Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Interesting Chinese Encounter

Last week I ran out of minutes on my Chinese SIM card and needed to replenish.  On a whim I decided to carry my phone in my hand instead of putting it back in my pocket...seriously, don't ask me why.  As I was crossing the crosswalk a Chinese woman starting waving at me as if she knew me.  She was probably in her late twenties sporting an 80's style Tina Turner hair style, red camouflage T-shirt which read Army, black mini skirt with tights complete with the knee high boots. 

She took me by surprise when she actually stopped me in the middle of the crosswalk.  Since the crosswalks are death traps here in China, I made sure to walk back to the corner as she was rambling to me in Chinese following my lead.  Never once did she speak English even though that's pretty much all I was speaking; I really only knew how to say "I don't know" in that sort of situation.  Even so, most Chinese people do not understand me when I do try to speak Chinese.  She started pointing to my phone and her phone - still rambling in Chinese while I kept repeating I don't know.  I thought she was going to translate something using her phone as many people in the refinery I work at do so often.  With no hesitation she grabbed my phone and put in her number, pressed talk and made sure my number appeared in her phone.  She made motion of calling, while continuing her ramble in Chinese, gave me a hug and then walked off waving back to me.  I made sure to save her number, as Random Army Chinese Gal, in my phone in case she did end up calling.  I figured she wouldn't since our conversation did not get very far on the street...

However, while I was at work that night, she called!  I did not answer the call in time but luckily there are translators here at work.  I had the night translator call her back and talk to her since I could not understand.  Apparently, she thought I looked Russian when she saw me earlier, which I have heard that comment multiple times from workers at the refinery.  She lives in a part of China that is close to the Russian border and she speaks a little Russian.  She wanted to get together with me because I looked very friendly and kind.  She did appear to be a very nice woman but unfortunately I do not have a translator with me all the time and not sure our next conversation would improve any in understanding one another.  Maybe I will run into her again...I mean, how can you miss an 80's style Tina Turner hair cut in China?!