Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hyper-Westernised fashion

So is it just me, or do chinese women in general go out of their way to dress in an overtly westernised way?

Now I am not referring to the young, teenage chinese girls who more than likely were Australian born. I am referring to the older women, who tend to talk to each other in Mandarin, suggesting they were born in China.

The emphasis on high cut boots, low cut dresses, socks pulled up just above the knees, super-short skirts and bizarre combinations of clothing items that attract stares from men young and old, are a distinct feature of the urban walkways of Sydney, especially in China town.

And when I say "older women", I also mean many women in their fifties. I would say that I have been quite surprised by how many women I have seen who look like grandmothers, yet dress like one may expect a teenager to dress.

So is it just me noticing this? Well no. Ms B was the first to bring it to my attention.

Ms B doesn't dress this way, but many of her contemporaries do. As far as an explanation goes, she believes it has something to do with the previous Communist lifestyle.

I suspect there may be a lot of truth in that.

Dinner and the parking space

We went out for dinner this evening.

I was driving, Ms B was in the front passenger seat, NaiNai in the back seat, and our 7 year old son in the child restraint in the back.

Finding parking was not straight forward, but we were early so I at least was not in a panic.

Ms B however was anxious and worried that we would lose our booking.

I drive into a carpark area and I see what I thought was a free parking space. Another car had just left the space vacant. As this other car passed right by me, I realised that someone was already waiting for this vacant carpark space.

We both seemed to have commited to the space, but as soon as I noticed that the other car was waiting before me for this space, I stopped and waived them through.

Well, this was just not acceptable behaviour according to Ms B.

She urged me to just drive into the space, as I could make it before the other car if I tried.

When I tried to explain that they were there before us, her response was "so what!"

Then Ms B began to prompt me to get out, approach the other car and demand that they reverse out of the carpark space.

She reasoned that the other car was occupied by asians, and that they would be intimidated by a tall westerner approaching them and threatening them.

I made it clear that I would not engage in that kind of behaviour. As a result I received the cold shoulder treatment from Ms B since. It goes without saying that our conversation was limited over dinner, which we incidentally made with plenty of time to spare.

I understand that in a country like China it is everyone for themselves, but after almost 20 years in Australia I would have hoped that the unwritten rules we engage in every day regarding order and courtesy would have become part of Ms B's thinking.

Although she says and does many other things that make me proud of her ability to live by these concepts, this evening was not one of those ocassions.

What do you like/dislike most about Chinese women?