Guest Post: Larry - a Short Tale of Ignorance or Cross-Cultural Misunderstanding | Speaking of China

31 Responses

  1. Autumn
    Autumn February 5, 2016 at 11:38 am | | Reply

    Wow, Ava, you are very nice. And it was kind of you to try and educate Larry. I kind of want to rage about the idiocy of having the internet and not bothering to use it to educate yourself, but, well, I have plenty of fellow Americans who a) don’t believe in climate change and b) think that the earth is 6,000 years old. And had I done a little research on Chinese culture BEFORE I married my Chinese-American husband, I could have saved myself a world of pain. So who am I to talk?

    In the immortal words of Reuben Blades, “I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.”

    (That being said, Larry is still an idiot.)

    1. Ava
      Ava February 6, 2016 at 9:07 pm | | Reply

      Thanks Autumn! Good points.

    2. pt
      pt February 8, 2016 at 1:15 pm | | Reply

      “b) think that the earth is 6,000 years old”

      Also, don’t forget about those who believe the Earth is flat. 🙂

  2. Phil Chung
    Phil Chung February 5, 2016 at 8:29 pm | | Reply

    Ava, I was reading your story thinking it was rather romantic. That was until you dropped that bombshell. It was something I had never expected for a million years. I totally understand that you were pissed off with him. I would too if I were put into that situation. At least you didn’t punch him in the face. XD

  3. passer-by
    passer-by February 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm | | Reply

    As a Chinese guy myself,i have to say it’s one of the many discrimination in Chinese.

    1. Ava
      Ava February 8, 2016 at 12:16 pm | | Reply

      Guess we just have to hope that things are or will change

  4. Fred
    Fred February 6, 2016 at 7:25 am | | Reply

    Wow!!!! Ava, you go girl!!!!! You rock those Chinese men!!!! You hear!!!!. I almost never hear about Chinese men with black woman. The mere fact that you gave them a chance at dating is defying all precedent. You are truly a woman ahead of your times and a great one too.

    But I am sorry to hear about his prejudice and stereotype though. You were just too nice. If I were you and he told me of his reluctance to kiss a black woman because he feared she has AIDS, I would have found his statement to be such an umbrage that I would have slapped him across his face and walked away even if I risked being lost in the city that I do not know too well.

    You could have easily ridiculed him when he said that you are suspected of having AIDS by saying that you Chinese men small dicks, that he is too short and scrawny, and that his yellow slitting eyes are grotesque. But I guess you are just too nice.

    Keep up the greatness.

  5. Fred
    Fred February 6, 2016 at 7:28 am | | Reply

    Oops! I meant to write “you Chinese men have small dicks” and ” “yellow slitty eyes.” Sorry for the poor spelling as I was so angered by what he said that I cannot even spell correctly. Now I have calmed down.

    1. Ava
      Ava February 8, 2016 at 12:18 pm | | Reply

      Thanks Fred, I don’t really see myself as ‘Ava the Great!’ and I don’t think I’m too nice, but your comments made me smile (-:

    2. Jonathan
      Jonathan February 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm | | Reply

      Hey hey hey. Take it easy Fred! We do have slitty eyes but not all of us have small dicks! Besides, I thought people always say size doesn’t matter! 🙂

      Hi Ava, Well, I have to say he’s pretty ignorant and there are pretty harsh stereotype towards Black in Asia in general, not that it’s any better in the US. I am really sorry about the experience but there are a lot of good Chinese men out there. And I actually just came across the term Blasian recently. It’s for Black/Asian couple. If you do a search on youtube, you will find quite a few channels dedicated to that. Anyway, don’t get discouraged, there are always ignorant and close-minded people out there. As long as you are open-minded, that’s all it matters and I am sure you will find a good one!

      1. Ava
        Ava February 18, 2016 at 6:49 pm | | Reply

        H Jonathan, thanks for your comment. Slitty eyes is such a horrible terminology. I wish people wouldn’t use it.
        Yes I’ve heard the word ‘blasian’ also.
        I’m not looking for anyone at the moment and I definitely agree that there are many good, Chinese men and women around. (-:

  6. Real Talk
    Real Talk February 6, 2016 at 9:30 am | | Reply

    China has many refugees from Africa, which has the biggest AIDS epidemic on the planet per capita and the Catholic church does nothing to help it either, but that’s another topic. The point is in defense of the Chinese guy, he had a legit concern as many Africans there do have an AIDS problem that is rampant, even people in Africa will let you know that. Chinese don’t see much Black people and most they do see is on Hollywood media (already filled with stereotypes as it is), and add to that how there are many African refugees (who also go around causing crimes in China BTW) and not as many African-Americans or British-Africans. So they lumped her as the majority African from Africa, and thus the AIDS concern. It’s like most Whites and Blacks and Latinos calling every Asian as a “Chinese” or a “Chino” (the latter being a derogatory term at that).
    And let’s talk about the ignorant things Whites and Black people refer to Chinese people — even the ex-pat people visiting China as guests refer to the local Chinese in derogatory & racist ways too.
    Let’s discuss that then, shall we?

    1. Crystal Kushwaha
      Crystal Kushwaha February 6, 2016 at 5:57 pm | | Reply

      Not sure why you are over here getting defensive, but the problem is in racism itself. It’s equally not okay when someone refers to a Chinese person in derogatory and racist ways.

  7. Susan Blumberg-Kason
    Susan Blumberg-Kason February 6, 2016 at 11:22 am | | Reply

    I’m so sorry your first date in China ended so terribly. I had something kind of similar happen to me, but on my honeymoon! My then-husband was from China and we were in a hotel room in Hong Kong and he was afraid to use the towels because he said foreigners have AIDS and they stayed at that hotel. He had just married me several hours before this. I blame the non-existent sex education in China back then for his ignorance. I’m not sure if it’s changed in twenty years, but it sounds like I have my answer.

    1. Jonathan
      Jonathan February 18, 2016 at 2:34 pm | | Reply

      That is true! I remember from your book! I was actually shocked when I read that!! 😀

    2. Rune
      Rune April 14, 2016 at 1:41 pm | | Reply

      I remember this excerpt exactly from your book! I was literally struck dumb by the ignorance.
      I loved your book by the way! I could not put it down.

  8. Crystal Kushwaha
    Crystal Kushwaha February 6, 2016 at 5:54 pm | | Reply

    This is horrible. You are very strong to have stayed and even further spoken with him, let alone educate him. Clearly that’s what he needed, but the fact that he ever had that mindset just blows my mind. I’m sorry you had to go through something like that.

  9. Ava
    Ava February 6, 2016 at 9:08 pm | | Reply

    I was sooooooo tempted!

  10. Ava
    Ava February 6, 2016 at 9:09 pm | | Reply

    Sorry, that last comment didn’t come out right. I was responding to Phil Chung’s comments about ‘should have punched him in the face.’ Sooooooo tempted!

  11. Sorrel
    Sorrel February 7, 2016 at 6:34 pm | | Reply

    you are better off without Larry.
    He accidently revealed a deep prejudice he holds and deserves nothing from you, even silence.

    While there are many nice Chinese guys around, there are an equal amount of jerks who see dating a non-Chinese woman as something that gives them ‘face’ (yes I know non-Chinese men can be jerks too).

    A couple of Chinese guys I met tried to pressure me into dating them when I wanted to take things so much slower as I wanted to get to know them better. They tried tears, tantrums, pouting, bullying – all ineffectual – to get me to date them. When they eventually got the message that I no longer wanted to even communicate with them they eventually left me alone.

    Trust your gut feeling – it is usually right – and don’t feel pressured or emotionally blackmailed by a guy. You will meet the right one eventually.

  12. Sveta
    Sveta February 8, 2016 at 10:40 am | | Reply

    Wow, sorry to hear that happened to you, and it is unfair to judge someone that way. Unfortunately Chinese sexual education isn’t, well, very good. As my mom likes to say at times, “Under Communist times, China has no sex.” Few years ago I had an experience running into a Chinese guy that seriously thought babies come from oral sex, and this guy was close to getting a PhD and everything. (Not kidding either.) And yes, I did try to explain to him how it is impossible, but he refused to believe me. Many times as well I run into people that have no idea what Judaism is and sometimes I have to explain that to them as well. I can understand your annoyance and anger at what he thought.

    1. Ava
      Ava February 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm | | Reply

      Thanks Sveta, I think it was just total shock because there was nothing to indicate that this was how he felt in all of our conversations leading up to the date. He’s educated and has travelled but still didn’t have a clue.

  13. Lovely Pandas
    Lovely Pandas February 18, 2016 at 2:47 pm | | Reply

    That’s biased to say All African Have AIDS.

    In the past people knew less about Africa and they thought that Africa is poor and many people are infected with AIDS. But today it is an Information Age, he should not say like this any more. He should learn more about you and your country if he was serious about you. But it seems he did not.

    And besides I think it is very impolite to say so for any Chinese people.

    1. Ava
      Ava February 18, 2016 at 6:52 pm | | Reply

      Good points, Lovely Pandas

  14. Bejarano
    Bejarano February 23, 2016 at 3:57 am | | Reply

    Hi Ava,

    I am sorry to read about your experience, there are loads of good Chinese blokes around, keep searching.

    As an aside, are you Chinese-Jamaican? Judging by your surname, I am assuming you might be of Chinese heritage yourself, if so, that would be a great way of explaining to people that are more similarities than differences.

    Good luck all the same.

    1. Ava
      Ava February 23, 2016 at 9:12 am | | Reply

      Hi Bejarano, thanks for your comments although I’m not searching (-:
      Yep there’re are Jamaican Chinese in my family who live in Jamaica, but they’re really distant cousins so I don’t consider myself to be of Chinese heritage.
      Have a good day

  15. Bobby Love
    Bobby Love August 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm | | Reply

    Lol! What an interesting post! I hope you won’t mind coming down to Africa and get a handsome guy……Smiles!!!

    1. Ava
      Ava August 6, 2016 at 11:31 pm | | Reply

      Well, I’m not looking but thanks for the suggestion, Bobby Love. Glad you enjoyed the post (-:

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