Of 2 wives and a prostitute on the highways of China

In the past 2 weeks, I travelled between 6 cities / towns in China by plane, rail, road, except sea.

Although I’ve been to China more than 20 times now in the past 10 years, what I see and hear on the highway still never fails to amaze me.

In one of my past trips, while on the train journey, I was over-hearing this rather distasteful conversation of a Taiwanese businessman boasting to his chinese counterpart of his 2 wives (one in Taiwan and one in China) and how he manages. He was talking so loudly most of us in the cabin could hear him, yet he was unabashed.

This time, on a 3-hour bus ride, I was kept awake by this lady talking to her boyfriend over the phone, in between tears, laughter, and hysteria. Some extracts (translated in my own words) of what I heard

“I love you… please don’t leave me”

“f**k your mother, I have so much money now that I don’t need you, there are tons of men waiting for me coz I’m rich now”

“yes I admit I stole your bank ATM card but it only had 1,000RMB inside, you stole my card which had more than 10,000RMB inside. Don’t deny it!”

“you wanna settle scores? How about the many months I slept with you? Even if it’s just 100RMB a night, that’d easily amount to 10s of thousands of dollars by now”

“I don’t need you, many men are waiting for me”

“Return me the mobile phone I bought you!!!”

“My mother always told me never to trust you, I should have believed her”

“Being in the trade that I’m in, do you think I care?”

“I have money, I don’t need you.”

“Fine, leave me now, don’t come begging to me for money later.”

“I’m on my way to find you now, please wait for me..”

And obviously a lot more was said in 3 hours, from screaming @ the top of her lungs to weeping, but every word clearly heard by the highly amused 30-odd passengers on the coach.

All amused except me, I guess.

It was clear to us from her dressing and the lurid details of her conversations that she works in the sex trade. Although other passengers in the coach were chuckling away, high bemused, I was kept awake the whole journey, highly disturbed by what I’ve heard.

She was my co-sojourner for 3 hours, whore none-withstanding.

That she doesn’t care what others think of her and the explicit details that she announces to 30-odd strangers of her personal life is new to me, but not on a typical highway journey in China I guess.

I guess words fail me here; it’s hard to describe the compassion that wells up in me for this gal.

To me, she’s more like a victim of China’s economic growth monster, where a poor farmer’s daughter can scarce find survival. And that she’s looking for true love too, but can she really?

Of course, there’s scarcely any excuse to be working in the sex trade… still somehow, my heart grieves for her.

WeI always write off prostitutes, outcasts and rejects of our society, till this experience caused me to see a totally different side of things.

Through this strange yet simple encounter, I kinda appreciate better why Christ reached out to the prostitutes of his time and why there was a prophet Hosea who married a prostitute.

For me, the experiences of this Taiwan businessman and this prostitute, both told so unabashedly in public, gives me a rather graphic picture of the true social state of affairs in China.

For those with a good command of chinese, you should go on some of these highway journeys in China and hear some of these conversations for yourself, so telling of the social ills resulting from the Chinese super economic growth engine.



Filed under Family, Friends, Life, Must read!, Personal, Stories, Thoughts, Travel

11 responses to “Of 2 wives and a prostitute on the highways of China

  1. It’s great that the Lord put this compassion for the lost and rejected in your heart, brother. For our Lord Jesus Christ came not for the righteous, but for those who are lost and need Him most.

    It’s also amazing how you have written this and I had just finished writing my view on the church and congregation picketing the funeral of a fallen gay soldier to truly be the light and salt of the earth. That instead of condemnation, they should preach repentance!

    Truly God is teaching us something this Shabbat, and it’ll be good to meditate on Matthew 9:10-13 (KJV) and Luke 5:27-32 (KJV).

    God bless, and Shabbat Shalom.

    Hey bro, thanks for popping over with a great comment! I’m shocked at what that church is doing! And thanks for your encouragement through the scriptures!

  2. This is letting down on feminism.

    Hi there, I’m sorry if it came across that way, and thanks for popping by.
    I’m just recounting factual accounts of what I heard, unless my comments on prostitute are seen as letting down on feminism.
    And I don’t think I’ve come across as having condoned both having 2 wives or prostitution.
    So I do hope you mean the facts recounted themselves are not positive for feminism?

  3. I think, it’s very hard to have any sense of self-worth when you believe that your life was caused by an accident, starting from a big bang to a series of evolutionary changes.

    Only when you can accept you were firstly created out of love and secondly to achieve a grand purpose, then can you start to turnaround and see yourself as precious, and not degrade yourself that way.

    I’m sorry to hear of your experience but am thrilled that God have used it to grow your love and compassion for the poverty stricken.

    It wasn’t a tramatising experience for me or whatsoever so you don’t have to be sorry.. but yes, we are all precious

  4. Ed

    You have seriously shared a very painful truth in life with this story. Sometimes, I wondered if I should offer any pity for them. Yet, at the back of my head I know there are much other options one can choose.

    Nowadays, prostitutes to me are just individuals who prefer the easy money.

    Hi Ed, thanks for popping by again! I’m talked to people about this for a while, I think whilst these gals always have a choice, this trade seems to be their easiest way out of the rat race … I’ve heard even varsity graduates work in this trade. Toughie…not condoning yet at the same time realising I’ve not shown them enough compassion or seen them as human beings too.

  5. Ed

    No need to look abroad. We are already having them right at our doorsteps.

    Agreed.. but over here, I know of them but don’t get to hear about their personal lives the way I did in China where they unabashedly announce details of their private lives to the world

  6. Pingback: Being In Love With Prostitutes | Notes From My Heart

  7. I don’t see what the fundamental difference is between that prostitute and the many women who say things to the effect of, “I won’t date a man unless he’s making (fill in the desired amount) a year.”

    Hi there, thanks for popping by – you’ve got a funny nickname!
    Hmmm interesting insight … so maybe that’s why there was a comment that this was letting down on feminism?

  8. Pingback: Choosing your co-sojourners « Highway of Life

  9. Its a sad fact that along the road of life, many have chosen to take the broad path to destruction instead of the narrow and winding road to salvation. In my mind, there is one thing which has tremendous potential for social media to exert good on this world, but which hasn’t quite taken off yet. And that is to highlight the iniquities and injustices suffered by fellow dwellers of this planet, which you have done nicely through a personal tale.

    Hey Walter, nice to see you here 🙂 Thanks for your great comment :p

  10. NATO

    Made in China. And consumed by the rest of the world. The foreigners come in (to China) and do their dirty business and leave… What do u think? I’ve been there, seen there… its a sad sight, but what can you do?

    What you’ve witness in 2007 is probably only one sample of a few hundred thousands. Trust me… the figure might be more. So don’t be surprised by just one encounter. Its causing bias in your statistics.

    The point is… we (the consumers) are the ones (yes… you and me) who are fuelling the so called growth machine… its basic ECONOMICS. Cheap and good… so go to China. If China is expensive, we find India…or Vietnam… or Africa…

    I bet, there are locals (in the place where you stay) working in the sex industry for $$$. Come on face the fact, who wants to sell their body for $$$? This is basic shame and honor issue, God does not want His children to suffer, but note its a world of good and evil.

    To conclude, its not something we would like to see or hear, but there’s more then meets the eye. Your encounter is purely superficial. And face the fact, its a way of life in this World, everywhere you go, humans are all the same.

    We all need $$$ to survive. You just sell different “things” in other to get $$$.

    Dear NATO, thanks for the long comment. Interesting thoughts you have there, very sobering indeed.
    Actually, my experience is not all that ‘superficial’ as I’ve lived in China in stretches and travelled there a few times every year for the past 10+ years. When I first lived there in 1998, China was nothing close to the powerful economic engine that you see today and largely overlooked by the rest of the world.
    This post was really more in reflection at my own apathy (as you can see about the Taiwanese businessman) and also food for thought on the growth of China, especially post-Olympics.
    But thanks again for sharing your sobering thoughts here in my humble blog.

  11. Gaz

    I love it how Chinese always claim that the west is sex crazy and completely ‘open’ and how China is traditional and sexually closed and ‘sane’. We don’t have KTV bars with full of prostitutes where I come from, or barber shops that turn into brothels at night, lining the street.

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