My uncle and aunt bought life insurance, and the company invited their clients for a Chinese New Year lunch. They invited me to lunch.
Upon sitting down in the circular table, his agent walked to me and handed me her business card. She proceeded to ask me a few questions about my background and found that I was working in Taiwan.
“My daughter studied abroad at Berkeley. You went there?! I need to introduce you”!
“How old are you?”
“Oh she’s five years older than you, what a shame!”
“Let me get your number regardless. This is what she looks like. She’s cute huh!”
Lunch comprised of her putting stuff on my plate for me, refilling my drinks, and talking about me. She was talking for me, I didn’t say much. I was told that I was “很帥“ or handsome a dozen times by her and the other folks at the table.
I love praise, and I love my fair share of attention. Growing up, I loved the the stares when visiting Taiwan. I was the naive kid speaking English and being an energetic toddler, capturing everyones eyes.
Now, I feel very apprehensive about who I befriend. It was awkward for me, and I really didn’t want to be there. I felt the lady liked me simply because I am a college educated American. She was practically throwing her 28 year old daughter at me. She doesn’t even know me. Many other people whom I deem superficial treat me the same way.
Luckily, I’ve found comfort amongst my colleagues, expats, and Taiwanese folks who have lived/worked/studied abroad.