My coworkers were nice.
Well, two of them were nice. The third one was crazy.
The two normal ones were also a couple. While they weren’t grossly lovey dovey, I didn’t enjoy being the third wheel all the time. Therefore I was forced to hangout with Crazy Maria every once in awhile.
Her name was not really Crazy Maria, my other coworkers and I came up with this code name so we could talk about her, in front of her. Yes, adults can be mean too.
Our dislike for her was warranted because she was the world’s most negative person. Every single thing that came out of her mouth was a complaint. The rest of us had to spend our time complaining about her complaining.
Nonetheless, it was a mean nickname and I’m sorry. But it stuck and now I must use it.
Maria liked to pick up guys (really really old guys) at bars. So every Friday the four of us would go out for a pint, or four, of beer. The couple usually stays until 11pm.
Maria didn’t want to be alone, so she would bribe me with more alcohol if I’d stay with her.
By that she means, stay with her, until some guy (usually some really really really old white guy) picks her up. When that happens it’s my cue to leave.
I was pretty happy with this arrangement. I got free beer. She got old men.
In reality, they were probably like late 30 to early 40s, but I can never tell with white guys.
That pretty much summed up my social life for the first year.
You’re probably wondering why I didn’t go out and make friends with the locals. I was after all, in my motherland, these are my people!
See, before I went to China, I thought I’d make tons of friends, and we’d go karaoke everyday! Then after hanging out with some locals, I realized I knew nothing about China. I had nothing interesting to contribute to conversations. Most of the times I just sat there confused as they went on and on about the local political situation. I made sure to learn the latest Chinese celebrity gossip, but somehow THAT never came up in conversation!
In the end, it was just not meant to be. Local Chinese despised me because I looked like them, but when I opened my mouth, all they saw was a dirty dirty traitor (in the words of my dearest uncle).
I’d probably have an easier time if I were white. No matter what I do, people would just say “Haha, silly Lao-wai (foreigner). She can’t tell a baozi (buns) from a jiaozi (dumpling).”