What Chinese People Always Say When They Meet You
So after traveling a number of times in China over the past 8 months, there is one phrase that I now always recognize. Why? Because I hear it from Chinese people all the time. What is it? 皮肤好. I apparently have really nice skin (though my sister always calls me a ghost in family pictures). I guess that's what comes of spending all my time in a lab. :P What really surprised me is that even guys say this when they meet me! 美女，帅哥，老太太， 老爷爷，什么都说，“皮肤好”!
So I was wondering if anyone else has a similar experience? Is there a phrase you always hear whenever people meet you for the first time? I imagine a lot of you get 好高啊！ (I've gotten that one too...but I'm not really that tall - only 5'6".) Please share!
pretzellogicApril 29, 2011, 02:13 PM
It must be nice to have skin so nice people complement you on it. Me, i'm as unremarkable in China as I was in the US. I get the stock "you're Chinese is so good!" after saying "hello". That's it.
Eh, I don't know if it's nice or not - (though I guess it is nice that people like my skin here when in the U.S. I'm unappealingly pale). I just come to expect it. It's not exactly like it's something I worked at or anything (unlike learning Chinese).
Ha ha. Yeah I get the "Your Chinese is so good!" too. Yesterday a lady called me a 中国通 - really, all I'd said to her was 我听得懂. So funny. I think she was hoping I would buy something. My Chinese is NOT good, but I'm happy that at least it's improving.
ouyangjun116April 30, 2011, 04:29 AM
Not really the first time meeting someone, but when seeing some friends I have not seen in a while, they will tell me how fat I'm getting :)..... "欧阳，你越来越胖!" 或者，"欧阳，你长胖了"。Ahhh, the brutal honesty of the Chinese.
I had a period where A) I gained weight and B) lived in a building with a large staff of ayi's. The first few times they pointed out my 'growth' was tolerable, but it got so annoying because they would tell me I was fat every time they saw me. I held back, but I really wanted to scream, "I'm not sensitive--I just think you can say 'hello' instead of 'you're fat' for once!" I can see how Chinese people stay thin in China. Look what they have to put up with otherwise.
:) Ah the blatant honesty... I should have tried that with some of my Chinese friends - but I'm too American for that. Two of my Chinese friends who I knew in the U.S. came back to China and when I saw them last they had both gained quite a bit of weight (perhaps due to their wives' home-cooking).
oranginaMay 01, 2011, 07:57 AM
When I get a pedicure I get 你的脚漂亮，很白色！(or something to that effect) But random people will stop me on the street to say 痘痘 while pointing at their chin, and then procede to give me unsolicited advice. Yes, yes, I know.... I don't think my acne is even that bad, but apparently many people think if I just knew about it surely I would do something. At least my 鼻子好高，so I'm not too ugly.
I don't know... I eat all the wrong food and don't drink enough tea and drink too much coffee and should use this product they happen to be selling. It generally starts out with the 'poor waiguoren can't take care of herself and doesn't know how to do the most basic things in spite of successfully keeping herself alive for more than 3 decades' attitude that I just roll my eyes and walk away. Sometimes, if I've had quite enough, I will say. "当然我知道，你不应该告诉人这种东西。“ But that is only counter-productive as it just confuses people.
I am very glad I moved here, no regrets, and have made many good friends. But this is one part of Chinese culture I find very hard to swallow. Just the growing pains of moving to a culture that is not used to dealing with a variety of different kinds of people. But I know when and if I eventually move back to the US, I will try not be so helpful to immigrants that I insult their intelligence. Help with language based problems as needed, of course. Explain an aspect of culture? If wanted.... When I discuss this with other foreign friends from Asian or African countries they just laugh about my independent American attitude. So maybe it is me.