"Will he buy you an apartment"?

I know a Japanese fellow in Hong Kong.  Extremely nice fellow.  His own business. Approaching 60.  Seeking Nirvana he is not.   The golden elixir itself out of reach.  But he has money. Not much.  Enough. A very youthful outlook on life.  Not ugly.  Thin.  Perhaps a bit henna as the Japanese would say.   But lonely he is.   Some people exude arrogance, contempt for others.  This fellow exudes loneliness.  It seeps from every pore of his body.    Indeed, year by lonely year, his Soul seems to darken.

This Japanese fellow recently got engaged.

To China Woman. She is in her early thirties.  Never married. 

I don’t know how they met.  I’ve met a few others, you see.  I simply have no interest in his personal life. But he’s a business associate of mine.   When I’m in town and he wants to meet me in Shenzhen I say yes.  I always say yes.  And I meet his newest “Chinese friend”.   It’s easy over the course of a meal to see what exists between two people.  Alas, what my Japanese friend thought of as possible romance, China Girl did not. 

I’m not sure why China Girl even bothered.  Maybe she wanted a new purse? Maybe she was lonely, too.  People we ignore in fat times do we not perhaps adore in lean?
But this is real now.

This time China Girl said “yes”.  She agreed to marry my Japanese friend, the businessmen in Hong Kong.

Then he goofed.

First was the engagement ring (or was it the wedding ring?).  They went shopping for it.  She picked one out.  She of course chose a $4000 ring.  It was a bit above his budget.   But he said “ok”.

Where did he goof?

Dude didn’t meet the parents.  Simply as that.

I remember when I first met my wife’s parents.  I remember when I asked for permission to marry their daughter.  The dad jumped right on it.

再说” were the words I’ll never forget. 

The next day he flew off on a business trip to Beijing to meet with Zhu Rongji.

While he was in Beijing we applied for our marriage license.

Once he bought the ring, only after he bought the ring, did China Girl tell her parents.

I very much regret the way I handled things.  I was 24, with no mentoring involved.  I remember simply calling my dad and told him I wanted to get married and he simply said “ok”.   No lecture, no speech.  Nothing.  He simply figured I was a man now and that was that.  

But Japanese Dude was on his second marriage.  Approaching 60. 

He had a relationship with a woman, and never figured out he had to at least give her parents face, right?

Here’s the problem:

China Woman kept the whole damned thing secret.

Only after she got the ring did she go to China Mom and China Dad.

And what did they say? 

Anyone ponder a gander?

Let me stop here.

How many times have I said the best woman to marry is a divorcee?  Even better with kids!  For a Chinese divorcee to marry a laowai is hitting the jackpot.  Simple as that.  For China Woman divorcee with kids to marry a laowai is not only hitting the jackpot, but finding he has a pot of gold hidden under the bed as well. 

China Woman is in her 30’s.  I’ve mentioned in the past how hard it is for post 30 Chinese Women to marry.  Yeah, you are pretty and beautiful.  But so is that 23 year old who’s just arrived and well, she’ll simply be more impressed with Rich China Guy than you’ll be.   And malleable.  She hasn’t been to all the clubs.  Doesn’t know their names.  Your shelf life China Woman just isn’t what it used to be.

So China Woman goes to mom and dad, ring on the finger.   Desperate enough to marry a man 25 years her senior, who’s Chinese is only “ok”.   Knowing she’ll probably never have kids with this guy.

China Mom and Dad simply asked one question.

One dumb fucking question:

“Will he buy you an apartment?”


“No house no marriage!!”

When China Wife heard this story she giggled.

“You see, you can never again marry a Chinese woman!”

As if I’d want to.

We are not for China Woman.  Sitting across the table from Western Civilization, China Girl would simply stare us down and shrug,

“You don’t understand.”

Love, happiness, blah, blah mean nothing without a guarantee of economic security for their daughter down the road.  Simple as that.

Why China Mom doesn’t spend more time trying to ensure China Daughter’s ability to live financially without economic support from China Man is beyond me.  Someone explain to me why there are so many KTV girls in China again?   There has to be another avenue for financial subsistence independent that of China Man than becoming a Lady of the Night, right?

Too many damn China Mom’s think the easiest path to this is simply to get an apartment.   Didn’t I just write a week or so ago lamenting the conclusion many Chinese have come too?   Want economic security? Buy an apartment! 

It doesn’t help that way too many Chinese still think we laowai piss liquid gold in the morning and shit gold bricks at night.

Japanese Dude demurred.  What a surprise.  After all, he already has a house in Hong Kong.  Why would he want to buy a new one in China?  Meanwhile, he’s out $4000, should China Woman bail on him.   That’s one expensive lesson to learn. 


  1. Actually, he probably saved himself a bunch of money in this case. $4,000 is the sunk cost, so it is better to move on.

    FWIW, I don't actually blame her parents if they are of a peasant background. They weren't asking for a bunch of money from him, they simply wanted him to take care of the daughter. In particular, since he is going on 60 and she in her 30s there is a good possibility that she could be a widow relatively young. Thus, they were asking for some sort of financial hedge. Of course, they should have taught her to live on her own especially in the age of the one-child policy. It is too late for that now though.

    I always wondered about why there are so many KTV girls even now that China has become a richer country. Could be an interesting post on the societal background of it. I just think young Chinese women expect a monetary value for their youth and beauty. In the same way attractive young women in the West expect to be bought drinks at clubs for nothing. The Chinese just take it to more of an extreme.

  2. Well my friend I'm sorry to say I haven't been to a club in America since Grover Cleveland was President. Chinese girls are pretty handy at the free drink thing, too. I did have an interesting discussion with the Chinese on betrothal money, and it seems to vary from province to province...

    Asking about a post on KTV girls are you? Let me check....what about this one?


  3. haha, I am sorry for laughing, but you life would really be bad if you really piss liquid gold in the morning and shit gold bricks at night. ww

    there's no cure for that.


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