Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An (almost) international incident

Just thought I would share a little story with you about how I was involved in a international incident last week - you may have seen a brief posting on FaceBook about it. However, since no punches were thrown, it is unlikely (at this point) that you will see me on "Locked up Abroad". I still have 4 and a half weeks before I come home, so there is still time.

Nick and I were taking a little walk to buy DVDs because other than "Glee", there is crap for TV here (and you know how I like my TV!) - anyway, it was a nice night and I needed to be home by 8 for a conference call.  We were standing on a street corner, waiting for the light to turn, when we saw a confrontation between a young Chinese couple. They were riding a bike together, but she got off and he was yelling at her. He grabbed her wrist and wouldn’t let go of her. I started yelling at him to stop (in English, my gut went to English and not Mandarin in this instance). But then he pushed her very hard (almost a hit), and I couldn’t stand back. The next thing I knew, I went and got in between the two of them and told her to walk away.  It was truly one of those out of body experiences where I don't even remember making a conscious decision to run over there - it just happened.

He was still holding on to her at this point, and then grabbed my wrist too. Nick stepped in (he had at least 40 lbs on the guy), too and that’s when he finally let go of her. He told us she was his wife, which I think he thought gave him license to treat her badly. I looked her in the eye and said, “you do not deserve to be treated like this.” She may not of understood my words, but I could see that she understood the meaning. He biked away and left her there. I think part of my courage stemmed from the fact that I probably could've taken this guy down by myself, but Nick could've knocked him cold in one punch.

Of course, had we flagged down a police car, nothing would have happened - and there aren't shelters for battered women here. Unfortunately, men can treat their wives terribly here and it’s accepted. I may have to go all vigilante now to get these poor women to stand up for themselves and stop being treated poorly. And, Nick has learned that it is incredibly shameful to get divorced, which I am sure is keeping more women with abusive men. Between that and the rampant bulimia of the women here, it’s all I can do to keep my mouth shut. Maybe I won’t…

And, then I learned from an American friend how she is constantly criticized by the Chinese women in her office.  Mind you, she is a beautiful, beautiful woman and in very good shape.  They have told her that her pores are too big, that she looked like she has gained weight, that her shoulders were too broad, and that she looks tired.  Yesterday was the topper - they told her that her hands were too big.  They tell her this right to her face, and even though my friend has protested this rude behavior, they continue to pick.  I can only imagine what they'd say about me.  Of course, if they would tell me that my rear end was quite large, I would say, "yes and it is very strong to kick you in yours."

Yeah, it's about time to come home. 

1 comment:

  1. In my defense, he was very skinny - not that I am fat. I have always found that women are quite brave when there is the boyfriend / husband who will be there.

    But the good thing is that getting yelled at by a lao wai woman was probably the most shameful thing to this guy