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Forum Postings by ASIANISBEAUTIFUL (1)
RE:Why do overseas Chinese men seldom marry western women?
| Culture Zone | Apr 9, 2008 22:50
Travel Reviews by ASIANISBEAUTIFUL(0)
beware the English "student" | Beijing | Jun 21, 2009 08:14
Americans and other English-speaking westerners traveling in China are often asked if they would assist a young Chinese person in practicing their English. These are usually college-aged people, or at least appear to be, and more often than not, they are female. Many travelers are more than willing to help, hoping perhaps to be able to move beyond the usual tour guide conversations, etc. A warning, however. Many young people in Beijing who approach westerners have made arrangements with local businesses to try and steer foreigners to their establishments.

These young people work for commissions and, hence, their seeming sincerity may have more to do with capitalist desires (wink) than with an interest in English (or you, middle aged male, who suddenly feels attractive in light of the undue attention being paid to you by an attractive young Chinese woman with an intriguing accent ;-). Some of the places that they will take you - for example, a traditional Chinese tea house or even a bar - will hike their prices accordingly, resulting in anything but a genuine Chinese "experience." If you are not careful, you will find yourself very embarrassed and considerably poorer as you are faced with paying a bill far in excess of the "Chinese price" and being unable to effectively challenge the circumstance.

The best advice is to respectfully decline anyone who approaches you and requests to practice English (or any other language), to discuss your country's culture, etc. Granted, you may end up missing out on a genuine opportunity for cultural enrichment, but that's better than ending up many hundreds of dollars or euros or pounds short.
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