Happy Women´s Day – Saints, Leftovers and All

Shanghainese chicks are famous for being super pretty and ¨even (!) slimmer than Japanese girls¨ – according to many Chinese men I´ve talked to lately. Well, what you gonna do? I´ve cut down on the pancakes and dried persimmon, dug out my bra and burnt my copy of Beauvoir then started the Heidi Diet all of a sudden, hoping that one day I might be able to tuck myself into smaller garments. I´m demoralising extra large size here, even in shoes, so someone, please, get a national hug day organised. Soon, maybe? Bueno, not that I´d stand a chance on the dating scene, anyway. (I scored 41. Minus 20)

So, blood sugar level somewhere underground, I´m grazing today on some millet bar (quite nice actually, good taste, birds!) and having spontaneous laughing yoga sessions at the story that a Finish friend took a cab from Shanghai to Beijing the other day. Turned out to be a very enjoyable trip, but I wish I could hear the carter´s raving on this, too. I hope he gets promoted on the hours driven per month and now sits in the regional manager´s seat.

I also just learnt that Chinese people do not use deodorant and medically prescribe ointment for armpit smell. And yes, I agree with Nelly, they, if not admire but are surprised at the amount of body hair of ours. Sorry, I´m digressing, but please forgive the lady on a diet.

Anyhoo, 8th of March today, celebrating women, hairy or not. And those who are 38. Done some research these past few days and there seem to be loads of conflicting explanations why this number (san ba, used as a noun) means something…like…ummm…bitch. My ever so shy and tactful Chinese boss interpreted it as a ¨loudmouth woman¨.

Why? Bffff. According to popular believes ¨bad¨ girls are called so because of the date of the International Women´s Day. Not so sutle, we get it, but let´s not forget that gay people in Chinese slang are referred to as ¨brokeback¨.

But. Just a few words about a more ¨happening¨ topic and that is China´s, somewhat more blunt, answer to the awkward-sounding Cougar and Puma words. Please, start humming Cyndy Lauper´s song while reading. (no Facebook and Youtube again, so cannot copy the link of the video – I wonder how come the politburo skips wordpress on the censored list) Which song actually? Coming to think of it, any, really.

So, in the land where I´m a fatty and hairy person, I also fall (quite steeply as you´ve just seen above) into the Sheng Nu (剩女, leftover) women´s category. The two words also sound like saint in Chinese, so…wait for it…awww.

At People´s Square, where I live and which I pass through on a daily basis, there´s a marriage market, also open on a daily basis. Hundreds of parents, grandparents and some pros stand there, holding a bunch of photos and CVs of their elligible clients: young people who want to get married or ones who have no idea of their families´ celestial stirring behind their back. It´s so lively, you know, there are so many success stories and the whole thing sounds innocent and happy, without the cynicism you´d expect if this thing emerged in a Western setting.

But, once you turn 35, they take your photo off the lists (and the park´s fences), they don´t advertise you any longer and basically, generally and totally, you are given up on. Shangainese 3S (single, 70s and stuck) women, however, strike back.

Ooh, how was Valentine´s Day, amigos?

I had a great day today. And I´m every woman, la la la la

(which reminds me, la la girls in China refer to lesbian, tomboy-looking young girls)

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