Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2017

Hostile Hospitality

Not long after I came to China I realized that what I considered fighting was actually part of Chinese hospitality. People would publicly argue over who paid the bill at restaurants, escalating to pushing and pinning each other's hands down. Aside from the forcefulness that we wouldn't consider polite in the West, winning meant you get to pay for the meal. Whereas bets in the West always state that the loser pays.
In China it seems paying for others shows your position, being able to take care of others makes you appear more financial stable and respectable. Allowing someone to pay for you without a fight can make you seem either greedy or as if you accept this lower position in the relationship.

In the US, I would not allow my guy friends to pay for me when hung out. To do so would make the outing seem like a date and I may feel indebted to the guy. But in China it is not even an argument; the man is always expected to pay. If a woman tried to pay for her male friend it wou…