Stand-out Memories of Shanghai: Pizza Restaurant Cutie

I’ve lived in Shanghai for a long time. It doesn’t matter exactly how long. But long.

In that time, there have been some memories that stand out among the rest.

Here’s one:

Pizza Restaurant Cutie

I was in an Italian restaurant, years ago. It was the kind of place that summed up 2005 Shanghai dining — a Western place that made average pizza and pasta, at inflated prices, simply because it was ‘Western’.

The customers were Westerners like me, desperate for a dough-fix, but mainly Chinese customers wanting an ‘international’ experience with expensive bottles of cheap wine.

Sitting at the table next to us was a Chinese couple — the man was around 50, while the lady was around 30. They seemed to be on a date — of some sort. Suffice to say the trade of pizza and wine for physical acquiescence was suspected.

They were talking about films. Horror films.

She said (in Chinese of course) that she didn’t like watching scary movies because when she was home alone, she felt really afraid.

The short, tubby and toad-like man replied: “What, are you some kind of child or something?”, with a little disdain.

And her innocently petulant reply, verbatum, was: “wo jiu shi xiao hai ziiiii!”

In English, that’s: “I am just a child!”

In that one sentence, she summed up an entire generation of Chinese women, absolutely desperate to cling on to any shred of ‘youth’.

For while in Western countries it is bemoaned that magazines and media display the slender, fat-free physique which depresses women (even though they buy up every media with those women on the front cover, but that’s another story), in Asia, plain youth is the desired trait.

The difference is that there is no bemoaning. I’m not saying what is better or worse, it just is what it is.

But you never hear about Chinese women being ‘under pressure’ to conform to media / societies worship of youth. It is an accepted facet of life that drivers billion-RMB industries to market youth-giving products and celebrities.

Anyway. This isn’t a social analysis. That one comment from the 30-year-old, pasta-chomping sweetheart said it all.

 

 

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Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Community, Expat Life, Food, Play

Author:developingcityblog

Foreigner in Shanghai

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