One fine evening my Mom said that someone wanted to talk to me. I knew it must be quite important because she looked a bit hesitant. We have had a serious talk about matchmaking and we agree there will be no such a thing or my parents will have to pay for my round the world tickets =) So far, my parents were quite cool at turning down proposals for people asking their daughter's hand. I won't expect that this time will be different.
It was my Dad's business partner from Jakarta. His family visited my parents' house not long ago due to some business stuffs and my parents also visited them afterwards in order to sort these things out. Apparently there was also something else.
"I have a genteel nephew and it will be nice if you could meet him," he said casually. My Mom made a frantic gesture that it wasn't her idea at all. He sounded paternal and at the same time friendly so I wouldn't have any reason to pretend I suddenly had tummy ache or that I forgot to turn off an alarm. "I will held a wedding party for my daughter in September. Please come with your parents and I'll prepare a table for you,"
I really have no chance to say no. I completely understand that this man is an important person for my Dad's business and that he actually has a good intention, but I still think it's a bit unfair to match me with someone I have no idea whatsoever. I immediately missed door-to-door salesmen who sell fake perfumes, insurances or any cards (gym membership, DVD rental, greenpeace, bodyshop or perhaps Che Guevara fans club). They are surely easier to handle.
My Mom tried to calm me down by saying that this guy is a 187 cm hunky bloke named Liang. Despite having a name resembles a tea, he sounded very nice, polite, lovely and good-natured person; in my mother's opinion, in addition of being a hardworking young businessman and an owner of two storeys house. It was clear to me that he made a good impression on her (or perhaps he has handed her his CV?). She determined that it never crossed her mind to match me with anybody so RTW tickets is out of the question. I'm a bit dissapointed.
"So, do you know him?" I asked my Mom.
"He drove us around while we were visiting Jakarta. I've met his mother too. He talked a lot about his late father. He had to go back from US to take over his father's business,"
"I see," Yes. A very typical Chinese businessman.
I talked (read:complained) to my friend on dinner table about this since things turn out to be a bit too serious.
"I feel like I'm living in the19th century. I'm not in arranged marriage (yet), but I am pretty sure that marrying us is good for both parties in their business relationship. Otherwise, it's not. So, what's the difference?"
"You're over-reacted. Think of it as a blind date," she suggested, "Also, how if he turns out to be indeed good-looking? Your Mom's taste isn't so bad. Your Dad looked much better than any of your ex-boyfriends when he was young,"
"That's not helpful, thanks. Problem is, I don't know him at all. Moreover, he's Chinese. I'm not being racist but the Chinese are boring. They are stingy and only think about working, business, money and prosperity..."
My friend squinted at me, "But you ARE Chinese,"
"Yeah, but I'm a post-modern Chinese. Not pure-breed either. I don't think too much about money and I care about life quality," I defended, "By the way, you owe me for the last dinner so you'd better pay for this one. Don't forget to add 10% tax. I'll pay the parking ticket," I said generously.
A FedEx ad says, "There are thousands people named Chang in China, but we know exactly which one to deliver," or so.
I have never seen Liang. Neither has he seen me before. There must be a few Liangs at Jakarta. I hope I don't need FedEx to tell me which one is "the guy". Or I might be in trouble.