We woke up early this morning so we could get on the high speed rail to travel to Taichung for an engagement party. The bullet train t00k about 45 minutes for a normally three-hour-long car ride, and it had really comfy seats with lots of leg room. Jennifer’s boss, Sylvia, is getting married so she invited Jennifer and me to tag along.
When a guy and girl gets married here, there are two parties for them. The first is an engagement party occurring during lunchtime and thrown by the bride’s parents, and they invite all the family and friends on the bride’s side. The second party occurs a month later and is the actual wedding, this time paid for by the groom’s parents. There were about 360 guests there today, and everyone ate really well with the 10+ giant dishes of delicious seafood and other stuff. After the meal, everyone leaves with a giant box of “wedding cookies”.
On the way out of the train station, we were about to cross the street to catch a bus home when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around, and there were two guys smiling at me and Jen. One of them introduced them both and said that he thought I was cute, and his friend thought Jen was cute. He then proceeded to explain that he lived in California for about a year, and his friend there said that it’s ok to initiate conversations with girls if you think they’re cute. So he said that he was trying the American way by talking to us, and his English was actually pretty decent.
Here’s the thing in Taiwan, we’ve been out to a few clubs and bars, and we quickly learned that Taiwanese guys do not talk to girls here. It seems like the boys have been snubbed a few too many times over the past couple generations that they’ve just given up asking. Taiwanese girls will not give you the time of day if they are not even the least bit interested so the guys don’t really bother anymore. It’s even to the point where they’re afraid to stand in proximity with Jen at the club because she’s so “foreign”. If a boy is interested in a girl, he’ll send over a friend to let the girl know that he is interested and would like to get the girl better, but never do they ever approach the girl themselves.
Back to the story, so you can imagine our surprise when these two guys decided to come and talk to us and wanted to get our numbers so they can hang out with us more. Except Dude #1 made two fatal errors.
While asking where we’re from and how we knew each other, to which I replied that we’ve been friends for a long time since middle school, he then blurted out, half-joking yet half-serious, “Wait, are you guys a couple?” while looking a bit freaked out waiting for the answer. Very smooth, dude, imply that we’re lesbians because that’ll definitely get you hot dates. Then five minutes later, after stating that we look pretty young, to which I replied, yeah we’re 22, he then proceeded to ask us our names again because, “Sorry, I’m old. I forget things.” Old enough to forget things? Are we talking about 30s or 40s here cause neither can be a good thing while talking to 22-year-olds. (That’s another thing, you can never tell anyone’s age here cause they all look so much younger than they really are!) In the end, he wanted to get our numbers, to which I replied, Why don’t you give me yours?, also popularly known as, Don’t expect to hear from us anytime soon.
I feel a tiny bit bad for mercilessly squashing a Taiwanese boy’s first attempt to talk to us, but when they can’t do it properly, I suppose then they would be better off not doing it at all. (Not that it mattered if they did do a proper job, but I just find it all a very interesting cultural thing.)
In other news, I am a black-haired vixen again. Jen & I went to the salon to get our hair washed for a mere $150NT ($5USD), and I made the impulsive decision to dye it black. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile, but I didn’t want to do box-dye it myself and have my hair look like a fake wig. The lady did a really good job, and it matches my roots perfectly.