Meeting Chinese Men: The Scared, the Curious and the Sweet

chinese men in china

China. The country of 1.3 billion people and over two thousand years of history and culture. Also the country where I traveled around for three months, and interestingly enough, the country where my future husband comes from if I have to believe my mom.

Without any point of reference, she came up with this mysterious prediction of me marrying one of the many Chinese men years ago. At that time, I was a child mainly focused on my Barbie dolls and Playmobil, probably not even aware of China’s existence. Even though there was no explanation, my mother kept mentioning it from time to time while I was growing up. And guess what? In the past two years, I have begun to develop a huge passion for China.

Feeling the urge to discover everything about this country, I decided to go there and fully immerse myself. I suppose you can imagine I was rather curious about Chinese men too. And I must say, in those three months, I had some pretty interesting experiences!

Having this bewildered look on his face when pointing in my direction, the man stated, “Oh god, I have never seen a girl this tall… She freaks me out!”

Let’s start off in Beijing, where I spent one month studying the Chinese language at Hutong School. It must have been during my first week in this amazing city when some fellow students took me to Wudaokou, the students’ party district. Once we got inside this place called Propaganda, it didn’t take long before my male friend was tapped on the shoulder by a Chinese guy. Having this bewildered look on his face when pointing in my direction, he stated, “Oh god, I have never seen a girl this tall… She freaks me out!”

Eh…?

Thus my first interaction with a local Beijing guy. Fair enough, I can imagine someone being surprised or slightly confused about my height. My passport says I’m 1.82m (about 5’10”), which is already considered quite tall in my country, not to mention that it’s above the male average in China. But scared?

Bearing in mind that many Chinese people hardly see foreigners around in daily life, I just assumed the combination of my height, blond hair and blue eyes must have been too much for him. By all means, it was more than obvious that there was no happily ever after in store for us.

A couple of days after this incident, we ended up in a fancier club, Latte. The place was packed with people who were all watching an Asian Lady Gaga perform on stage, but a Chinese guy dancing on a platform drew our attention. We were already up to date about the fact that Chinese men usually don’t go out to dance, so this was kind of interesting to witness! Immediately after the guy noticed me, he invited me to join him on the platform for a dance and to have a chat with me–in Chinese. I can’t say that was a long conversation, but apparently it was interesting enough for him to decide to follow us for the rest of the night.

I just assumed the combination of my height, blond hair and blue eyes must have been too much for him.

Although his behavior was somewhat peculiar, he did seem like a cheerful guy who was probably just very curious. And most importantly, I didn’t scare him off! One step at a time, right?

A few weeks later, my travel partner and I arrived in the city of the giant panda, Chengdu. For the first time in weeks, there were actually Chinese peers staying in the same hostel as us. We joined this group of five guys and a girl sitting in the common area of the hostel, and even though the conversation occasionally suffered from language barriers on both sides, we had a blast mocking and teasing each other.

After a couple of days, I received a Wechat message (the Chinese version of Whatsapp) from one of the guys I was casually chatting with, saying, “Did you know today is Singles Day in China?”

I replied to him that I didn’t know, and wondered where this conversation was going.

“Today is a day for confessions,” he started writing, “And I want to say that I’ve fallen in love with a foreign girl at first sight. I thought I should let you know before I leave.”

“Wow, really?” was my puzzled reply.

To be honest I think I was as close as I could possibly be to finding my Chinese Prince Charming, and I’m not sure this enchanting story will be continued.

Apparently I had been a bit naïve when I gave him my Wechat ID ‘so he could practice his English and help me with my Chinese.’

I figured it would be fair to tell him that I liked hanging out with him as a friend, but I wasn’t really feeling the same way he did. Fortunately, he could sympathize with my feelings, and he was still very excited to see me the next day. This was the last night in Chengdu for both of us, and I decided to ask him to join us for dinner. We had a great time talking to each other –he couldn’t have been happier to hear that I shared his love for the dish we tried, hotpot –and on our way back to the hostel he insisted on buying my favorite fruit for dessert. How sweet!

Of course these were only my most memorable moments, meant to give you an impression of Chinese men and situations you may encounter as a foreign girl. Overall, I experienced guys in China to be warm hearted and sweet, though a bit shy as well. To be honest I think I was as close as I could possibly be to finding my Chinese Prince Charming, and I’m not sure this enchanting story will be continued. That doesn’t mean I’m shutting out the opportunity forever, but sorry Mom, your prediction remains unfulfilled for now.

About Janne Bakker

Janne BakkerJanne Bakker recently returned from studying Chinese at Hutong School.

2 thoughts on “Meeting Chinese Men: The Scared, the Curious and the Sweet

  1. Avatar
    britt
    May 7, 2014
    Reply

    Haha leuk verhaal Jannie! Met veel plezier gelezen 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Frank Diemeer
    May 7, 2014
    Reply

    Wow! Mooi geschreven. Wat kan jij goed Engels zeg! Spannend verhaal. Veel plezier daar! En succes met het vinden van de prins op het witte rijst.

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