Analogy of the Week
30 Nov 2005
Talk Talk China is a site devoted to whining about China. That sounds like a bad thing, but the guys that run it do a good job of keeping it entertaining. I also appreciate how they make no pretenses about what they’re trying to be. It says right in their sidebar: “Dan, DD, and Dawanr are 3 laowai that have been here for way too long (collectively over 45 years!!) and this is where we come to just let all out.” TTC is not an alternative news source. It’s not offering brilliant insight into the Chinese psyche. It’s generating rant after entertaining rant.
Lately, though, the guys have been posting a few less cynical entries, and I’ve been enjoying them a lot. DD wrote about key Chinese phrases for impressing the locals. Dan wrote about “language lurkers” (locals that make efforts to speak English around a foreigner, but not directly to the foreigner), and then followed it up with an appeal to his readers. Dan wants to know: how can Chinese people strike up conversation with a foreigner in such a way that they will not be viewed as annoying (or worse yet, language rapists)? If you have thoughts, join in on the conversation.
> If you want to have a conversation with someone and you are going to approach a total stranger, at least have the common courtesy to figure out something interesting to talk about.
> It’s kind of akin to a guy in a bar wandering over and trying to pick up a random, hot girl. He’s not interested in her personality, and he has nothing to say, but damn, she’s got what he wants and he’ll talk to her anyway, despite the fact that it’ll annoy the crap out of her. Chinese people looking to hold conversations with random foreigners should be aware of this weirdness in their behaviour. And make an effort to at least make the conversation interesting. Otherwise you’re just another sleazy guy in the bar of life, trying to pick up a nice piece of english speaking ass.