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OK, here's the story:
A friend of mine in another state met a very cute 28-yr old Chinese girl who came to the US with her Chinese husband a year or so ago. The husband then divorced her and she's on her own. (at least that's her story) She speaks a little English but is hard to understand. My friend tells me she plans on going back to China at the end of November, specifically Shenzhen, the 3rd largest/most expensive/most Westernized city. And she asked him to go back to China with her, even though she just met him, and even though he is a fat 60-year old with almost no money.
Well, he knows I'm looking for ways to be able to stay and live overseas semi-permanently so he offered to put me in touch with her to see if I'd be interested in going with her back to her hometown.
So I've talked to her by phone a few times and exchanged a couple emails/texts. I also sent her a photo so she knows what I look like. And she wants me to fly there with her, even though she's never met me in person. She says she can help me find a cheap studio apartment and she said she could help me find work. But then I told her I had no college degree, so then she said that I probably couldn't find work then. But she still wants me to go with her.
Even though I'll only be able to stay legally for 60 days (30-day tourist visa + 1 renewal) and will have to pay $140 for the visa.
I'm trying to decide now whether I should drive down to Texas, where she is now, to meet her and get to know her. If we hit it off, I'd definitely fly with her to Shenzhen. I'll just probably have to fly right back 60 days later.
What I don't understand is why does she want/need an American stranger to go with her? What's in it for her? (She says she can pay for her own ticket and can get me a cheap deal on mine.) Is she running some kind of scam? If so, what would it be?
I've only met a few chinese women that were trustworthy, most of the them are lunatics. If you post her pic I can tell you for sure. The fact that she's from a large city and divorced is not a good sign.
Can you think of any 'good' motivations for her to be so nice?
Can you think of any 'bad' reasons for her to be be so nice?
The good : Can't think of any.
The bad : Too many bad scenarios going through my head.
You have to understand her situation. There MUST be something in it for her. Chances are, it won't be to your advantage.
Well, she's a small, petite girl. Maybe she's afraid to travel so far by herself. (she came to the US with her ex-husband)
And maybe she thinks returning to China with an American in tow would impress her friends/give her status?
She also said she'd like me to help her improve her English and she'd teach me Chinese. But that's not exactly a fair trade for her as Chinese is 10x harder to learn and she's already got English 50% down.
As for bad scenarios, all I can think of is that she'd try to con me out of my money in some way. What other bad scenarios were you thinking of? Getting my kidney stolen?
A 28 year old divorced Chinese woman with a 60 year old American man is no gain in status (it actually demonstrates lowered status) under any circumstances unless he's ridiculously wealthy. Seeing as how he doesn't have two pennies (rmb) to rub together I doubt this is the case. She's probably hunting for a green card/long stay in the U.S.
If she was hunting for a green card, why would she be trying to bring a foreigner back to the US?
Al, why don't you ask this girl why she wants you to go to China with her? What's her explanation?
Did you chat with her by webcam to get her vibes? Does she sound sincere?
If you don't want to post her pic, then just send it to wuxi by PM. You an embed her image URL between the tags
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne
She might be playing the long term relationship game. Women aren't stupid, especially Chinese women, they will just hook you for as long as it takes to draw you in. Everything about this is strange.
I'd be happy to post her pic but I only have it as a jpeg within my photo gallery. It doesn't have a url. Normally, when I want to post a pic online there's a browse option that opens my gallery and I just select from it. But I don't see that option here. So how would I do this?
Sorry I'm not the most computer-literate. Neither she or I have webcams. She doesn't even have a laptop and she uses internet at the library. But I've talked to her by phone and with the accent/cultural differences I just can't tell if she's sincere.
>why don't you ask this girl why she wants you to go to China with her?
I'm trying to figure out a way to ask her that wouldn't sound suspicious/accusatory. If's she's legit and I offend her I could end up scaring away a golden opportunity.
Chinese women are among the most desparate women in the world. For some, if they can't find a wealthy husband there entire family could starve to death. China is the only country in the world where the female suicide rate is higher than the male suicide rate which gives you some indication of there plight. Desparate people do desparate things.
If your unsure what to do don't go to china with her. Smokin hot chinese women are a dime a dozen. I saw so many beautiful women when I was in china I'm surprised I didn't go blind. Also, anglo/chinese relationships have lower success rate than anglo/anglo relationships due to a variety of factors. The chance that you two are going to live happily ever after is not good. Don't be afraid to dump her.
Yeah, I'm not necessarily expecting happily ever after. I haven't even met her in person yet so it may just be a platonic travel arrangement. That's fine too because I've already been talking to some very hot Chinese girls online that I could arrange to meet once I get there.
I got an email from her today promising that she would be able to get me work in China so that I could stay long-term.
But I still can't help wondering: What's in it for her???
So I just emailed her this:
I'll go down to TX to meet her in about a week. We'll hang out for a couple days and get to know each other. If that goes well, we'll drive to the Chinese consulate in Houston to apply for my China visa. (I'm curious to see if having her present there to vouch for me will help me get a longer-stay business visa so I don't have to come back in 60 days.) And then I'll buy my plane ticket.
What's the worst that could happen? Things don't go well in China and I have to leave after 60 days. I'm definitely not gonna let her scam me out of my money. If she asks to borrow money I will refuse, particularly if she's just a platonic relationship.
Lots of bad things can happen.
Here's an example.
My wife knows an ABC who went back to China. They make good targets.
He went to the bank to get some money. Sometimes, crew's watch banks for people making big withdrawals. The guy left. The crew followed them in a van. They ran the car off the road, beat the crap out of the guy and his buddy and took all the money. No talk, no demand for the money, beat them first so there's no trouble.
Something that happened to me personally, Me and the wife used a motorbike taxi service(immigrant workers...mostly). She on one, me on the other. I was behind her and was supposed to follow. Mines diverged and went a different direction (guys weren't working together btw). I hadn't even noticed until after a minute. Apparently mines chose a different route to save gas or something. He got lost. Luckily i had paid for a local cellphone and used it to call my wife so they could get this guy to drop me off somewhere close to my wife's place that he knew of. Apparently, it's a common enough trick to drive people somewhere isolated where they are outnumbered and to rob them. That's what my wife's family had though and they were in my wife's face for hours about it. She was instructed to never use anything but a taxi from then on(with me that is. This was before i knew my way around and learned how to handle myself in China)
FYI, you are much more vulnerable without someone you trust to watch your back, especially as you probably don't speak Chinese. What happens if you are on some sightseeing trip to some remote area and she asks you to borrow money. You say no. She leaves you high and dry and you don't know where the f*** you are. Are the police going to arrest her? No...cuz she didn't do anything illegal. Or...she goes to the toilet, and you are assaulted and robbed. Who's to say she isn't involved and had set you up?
In the case you do go with her, find an ABC to educate you on what you have to look out for, what emergency measures you need to plan out, contact info, a temporary cellphone for use in China, get a translation device, a map of where you'll be staying so you can find your way if shit happens, and general knowledge junk such as 'don't help those who've fallen and can't get up', don't give food to beggars, etc. You don't really need most of this if you have someone you can trust.
EDIT: I've also been followed by suspicious strangers a couple times. At which point i made a fast beeline to densely shopped areas.
And my wife did mention one thing she likes about China better. You are more likely to get mugged or burglarized in China, BUT are less likely to get killed. In general, they don't have guns, just knives and other stuff. The place we stayed at got broken into 3 times. They used and blowtorch and sawed through the cages on the windows...sigh.
Wow, Keius, that sounds really scary.
But what if I'm keeping 99% of my money on a debit card? They'd have to take me hostage and force me to give them the password. Then they'd have to hold me long enough for them to use up the card before they let me go and I have it frozen.
If that kind of stuff routinely happened to Americans in China wouldn't we be hearing about it?
I've been on several Americans-in-China (mostly TEFL related) forums and I've never heard anyone mention these dangers.
Stuff happens actually. You don't normally hear about it because it doesn't typically happen to those who go prepared. People who go to China for teaching typically have their backs covered. I believe they have some initiation or prep sessions and another english speaking teacher or advisor to cover their backs while they are there (unless they get ripped off by their boss).
It doesn't happen much, if at all to most foreign travelers, other than the occasional money scam.
For most foreigners, if you take some precautions, you'll be fine. It's just like a backpacking trip across Europe. Bring a buddy and do it together. Your like 10x's safer that way.
And the worst thing that could happen to you is not getting mugged or beaten. It's getting scammed by some biatch into marriage, bringing her to your country, getting her the citizenship, bringing the inlaws across, then having her dump your ass and disappear after she decides she no longer needs you. That's after she empties out your bank account and you've paid for her new house in China. This happened to a childhood buddy of mine, who married a girl from Guangzhou.. But, i think it actually might've been a legit marriage at one point. Not sure. He messed it up badly. He's on his second marriage to a Chinese girl right now. And this time, he's got 2 children with her and he's left them all in China. (IF they are his kids that is...i keep on telling him to get a DNA test). He's bought a really nice condo for them in China though and provides for them.
And yeah, he's a dumbass, but he's still a friend.
They say the same things about the Philippines and much of Latin America. So far as I can tell, Winston Wu is still alive and well with all his money intact.
Stay in the city. Stay indoors after dark. Only go on official sight seeing tours, not random things she wants to do. Obviously dont make large cash withdrawals from ATMs that are outside (on the street); only go inside. Carry your travelers checks (in the safe). Get a dummy wallet to hand to criminals, and get one of those body-straps that allow you to carry your money on your body somewhere (I forgot what they call those, but I use them on payday if I have to get cash in person).
Make a photocopy of your passport and only carry that around with you (unless China does spot checks for the real thing). Keep values in a hotel safe.
I am surprised Globetrotter hasnt chimed in by now.