It was pounded into my cranium before I left for Hong Kong. It’s being pounded into me now: be careful of those wily, nefarious, gold digging, treacherous, passport-hungry, no-good, dirty Chinese girls. I got the lecture again during a phone call with my mom. The conversation went something like this:

“Hi mom, how are you?”

“Have you stayed away from the Chinese girls!!??”

I also received this earnest email from a cousin in Hong Kong today:

One thing I forgot to remind you about is to really becareful on those look beautiful and may seem reliable local Chinese ladies…… Just a word of wisdom…. just don’t hook up on one… because the consequence could be a heavy suffer and pain

Apparently, they believe I’ll be tricked into a relationship by some dragon lady, some demon with irresistible looks eager to make innocent and virtuous ‘ol me her next victim. Or I’ll be drugged, dragged into a shanty, forced to have sex with a village girl and blackmailed into marriage. Who knows what ugly and bizarre scenarios my mom or grandmother or cousins are conjuring.

But don’t worry, dear family members. I’ve been avoiding Chinese girls like Shaun Alexander avoids contact. Like a sorority girl on the walk of shame avoiding eye contact. Like an alcoholic avoiding last call. Like a cowboy avoiding Brokeback Mountain at Blockbuster. Like … you get the point. After two weeks in China I haven’t been drugged, duped, blackmailed, raped or sodomized. And I really don’t plan to be.