we have to do a lot of overtime in the near future?
-Oh, it wasn’t a laugh!
-It sure looked like a laugh to me!
-Well, it was one of those “can’t help it” but laughing laughs.
-You were just told we need to do x hours of overtime and you couldn’t help but laughing?!
-Yeah, kind of. It’s not that serious. Like a “oh well!” laugh!
Man, I need to learn from Chinese people! When faced with something they don’t want to do, they don’t whinge, they don’t complain, they don’t head to the gym on order to “run off their frustration” or head home to stuff themselves with comfort food, or get an ugly, unattractive frown on their forehead for the rest of the week... Rather, they just giggle, as they don’t know what else to do, and go on and do it. Talk about having a positive outlook on life. I want to learn. Now!