Lie to me Because we’re Friends

Truth Hurts

“Lie” is a strong word but I’ve decided I’m going to use it anyway… As westerners get in closer touch with Asian counterparts, who seemingly hold the future of the global economy in their hands, we are tasked with understanding their ways. By “ways” I mean culture, language, and identity. You could read volumes on Chinese culture, history, and customs, but they wouldn’t prepare you for the actual events that you will¬†inevitably¬†experience. Just like reading the operation manual of a submarine, you might find that just jumping into one and tinkering with the controls would be loads more effective. But you should remember a few pointers and “lie to me because you care” is one of them. Continue reading Lie to me Because we’re Friends

Fibs are for Friends: Dishonesty a Virtue in China

Saving Face

The other day I found myself in a taxi on the way to pick up my girlfriend. It was raining heavily and a we were on the way to the Zhuhai North light rail station. I knew the taxi was a little grimy inside and the driver was smoking a cigarette, so I thought I should dump it before picking her up. At first I thought, “maybe I should tell him a lie to make a stop somewhere so that I can politely switch taxis. After all, this is China and this kind of excuse should be common to save the other person’s (the driver’s) face.”

I texted my girlfriend to call me and ask me to stop somewhere in order to make the deceit believable. Her reply was something like “What are you talking about?” She was confused, at first and didn’t go along with the plot.

After I managed to find a good enough “reason” why I needed to get out early, I called her and said, “Why didn’t you go along with my fib?” Continue reading Fibs are for Friends: Dishonesty a Virtue in China