The Hidden Seduction – Part VI-2 – Love Floating On The Foam of Caffè Latte

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Part VI-2 – Love Floating On The Foam of Caffè Latte

Ou Yang popped up at Simone’s door when she wanted to talk or “needed” advice. Simone grew a bit of tedious feeling about Ou Yang’s non-mutual beneficiary visits after seeing that Ou Yang was not really interested in listening to what she was asking for. Sometimes she felt that the visit was good for no one at all. Nevertheless, going dancing was always an exception.  After all,  Simone had enough a strong empathic heart to continue trying her best to help Ou Yang in her own way which would be thought as too direct for Chinese. To Simone, directness was the result of all her knowledge and experiences and it would save Ou Yang precious time in her critical moment of life. At least, she could show Ou Yang part of the joy of life – the pleasure of dancing. Indeed, dancing had served as the strange link between the two very different girls and some what as the only way for Simone to continue her hidden mission.

Ou Yang invited herself one lunch time again to Simone’s home. Simone prepared Italian Bruschetta and some fruits as simple lunch.

“I heard that Quebecois men are very cheap! They don’t even pay you a cup of coffee!!!”

Well, that was not the first time Simone heard such a comment on Quebecois men.

Ou Yang was like most daughters or grand-daughters of Chinese women who have been liberated by Chairman Mao for 61 years after 1949. Strangely, these women still tangled themselves up as if they had never been free from their traditional roles of dependants of men and society. The 1st two generations of new China passionately scorned this role, but the 3rd and 4th generations slowly shifted into taking such delight in praising men who provide, spitting out contempt so hideous on those who could not.  We could even feel the goose bumps on our skin only seeing the ways they uttered words of despite. They surely love men to pay for everything when they are dating and they demand in their heads absolutely the “chivalry” when they are invited out.  Indeed, very where in the world, invitation means that the inviting party absolutely pays,  but in China, dating expenses fall on men as entrance examinations! Even though, some of those Chinese women are living in different western countries, their thinking habit is like a heavily charged train sliding on a down slope.

All detailed cultural differences and expectations of women in dating say a lot about the societies they live in. Chinese women advanced one step after 1949, yet soon got lost in its revolutions where humanity simply disappeared. And now, as men are getting wealthier and the society is automatically putting its handle in the hands of girls because of The One-Child Policy, women seem to have happily resumed their traditional positions as priced merchandise instead of going a step forward.

In China, Ou Yang never once paid for tea or meals. All boys treated her. Especially as a college graduate, she was a hot one on the market. Men would usually pay everything to have a university educated woman added to their social status. Lucky for those girls who lived in that time when diplomas were symbols of advancement and glory and a sort of “sexy” attraction to men. Of course, having money was not the only criterium for Ou Yang, she wanted more than that. But paying the coffee or meals should be the first test the man had to pass.

Upon hearing Ou yang, Simone frowned unnoticed, but agreed to the comment first in order not to sound opposing, thus paving her way into the following conversation. Coming back from getting her a glass of juice, she said to Ou Yang:

” but you know, getting to know the person in whole is more important than judging them only from paying for you or not the very first date”. Well, Ou Yang was judging even before meeting any of them from gossip.

“Well, I detest men who do not even buy a cheap coffee for the woman he invited! You can not depend on a man like this!”  Ou Yang was quite passionate when she commented as if she had a real opponent in mind.

“Ou Yang, maybe he does not mean to invite you? Maybe he does not know you enough to invite you? If you do not agree to try him, you will not go out with him, right? So, aren’t you having an equal chance and shouldn’t you share the cost?”  Simone spoke out her opinions.

Ou Yang had such a talent in turning things in her favour. She was absolutely reasonable thinking that she could not go for a man less good than her husband who had been already paying everything for her, who even handed over all his pay after receiving his salary every month without delay. Yes, it would be demeaning if she had found a man who would do less than her husband.

“Well, you have to understand that Quebecois men are used to women’s independence. Quebecois women enjoy paying their own bills, because their grand mothers and even mothers had no identity (they bore the names of their husbands), no chance to work, no right to own bank accounts, and absolutely  no access to their husbands’ accounts before the 60s! Now, they enjoy their freedom of working for their own money and spending it instead of “being treated” by men like before!”

Simone said to her with eyes looking directly into Ou Yang’s.

” You have money for a coffee, don’t you?”

Hearing this gently pronounced but very clear and direct question, Ou Yang suddenly turned red:

” No, that is not the point! Of course I have money. I have more savings than them from my profitable tour guide job in China, but I need to see that they love me!”

Ou Yang protested genuinely.

So the debate weather money represents love lasted 20 minutes until Simone was tired of trying. Ou Yang argued as if she was not there to listen to different ideas from the girl she seemed trusting, but to show off her princess-like value and pride some what as a kidnapped Chinese woman.

In Ou Yang’s mind, if the man was not willing to pay even for a coffee, this man would be too cheap and untrustworthy! It had nothing to do with money. Ou Yang was absolutely a princess, a princess who grew tired of her slave husband,  a queen with an eight year old, a hard-working priceless woman who was not shy at all to think for a second of her own unfavourable situations…

It was interesting that she was not in China where women of 27 years are tagged as “left-overs”.  She was on a different market where “foreign men” were naive about Chinese women, where men knew a bit of Asian family traditions and customs , but not really knew that women were not even mentioned and thus did not exit…

Western men did not know at all that New China, though liberated women 61 years ago,  let them be spoiled by men who wanted to show power after being given the right to chase material wealth with China opened up. They would never have imagined that Chinese women in general were created equally greedy monsters in between the periods of history of nothingness and liberation, and on the road of the men’s society returning to raw lust for money and power .

Ou Yang’s case was even more difficult. She was caught even tighter in Quebec. She fell into a place where women are independent and supported by a wise and kind society, a place where men would think that paying every coffee and meal would be an insult to independent minds with self-esteem. In regard of treating Chinese women, Quebec men fall into a cultural error zone unconsciously, but it would be pretentious for them to behave like Chinese men if they’d be sincere and if we’d like them to be genuine.

Simone tried to make Ou Yang see that love is priceless and it comes from getting to know each other to start with, rather than from the irrelevant payment for a coffee in a society where even a beggar can afford three full meals by begging on the streets. But Ou Yang insisted that if there was no free  coffee, then there would be no chatting, absolutely no chance for further development!

“So your love has a price of a coffee, is that right?”

Seeing that her way did not work at all, Simone changed  her weapon and uttered abruptly those words with a bit of scorn.

Ou Yang felt strange why Simone said that. “Of course not!”  She held herself up high, because she was worth more than a cheap coffee. That was just the whole point! In her eyes, she was worth the price of a one carat diamond at least.

“hahahaha….”  Simone could not help laughing, but her laughter went from mocking into joking, fearing what was hidden in her laughter would hurt Ou Yang. She thought, by adjusting her laughter,  she could cover well her distain for Ou Yang, or to be precise, her despite for this prevailing Chinese women’s concept of love by measuring it with rituals or money. She was sure that she had adjusted,  into an obvious understanding and deep empathy, her improper statement and her aversion for Ou Yang’s inherited cheap and stubborn ways of thinking …

“Why you laugh? I am serious! I would not just go out with a man who would not even pay for my coffee on the first date!! If he is not willing to pay for just one coffee, what else he would do for me?”

Indeed, love is invisible to Chinese, untouchable with no smell, but coffee, even though Chinese do prefer tea, does have a kind of strong burned smell and taste; and a diamond does have visible pretty shapes and solid touch with much more value to tag the worth of love. This might be the reason why it is harder for Chinese to pull their facial muscles for smile or laugh than “Climbing to the Heaven”,  because they are busy fantasizing meeting men who would measure their love with diamonds,  putting rulers into their pockets to measure their loss and gain kept under their matresses, and they are so busy calculating that they become poker faced.  They forget that living each breath of life healthily and joyfully with appreciation is the most important measure for life. Every one, especially girls in Quebec, can fully execute this ultimate ideal and enjoy this last but the best meaning of life.

Simone saw that Ou yang did not get the ” joke”, so she pointed out with words:

” Don’t take it seriously, I was just joking with you!’

But Ou Yang was offended. She got well the meaning hidden in the joke. She stood up from the bar chair suddenly, grabbed her purse, walking towards the door while putting on her shoes and coat, saying at the same time in a wronged and bitter tone:

” You are lucky! You do not understand me! Victor treated you well and you are lucky!  If I had your money, I wouldn’t care neither; if I had a person like Victor, I would not need anything more!”  Ou Yang judged Simone’s situation because she saw Simone’s big house with beautiful flowers all through three seasons and she never heard Simone complain or mention anything concerning the payment. Not complaint or mention meant that Victor did all very well including paying for everything!

She might not be totally wrong. We do need money to cure our addiction to money and a good generous man who pays everything to let us feel no need for needing. But how much do we need and what can be called generous?

There, on her porch, Simone watched angry Ou Yang rushing away. Simone saw the tears in Ou Yang’s eyes when she got into her car. Ou yang’s anger made Simone feel that her utterance was very improper, inconsiderate and even rude. Yes, Simone should have understood better Ou Yang’s multi entanglement and be more patient. So sorry and bad she felt instantly for Ou Yang and herself, she chased after Ou Yang’s car, yelling something while running, but Ou Yang drove away like a crazy youngster racing….zuuuummm…leaving Simone’s shouts unheard in the noise of her volkswagen.

Even with her front lights off, and with anger and bitterness, Ou Yang disappeared into the darkness…

Yes, Simone was lucky to have Victor Point treating her the clean air in the restaurant for one and half hours when they first met! They actually treated each other the priceless water without paying any tip to the waiter,  which made the waiter unhappy waiting on two people who did not not reward his work! That was really cheap! How lucky was she in Ou Yang’s mind! Maybe Simone should think like Ou Yang, get offended by Victor’s treat of air and water and shut her door forever to Victor?

Simone sent an e-mail and also called to apologize. She made sure that Ou Yang was alright. Ou Yang righteously excused herself of not knowing the situation of Quebec women, yet she emphasized that she was not a cheap woman nor a Quebecois woman, so she would not let men have her so easily…

To Be Continued…

 

The Hidden Seduction – Part V-3 – The Boring Stage

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Part V-3 – The Boring Stage

Jonas might have gone a bit farther than his convention limited him or his religion has expected of him by being a bit farther away from his vow to his wife Elizabeth. The worst of all, he confessed to his wife,  as a good Christian, his “sin” of having fallen in love with a Chinese woman a few years after the event. We would wonder, since he could stray from his Christian disciplines, why could he not bear the torture of his guilt, why would he not just consume it or let it rot away with his dead cells than sharing his burden with his wife whom he might have forgotten that she was also a human being?

Nevertheless, we could never understand the true reasons for this cruel disclosure of his “infidelity”. He might have a decent cause to break his oath for, but he did not do it right then in “proper” ways or he was just too true to himself to remember his vow. When the jug is broken, any way of breaking it should be wrong anyway.

It is in vain to blame when unpleasant things happen. Finding fault could not end the inevitable conflict between God and men and neither could it help build our life. Experiences, any experiences “good” or “bad”, all should become positive energies for wise people to resume their lives, not something to fear of, nor to avoid facing. “good” or “bad”, we need to embrace them as our lives, our only lives that would have been in these ways no matter how many lives we would have lived.

For Jonas, should he honour his own individual need or path while continuing honouring HIS that had taken his wife into this custodian of marriage, and how? Should he be allowed to “sin” and make mistakes, such big ones in his life that had mislead another person’s 2o years? Or we should say it is not sin nor mistake, but rather the natural unavoidable progression of  life? When we say that “cheating” is a “sin” or “mistake”, aren’t we putting ourselves on the “right” side of human moral laws, yet dwelling on the wrong side of natural laws? Is Christianity seen as natural laws or laws of our humans? But it seems that the unified only way is to live our lives well with what we have got making the best out from whatever situations we are put in.

Life is always complicated. The complication many times includes mainly our concerns for the loved ones, the direct wife or husband, children and indirect other members of the families. It seems that life always has two faces, one is for facing the institutions that we created and live in, the order that we established and have to follow, and morals and values that we teach our children to enable them to have something to hang strongly on; the other face is questioning ourselves inside, to understand our changing selves, our true feelings,and what the set world and moral touching promises still make the same good sense to the true changing instant us.

The second face is always timid with a little voice while the one outside is either unquestionably strong or used to be in set moulds. Could Jonas be a natural man and a godly man at the same time?  If not, why not then?  What would be the result of just being a natural man instead? Quebec men had kicked the ass of God out from their doors, what have become Quebec men for Ou Yang to date soon, what are these ungodly Quebec men?

Elizabeth’s divorce dragged longer than usual. She struggled for 8 years amongst bearing the banal consequences of her husband’s very humanity,  the cruelty of the discharged guilt and her own human attempts for forgiving. A woman who married her high school sweet heart, a pious Christian and a mother of four was given the burden to choose and carry separately the responsibility for the kids.

Since Elizabeth decided to divorce, she would be thrown into a world that she had not much knowledge of, or probably that she would not approve. It seemed that she cast herself out from her relatively enclosed and “purer” Christian world into a mixed one of all others. The most unfortunate of all,  she would encounter doubt in her firm mind,rendering herself at the risk of losing her Christian faith.

She was about to find out that the world where woman made from man’s rib was changing when science and technologies have made our life such that the strength of muscles are losing to that of brain. She knew very well that Eve was depicted the vicious and disrespectful one who tasted the apple of knowledge, and she herself had become a woman with free spirit who was in reach of any apples in the world. Yet, the Christian culture had planted into her blood and bones the concept and habit of relying on men without whom women were out cast forever into an unknown world, a world where men were leaving behind what she had been taught to believe in.

Instead of saying that Elizabeth was thrown out by an unrighteous and unkind incident onto an awkward stage, it would make more sense to think that she was put into an ordeal and incessant trouble and pain by the need for “confession” and for releasing the “guilt” righteously. Jonas was not saved neither from an ordeal, though different, or even worse and harsher one, from the unimagined consequences of being honest enough to “confess” and to ask for forgiveness, thus putting the hot ball into the hands of Elizabeth for his own errors that might be correctable by himself.  We were not saved from tasting the salt when Jonas and Elizabeth were crying. We were helpless. We could not even hold their hearts besides being silent.

Poor Elizabeth, now she was on a stage where she found herself almost naked and everyone of her small village was watching. She was out of the relationship with her husband, yet not ready to have a place to hang IN. She did not quite know the location of the door to the next house where she could accommodate her soul properly as she had achieved before with Jonas.

Her uncertain situation could be easily seen on her puffy face. The grievance, the unrest, un-eruptable wrath found their ways into her deep wrinkles. She was born with a up-beat character and was chosen by God as a perfect sower of sun rays, but the life changing event hardly could hold any longer her happy karma and her life nurturing sun rays almost resembled that pale light dazzling from a mirror. The need of her children, the love and care for her kids and the limit of the small town made it impossible for her exhausted soul to give up completely her once happy marriage of almost 20 years. Life is not a nice paint, life is real, ugly and awkward at this moment or years,  which did not allow her to go forward nor backward.

We would think that Christians do not fight against each other, yet we have to to accept that they fought hard by hanging fast to their belief and defending their humanity and conventional feelings fostered by their belief, or simple by not knowing what to do while tangled in complex situations . Their God was the witness of their frustration and indifferent relationship that was once loving and perfect. There seemed not much good left from the happy past except reluctance and indifference between the two of them.

Like Elizabeth, Ou Yang was slowly coming out from her Chinese convention.  With a vague vision of a “bright”future, all life businesses were uncomfortably annoying and discouraging .  The two women,  of different nations,  so different from roots to surface, were suffering strangely a surprisingly similar fate…

 

To Be Continued…

The Hidden Seduction – Part V-2 – The Shape Of Light

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Part V-2- The Shape of Light

For a Christian, divorcing was not something that was supposed to happen first of all  in Ou Yang’s mind, for God is their mutual idol and non of the couple should be subject to be questioned apart from their loyalty to God. But unfortunately, they are not God, they are humans who have been trying to live up to God but could never be God himself. Even though no one can be the invented God,  his qualities have always been there to encourage them to exceed human intelligence and abilities that had been constantly interfered and hindered by all obvious and hidden factors. Nevertheless,  HIS qualities have been serving well at least those who truly believe in them and the light of God has been a guidance for their short otherwise long, maybe confused and miserable journeys.

Elizabeth’s husband Jonas Larson was tired of USA in the late 80s. His life there had seemed like entering into a dead end. He taught high schools full of  young men and women, the majority of whom seemed unwilling to learn a bit more than just wanting to pass the exams. This modern world had become a place where people in general dragged their petty worm’s existence and slugged their fish’s pleasure with no dreams.   Quite a number of people had left Christianity, some had been attracted by Asian wisdom, very cool of possessing some kills of “Taiji” and “Gongfu”, and the rest fell in the ever-happy after without any belief. They set their feet on the grand path of losing the firstly never-truly-gained ability of understanding any completely incomparable thinking system with its power of emancipation for creation, invention and WELL Being. Probably for western people,  getting out from Christianity was a way to get in the system again by other doors and re gain its values after a big reset of conscience?

Maybe, ends adjust the means. And yes, this unique language of belief in different vernacular forms is disappearing, the churches are closing, since it seems that our purposes are different and way of life is changing. Matin Luther could translate whatever, yet he could not do anything more than providing just an opportunity. Montreal, the city of North America where Ou Yang and Ge Wen lived, with the most Catholic Churches where ” You can’t throw a stone without hitting a church”*, had half of the churches closed during the past 40 years.

USA seems intelligent enough to survive this “Quiet Revolution” which happened in Quebec, Canada  from the 60s and also had been happening in many countries in Europe.  This “Revolution” in Quebec shut the Catholic Church out from politics and people’s personal life completely, giving back the freedom to its people who rely on the system fought with faith. It is appalling how confident in our conscience we have become and how boldly trusting in our human nature and abilities we have appeared. It seems that we do not need better goals any more, or well being can be achieved with the scientific mind only.

No matter how intelligent USA was, the world was changing. Besides all charming technical gadgets, there was something that Jonas did not like. Maybe Jonas knew that belief would go after ambition, either for better or power, and that it would favour a place like China; or that it is only necessary for people in need of it as will power for success and supremacy.  Maybe  he should agree that the best thing in the world only belongs to people with different visions that could not be taught in ordinary languages and schools. There has always been a hidden school taught in a different language for people with different visions. This school has always made a difference in the classification of people than any other schoolings with their diplomas. There is no measuring diploma for the depth achieved by thinking.

Education is all about enlightening us into conscious beings so that we can keep our calmness and balance over human and natural disasters and can distinguish and keep the wisdom of the world among changes of values and styles.  Christianity, in western cultures, had triumphed its primary purpose of lifting us humans above our ignorance about ourselves and the fearful world full of  miseries and threats to our early existence and development, yet unfortunately, part of it became an obstacle slowly to the questioning of the truth of universe and to the progression of human thinking. Some Christian believers and many other people too started to question and blame God instead of questioning their small brains,  though possibly the small brains together could be just as infinite and almighty with proper thinking system.

The way to understand the Bible, it is more of a question of classification of the genre. It is not a documentary based on facts that could be proven, it is rather a fable  with hidden meanings or a fiction with some truths and many experiments of using symbols to try to give support and console the scared miserable small people who were in great need of comprehension and compassion.  It is hard to eliminate what Christianity has done as an early form of education only because some people, institutions or nations had been using it for their ungodly purposes.

Nonetheless, the wonders of the universe and the shapelessness of wisdom have made The Institutions, any institution, instantly obscure,  incomplete and in inevitable default. Such is also the fate of men and women: curious but stubborn, intelligent but dumb, courageous but cowardly, inventive but conventional, diligent but lazy, and most of all, sometimes too passionate and ambitious to be even against their own God’s will in the Western societies,  but too cool and detached as Daoism and Buddhism out there in the “emptiness”, away from our little people’s hearts that unfortunately need warmth to survive and shoulders to cry on.

Humans tried all the ways including naturally impaired institutions run by enlightened mixed with benighted or evil men to reach out for their gods.  Yet, some little brains did break through the thick walls of the Institutions and went outside for a “better” view of the world, just the same but inversely as Christian God had sent his SON Jesus to break though the ignorance, to be patient with and to include the totality of men,  and even to die for his love of mankind.

Jonas was bored teaching. He was not sure anymore what to teach, because he was not convinced that most of his students loved what he taught. They were not disciplined. The freedom put their legs on their desks and chew gums constantly and incessantly while talking to him…He felt that USA was becoming another country, a country fading away from his God and the God of Americans, and it was sliding into a Kingdom of freedom of disrespect and ignorance. He felt that the nation was getting old and its youth were turning themselves into mute donkeys who had no dreams, nor better goals than necessity,  nor spirit, and who had the tendency of staying with their parents way after their age of independence.

As his ancestors moved to USA from Sweden, he had this spirit of adventures. He wanted to leave US for China. He wanted to get out from US which, in his eyes, started declining as the world super power in politics, economy, culture including spiritual status. His first experience of teaching in Xi’An, China in 1990 had persuaded him to go back again after the few years’ teaching in Singapore and Malaysia. He stayed a few more years in Xi’An after 1996. He liked Chinese students. He really loved them for their spongy absorbing minds, their hungry and open pores on every inch of their skin and their endless child-like questions. He loved to stay in China where his body was energized, his soul revived and his spirit nurtured by the willingness and curiosity of his students and this “young” nation.

 

To Be Continued…

 

* Mark Train‘s Description of Montreal, Canada

 

 

The Hidden Seduction – Part VI-1 – Ou Yang and Simone Wei

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Part VI-1 – Ou Yang and Simone Wei

 

Ou Yang was not a person who would just take anyone. She would neither take black men nor any other men who were said to be good in bed. She would only consider men who would fall right into her precise mould. She was almost sure that she would not divorce until she found this man.

With all her prejudices and funny generalisations, Ou Yang fixed her next goal for a western white man. Ou Yang was not at all stupid. She did have a feasible way of gathering information like most Chinese do without feeling shy. She tried to make friends with girls who were dating western men and those who seemed to be quite successful and happy.

Among the few of her girlfriends, she would hang out, whenever she had time,  with a Chinese woman whom she met when purchasing their house. This woman was their real estate agent who found their cottage in Lachine.

Her name was Simone, a name given by a Canadian Teacher back in China for the convenience of pronunciation, as the majority of English speaking people are said to have been the least versatile in speaking other languages but their own, which is also true for Chinese. Her Chinese family name was Wei. Simone is not an English name, but rather a French one. It was given to her because her teacher Dana Mullen herself liked very well the philosopher, Christian Mystic and social activist Simone Weil. So she was given this name without an L at the end. It fit just perfectly.

In Ou Yang’s eyes, Simone was some one whom she not only wanted to get information from, but also something else as well.  She was in search of a moral support.  Even there were quite some Chinese women dating Western men, Ou Yang knew well what it meant in the eyes of the other Chinese! She wanted to feel alright to date western men. Her short love affaire with the French young man Marius Gallant years back had long faded and she had no idea now what to do at her age. It seemed that she just needed some man except her husband rather than she wanted to fall in love. She simply became unfamiliar with love affaires…

Ou Yang chose Simone because Simone had an air of surety, freedom and also owned some kind of power that she needed.  Simone spoke very well English and was familiar with the history, cultures and customs of western countries in general, for the reason that she was an English and American Language and literature major at University. Her Quebecois French was fluent and decent with years of working among Quebecois colleagues in Quebecois companies. Ou Yang herself spoke English and French. So she reckoned that communication would not be an issue when dating.

Simone immigrated to Montreal in the year two thousand. Among all some what different Chinese immigrants, even among people in general, Simone belonged to a different species. She was Chinese while not quite thinking, speaking and behaving like one;  if we reckoned that she was not Chinese, then what country did she belong to? She had a Chinese face, but her facial expressions and body languages were not Chinese. Many Canadians thought she was born in Montreal, or second generation of immigrants, or she was a Philippine, Japanese or Vietnamese.  We were short of categories of people and countries to fit her in. But the only thing we were sure about her was that, if we lost her, no one else could replace her in this world.

She was a pleasant person who always showed an obvious but non-intruding  nor imposing presence. She had this child-like genuine and constant curiosity towards the world, societies and human-beings, yet on the other hand, she maintained a certain proper respect and gene. She was seldom curious on other people’s private businesses nor was she interested in manipulating people to do things for her, nor in imposing her point of views on others.

There was this glaze in her eyes and smile on her face that connected her heart to the people around. This glaze with her attractive smile would create an affinity. She seemed well loved by her neighbours, colleagues, and friends, for the reason that they felt energised and happy to be with her. These were also the reasons that Ou Yang liked her. She seemed a woman who lived each of her days as the last one of her life.

Simone was very active in life doing almost all sports we could name: Tennis, Table Tennis, Swimming, Badminton, Skating and Skiing! She didn’t just do it, she did them well. Another worth mentioning thing was that she was passionate about dancing.

We were not talking about the dances to the graceful slow sappy Chinese depressing love music and songs, but to that energetic, interesting and fun Salsa, sensual and  sexy Bachata and other latin American music. She was thought to look like an Latina and especially when she was dancing. She had such a charm when dancing that her movements with her special attitude radiated energy right into our blood and made dance all the more irresistible, even to the most awkward person in the world.

We would doubt that there was anything that she would not be curious of and not want to learn and make it good. That was her spirit of a gymnast trained between 7-14 years of age.

A very weird thing about Simone was that it seemed she did not know worries nor did she understand the miseries and difficulties of life. Maybe she did not have any, because she was believed by Ou Yang to have a good and “easy” career and a “super easy” life. Most importantly, Ou Yang assumed that all good stuff Simone enjoyed was because of the nice Canadian Quebecer Victor Point whom Simone was dating. Everything about Simone just appeared smooth and effortless.  Ou Yang was sure that if she herself had the money and the man , she also would be easy and happy. Ou Yang definitely thought that Simone was lucky. Simone had the hot profession and had found her man who was there as the Harbour sheltering her from storms of life. A harbour has been the goal for all women especially Chinese women who have not been lucky.

Obviously, Simone became Ou Yang’s private life listener and dance mentor. We didn’t know why Simone had a special and deep empathy for Ou Yang. She knew that Ou Yang was in desperate need of some one who would listen to her to get rid of her frustrations, and also of encouragement and information about western men, here to be precise: Quebecois men.

Simone seemed to be about thirty five years old in body. She measured one meter fifty-seven centre meters and weighed fifty kilos. The constant seven years of gymnastic training helped keep her skin healthy and shape beautifully muscular. It was hard to categorize her as a beauty, but easy to say that she was lively and charming, thus indeed beautiful. Her mind was a mystery. She could seem naive and trusting like a kid, at the same time, old and complex as two thousand years! Was it because she came from an old miserable country, so old and miserable that people had lost track of what happiness was? It might be true that miseries make people old in heart and might give some wisdom.  As Victor Hugo said: “ Those who do not weep, do not see”. Nevertheless, we did not really know her age.

She let Ou Yang hang out with her and listened to her incessant ranting, hoping that from time to time, there might be a chance that Ou Yang stopped her own rough voice and listened to her cool and pragmatic ideas, and sometimes to some “strange things” she might say.  Like all other people in the world, Simone was also prejudiced, but in the ways of a pragmatic fighter and doomed winner. She was patient and loving enough to show Ou Yang a quite different world which might be just the same world, wishing that Ou Yang would use her well and suck all she needed for her well-being.

To Be Continued…

 

 

*Dana Mullen, a real name of a real person. She was the author’s post graduate thesis tutor. A Canadian woman who might be in her sixties-seventies now. The use of her name is in memory of her help to the American literature studies of the author back in 1985-1987. The author had never have any news of her since she left China.

The Hidden Seduction-Part V-1 – The Power of Words

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With Gisèle

Part V-1 – The Power of Words

Besides the shock, Elizabeth’s divorce affected Ou Yang in other ways. It allowed her to feel less guilty of wanting to step out of her marriage. Guilt does not only belong to Christians, or any other religion, even though it has worked through the ages and could still work in a constructive way; it belongs to any culture that wants to manipulate its people.

Ou Yang now felt better about what she should do next. She did not utter a word about divorce, because Ge Wen was leaving for Vancouver soon and she needed to take advantage of his absence. This secretive plot did not mean that she wanted to continue working on her failed marriage, but that she wanted to see her chances with other men. Ideally, she wanted to find someone else before she made her intentions clear.  Should she fail to find such a man, she could just go on pretending nothing had happened and forget about divorcing, since it was something her whole family in China and all of her Chinese friends in Canada strongly opposed.

One thing was for sure: she did not want to date another Chinese man. Even if she had wanted to choose again from her own race, there were not many for her to choose from. The “good” Chinese men stayed married, and the single ones must have had something “wrong” with them if they were still single when they reached 40. Chinese men feel the same way about Chinese women. If women were still single after age 35, people tended to regard them as old, ugly and rigid spinsters. The fact that Ou Yang was over 40, and “aiyo, with a son!” would definitely have eliminated her from the running for the “better” divorcées or the rich older Chinese men who had always had a sea of much younger girls ready to cling to their “merits,” especially in China. The richer ones could always obtain younger “arm-candies” very easily, not necessarily virgins, but with their particular “sexy” girlish giggles and high pitched sweet tones, and definitely without the burden of children.

Ou Yang was not completely disillusioned with marriage, which meant that she was smart enough to see her husband as an individual Chinese man who did not satisfy her needs, and that she still could expect something different from other men, men of other races from whom she had heard nice words and seen nice smiles and good deeds.

She had heard from her friends that lavalife.com was a good site to meet single men, but she could not wait for Ge Wen’s departure to establish a profile to see if there were men out there who could fit into her criteria. The discrimination involved in Ou Yang’s selection of men was truly amazing.

She received a few messages on the first day she published her profile. She clicked on them and saw that some had pictures, and some did not. Dating through a website was quite a novelty for her, and she knew most people would regard it as somewhat bizarre; they were still used to traditional ways of meeting and dating. But Ou Yang had no time, nor did she have a large circle of friends. It wasn’t easy to get to know people face to face, or to befriend colleagues who had worked together for years, and it was hard to imagine the results of meeting men on line, especially western men with their different thoughts and habits. The internet dating thing could be full of fun for doubtful Chinese women who didn’t have the faintest idea of who they might run into.

Without a doubt Ou Yang, like other Chinese women, had illusions about Western men, the cause of which mainly derived from contrasts and abrupt generalization.

Chinese culture praises the merit of being subtle, yet, at the same time, we seem to not have enough words to express our wishes and feelings. Do we not have enough? Or maybe we do, but are too shy to use them, or are unsure about our feelings. Maybe we have doubts about using them. In a word, our ability to express is tied up, with some horrible reasons hidden behind it.

The Chinese language is losing some of its charm on its way to modernization from traditional Chinese, as China has been losing the charm of the great advanced dynasties like Tang and Song, while other parts of the world have gained different, faster ways of thinking with the help of science and technology. Language always follows the fate of the country, and the Chinese language enjoys no exception of this rule.   It would be difficult to see the subtle but important effect of language in the development of a country. Even though the complex structures of Chinese words are extremely beautiful, its complexity tangles the country’s development. The simplification of the Chinese language, like the translated vernacular version of Martin Luther’s Bible, is Epoch-making. Both language revolutions made the “heavenly” books accessible to ordinary people, and thus made reading and learning possible for their society.

Language is a tool for culture, politics, and many other social aspects. Han Yu (Chinese) became Zhong Wen with the new socialist China (Zhong Guo means “country in the middle,” so Zhong Wen is the language of the country of the middle).  Zhong Wen has gained the vocabularies of communism and socialism after being gradually simplified, and has added many special terms, like the expression “Socialism With Chinese Characteristics” after Deng Xiao Ping visited the South in 1992. Deng Xiao Ping might have saved China from any more words of the leftist socialism represented by Mr. Jiang Ze Ming, and he might have wanted China to develop and enlarge its vocabulary in a modern sense, but the June 4th “event” in Tian An Men Square put doubts into the minds of the Chinese people about the ability of Mr. Deng and his successors to continue the modernization of the Chinese language.

Language should really be more a tool for communication and dating! When Chinese meet, we say: “Have you eaten?” Westerners instead would say: “How are you?”  When we chat, we ask: “How much you make?” Westerners would rather figure it out through other pertinent information during the conversation. When Chinese lovers meet, men with no money or social status feel ashamed, and therefore keep silent. They stay cool by being mute- at least “silence is gold,” otherwise they would have nothing left! The richer ones show off their flats and cars, and the women would ask: “how many flats do you have?” If they like the men, they girlishly say “Tao Yan! (disgusting).”  Ou Yang was not conscious of this issue, and was not thinking about what she should say.

In life, as it is impossible to avoid subtleties, it is hard to maintain respect and love without subtle languages. Modern Chinese are caught between the clichés and dead subtleties of an ancient language and the abrupt assertions of their immature minds and limited vocabularies to express the most basic concepts. The day China restrained its people’s freedom of speech, their minds started to become lazy, and eventually stopped functioning. When the mind stops thinking, language dies.  Language is like a muscle; if it does not get practice, it will wither. We can then imagine how Chinese men and women talk to each other when in love, and when the courtship period has passed.

We Chinese only thought that we lagged behind in economics, and that we had no money. We had no idea about many things that seemed unimportant, including the stagnant situation of our once wonderful language. Western people possess subtler expressions that help grow fine feelings between each other and lend grace to its painful but constantly groundbreaking history. Their language and literature developed, and their vocabulary increased. Free thoughts provided the space for them to grow nice feelings, and words provoked by thinking are there to express the subtleties.

Indeed, Ou Yang had been attracted by the politeness and respect behind the expression:”Would you like to…?” of Marius, and freshly shocked by the concept of appreciation and affirmation in his phrase: ” It is a great pleasure for me be with you!”.  On the contrary, the simple statement of “I am sorry, my dear” would take maybe a hundred years for any Chinese to break into saying, especially for parents and authorities to do so in any circumstances. It is very rare that Chinese say to each other: “I trust you!”, because they observed and learned in the society and concluded that trust is not good while money is the immortal truth that could bring happiness and security.

Language also affects relationships. The relationship between Chinese, especially between family members or a couple, has been taken for granted for so long that it has become unbearably tasteless. Kisses are retained for lovers, hugs are kept for parents and their young children, and handshakes are reserved for business relations. And so there is nothing left for parents and adult children, friends, brothers, and sisters, except for “Great Expectations;” we can almost forget those whom we know, who are of no use to us, and we can totally forget about strangers on the street. People in need, those who are missing limbs or are injured, who beg for food, a young girl of 13 who “sings” on the streets to pay for her tuition…the Chinese have absolutely nothing for them, not even the warmth of a glance, because there are just too many of these unfortunate souls and our kindness is bleakly shy for the scarcity of words and reluctancy of smiles that cost us nothing to utter and shine , and maybe cost nothing to take, but would make a difference if we believe that they have the meanings we intend.

Elizabeth, a pious Christian, and her well-informed and educated husband Jonas Larson had shown Ou Yang the niceties of Western values and behaviors, which Ou Yang had mistaken for Western reality in general. Bearing in mind that Ou Yang had only ever left the old city of Xi’An, China to spend about eight years in Quebec, in her eyes Europeans, Americans, Canadians, and Quebecers were more or less the same. The differences between people boiled down to family upbringing, profession, and level of education. Particular local history with its events that happened in different times were not taken into consideration when she encountered a new society, and especially when she was not equipped with the intelligence to understand. Nevertheless, Elizabeth and Jonas had planted a vague hope in Ou Yang’s mind a long time ago, with their polite, respectful, colorful, and joyful languages and their abundant wonderful words, along with the niceness, subtleties and sincerity of their connotations.

That is the power of words, the foremost of all wonders, which makes us fall in love with and trust the world we create with, the adjusted balance of which might take time and pain to discover, and which might never be found.

To be continued…