Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sweat it out (but not if you are a girl!)

I am a last minute person, so when classes start at 8.30 in the morning, I am the one who comes running up the stairs at 8.33, or, if I am good, 8.29…. Yesterday was no exception, and although it wasn’t that warm outside I had been racing to uni on my bike and sweated like a pig.

When my teacher saw me she said:
-Oh, Jonna, did you run to school?
-No, I rode my bike!!!
-But, you are so sweaty?!
-Yes, I rode my bike, fast!
-Very fast!

Oh yeah, that’s right. I almost forgot. You are not supposed to ride your bike to fast over here. Especially not if you are a girl. Because then you might sweat. And your make up gets smeared out.

Later the same day, I overheard a conversation at the gym. A Chinese girl was training with her female personal trainer.

Girl: This is really hard! I am sweating?! Can we turn on the air con?

So I asked one of my trainer friends why it is considered so bad for a girl to sweat over here:

-Oh, you don’t have to worry about it. Besides, you are a ‘lao wai’. We all know that lao wais work out very seriously.

We do? I was just talking about riding my bike….


Anonymous said...

there's an old British saying: "Ladies glow, men perspire, horses sweat". but no idea how the Chinese feel about all that!

- Steven (also a laowai in Suzhou!)

Anonymous said...

"Men sweat, gentlemen perspire, ladies glow" - is the version I learnt

Anonymous said...

"Men sweat, gentlemen perspire, ladies glow" - is the version I learnt.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Excellent. From now on, I am a glowing, exercising woman.

(And speaking of glowing, I bet that 15 km run around Jinji Hu Lake is going to give me a glow..)