The Hidden Seduction – Part VIII 2 – Trust (2)

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trust-building2The Hidden Seduction – Part VIII 2 – Trust (2)


Ou Yang wanted to know François better, to ease the worries of her sisters and mother back in China. Yet deep down in her heart, their concerns were hers as well. Her family did not help her by putting more doubt in her mind.

Her family had liked Ge Wen – though not as an extraordinary person but as a kindhearted Mr. Yes. But now they had not the faintest idea about Francois. Photos wouldn’t add up, and a light smile on his face would not trigger any curiosity about him or change their total ignorance of “foreigners.” They would tell Ou Yang not to laugh too early before she got to know him.

“Hmmm, we don’t know them! They are different from us! They do not understand the qin qing (亲情) of our culture, the close blood relationship and feelings between family members,” Ou Yang’s family warned her.

Those green-eyed ghosts, who once invaded China and drove the Last Emperor and the Dowager Cixi to Xi’an, were becoming someone who might someday visit them as their son-in-law. That was scary. Not that François was scary, but that they did not know how to handle this new thing. They would be absolutely out of orbit.

Ou Yang came to see Simone one late afternoon on the way back home after running some errands. She found Simone in her front garden watering the plants.

She had a secret mission this time. Oug Yang wanted Simone to check Francois’s credit, to see if he was a good, reliable man. She knew that as a real estate broker, Simone had the mechanism and contacts to check credit. Ou Yang’s short encounter and love affaire with the young French man Mathiux Galland over a decade ago in China had left her with nothing solid about seriously dating a Westerner.

Simone was so astonished by Ou Yang’s request that for quite a moment, she did not know how to respond. Ignoring her demands, she bent down over some weeds and pulled out the roots. Ou Yang, it seemed, was incapable of trusting the normal ways of judging François’ character, and perhaps Ou Yang assumed that a foreigner’s behavior could indicate different meanings from what she was used to. She had to go as far as to check out Francois in such a drastic, almost ‘professional’ way.

After a moment of silence, Simone said coldly, almost sarcastically, “Of course I’d like to do it for you. But the problem is, in order to do a credit check, I need to have an authorization letter written and signed by François himself. And we need his social insurance number, address and some other pertinent information.”

Having lived in Canada for ten years, Ou Yang couldn’t say she didn’t know the rules, but she was asking Simone for a favor, and to get it done without Francois’s consent. Plus Ou Yang had all the necessary information ready; all that was missing was his signature.

But Simone had been working in the Canadian system as a professional long enough to have a strong sense of what was considered “right and wrong.” As the older person with more conscience, she had no problem refusing her friend’s indecent request in the end.

Slowly, as Ou Yang got to know more about François, more and more was revealed about Ou Yang at the same time too.

One day, over the phone, Ou Yang finally told Simone the reason she wanted to check François’ credit: François had asked to borrow $3,000 to fill in an emergency cash flow shortage. She hadn’t been able to believe that the man she was dating would ever ask to borrow money from her. It had made her eyes pop and her mouth drop wide open. In her mind, no foreigner would ever ask to borrow money from his girlfriend, especially from someone who was more or less a single mother with only a regular job.

Even Simone had a hard time believing that a decent, experienced Canadian businessman would turn to his relatively new girlfriend in an emergency instead of going through his usual and reliable professional channels.

It was nearly impossible for Ou Yang to digest. She had thought she was dating a prince who was rich with money and void of any of life’s mundane problems. It was hard for her to see beyond the material, beyond the BMW X5, which, in her eyes, was a symbol of doing just fine. But this money issue had created a contradiction in all she knew and saw about Francois. She was beginning to think that her mother and sisters might be right about things. After dating him more than six month, she still didn’t really know him!  She stopped smiling.


To Be Continued…


The Hidden Seduction – Part VIII 2 – Trust (1)

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Part VIII 2 – Trust (1)

Sometimes, we find that we are not in as favourable a situation in life as we had wished. Elizabeth felt that this was her case.

When one went through big life changes such as hers – loyal wife and lovely, capable mother of four relocating everything, including her own soul in relation to herself and her god – it took a great deal of courage and trust to hold her shaking limbs and heart and continue to find a way out.

Elizabeth finally met a nice guy through friends in early 2011, after unsuccessful tries on Internet. She was such a romantically powerful woman that she could easily overlook the difficulties of being hundreds of miles away from her new lover. She lived in Cayuga Heights, a suburb of Ithaca in New York, while Patrick Simard lived in Burlington, a US city close to the border of Quebec. He taught at Université De Quebec À Montréal before becoming a professor of sociology at The University of Vermont in 2002. He had never married and had no kids; Patrick came to Elizabeth’s world by a rare lucky chance.

After the prolonged after-effects of divorce – sleepless nights, endless dates and cups of coffee, disturbing and upsetting arguments about right and wrong – Elizabeth felt happy and relaxed with Patrick. Patrick suited her. He could engage her in long, interesting conversations and offer her food for thought in a scholarly way. Patrick, on the other hand, found Elizabeth passionate and interesting, trusting and daring, and above all, intuitive.

Spring came especially early in 2012. Early spring in Montreal means the beginning of May, when people start shopping for their gardens. Ou Yang had a little garden at the back of her cottage where the perennials were starting to bud. She frowned, though, seeing them grow so quickly overnight in the rising temperatures and nourishing warm rains; she had no time to look after them, nor was she in the mood to do anything else than get by her job and life with her son

The previous year, her friend Simone did some thing revolutionary to her own garden, after tearing out the grass completely, designed and executed a natural garden plan with the help of her adult son. She then started planning for the last long and narrow piece of land that ran along the side of her building, adjacent to her neighbor’s on the left. A train of bush half-dead from bugs and exposed roots served as The Middle Line dividing the two properties. The grass was scarce and eaten away by the persistent dandelions. Simone hated to have to keep two lawn mowers, one for the patch and one for the edges. She planed to get rid of the ugly grass and heavy lawn mowerscompletely.

One day, Simone found the kind of plant that suited her purposes. This plant would spread to cover the ground, instead of growing so tall that she’d have to cut them every ten days. Now, she could finally get rid of the dirty, hard-to-start mower. She went to Home Depot, Reno-Depot, and all the other garden centers, and bought all the thyme off their shelves. She planted two hundred roots of thyme on this piece of land, measuring one meter in width and thirty meters in length.

Thyme was chosen among many other climbing plants and they were planted on May 18th that year. They grew so fast that they soon covered the spaces in between in just a month and half. Nature displayed all its charm and power in such a short time.

Ou Yang did not show much of her happiness with new boyfriend François. Maybe it was because she was too busy with her job and son to have time to stop for even a second to enjoy her new state of mind, or even new ways of sex. Or maybe it was because she was still in a testing period when she was not allowed to release herself completely to enjoy!

Chinese do not ever talk about sexual feelings to any one – not to family, not even to friends. So no one could really know how she really felt sexually about François, except from her complaints that her husband Ge Wen was not doing much in the couple years before things blew up.

When the long expected dream came true for Ou Yang, the charm of the dream suddenly disappeared, which made Ou Yang even more perplexed and frustrated….



To Be Continued…

Maison de Transition – Relief ( A True Story in Daily Life )

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human trust image


I rented an apartment in May to a Quebecois guy called Mathieu Dufort (name changed)-a 32 years old young man with a boy of age 6 (not living with him). He told me that his credit was not good because of something he did back in 2007.

It is hard to have someone very clean for a little one person apartment. The key turns around within the group of people of great uncertainty – no stable job, no good credit, usually single with not much education.

Mathieu sounded responsible on the phone and appeared with his son on time when the appointment came. He seemed correct and told me directly about his bad credit, but with no debt. He was honest, I thought. He wanted to move in 1st of June, but the old lease would terminate till after June 30th. He insisted in waiting for a month, crashing in with one of his friends.

The lease was signed from 1st of July 2013 to 30th of June 2014.
June 30th came, there was no call for the keys. I left a message on 1st of July inquiring about his absence. No answer. Another message, no answer.

“Fuck, another asshole!”

I had to rent it again besides the loss of at least one month’s rent.

A few days ago, I missed a call from an unknown number. This person also left a message. Guess what, it was Mathieu. I followed the instruction and called him back. I was very curious.  The number belonged to an institution that I didn’t even know what it was: Maison de Transition. No one answered, so I left a message to the name Mathieu Dufort, telling him that I would wait till 21st of July to cancel the lease at the Rental Board  and to claim a year’s rent from him.

In the afternoon of the same day, when I was driving on René-Levésque, a call came in. I recognized the number and knew who was calling, of course.

To my surprise, now I know what Maison de Transition is. He was arrested on June 2nd and put in prison ever since for something he did in 2007, he told me.
I had been angry and disappointed because of his total disappearance. Now, I felt I was relieved and even a bit happy to have heard from him at all. It was a bad thing for him to have been to jail, yet it released me of my anger.  Of course, I was still annoyed, but I found my hope again at least, not that we could continue the signed lease, but the hope for trust and care – the base for smooth business and life, even though many times, the base could not be built solid easily.

I thanked him for calling me and consented at his request that I will still keep the door open for him when he is ready in september, if the apartment is still available. Of course, that will be done with different and more measures to guarantee the business.

I wish that he could have trust from other people when he will be looking for a job. But before all, he himself has to give out his hand. I have seen his effort in him telling me the truth about credit, persistence and punctuality, and lastly, in calling me to let me know what had happened, apologizing, I have seen hope and the hand he reached out…

The Hidden Seduction – Part VIII-1 – Counting and Accountable (1)

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Chinese are famous for knowing how to count the money hidden under their mattresses. It is a cheap mentality which teaches our children and ourselves that we are the only ones who should benefit from business and everyone else should work for free, a mentality passed down from kingdoms of sovereignty in which people worked not for their own benefit but for the benefit of kings and their imperial families. The difference between then and now is that each one has set himself up as a king, keeping everything for himself and expecting everyone else to serve him as well.

Living outside China, Ou Yang got to know about other nations: Greeks too are cheap. They are so cheap that they almost corrupted and collapsed their own country because people refused to pay taxes on the little work they are willing to do. Must it be the fault of joining the Euro Zone?! No matter where they go, Jews bind their community tightly together through marriage and business; Arabs like to bargain just as much as Chinese do; Germans are hardworking, serious and highly organized, but dry and stern as tree barks; Japanese respect rules to such an extent that they themselves become the definition of rules; Italians can talk with their hands around their heads for most of a day caring too much about what they love and little about what really makes sense; Swiss are famous for their non judgmental banks and ambiguous attitude towards world affaires with high mountains protecting them, and Canadians impresses the world nicely with American way of life, yet a better social and medical systems…

It is difficult and dangerous to generalize, yet for Ou Yang, or for any one who judges, the judgement is rather an expression of who they are than who the judged ones are.  When we go about any business, our judgment is needed. The ways we generalize or judge lead to different directions. In the end, deep down, we are all some“-ISTS” – either nationalists, internationalists, racists, socialists,  capitalists, and humorists etc. The day we remove all our “-ISTS,” we become impossibly perfect or impeccably  ignorant.

As young people, we know nothing about counting, nothing about the value or worth of anything. Love is sweet, free, and exciting. Life is simple and happiness is as easy as an idea, a song, or a tune stuck in our mind. Life is measured less, we are fearless because life is timeless, and we can truly smile, laugh and live.

By the time we reach our 40’s, we find that we have lost our ability to keep things simple. We have measures, requirements and criteria.
For Ou Yang, who once married beneath her, and Elizabeth, whose marriage went off track, meeting their  goals was not as easy as they thought it would be. What should they do next? Should they continue searching for the “right one,” letting time pass and getting old along the way? Or should they simply settle for less?


To Be Continued…


The Hidden Seduction – Part VII-3 – The Logic

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Part VII-3 – The Logic

Ou Yang stayed in Simone’s house a very long time that Sunday. She made very clear her wronged feelings and righteous logic. She cried a few times as she talked about the sacrifice she had made for her little family, as though she had stooped to marrying Ge Wen. Simone didn’t understand how Ou Yang could act so shocked, like she had been the innocent party to which the harm was done.

Ou Yang somewhat changed this time. Her voice, though still coarse, became thinner, fragile with gusts of wailing. Her face was puffy from obvious weeping and her eyeliner had become pale black smears down her cheeks. She did have the look of a victim seeking for compensation.

“I told Ge Wen that we are staying. We are not going to Vancouver,” she said decidedly. “I told him that we need to continue the education of our son, my only son. I told him to send us $1,500 a month plus his $700 share of the payment for the house!”

Ge Wen’s new job in Vancouver paid him about $60,000 a year. After taxes, Ge Wen had only about $4,500 per month. But if he agreed to Ou Yang’s demands, then he would only have $2,300 left to cover his $1,200 monthly rent, plus car and food expenses.

They all knew that living in Vancouver was much more expensive than in Montreal. Ou Yang’s demands for “compensation” sounded weirdly like passive robbery to Simone.

Simone tried to wake Ou Yang out of her sense of righteousness, of being the victim making her claims now that the bandit was caught. She could not or maybe just would not see that she was the bandit, yet she needed one.  Ou Yang uttered those words full of logic and her demands sounded God granted.

But Ou Yang wouldn’t listen. She bargained, ha! She bargained with Simone, as though Simone were her husband’s accomplice.

“No, I don’t care. We need this much money! We have to keep our standard of living!” Ou Yang was almost yelling to Simone.

Then Ou Yang began calculating all of the expenses for Sunny’s studies, and the after school activities that she would have to pay for.

She wasn’t even bargaining anymore. Ou Yang had made her decision and that was it.

“Fine, fine, don’t tell me then,” Simone finally said, “tell it to your husband!”

“I already told him clearly!” Ou Yang confirmed to herself that she was alright about her demands.

But if Ge Wen had agreed,  Ou Yang wouldn’t have been going on and on to Simone. Here, a man had been abandoned, and nearly half his income demanded of him in order to maintain the standard of living for his queen-like wife and only son, while he squeezed by in a 50 square meter apartment in Vancouver.

Ge Wen was facing, for the first time in his already miserable life, a challenge to which he was scared to respond. If he refused, his wife and her family in China would consider him a dishonorable and cruel husband. And they would use his refusal as proof that Ou Yang had indeed married beneath her when she married such a cheap man.


To be continued…