Embarrassed in China

3 04 2011

Attending the English corner at Hefei University, I have received several question that in Western countries are not usually considered polite ones, or at least questions to ask to people you do not know well: are you married? do you have a girlfriend? do you want a girlfriend? Chinese? what is your salary in China?

These are normal questions among Chinese people.

Last time one of the several little girls there asked me about my moments of embarrass since my arrival in China.

I had to think about this very very hard! 🙂

As a laowai, a foreigner, especially in Hefei where there are not so many residents from abroad, I am quite special. Not being a teacher, the most common job for foreigners in China, makes me even more special. And I know I am! 🙂

I have never been a very confident person, usually quite shy, even if when among close friends or on the Aikido mats I am the opposite: confident and in full control (I would say especially on the mats, I was! Now much less!!). But in the normal life, I used to not have a huge consideration of myself, my achievements and my possibilities.

Since I arrived in China this changed quite a bit: comparing myself to others of the same age, what I have done and learnt, where I have been, people I have met and known, makes me all feel quite.. accomplished. I got a much better dimension or at least trust in myself, in this world.

I will never be rich, or brilliant, or extremely good or extremely special at anything (not Aikido not engineering not photography not blogging) but I know that I am not the last shit in all those fields and more (as for example traveling, connecting with people and cultures, mixing with people and cultures, making new friends..).

So putting together this new trust in myself with the little special laowai status in Hefei, or China, I admit I do not really remember to have been extremely embarrassed for anything! At least not for thing I can write on my blog right now 😉

Seriously, I feel most embarrassed when they ask me about my salary, because it is a good one, well above the Hefei average. But in general, any foreign teacher is well above that number, and most of them earn more than me! I remember one guy once asked me if I was in China for the good salary here.. I had to smile, since my last job in Norway was in oil industry.. No, I’m definitively not in China for making money!! 🙂

Still, I am maybe in China for feeling more confident and blushing much less than before 😉



One response

4 04 2011

Lol funny experience
But I guess I’ll ask the same embarrassed qs.


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