When you teach here you don't choose your roommate
Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
91Trip End Aug 31, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
The Chinese don't really have a concept of western friendship. More or less, they just expect that if you meet a foreigner they expect you to be friends. Additionally, they don't care whether you and your roommate have anything in common or try to match you up with someone similar. They just expect you to live together and get along fabulously and know where each other is at all times.
I got a little lucky. My agency does try to look for someone that will match well with the other people there. On a superficial level my roommate and I get along well. However, that ends very, very quickly.
Now, I'm going to try to keep it from becoming me complaining about him, but more about the one type of expats that tends to come to China as he is a fairly classic example of one of the groups.
On the surface he's a nice guy. He won't want to slam you or anything and he's more than willing to buy you a drink when out at a bar. He's popular with the ladies and can generally make people feel comfortable around him. However, he's a slob, doesn't see through the actions that he does and he's a drunk.
Within the past month, basically since his ex broke up with him, he's just become really annoying and frustrating. He's always smoked and drank a ton, but the levels have increased. From the stories he tells about his home country, this is his normal drinking level. He often returns home and 4am or later and is singing loudly or calling out my name or something. My sleeping patterns have changed so that he no longer wakes me up when he comes in. This afternoon he finished the half consumed can of beer that I forgot to clean up after watching the superbowl. Talking to him when he's drunk sucks, too, because he just turns into a person that you can't talk to (just a drunker version of the careless person he is or so drunk you can't understand him).
The kitchen is the most frustrating, though. His slobbishness and laziness come out fully here. Earlier in the year he left a bag of food garbage hidden in the corner for months so it would get all nasty and moldy. Washing dishes is never a forte as all of the things he wash always have food crusted left on them. He left a broken lighter on my wooden cutting board and let the lighter fluid sink into it. When I confronted him he just told me not to be stupid and that nothing was wrong. I told him I was tossing it out. Well, after sitting in the trash for a few days he pulled it out, didn't wash it, and used disposable chopsticks (also pulled from the trash) and a beer bottle (again, pulled from the trash) to make dumplings. He didn't use the lighter fluid side, though. He did use the side with mold on it from leaving the board sitting in water as opposed to standing it upright.
Sometimes he'll bring surprise guests home, too. One time I came home and he and a stoned/drunk guy were in our bathroom as he was trying to get him to puke. Other times he'll have guests over without letting me know (sometimes it's for a simple night cap with a random girl) and other times it has caused problems (I locked his g/f in our apartment when both of us were leaving town. She caught me minutes before I got on my plane). Additionally he just talks way too much and is way too friendly. The
Chinese barfolk are generally not good people. Bars are not culturally
acceptable here yet, so only the foreigners and borderline bad or not
good Chinese people show up. He'll socialize with everyone and it's only
a matter of time till he tells one of these bad people where we live or
brings them back to our place. Some of the times I've been around he's
been quite close and I had to pull him aside and tell him that so and so
is not a good person and should not be brought back to our place ever.
Telling him things doesn't matter either. I've confronted him about peeing with the bathroom door open, not properly washing dishes, bringing guests over. Pretty much I've just stopped telling him these things because the only things I ever say to him is 'don't do ______ for _______ reason.'
So yeah, this is one type of expat that you'll normally find here in the world. These are the people that give the young male expats a bad name.