[PICTURE: A sculpture in the Tingly Museum, Basel which is how I image us Country Garden teachers look like while waiting for the bus on a Monday morning….]
Flattery – excessive and insincere praise, especially that given to further one’s own interests
Flattery is either something you’re comfortable with or not. I can’t remember a single time when I felt comfortable while someone said anything even remotely close to flattery and aimed it in my general direction.
Flattery is strange in China. Friends and co-workers from last year would sometimes make comments which they intended to be a compliment, but, somewhere from the Chinese to Western culture, the flattery was lost. For example; the Chinese typically do not like to tan. They hide away from the sun taking any opportunity to whip out their umbrellas and shield them from the suns evil glare. So when my friend, co-worker and fellow tea break skiver came back from a week in the Philippines earlier this year, proud of her slight colour change and burnt thighs (okay, maybe not so proud about the lobster legs but you get my drift), you can imagine her dismay when she was told; “Oh I thought you went to the Philippines? But you are still so white, you are still so pale, it is great!” Her heart sank and “tan” seemed to fade away instantly. It’s just a different standard of beauty and expectations right? Neither is right nor wrong, just a clash of cultural preferences.
Another example, involves myself. I mentioned in an earlier post that I somehow found myself drinking Chinese spirits celebrating Mr Chen’s 20th year at CG School. Well during this alcohol fuelled evening, poor Vivian spend most her time translating the comments and questions of Continue reading