Dear MeiGui: Is nudity really romantic?

Originally published in The China Post, 11/16/08

Dear MeiGui;

     I hope this letter is not taken in the wrong way, because I love Taiwan; I especially love the family that has been letting out a room to me while I further my Chinese studies at a local university.  For me living in Taiwan has been a wondrous anthropological journey of both cultural and self-discovery.  Still, I have recently encountered a situation that did leave me feeling confused and awkward. 

      Several weekends ago, my host family invited me to travel with them to the southern city of PingTung to visit their family members and old friends.  While there, the husband introduced me to one of his old divorced high school friends; nicknamed Apple; and then started to encourage me to go out on a date with this old buddy.  I agreed; even though as far as I can discern, Apple spends most of his time drinking beer and wearing a “I Love New York” T-shirt. 

     Anyway, he invited both myself and my entire host family; including their two primary school aged-children; to his favorite local KTV.  They all assured me that this place was suitable for children, so initially I didn’t think much about going there with the kids; and at any rate, we went there in the middle of the day. 

     .  However, upon entering the darkened room, I immediately noticed there were many; although quite old and ugly; bar hostesses wandering among the customers.  After we sat down at our table, Apple insisted on singing a romantic song to me, and chose “The Moonlight Represents My Heart” (月亮代表我的心). 

     I felt that this was a very sensitive gesture until the video came up on the screen.  It was a video of a lovely young woman exclusive of clothing; and touching herself in certain places.  I was horrified.  I jumped over the sofa to cup my hands around the family’s six year old daughter’s eyes, but everyone just laughed at me.

What did I miss?

-- Culturally Adventurous


Dear Culturally Adventurous;

You missed the encore.  Be thankful.

-- Some values are culturally relevant, MeiGui


Dear MeiGui;

     Some of my female Western colleagues were offended by your use of the term “cougar” in last week’s column; but I want to take the opportunity here to emphatically state that I don’t know what all the fuss is about. 

     I am a divorced woman on the fast-track to fifty; and I don’t have a problem expending money for a little self-renovation -- especially if it can help me score some young hot guy at Carnegie’s on Lady’s Night.  Sagging old male farts do it all the time!  Minus the efforts at physical improvement of course!

     Furthermore, I think all my body work helps to support the economy.  I probably pay my plastic surgeon’s office rental fees; support the university education of more than a few personal trainers; and keep shares in many cosmetic companies from becoming victim to the recent world economic downturn.

So what’s the big issue?

-- Of An Artificial Age


Dear Of An Artificial Age;

     I hear you baby.  To quote Jennifer Saunder’s character Edina from “Absolutely Fabulous” – This carcass ain’t croackin’ or I’ll sue!

-- Ms Saunder’s always says it best, MeiGui