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The Hunt for the Foreign Girlfriend

CHINA | Friday, 30 November 2007 | Views [1523]

I know it's not called racism. But right now I'm not sure what it ought to be called.

I went out with a Chinese boy today (friendly outing, mind you) just to chit-chat and just to learn a bit more about China. So... surprise, surprise. I learned something else.

Nowadays, it seems that a lot of Chinese boys are on the look out for potential girlfriends---who are not Chinese. 

A Korean friend of mine recently had such an encounter. She was at a cafe one day, talking to a Chinese friend, when a guy happened to approach their table and sit beside my friend. My friend was surprised at first, then later on weirded out. But the guy was so friendly that my friend just let him be. So he stayed with my friend and her other friend until my friend finally said, "I have to go somewhere."

So the Chinese boy looks at her with his most puppy dog-like look and asks her for her phone number. My friend is flattered; she gives it without really thinking twice, not really believing that he'd really call her back. But he does---and their second meeting was anything but flattering.

I met this Chinese boy about a month ago at a Church. The first thing he asked me was my nationality; the second was if I could be his girlfriend. I laughed, of course thinking it was a joke. Soon he began sending love poems via text that was not only freaky, but almost frightening. So I told him the same thing I had said the first time we met: I have someone else.

Did that stop him? No. But he helped me in something big recently, so I decided to finally agree to meet up with him earlier today, just to show my appreciation. And I won't deny that the experience was... interesting. But mostly because I learned why some of the local boys are working double time to get a "foreigner girlfriend," as Blue (our codename for that particular Chinese boy) often says. 

According to him, the Chinese community is getting so entranced with the foreign community that some of the girls he knows are trying a bit too hard to be a wee bit too 特别, or "special" in English. Many are unknowingly "adopting" foreign practices, hoping to be a bit more like them. So nowadays, Chinese boys are opting for the girls who are more natural, the girls who are proud of their race: the "foreigners."

The story came as a surprise to me because I've always loved China the way it was, is, hopefully will always be. 

I've a good Chinese friend, and her name is Bu Ren Ta. She's the first Chinese friend I had here in China, and I'm really proud of that. She hails from the great place called Inner Mongolia, and she's one of the people who's made me think that the locals are so easy to get along with. She is so honest and down-to-earth that the Chinese boy's words seemed like a far-fetched tale.

I've still no idea as to how true my companion's theory is, but hey, for the other Beijingers out there, take a look around. The "West is Superior" logic has always existed amongst Asians, with the sight of blond hair entrancing many non-Westerners. But I hope it doesn't entrance the locals so much that they might forget that their race is one hell of a race that's also worth being proud of.

Tags: Culture

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