Foreigner Suitcase In Sydney

Cultural Differences: Overcoming A Language Barrier

In Australia, Sydney on one of the trains home I saw two Chinese girls.  They were very obviously from overseas, and had only been here for a short while.

When I arrived to Glenfield station, I overheard both Chinese girls speak in Chinese.  They were giggling to each other in Chinese, “There is only one seat available.”

I eavesdropped and listened to their Chinese conversation.  I practised my Chinese in my mind.  I felt comfortable with their Chinese conversation because it has been a while.

The Subtle Art Of Chinese Fashion

One Chinese foreign national was a very tall girl with a long face, and slightly chiseled cheekbones.  She was very talkative.

Her friend was very elegant.  She wore a floral dress that split all the way down her leg.  When she boarded the train and sat down, you could see all the way down to her ass as she crossed her legs.  I looked around the train, and no Australian girl dresses like that.

Australian girls don’t really know how to use modesty to seduce people.  This Chinese girl knew.  She is wearing a dress, but she knows how to wear that dress in a subtle way to give men a look at her legs, almost as if it is taboo.  It gets the attention of people, because she had very nice, milky white legs.

But, an Australian girl would never really wear that fashion.  Australian girls do not wear fashion with the intention to clandestinely show themselves off.  If an Australian girl wants to show off her legs, she would just wear something really sexy that directly shows her legs.

Modesty is what I like about Asian girls.  There is this elegant art of seduction about them.  Sexiness is intended, but Chinese females wear fashion demurely, almost as if to make men feel like their sexiness was accidental.

Overcoming A Language Barrier To Help A Foreigner


When we arrived to Campbelltown station, everyone got off the train.

The girls looked at each other and said, “我们搭错了.  We got off at the wrong place.”

I am thinking, “Should I go over to these Chinese girls and speak English or Chinese to ask them if they need any help?”

Australian people have etiquette.

Normally in these situations, we would approach people to ask, “Are you lost?  Can I help you?  You have to go this way.”

Once we have helped strangers, then we would move on and continue what we were doing.

But, Australia is an English speaking country.  If I go up to these girls and speak Chinese, maybe they will get spooked, because they don’t expect a Western male to speak Mandarin to them.

I thought that even though I could not see a barrier because I could speak Chinese, I thought they would get spooked, or think it was novel, or peculiar, and we would get lost on the fact that I can speak Chinese.

Common Inhibitions That Contribute To Missed Opportunities

In the end I did not help them because I thought it would come across as a come-on.

I watched as the Chinese girls walked with nervous smiles down the train station platform, unsure who to ask for help.  I saw them use their mobile phones, probably to use the train timetable app, or to call a friend to help them.

I feel many Australians who have encountered the same predicament would know how I feel.  I wanted to help some foreigners in Australia but I was unsure whether they would be able to understand English.  So I had to pass.

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Author: 钨宝

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.

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