Valentines day, a day to blow large amounts of money to tell your significant other or a person, that you care for them, which could be done any other day of the year, or on the other side of the spectrum, Singles awareness day. Just like in America, Valentines Day is also celebrated in China except almost to a larger scale. As if the Chinese boys don’t already spend a fortune being their girlfriend’s sugar daddy already, buying them essentially whatever the girl wants, Valentines day is just the topping to the cake. On every street corner and in the metro station street vendors set up shop hoping to milk these poor innocent Asian men for their money. Flowers are substantially more expensive, 4 or 5 times more than on any other day. For a single rose, this can cost between 30-50 Rmb, which is about $5-$8 or a dozen roses in a bouquet that will easily run you over 450 RMB or $65+(yes I asked). While this might not seem too bad, based on typical salary, 400 RMB would be about 4 days pay. To give you a better idea of how ridiculous this is, on a minimum wage in America, 4 days of work would be $306! But of course flowers are not enough for these crazy Chinese girls and Teddy Bears, Cakes, Cards, and Balloons are also a necessity. On the subway home I found humor in looking down the aisle and seeing all these men swamped with valentine gifts and watching them look like zombies because they probably just sent half their months salary. To make matters worse, from the teachers that I talked to at school about Valentines Day, many of the females do not buy the guys gifts in return because “It is too expensive”. As I walked down the street, I really felt for this one guy who had balloons, a cake, a bouquet of a dozen roses and a teddy bear in one hand and his girlfriend in the other. While he tried multiple times to kiss her, each time she shut up down and was not having it…. Mercy!!!
|Poor Guy.... pun intended|
I got a little taste of the none sense of Chinese Valentines day when I purchased some flowers for my roommate Francesca for her Birthday (Her birthday is on Valentines day). Since she was on holiday and Coming Home from Japan, I thought it would be nice to surprise her with flowers in her room when she arrived. After emptying my wallet and buying a few flowers for an exhorbitant price, I walked down the street with them as some Chinese girls giggled and said some none sense that of course I did not understand. As I continued to walk towards my apartment I crossed paths with a fellow Asian male who were bearing much more gifts than I was. Without saying a word and just looking at each others eyes I felt man code was going into effect and he were saying, “FML but im glad to see im not the only one”.
Let it be known that I too received gifts on Valentines from an admirer. My students enjoy giving me presents before my classes. On any day I could receive a gift from one of them but usually I tend to accidentally forget them in the trashcan or on the table. While most of these gifts includ, boogers, pocket lent, buttons, some random objects or even candy if i'm lucky, today was my lucky day when one of my students Benny, gave me a key chain. What is? I’m not sure, but it’s the thought that counts. So with that I award you “Today’s good Student” Benny!