Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Am No Tai Tai

There are friends at home I still haven't told about our hired help.  Their astonishment at my need to have someone at my beck and call would give them a moral coronary.Having hired help is of course where my my tai tai life ends.

There is no one paying my rent, we don't have a car or driver and my kids suck it up at local school because 99% of the experience of living in China is well, living like you are actually here.  Our friends are our neighbors, security team donated by the mai shui guo on the corner and Mr. Yao the bao an.  We shop at the wet market and LianHua.  My kids speak Chinese....well.  We know how to ride the bus and the subway and can swear at someone when they step in front of our speeding scooter carrying 3 people.

I am no tai tai.

That's Shanghai's most recent cover story makes me ill.  The article caters to those who don't want to give up that part of themselves that counts the days until they leave this place instead of enjoying the oddities of their surroundings.  The article plays on the fears that tai tai's have of their husband leaving them for someone who knows how to get around town and can speak the language.  The article makes tai tai's look foolish, Stepford-like and cheap.

Complete tai tai life is forgettable...what's the point of being here if you can be a bigger part of society...and no that once a year thing you spend an hour doing at your 30K USD primary school that someone else pays for doesn't count.

Complete tai tai life isn't disappearing because it's getting harder to achieve in a less robust economic environment, tai tai life is just looking more foolish by the moment and yes, less trendy than last year's fake Bottega Veneta.

So go ahead, let's compare our husband's salaries and allowances like we are comparing bra size as we sit around laughing through another created moment that aches of what you really need.

Pass the gin.

*As a note, I was asked to respond to the That's Shanghai article and wrote this back in October.  After writing this I was asked not to post it online as a part of the magazine I worked for at the time fearing it would offend the majority of our readership.*

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