April 19, 2007

Random (Train Platform) Conversation...
This takes place just after we got off the train from Beijing to Baoding as Kim and I are dragging our bags and feet through the station. We were pretty much the last ones off the train when I heard some lady saying something loudly in Chinese behind us. It didn't register at first, but then I realised she was talking to us.
CL: You know that you're in Baoding? You've gotten off the train in Baoding. You're in the city of Baoding.
Me: I know.
CL: (Surprised look on her face) What are you DOING here in Baoding?
Me: Working.
CL: Ahhhhh, ok. What work?
Me: Foreign teacher.


Kim said...

Oh yes. Baoding.


liang said...

what's so surprising to her?

Stephen said...

Baoding isn't really a big city and there aren't many foreigners here (it was 3 weeks until I was able to sucessful stalk one). I think she wanted to make sure we weren't supposed to be going to Xi'an or Lanzhou (where the train was headed).

Anonymous said...

typical nosy chinese. i had one chinese guy at an investment firm ask me where i got the stock certificates i was depositing, how i had obtained them, it was like f*ing 20 questions. I replied i'll take my receipt and your job. he looked at me quite confusedly. i just said you'll understand what that means shortly. i contacted the ceo of the firm and had his ass fired for asking totally inappropriate questions.

Like in Aesop's fable "The Dog and the Shadow" way too many chinese people are too envious of others and their material goods status compared to themselves. they need to focus on minding their own damn business and in my case doing the best they can at their own job. which, by the way, doesn't include prying into the lives of others and asking details they don't need to know. in your case she was being nice up until every question beyond ensuring that you are getting off in the right town. in HK there is a great Cantonese saying to address this exact invasion of privacy which happens very frequently there. It translates into Shut up you nosey bitch