Posted by: Megan | August 9, 2007

In China you can only get married if you teach small children and eat only 1 bowl of rice a day – according to …

With just a week left before I fly out to China, I thought it was about time I decided to not only brush up on my Chinese – Ni Hao (hello) can only take me so far – one thinks – but to find out how China is doing these days considering I was last there in June 2002!

In endeavoring to find out, I thought who better to email other than a good friend of mine from my China leading days; Miss Stacey Shine – an Australian still living in Beijing who not only towers above 6ft but has more energy than the Duracell Battery Bunny! Let’s just say that nightclubs in Beijing don’t close early when Stacey decides to dedicate her night to a local dance floor – in such a manner that gives true meaning to her last name! When her long straight blonde hair touches the dance floor in ways that knocks the Ni Hao right out of the locals it is assured that the night will only end when the sun next comes up!

So from the girl I still have fond memories of convincing our poor unsuspecting taxi driver in Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia) to play her cassette of ABBA’s Greatest Hits from tracks 1-16 – start to end – here is what she has to say (and funny that she still continues to make friends with the local taxi drivers!) ….

“My advice for those coming to China is to make sure you pack your ego and a thick skin. This is also the reason why sometimes it can be better not to understand the language”

Maybe I will get by with just Ni Hao? Anyway, back to Stacey …

“Conversations with taxi drivers in China, nearly always start with “Where are you from?”

Driver: Where are you from?
Stacey: Australia
Driver: I hear it’s beautiful there and that you have many trees and things and many animals because you don’t eat them all?
Stacey: Yep that’s true, but Beijing is more interesting for me to live!
Driver: Really? Why?
Stacey: It’s changing so quickly and people from all over the world are living here doing inserting things.
Driver: What do you like to do?
Stacey: I love to dance!
Driver: (laughs & says in disbelief) No, but that’s not possible, you’re too FAT!
Stacey: I manage, and by the way do you realize most foreigners think that it’s not really very polite to tell someone that they are fat?
Driver: It doesn’t matter I’m fat too! (silence for a bit)
Driver: You’re so fat I bet that every meal you must eat is 2 BIG bowls of rice!
Stacey: No I didn’t even eat any rice yesterday! (more silence)
Driver: Why are you going to Shunyi now?
Stacey: I’m going for an interview for a job teaching.
Driver: Good idea, if you teach small children you will get skinny!
Driver: Do you want me to wait for you & when you finish we can have lunch and I can drive you back?
Stacey: No it’s ok thanks!
Driver: Are you married?
Stacey: No
Driver: Why not?
Stacey: Because my boyfriend says I’m too fat!
Driver: Well you should only eat 1 bowl of rice every meal then you will look like (points to skinny Chinese model on the bus) and your boyfriend will
marry you!

So advice from Chinese taxi driver if you want to get married is you should teach small children & only eat 1 bowl of rice a day!”

The fun then ahead of me … I can’t wait ….


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