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Pet Sins July 2002

Chinese students break their word to give fellow Chinese priority over friend of different nationality

While I was in school in the US I hung out with a bunch of students from China. They always told me they thought I was a nice person. But they always put their Chinese friends before me. There was once I made an appointment with them to go see a movie. At the last minute, they called to cancel, saying their Chinese friends from a neighboring campus had just dropped by randomly to hang out. And the friends didn't want to see the movie. So they cancelled on me.

Well I don't know about China but where I come from, a promise is a promise. If you tell someone you are going to do something with them, you stick to the plan even if something more attractive shows up. I made a plan with a Cambodian acquaintance to watch a movie once. When my Chinese friends showed up to ask me to a party, I really wanted to go to the party but I said no, because I already told the Cambodian lady, whom I wasn't particularly close to, I was going to see the movie with her. No compromises.

Anyway the China students kept doing the same thing to me - blowing me off whenever their Chinese friends showed up, even if we had made prior plans. I got pretty disgusted with them for that and for a good variety of reasons. After college, they wrote to me on and off, but I decided at some point I didn't want to have any contact with them anymore. By their own admission, they did not consider me a friend they knew very well, even though we hung out a lot in college.

1995