I have lots of Chinese students and friends who are near and dear to my heart and sometimes they do funny things that make me laugh or I don’t understand (and I’m sure I also do things they don’t understand).
During the last 2.5 years of living in China there have been some language barrier obstacles, cultural misunderstandings, or just funny conversations between me and my Chinese friends, and that’s all part of the fun of living in a foreign country.
Here’s 15 times my Chinese students sent me messages that made me laugh out loud.
1. WHEN THEY THINK YOU’RE BFFS WITH TAYLOR SWIFT
Or maybe she’s just asking if I know Taylor Swift is American. I’m not sure. But I have also been asked if I have Taylor Swift’s phone number (I don’t).
2. WHEN IT’S SINGLE’S DAY
Only in China do they celebrate single’s day (11/11). Your friends will send you red packets (lucky money) and call you a single dog if you are alone!
3. WHEN THEY TELL YOU ABOUT THEIR FIRST KISS
This is actually one of the cutest things ever.
4. WHEN THEY WANT ADVICE ON HOW TO BE TALLER
Eat some vegetables…?
5. WHEN PITCH PERFECT IS LIFE
My friend Mervin sent me this the first time he saw Pitch Perfect and I think it blew his mind.
6. WHEN THEY ASK YOU FOR HELP GETTING A GIRL
Lewis saw a photo of Doris and just had to get her number (what a go getter!) I play matchmaker sometimes.
7. WHEN THEY SPELL MY NAME WRONG
I’ve been called Ryan, Richard, and all variations of Rachel (Richel, Richal, Rechal). To be fair, I’m sure I’ve mispronounced their Chinese names.
8. WHEN THEY HAVE SO MUCH SASS
Calm down pls
9. WHEN YOU TEACH THEM AMERICAN SLANG AND THEY USE IT
What can I say? As a teacher I’m proud they remembered something I taught them.
10. WHEN THEIR PICKUP LINES ARE SMOOTH
And English is his second language.
11. WHEN YOU ASK FOR THEIR ENGLISH NAME
Two very different responses.
12. WHEN THEY NEED A FAKE BOYFRIEND ASAP
I see requests like this all the time and know some people who have hired a fake bf/gf to take home to their family. The pressure is real in China.
13. WHEN THEY HAVE THE RIGHT PRIORITIES IN LIFE
Food over teachers, I get it.
14. WHEN YOU JUST FOUND OUT YOU HAVE A BABY?
This is the first I’ve heard about it.
15. WHEN THEY GET YOU
But actually I feel like I’m the lucky one to have this student.
This is all in good fun, of course! My Chinese friends have made my time in China much more meaningful and special and I value my relationships with them immensely. I’m thankful for the opportunity to teach and connect with so many wonderful students here in China and look forward to more interesting conversations I can have with them.
Most of these conversations are with university students I taught at Nan Hua and I miss them so much! Like my student Skyler said below, important things need to be said three times: Love you, love you, love you!