If there is one thing I have learned living in Beijing it is the undeniable scientific fact that the law of attraction is alive and well. I realized this early on in my research in expat living when we first moved to China a decade ago. No matter if I am shopping, just walking around, or even at home, women practically fall over themselves because of my fiendishly good looks.
Take the simple act of shopping. Pushing my shopping cart down an aisle, I noticed women will follow me from one end of the aisle to the other, almost as if they are desperate to help me locate what I need. Sometimes they even make helpful suggestions about products I might like to purchase. No sooner do I leave one star-struck woman behind and turn the corner on another aisle, than I will encounter another woman equally drawn to me. Undaunted by my poor Chinese language skills, they barrage me with words, no doubt expressing their admiration for my chiseled beauty.
This flattering attention is even unearthed in uncommon places like Tiananmen Square. Many a time I have noticed the stares of women (and appreciative men) as they admire my foreign stride. Some even point, seemingly at the center of my face, expressing their admiration for my “big” good looks. I suspect as much as I can make out the Chinese word da from time to time. Occasionally, a few will even ask to take a picture with me – no doubt mistaking me for Brad Pitt or Leonardo. I get that a lot.
All of this attention, however, pales in comparison to the extremes that some women in Beijing will go to in order to display their attraction to me. Several times a week, when I come home I will find little notes tucked into my door handle from women who I can only surmise are so smitten by my handsomeness that they have printed their phone numbers out in order that I might actually call them for some intercultural interaction. Often they have even included pictures of themselves on the back. It is like a real life variation of Match.com or eHarmony. except they do not provide much information about their hobbies or interests. Despite this, I have gathered that some of them like to take long showers or enjoy going to the beach as they often pose in the shower or wearing only swimsuits.
Clearly these well-intentioned young women are unaware that I am a husband and father of three children. Still I cannot fault them; after all, we are all bound by the law of foreign attraction.
Photo: Bernat (Flickr)