It’s generally agreed that I’m a nice guy. I don’t go out of my way to get this accolade, it just seems to come naturally which is… nice. There is of course always the fear that there may be some truth in the saying that ‘nice guys finish last’. In careers it seems that this is not true, nice guys finish first and being a jerk to get ahead is no longer an excuse.
So here I am in China, being nice, and here are some of the things that have come from it. I’ve hopefully got two people to meet up with in future travels, one in New Zealand and one in Australia. So far so good. My master likes me a lot, which has led to an interesting if slightly strange situation.
About a month ago he turns to me and asks if I’m single, go I like Chinese girls etc. Then he lays down the big one – he wants to set me up with one of his ex-students that lives in Beijing and is currently a nurse. At first I was sceptical – but then the next day he asked me again, stressing his seriousness. I’d had a night to sleep on it and had come to the conclusion that I was travelling to experience new things so I would go for it. So I said yes.
Things happened a lot quicker than I was expecting. Immediately he was dialling her number, I was to talk to her. This speed of action was something I wasn’t quite ready for and I was relieved when she wasn’t there. Master Dung did not give up though and that afternoon I was talking nervously and far too quickly to a Chinese girl with English as a second language. I’m pretty sure that she didn’t understand most of what I was saying so I sheepishly handed the phone back. Our translator then talked to her and I got back to the warmup for the class. All was not lost, ten minutes later I was presented with a piece of paper, on it was her name and email address.
Here’s where being nice paid off once again. Our translator is also from Beijing and has since gone back there to start a new job. She was open in her invitation for any of us to contact her if we were going to be in Beijing. A safety net! So, if I get my passport back in time (there’s still some visa stuff to sort out) then I’ll be going to Beijing on Thursday for a long weekend. And with luck I’ll be shown round by two locals so I’ll get to see some of the proper Beijing rather than just the tourist hot-spots.
Yay for niceness!