In China, Guangzhou, I have come to appreciate certain psychological barriers exist between Chinese society and foreigners.
Over the half a decade I have lived in China, I now see fashion as one clear, oxymoronic identifier of Chinese delinquency towards Westerners.
Liberal Fashion Closed Minds
In the Starbucks queue in Gongyuanqian (公园前) to buy a coffee, I spied a few attractive Chinese girls.
Some girls were dressed in Western fashion but they are still traditional to the core.
One short, Chinese girl in the queue in particular looks nice with her white shoes, little blue shorts, carrying a big, red picnic basket bag, and wearing a tight, black top that accentuates her big boobs, and long, black hair.
Her fashion looks nice, but looking from a distance, I can tell from personal experience that she is going to be freaked out to be talking to a Westerner.
I know Chinese girls in China to have liberal fashion but conversely to have closed minds.
If I were to approach her, she would not know how to respond, and everything else will happen after that that is predictable.
The Friendship-First Approach Of Conservative China
In China, friendships take months to develop, and those friendships with girls can lead to serious relationships over time.
This friendship-first approach is a conservative Chinese approach to dating.
Being approached directly by someone in public on the other hand is a foreign concept to most Chinese people who value the safety and trust developed in social circles.
Most Chinese people can’t make genuine friendships with foreigners because of their held conservative values.
I like to make friends with Chinese people, but I often use my Western approach on them, because I get tired of following the conservative approach, only to be turned down 99% of the time by Chinese girls whose minds are closed completely to who you are and what you represent.
The Ninety-Nine Percent Factor
I think I have come to this point in China where talking to Chinese people has become super predictable.
99% of the time I know where the conversation is going to go, because 99% of the time that is where the conversation has gone before, and you can predict that 99% of the time after, people in Chinese society are not going to change that quickly, because China is always the same.
China is a homogenous country.
Chinese girls with the “red line” personality are like stray cats that come across a human being who wants to pet them and give them cat food. They watch you suspiciously, ready to instinctually flee at any moment, if you come too close. It takes weeks to win the trust of a stray cat.
Assuming that people are always going to treat me the same way – as an exotic foreigner – then I have to switch things up.
Superficial Chinese Manners
I often wonder, “How do I approach these predictable, Chinese females?”
Only yesterday I made friends with one of these wary Chinese girls, saying to her, “不怕外国人 ~ don’t be afraid of foreigners.”
Then, the next day, she deleted me straight away.
I didn’t do anything other than to go up to her, ask her for directions, talk to her, and then tell her she is pretty.
I also made some very good Chinese friends using my Western approach, but those friends fall into the 1% of Chinese people who do not instinctively run away from foreigners.
A Barometer For Racism
In Australia, there is no place for racism.
I am sure people can be racist in a country like China because they are surrounded by like-minded Chinese people. But you are not going to get away with that level of racism in an actual country which represents all races from every country getting along together as one, Australia.
Racism won’t fly.
So, when Chinese people come to a country like Australia, the more racist those Chinese people are, the more isolated they will be, the more Chinese friends they will make overseas as a consequence of xenophobia, and the more Chinese-owned businesses they will work in.
Chinese who travel to Australia with deeply ingrained conservative values more often than not will be surrounded by like-minded Chinese people.
That is actually a good barometer for racism; when you come to a country like Australia, and you cocoon yourself with your own race and nationality, then the chances that you are a racist and hold these discriminatory views against the country you have adopted to stay in, is much higher.
Showing Respect To Your Host Country
I personally am not going to come to China and be prejudiced against China, because I respect Chinese people.
That is why I continue to make friends with them, do business with them, and stand side-by-side with them.
I came to China with the utmost respect for Chinese people, to learn about Chinese culture, about who they are, and to show Chinese people the utmost respect for the country that I have adopted as my own.
I respect Chinese language. I respect Chinese traditions. I don’t necessarily agree with everything, but I don’t have to because I am not a Chinese person.
Integration When Abroad
This is the level of integration, the level of acceptance that is lacking in Chinese people who go anywhere else in the Western world, or who conversely are approached by foreigners in their own country.
Chinese overseas just bring their own values, their own superstitions, their own irrational beliefs, and they stay away from the greater society within that country, because they have this belief that the greater society is made up of bad people.
This phenomenon does also happen with foreigners who come to China, and decide to steer away from Chinese people, whatever their motivations. I do know friends who avoid eating Chinese food, or making Chinese friends, due to cultural differences.
In either case, the lack of integration causes a bad impression in the host country.
In the end, an individual person, regardless of their upbringing, has a personal choice to make. I personally have come to appreciate the super predictable “red line” personality ingrained in a large swathe of Chinese society, which makes new friendships in China a one in one hundred game.
The author of Diary Of A Mad Chaos from 1996 to 2018, The Lost Years book, Wubao In China (猎艳奇缘) book series, and Foreigner (华人) an exploration of race relations in Australia. Fluent in Chinese Mandarin, Macedonian, and English, the author currently resides in China, Guangzhou where he continues to make comparative analysis of the cultural differences between Eastern and Western societies.