Wanted to post this for a long time now; but travel, viral infection and lack of photographic evidence delayed the same. Since the travel is not going to slowdown, I decided to go ahead and post this and add photographs later.
Let me start with the Chinese love for all cute things – before which I may add that the Chinese people themselves are very cute and endearing for their Barbie doll personalities; specially the women. There is something about the Chinese and their love for soft toys, baby doll dresses, cute clips, hair bands, bling bags, cartoon character car seat covers – the list is endless. While this by itself is not surprising, what stands out is the fact that it’s not just the teenagers who are hooked onto the cute stuff but even their moms. So it’s normal to see a 40 something Chinese lady with a cute pink teddy bear hanging from her mobile phone (which may also be pink) and driving a car which has tweety car seat cushions and her office cubicle will be full of cute little soft toys. Also she would be wearing a baby doll dress with purple mascara or in some cases purple highlights to the hair. Her laptop bag may again be a very girly bag with some cartoon character and she may wear pink or violet sandals. Now, before you get me wrong, I must highlight the point I am trying to make here – The 40 something Chinese woman can carry all this off! Can you ever imagine the average 40 something Indian woman in a baby doll dress with stuff she would buy for her kids? (While our 40 something heroes are in some cases able to carry off a college boy look complete with pink tees, actresses at that age are only offered “maa/ bhabhi” roles). And then you hear people saying how it’s not easy to determine the age of the Chinese – that because they really don’t age; mentally at least.
Now having spoken about the women let me dwell on the average Shanghainese man. He is the perfect husband/ boyfriend every woman dreams of having – It is said that the average Shanghainese man treats his woman like royalty bringing her breakfast in bed, to carrying all her bags (yes including her most feminine handbags) to taking care of the kid. In fact, it is said that the men in rest of China make fun of the Shanghainese men for being so effeminate. But, nothing seems to faze the Shanghainese guy and all over the city, one can see the guy following the girl obediently or walking next to her carrying her LV/ D & G/ Prada handbag (fake one in most cases). I have been told that in some cases this royal treatment is also meted out to the girlfriend/ wife’s parents and the Shanghainese man excels at not just cooking but other household chores too. Now if only Indian men were to take some inspiration from the Shanghainese men (ok, except the handbag carrying part as that can be really effeminate).
And this brings me to the most intriguing thing about China – the aversion to use nappies for babies! The first time I saw a Chinese kid moving around I thought that this kid must belong to such a poor family that he has to wear torn clothes. But it’s only when I saw almost every kid roams around with no nappy and a slit in his trousers/ pants to facilitate parents to help them pee/ poo that I realized that this is the norm here. Unfortunately I don’t have a photograph right now, but will soon be posting one as in this case the adage “A picture is a thousand words” does hold true. I would say one of the most difficult jobs in China would be that of the marketing head of these diaper manufacturing companies. I have also heard expat friends with babies receiving “torn” clothes as gifts as the baby clothes in most local places here come with a slit! Can you imagine how lazy must be the person who invented this slit in the first place!
(Disclaimer – the writer is NOT looking to have a Shanghainese boyfriend/ husband)