Thursday, February 24, 2011

Flirted-negative recipient

Negative Recipient (被) - Flirted

Bit of linguistics for you. Theres a grammatical concept called the “passive voice” by most, and this is the idea where the actor in this semantic relationship is removed (or at least stuffed a closet until later on), and the patient is highlighted. Something like - “The glass was broken” for example. We don’t know who broke the glass... it certainly probably wasn’t me... but we know that it was in fact broken. Well - Mandarin Chinese is fun and has this “disastrous passive” word it helps make the meaning passive, but its never a “nice passive” like - “the little boy was given a piece of candy.” You CAN say who or what causes the situation, but the structure highlights who or what it happens TO. More like, “the old lady was hit by a car.”

阿姨被车撞了 ... as an aside, I think the word for “bump into /collide” is funny because it has the character for childhood in it. Moving on.

Well to fill you in and give you another installment of what helped bring me to the point where I was willing to send out my preceding blog are some interesting events. I feel like on a number of occasions I have been “ disastrous passive” flirted by a few folks. Most definitely two different wenches in two different situations - no one tell my boss!

So the first one was/is at a coffee shop I frequent. I go, I study (or try, if people aren’t all up in my biddness). I get along splendidly with all the staff/owners at the place, and its fun to chat it up in Chinese and have friends that my non-Chinese speaking friends cant really get to know. muahahah. Yes i’ll secretly lord it over them. SOO we talk, I drink coffee, they mill around and clean things/ make coffee and life goes on. Well one day, im sitting at these “two person tables” that have a chair on either side. I have my coffee, and I was doing something on my computer, and this particular “waitress” is asking me all sorts of questions. “what do you like to do during your free time? Do you like to go to KTV and sing songs? (not really) Do you like to play basketball? (no) Do you like to play videogames (yea sure) What about hiking?!? (sure) And Restaurants? (course)” So I ask, whats with the sudden interest in how I occupy my free time?

Oh I was just thinking of what we could do if we hang out.

(bing) lightbulb...

Her shift ends, and like all the other staff, she changed out of her uniform in like 5 seconds flat into her “civilian clothes” and then sat down directly adjacent to me and just started playing on her phone. Not doing anything in particular, just... being...near me...

I don’t want to be all eschewing of other people who want to have conversation, let me move my stuff (computer) out of the way so you can talk like a non-savage. “oh don’t worry about it, Im just gonna sit here - you keep doing what your doing.” Regardless, I moved my computer to the side so it was a little less “brick wall-ish.”

I thought to myself - Im a huge fan of proximity. When I enjoy someone’s company, I often times don’t even need to say anything, just being near them is nice. Great for studying in University - what can I say.

Anyhow - I though, this is a bit odd... I never notice when someone is hitting on me, huh, I must be learning ^_^. Granted if I look back to my TESL (teaching English) training, any sort of growth must be measurable and observable. This is definitely observable, but good lord - its nothing more than subjective hokum, and I don’t really want to “ask her,” thats a can of worm that I’d rather leave vacuum sealed.

Leave that on the back burner.

Time goes by.

I’m hanging out with my older friend who is dating around here and there, and now has more of a steady “lady friend” who he hasn’t quite come out of the closet on calling it a “dating” relationship. Whatever, terminology is his affair. So we’re playing pool after dinner one night and the only non-boy waiter is the one that happens to be paying rather close attention to our table. So were chatting it up with her, and playing pool.

Were going back and forth making ridiculous pool shots and pretending to show off. Neither of us really showing off, but tipsily enjoying the act of “showing off” even though neither of us are that good at pool, and not narcissistic enough to actually show off. ANYhow we thought it was funny, and she was captivated enough. (clearly a new hire and knows nothing about pool and more than willing to buy into the antics of two foreigners.) Day over, we go home.

I come back some other night because I have no evening plans and I figure I might as well do a little bit of practicing because I don’t want to suck at pool forever. Well she’s there again - and she haunted my table again. I later found out that she gets two days off a month - which made me sick to the stomach - but thats not really to the point here, point being that she’d be there pretty much any time I show up.

So here I am planning on listening to my music and just playing a bit of pool since everyone was otherwise engaged or had ditched me (sniff). I was content to do it. ANNNNd there we go again - she haunts my table. She starts talking and asking questions. Sure fine no problem, lemme put my tunes away.

And BOOM - brick to the face

Waitress: So what did you do on Valentines day, do you have a girlfriend? (this is the
day after V-day).

Peter: Uhh - I didn’t really do much, I just (wrote a blog, drank and danced with my
own reflection) ... nothing much.... - and no I don’t. - What did you do?

Waitress: Oh I was here - I thought about calling you two, but I didn’t know if you
were in class or not.
Peter: Naaah I dont have evening classes.


Waitress/Harpy: So why dont you have a girlfriend?

Peter: (cornered...) uhh... cause I dont really want one right now.

Harpy: Why not?

Peter: Cause (my Chinese isnt good enough to explain this! most people dont even really get it in English!) I dont want to have a girlfriend for a few months and then move to a different country.

Harpy: oh. But I think you need a girlfriend in China.

Peter: is that so - why is that?

Harpy: You need someone to help you.

Peter: Like friends?

Harpy: Yea, but a girlfriend can help wash your clothes and do things you need.

Peter: (stunned - she’d be killed on sight if my sisters had heard those words come out of her mouth.) uhhh - we dont really think that way in America. We like equality. (honest to Toast - I said it, and backed it up with examples). I don’t want a girlfriend to do things like that for me.

Harpy: ohh, ok I can see that... Well what do you want in a girlfriend?

Peter: (once again... my chinese isn’t good enough for this!) Umm... nega nega nega (Chinese word for “umm”) I dont like to have girlfriend after girlfriend. I dont want to be that kind of guy. There are a lot of them in America, and I dont want to be that kind of guy.

Harpy: ohh I get it, you want to date someone that could be your wife.

Peter: ahhh.... kinda (I have no idea how else to explain this so imma just let the dead horse die). (after a while) Well... I think imma head home.

Harpy: So soon?!

Peter: Yea I want to study.

Harpy: Oh you have class?

Peter: No, I just want to study, so my chinese gets better.

Harpy: oh... well ok - see you next time.



Maybe its like grey hair syndrome once you find one, you find a hundred! or maybe its fictitious and its all in my head. Who knows.


My friend and I go back to play pool a week or so later and lo and behold, though this time she’s equally distributing her Chinese cute pouting skills. Every so often she’d “demand” to take a shot, which we gladly humoured her with. She’d miss even worse than we (I) do and then would get “pouty” which we obligatorily chuckle at and then we move on with life.

I bet you do that to ALL the foreigners HMPF! There’s gotta be a term for that kind of racial attention whoring.

(ok - i dont mean it THAT maliciously ^_^)


Back to my coffee shop after spring festival - first time in like a month. Girl isn’t there. No worries. Her friend/ coworker is. Im waiting around for a half hour or so while I wait for my friend to arrive and we can go to dinner. Waitress comes around - gotta date tonight? --> No - just dinner with a friend. ---> a GIRL friend? ---> no, a friend who’s a girl.

Dinner comes and goes, and my platonic friend and I end up back at the coffee time according to ritual to do some studying.

Even though this friend has been coming to the coffee shop longer than I have, they still pretend like I am more of a regular... whatever. So they ask me if “im paying” well the Chinese literally translates as “inviting guest” which means what you think it means. The perennially boyish barista that talks to me non-stop when I’m there making it a difficult study situation at times, gave me the most ridiculous eye-brow waggle and smile as he said it too. I sufficiently told him off and then offered to pay (an empty gesture to people who are used to AA制 {splitting the tab}). She then chuckled and paid for her drink. We sat down and started studying/ chatting in between. After I went back up to get our drinks once they were ready, the waitress(friend of the proximity harpy) told me that Proximity Harpy wasn’t around and that her heart was broken. She then made cute faux-pouty face and then went on with her business.

Her heart was broken? WTF!? is this tag team disastrous passive flirting? It is isn’t it??!

Gosh I just don’t get you people. Not women - I get along with women. Men.... well ok I dont understand men (j/k). Its those “interested” people that don’t make no sense.

So people help me out here - I dont know how it works in N.A. b/c it was never apparent if it did happen to me. And I dont know how it works HERE, I just know that somethings happening.

All im left with is the knowledge that theres a VERB and its happening to ME, and I’m not sure that I like it!


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