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Say No to That Girl

Viewed 714 times 2019-11-29 14:15 |System category:Life

  A shanghainese girl, who reportedly posted a picture showing a lacquered table laden with some food,  has come under fire for being  a  snooty person. And this supposedly small case seems to be becoming the talk of the town on social media, say, Weibo, a  microblogging site  on which Chinese netizens and online kibitzers post pictures and mini-stories concerning their private life.

   Here is what happened. This girl, claiming to be someone working for a foreign firm in Shanghai,  wrote on her own Weibo that she was going to part with her boyfriend after paying a visit to his out-of-the-way hometown and meeting his parents who are peasants and paupers. 

  "I'm a comely-looking Shanghainese girl working for a foreign company and my  job is related to HR.  My dad is retired now and my mom is two years away from her retirement.  I have been seeing a guy for one year, and he is a good-looking out-of-towner and beaver striving to make a decent living in Shanghai.  I truly love his good looks and admire his accomplishments; however, I don't think we will have a promising future because a salary man like him won't be able to buy a house for me now. And another complication facing us is we have to deal my parents'  resentments against my decision to be his girlfriend or even wife. Now I'm swithering whether to keep dating him or not after visiting his  dimly-lit, ramshackle  home with him and seeing some  off-putting  food his parents had made for me.  It was simply terrible; I can't put up with it. I have made up my mind to leave his home for Shanghai pronto, which means  I'm done with him," this girl wrote on her weibo.  " One of my older brothers will be coming to this grody place to pick me up, and my former boyfriend said I could sleep with his sister tonight. He's gonzo, "this girl added.

  What do you think of this? Do you think she is a pathetic  material girl  obsessed with hedonism or a realist who only makes choices based on whether such choices are beneficial or not.  As a singleton who hasn't dated any girls for a longggggg time, I don't think I'm in  a good position to offer my own two cents' worth. Nevertheless, I'd love to share my own thoughts on such issues apropos of  the sense of superiority and upbringing.

   Let's start  with the sense of superiority.  I was born in a small city, a place where people are weaned on the thinking that you should stand pat or adhere to all  the old rules  championed by local folk;  my most fave novelist D H Lawrence would have called such places backwater cities suitable for reactionaries. Yes, unlike Shanghai, you can hardly see groups of foreigners touring the streets while taking pictures, what with it's by no means a tourist hot spot for foreign tourists nor a perfect place to  settle down like New York. That would explain why  I found myself  caught up in a whirlwind of self-doubt after a self-respecting pseud pilloried me for being a small-town type.  " No foreigner knows the whereabouts of your city; I simply feel sorry for you, man," he quipped,  giving me a scornful look, adding that I should move to a modern-looking city.  Astounded,  I asked him the question of  "are you suggesting you are superior to me because you were born in a city  that's bigger than my hometown?"  To which he replied, " you got it. You bumpkins and clodhoppers from small cities will never find out the truth that most Chinese city-dwellers only respect people who hail from big cities like Shanghai and Beijing."

  Is that so? I don't think so.  It would be utterly foolish to pigeonhole someone as a redneck or not  simply by  asking the question  where were you born or what city do you live in. Do you have to move to Beijing or Shanghai to prove that you are  a worthy?   What's  the point of  doing a slow burn when visiting a small and dilapidated place like  that girl did?  Simpy because you abominate the ugliness of rural life?  What makes her think Shanghai is superior to other Chinese cities ? Simply because it's bigger and has more foreigners working in Shanghai? If that's the case, what about  New York?  

  Such an exaggerated sense of self importance strikes me as  loopy, give that the problem of  regional disparities  stems from disproportionate allocation of resources between big cities and small cities.  The big cities like Shanghai and Beijing in China have received more  financial aid from the  government, not to mention foreign direct investment, whereas small cities are asked to fend for themselves.  Not every Chinese city has the wherewithal  to build glass-and-steel high-rises furnished with mahogany desks, wood-paneled offices, and even majestic paintings  on the walls.  Not every Chinese city is given a chance  to put up funds for the-called urbanization and allow to perpetuate its own social codes and cultural distinctions like  Shanghai.  Not every Chinese city will be able to poach foreign tech firms and hire their tech-savvy employees away to help the city cope with digitalisation of business processes or bring in assorted cutting-edge technologies that can be used to tap into all the benefits conferred by the advent of artificial intelligence and automation .  Translation: Shanghai is just a  lucky city  just like a pampered kid. 

   Plus,  where do you live doesn't matter now in the digital age. What matters most is what do you know or the breadth of  your knowledge power and technical know-how.  More importantly, advances in wireless technology, cloud-computing, and AI  , if anything, transcend the confines of time and space.   Does that girl think Westerners will respect her  once she tells them she lives in Shanghai?  Sure not.   It's also a matter of courage. Personally, I  contend that  her boyfriend,  who was born in an impecunious village and found a desirable job in Shanghai,  has what it takes to have all the tough questions licked and become a respectable person. The reason is simple: he wouldn't have been able to leave that little village for a big city if he had been an inept lout or stiff like some villagers . And  the fact that he is a highflier working for another foreign firm in Shanghai is a  testament to his talents and perseverance; rural residents have to do some  heavy lifting if they want to get ahead. That also accounts for the reason why we have scads of  villagers-turned-specialists working hard in different sectors, making contributions to our society. Which is to say that one's upbringing has nothing to do with the question of where were you born.

  For what's worth,  China needs more learned  people like him, not  more overweening  fashionistas or even VSCO girls who groove on  living in a big city.  And it's telling that it would be better for us to be well-bred people rather than fawning lickspittles and  hoity-toity burghers living in a big city.


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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