China miniblog 3. Barbarians at the gate

One thing you have to realize that the Chinese are an old, proud and very sophisticated culture. It’s too easy thinking of China through the distortions of the movies, the Mao caps, the Chinese markets in Europe, the strange foodstuff they are supposed to be eating, the Apple sweatshops, and the rest of the stereotypical (and not very flattering) stuff you come across.

However having a girlfriend from Beijing made me realize something. They think we are barbarians.

The first reason is obvious: their history and culture is longer than ours. Europe pulled some real douche moves on China during the centuries, too.  

Also, we are hairy as hell compared to them. And we stink. No kidding; there is a big difference in body odour. I had serious problems finding deodorant in Shanghai, because men simply don’t use them, unless they feel particularly metrosexual. And the weird thing is? You are not drowned in the fumes. Not on the metro, where crowds can (and do) build up, and not on the market, where people work hard under the sun all day. There is something with difference in sweat glands between Far East Asian and European populations, and you can read about it if you want to. But it’s quite astonishing. (And unfair, I might add.)

And yet, there seems to be a trend: many Chinese girls I’ve seen in Shanghai and Beijing had Caucasian boyfriends (I was quite self-conscious of the fact; it felt like I’m in some sort of a club every time we came across another couple), and only a few Caucasian women had Chinese boyfriends. Women apparently like barbarians.


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