This is the first in a 7 part series looking at people’s attitudes to societal expectations and mutual misconceptions people have about different parts of the world. Each post will look at an issue from a different person’s perspective. Each character is fictional although they are influenced by people I have met and have had conversations with during my time travelling and living abroad.
I have to find a job. You foreigners, when you leave university you can play. You can go to another country. Maybe you come here to China. You come here to teach English but you can play too. I can not do that. My mother, she wants me to find a job and then get married, you know?
I need to find a girl to marry. If I don’t have a job, a car and a house, who will marry me? Here that’s what they want. They want stability. Maybe this is not important for you. In your country the government gives you a house. You have no job they will give you money. Your country is very rich.
You know, for me it is important my family is looked after. Family is number one. If I do not look after them then who will look after them? If I have a good job then I can give them money. If they get sick then we can pay. We have to save our money. You don’t need to save your money.
I also like to learn English because maybe this can help me one day. Though maybe I think now it is not so important. Our country is strong. Not so many people want to learn English. Only if you want to move abroad or you want to study there. Can you speak Chinese? I think not, Chinese is very difficult. English is easy.
One day maybe I will go to another country to play. Now it is not so easy for me, I have no money so I have to eat. You must be rich? You’ve been to so many countries. One day if I go to your country I can stay at your home. You can show me real English gentleman. In your country everyone carries an umbrella?
When you have free time maybe you can teach me some English? I can teach you Chinese. Please give me your phone number. We are friends, yes?