First, I probably have written about this but I will write about it again with a new real world example. Planning. It seems to me that, Chinese for the most part do not plan. Wait before you say anything, I mean by and large. Yes people different places may not plan either but, over here, no one seems too.
Take what I am having happen now. I met a girl. We want to go and do something together. She says can’t plan anything. So hanging out with me, well, can’t plan that, she might have something come up.
To me, and possibly to other American guys that sounds awfully like she is trying to blow me off. Well, she isn’t. This is one of those things you learn with language in different countries and what specific things mean. At least I don’t think she is..
A couple thoughts come to mind. First, she probably doesn’t want to write it in rock. Because if she does she will lose face, and or have to let someone down, me, if something comes up. Well, what could come up you ask. Well let’s see, her work could call her in, because it’s China and workers are treated way differently here. Their lives are run by their work places. Some companies more than others. Her parents could beckon her, which she would have to drop everything. Her friend’s could want to go out. She might have some other things she already promised to do.
You see it’s not that easy. In fact, it probably me to some extent. I am the type of person that if I say I will be there at 8. I am there at 8, Greenwich Mean Time +8. But most everyone else doesn’t run like that. Especially Chinese. Most stroll in whenever they want. The bosses are always late etc.
So, to me this is simple. On the first day of the holiday, at 10am we meet and start whatever we are going to do. But no. That is not how Chinese work at all.
Is it confusing, yes. Does it make sense, no. I mean if she want’s to get to know me she should do that right. Meet me and what not. Yes, but then again, she could still want to know me. She could be protecting me also. Which she probably is. Let’s say you play the odds. Let’s say that there is a 40% shot that she will have free time and everything will go perfectly. But that would be that there is a greater chance that she won’t be able to do anything. So by not promising me anything she is actually shielding me from the inevitable heart break that my fragile teenage girl heart would endure. Sweet huh?
She said that Chinese people seem like they don’t plan more than a week out. So she will have to see what she has going on. Right now we are at about 2 wks I think.
I see this every day. The store that doesn’t see that they are getting low on OJ and doesn’t order any until it’s out. They then lose my business. The manager that forgot to order the material, even though he has known that he would need it more than a month prior. Now the order ships late. No one ever firmly promises anything here. I will be there is something that you probably won’t hear here (may or may not be true, but it seems that way).
You have to remember in China, I am the minority, I am the nail sticking out. And trust me, everyday someone wants to hammer me back down..