Monday, June 12, 2006

Six-foot Stunner

In spite of the title of this blog, my whole life is not purely a quest for sex; the company of women is simply more enjoyable than that of men. It seems to me the men in this culture have, mostly, rather little to say for themselves, but the women are confident, articulate and nuanced. Each woman is different; most men are the same. That’s why 95% of my friends are women.

Though I did meet an interesting guy the other day, square-jawed, blue-eyed – from Xinjiang province, a Muslim, a Uyghur. We talked a little and then I asked, ‘So, should Xinjiang really be part of China?

Can I trust you?’ he asked, leaning forward, wanting to talk but being scared to. And rightly scared; one cannot tell the truth much in the mainland. So Xinjiang people learn to lie when they talk to mainlanders; Tibet people learn to lie; Taiwan people learn to lie; Hong Kong people learn to lie.

But anyhow. Back to vapid gossip about women.

Before I get back to Deedee, a detour to a few weeks back when I’d arranged dinner with various friends. One of these was Linda, whose company I enjoy; she’s astute and articulate, and a good journalist (which is no mean feat given how hard it is to do that job well in this country of mostly shit journalism) but, given that she is my age or so and married, I have no interest in her beyond friendship.

But it was not just because Linda is pleasant company that I wanted to have dinner with her. It was also because she said when we met she would invite Cara, a student who was in the same class as her.

Cara attracted me immediately; she was strong, bold, confident and clearly skilled at her job, since she held a good position in her firm, an multinational printer company. This is just the kind of woman I like, the one who knows what she wants, who she is, and who has little time for all the traditional shit of being good, sweet, demure and submissive. Fuck that.

But alas, galloping in, I riled her. Keen, in my pathetic way, to show her I was a knowledgeable chap, when she mentioned the firm she worked for I made a little joke of it. It so happened I’d read an article in The Economist about this firm just the day before, saying it lost US$600 million this year due to fraudulent accounting at the top. A firm with that kind of management, I suggested, could not prosper.

This did not go down well, and she sulked at me the rest of the course.

Or maybe I was just staring at her breasts too obviously. That could have been it.

A couple of weeks after the course ended, Linda, at my request, had given her my MSN and told her I would quite like to hear from her, and in due course she added me to her list. We chatted, guarded at first, for clearly she thought I was after her; so I got that out of the way with (mostly false) claims of friendship only. After that she yielded a little, becoming a bit more talkative, but not too much so. Even so, this talkativeness was enough to make it clear she was single. She did not tell me this directly, but instead said she’d had a ‘difficult’ few months.

For a woman in China this nearly always means one thing: splitting up with a guy. Linda had previously told me Cara had a guy in Hong Kong and later I established that my present surmise was correct. They had indeed parted.

Anyhow, I reminded Linda to invite Cara, which she did, and I also invited Tulip, who accepted but then had to change her mind. But just after Tulip said she could not come, I got an SMS from Arina, who was heading out of Shanghai the next day and wanted to know if we could meet that night.

Now, Arina has been on my catch list for some time; but the chase is not going too well, and I may not succeed. Naturally Arina too was someone I met in class, yet now it shocks me just how totally I failed to notice at the time how stunning she is. Strikingly tall, over 6 foot, and with great looks. With heels on, she'd be taller than me. 

I did not want to pass up this chance to get to know Arina better before she left town, so I slotted her right in the place Tulip had just vacated (reflecting to myself as I did so on the merry-go-round nature of my social life).

Now of course given that I would quite like to chase Cara, this was tactless. But Cara is a little older, maybe 27, 28, and that means problems. With a woman that age, it is never fuck and run, never fuck and fun; marriage is always there in the equation. Getting her to bed would take too much legwork, as would getting out again afterward; and in any case fitting another woman into my already full calendar would be tough.

Thus chasing her would lead to tanglements and complications (even besides the fact that, at present, she does not quite like me). It’s a pity that we got off on the wrong foot, because I get the feeling she and I could have made firm friends. But she is a little proud (which I much respect) and will not back down so easily. Sure, with work, I could get Cara, and she’s certainly attractive. There’s a sort of boyishness to her, a hard, unyielding edge. It’s really rather endearing But chasing her would be too much hassle. Putting in that work would create obligations, duties that I do not wish to incur.

So I reckoned I might as well invite Arina along. She was the better prize than Cara. But as well as that, it interested me to bring Arina along for another reason than my desire for her. Cara, shrewd as she is, was surely aware I had some feeling for her. But what better way to throw her off guard, to toy with her, than to turn up to dinner with breathtaking Arina by my side?

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Anonymous said...

Hmm all this talk about "confidence" and being "bold", you sound like a white guy in Shanghai trying to find American girls -- which just doesn't make sense. Why not embrace the Shanghai-ness and make all that "demure" sexy?


ChinaBounder said...

To `embrace' this `Shanghai-ness' is to embrace the veneer, not the reality. Women here are demure because Chinese men expect them to be. Chinese men are, on the whole, scared of strong, confident women. They seek demure behavior because they demand the woman be in a subservient postion. Women are therefore demure because they feel society requires it, but are not demure in their true nature. A woman who plays the demure role is merely acting. I find women who reject this bullshit and have the confidence to show their true nature to be far more stimulating.

peter said...

hear hear