Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Attack Of The Socially Awkward Woman



This past weekend, Jeremy and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary. We had enjoyed a nice lunch, even with our toddler and infant present. After our lunch, as we were leaving the restaurant, Jeremy asked one of the employees there if she'd mind taking a family photo for us. Of course, she was happy to oblige. While Jeremy was asking her, Raelynn and I were exiting the restaurant. It's inside a very high-end but very dead mall. There are a few very expensive stores, a Starbucks and a play place. It amazes me that it still opens each day.

Just outside the entrance to the restaurant, there was a big red Chinese display, perfect for a photo opp. I put this photo in the last post but here it is again, in case you're too lazy to look...

You may or may not have noticed that in this photo, Raelynn seems highly agitated. That's because she is. See, she was tired from our busy day already. But as we were walking out of the restaurant, a Chinese family consisting of a mom, dad and a little boy, probably around Raelynn's age, were about to walk out the doors of the mall. The woman spotted Raelynn and me. She then began jabbering like an idiot in Chinese, grabbing her giant smart phone and poising it in photo-taking position and began approaching Raelynn with rapid speed. Raelynn became frightened so she ran from her and this stupid woman kept chasing her.

As this is going on, I'm telling this woman, in her own language no less, to stop. But she ignores me and keeps pestering my poor daughter, who is now running in circles around that red display in the photo you see just to get away from her. I'm also trying to catch Raelynn myself so I can take her away from this moron but it's hard for me to go fast thanks to my new sandals I bought in Guangzhou and Seoul, who is sleeping in the carrier. But despite these obstacles, there's no way in hell that I'm letting that lady get a photo of my child after she scared her. Now this woman's son gets in on the chase, following his mom's lead. They seem to think this is hilarious so now I begin shouting quite loudly and angrily at her in English this time. It finally gets her attention. She's laughing until she sees the look on my face. Which tells her I'm going to kill her if she doesn't get out of my sight now. And she finally figures it out that I don't want her scaring the shit out of my child just so she can get a photo and show her idiot friends that she saw a mixed-race child today. She quickly shrinks away, taking her son with her.

This is the kind of shit I have to put up with here all the time. I hate it. Chinese people love to brag and show off. They'll snap photos of foreigners like me and tell their Chinese friends that I'm a friend when I don't even know those people. They do it to us all. And they love to snap photos of our children too. Not all people are as socially inept as that stupid woman though. Some people actually come up and say hello and talk to us first. We're always happy to let polite people take photos of or with us. But people like that woman can walk their shitty asses into oncoming traffic.

Oh and to further illustrate what a chode that woman was, my husband told me that as she was leaving, he spoke to her and she said her son started chasing our daughter first. That's right...she blamed her own child. No, asshat. YOU started chasing my poor child and your son copied your behavior. What a bright future that kid will have with you as his mother. After the photo was taken, we walked right out of the mall. That woman and her family must have run as fast as they could because they were long gone. Good. You have to be a complete dumbass when you scare someone's child just for a photo of them without asking the parent's permission. Or not even picking up on the fact that you are scaring someone's child.

Does this happen anywhere else or is it just in the socially awkward country known as China? Let me know in the comments if you've experienced this here in China or elsewhere in the world.

8 comments:

  1. I've noticed that many Chinese people can be absolutely relentless when they want something. They're like the Terminator! It sounds like you and your daughter were giving many verbal and non-verbal clues that you didn't want to be in the woman's photo, but she was so focused on what she wanted, that she had complete tunnel vision. I guess it's a good quality to have when you need to get things done in a country with a population of over 1 Billion. It is very annoying to be on the receiving end of it, though.

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    1. Very annoying indeed. And what sucks is we're not in some hillbilly village here. This is Qingdao and there are between 8 and 9 million people here. People in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou never once approached us like this. They didn't even bat an eye. But here in Qingdao, it's like people are just yokels and this is a novelty to them. So annoying. Does this happen where you are?

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  2. We live in the US. The only place here where random people photographed my children was Hawaii. They were, you guessed it, Chinese tourists. When we visit Beijing, it does happen occasionally. It's usually places like the Forbidden City or Summer Palace, with tons of domestic tourists. I'm sure some of these people would be perfectly normal and pleasant if one met them in their home environments. As soon as they board the tour buses,however,they turn into zombies. Apparently the US recently made it easier for Chinese coming on organized tours to come here. It won't be long before they start heading to Disney World en masse. I can't even fathom what that will be like... A park filled with *thousands* of children for them to take pictures of. They will probably need to hire armed body guards to protect the characters wearing costumes. Think they will follow the line-waiting etiquette? Lol

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    1. Oh no! Not my Disney World! Do you live close to there? I grew up in South Florida so we went to Disney World and the surrounding parks all the time. I can't wait to bring my family home and take them there. My husband will shit himself at the cost of admission, I'm sure.

      Why do Chinese people want to take photos of random people they don't know? I have a friend who does that but usually leaves out their faces because he's going to post it online and make fun of what they are wearing. They can't do that to me because that would be like the pot calling the kettle black. And I do not dress like a mainland Chinese person. Ick.

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  3. We live in NJ. Last year was my first ever trip to Disney World. I felt like I should bring the kids there while they were still young. Being a grump, I wasn't expecting to enjoy myself, but I actually did have a lot of fun. Yes, there were lines, but if you got to the parks early and used fast passes, it was manageable. I didn't see anyone cutting. At the Norway pavilion there were people standing in line for 5 hours to meet the princesses from "Frozen." Imagine Chinese tourists trying to cut when people had been waiting that long! I don't think it would go over too well. I hear you on the fashions one sees in China. There were so many times I wanted to snap photos so I could send them to Glamour Magazine "Don'ts" but I restrained myself, because I don't like it when strangers take pix of me. That probably answers you question. Chinese people do that because they lack the ability to put themselves in other people's shoes. When in comes to dealing with anyone outside of the friends and family circle, there doesn't seem to be any concept such as the Golden Rule.

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    1. Oh yes, if you have kids you simply MUST take them to a Disney park while they are young or I think it's considered child abuse these days. ;) Epcot is fun too. My dad used to drag us to the British pub where he'd drink lots of beer and we'd bug him for sips. Oh and he'd buy us these giant sundaes there. Yum.

      I hate Frozen and I have never seen it. My students sang that stupid "Let It Go" song so many times that I finally told them that they'd have to pay me $20 in our classroom play money if I ever heard it again. They must be singing their hearts out while I'm out on my maternity leave. I would NOT stand on line for anything for 5 hours. 5 hours to meet a person dressed up as a princess? Seriously?!? In Disney, I'd worry less about line-jumpers. They have people watching your every move in there. They'd stop random Chinese tourists from trying that stuff.

      Maybe I should start photographing them and making fun of them then. I try to sneak in some shots of MIL in her mismatched fashion disasters but my husband gets mad if I just take a picture to make fun of her so I have to be careful.

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  4. I am definitely not looking forward to visit China with my little boy :)

    It was already annoying enough when strangers wanted to take pictures with me (though it decrease ever since my first visit there as my wife is like an angry bat on my shoulder everytime we go out). Perhaps I should practise to look very angry/ pissed at everyone so it might scare few of those crazy people away

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    1. I don't blame you. Boys are like totally golden over here. Poor Nathan. Bring LOTS of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. That will help with the germs. For the photo-takers, just shoo them away the best you can. Practice making the "fuck off" face in front of the mirror. Mastering this facial expression will keep most people at bay. Those that are more clueless will need to be told point-blank to fuck off, like the stupid woman I wrote about in this post. Also, drink LOTS of beer. It will help you feel less angry and more amused when this kind of shit happens. ;)

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