One of my Chinese female friends is dating a western guy, and yesterday she spent a good hour complaining about him always going out with his friends/drinking too much (he’s out 2-3 times/week –every week). I asked her if she’d talked to him about it and yes, she had, although he had said that if she had a problem with his habits, that was her problem (nice one!).
Anyways, since he seems to refuse to change I told her that she had 2 choices: stick with it or leave him. She nodded. Then she said something about western men all loving to go out and being scared of commitments (she’s also tried to get him to live with her without success, he claims he ‘still needs his space’).
-Why don’t you date a Chinese guy instead of a foreigner? I tried. Must be easier when there isn’t any big culture difference.
-I don’t know… she said. I find it hard to find a Chinese guy that is as ‘English’ as I am. I mean, I have many foreign friends and I hang at places where foreigners hang, so if I dated a Chinese guy he would have to be able to speak English very well.
She then went on to tell me about one of her boyfriend’s friends dating a Chinese girl that only spoke very primary English.
-I cannot stand this girl. I don’t talk to her when we are out.
-But you are both Chinese? Can’t you speak Chinese?
-But our boyfriends are foreigners!
-But we are in China? Shouldn’t they try to learn some Chinese then?
-Eh… no, English is fine.
Interesting argument. Basically what she’s saying is that if you don’t speak any English –don’t try to hang with her. Although she’s Chinese. And we are in China.
It reminds me of another conversation I had with a Shanghainese girlfriend some year ago. She was complaining about another ‘lousy western boyfriend’ who ‘only called her when drunk’ and ‘never said he loved her.’
-Dump him!!!! I said.
-Yeah I know. I have to find someone better.
-Date someone local for a change, I tried (this girl too, always dates western men).
-Oh no that’s impossible. I have tried. But I am too international for all the local boys I meet.
-But you’ve lived in China all of your life? You’ve never even traveled to Europe?
-Yeah but I have so many foreign friends and I speak good English. I cannot date a local. They don’t understand these things.
Whoa whoa whoa… both of these 2 girls are great, friendly, lovely and absolutely fantastic friends to me. Although I cannot help but wonder –is it only because I am a laowai and can speak English? Because if I was a local –I wouldn’t understand?