A tale about life as an American girl in China
The scene: Any cab, any city in China
The characters: Me, and any cab driver
The scenario: I hop into the front seat, where the passenger rides next to the driver, and we strike up a conversation.
Me: Ni hao. (Hello)This will probably be the first Chinese-language dream I ever have, because I've repeated the same conversation so often with curious cabbies, curious students, curious train acquaintances...
Driver: You speak Chinese very well! (Friendly fib.) Where are you from?
Driver: Are you a teacher or a student? / How long have you lived in China? / Do you like China?
Me: I am an English teacher at QuShiDa. / This is my first year in China. / I like China.
Driver: Do you have a boyfriend?
Me: I don't have one.
Driver: Why not?
Me: I don't know.
Driver: Are you looking for a Chinese husband? (Asked out of curiosity, by men and women alike - not a pick-up line!)
Me: I'm not looking for a Chinese husband.
Driver: (Optional follow-up questions: Chinese men are very good. Why don't you want a Chinese husband? / Do you like Chinese food? / Can you use chopsticks?)
Chinese people talk very directly about some topics that Westerners like to dance around (examples: dating/nondating status, salary, looks). Every so often it bugs me, but most of the time it's just amusing. Plus, the question-askers sometimes sweeten their curiousity with very nice compliments about my looks: "Why don't you have a boyfriend? You're so beautiful!"
Why thank you. :)