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Chinese residents in the SGV complain about entertaining visiting relatives

As the summer approaches, many visitors from China will vacation in Southern California. Some Chinese residents in the San Gabriel Valley are complaining about these relatives and friends, who come to visit and demand that their hosts drive them around for sightseeing and shopping without paying or chipping in, World Journal (世界日报) reports.

When Mr. Yang's brother and sister-in-law came to Los Angeles to visit, he left work for a week and took his brother’s family to Disneyland, Universal Studios, and shopping outlets, spending more than $1,000 on just tickets alone and more on gas, dining, and lodging. Mr. Yang told World Journal he is unhappy about spending so much money and time entertaining his brother's family, but he did not ask his brother to pay him back.

The sister-in-law of East San Gabriel Valley resident Mrs. Wang asked her to find a maternal care center for her so that she could give birth in the United States. Wang drove her around to visit more than a dozen maternal care and shopping centers, spending so much time that she was not able to pick up her children after school.

Mr. Fang was studying for and taking finals when his cousin came to Los Angeles. He drove her around for three days. In addition, he paid for all the gas, dining, and ticket expenses. Upon leaving, his cousin said she wanted to buy a house in the United States and asked Fang to collect information for her.

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4 thoughts on “Chinese residents in the SGV complain about entertaining visiting relatives”

  1. How incredibly rude and obnoxious! Don’t be a doormat. As soon as you learn someone is going to make a trip here, send them links to the various amusement parks and advise them to buy their tix in advance themselves. Then send them a list of some hotels in the neighborhood and recommend they book soon. I cannot imagine hosting such selfish people.

  2. that’s nice of mrs.wang to help her sister in a law find a birthing hotel, just lovely

  3. This article is pointless but the comment is hilarious and a great read!

  4. Brett Moorover

    Be a gracious host to gracious guests, not people who are clearly taking advantage of you. Do not reward rude family/friends. Avoid unwanted visits at all costs. But if you can’t, make sure their stay is just unpleasant enough that they’ll think twice before visiting you again.

    There are many tricks to get out of, or lessen, these obligations. Sorry in advance for the lengthy post, but this is important and time-sensitive, considering the summer travel season is upon us.

    If rude family/friends tell you they are coming, tell them you’re looking forward to seeing them (amp up the enthusiasm), but warn them ahead (with clear regret in your voice) that you can only spend X # days with them because of previous work/school/church/whatever obligations. Be firm, but friendly. Then stick to it. If they decide to show up early anyway, don’t change your schedule to accommodate their extended visit. Only hang out with them on the days you previously specified. Their time beyond those days is none of your concern. You must be strong!

    If it stresses you out to draw boundaries and set expectations like a normal, healthy person, you can always claim illness (e.g. flu, whooping cough, pinkeye or lice especially if you have kids) just before they show up, then apologize you won’t be able to show them around after all. Worse comes to worse, apologize you can’t see them, as your place is infested with bedbugs and the little buggers like to hitch rides on you before you head out the door, and you don’t want to ruin their vacation. Be polite and overly apologetic.

    Maybe you don’t feel bold enough to do the above. So you’re stuck taking them around. You can still put the kibosh on future visits if you do things right when they’re here. Take them only to cheap restaurants. Not bad, just cheap: In-N-Out, Costco food court, the place that replaced Fong’s Burger, Yum Cha Cafe, you get the picture. If they inquire about specific, pricey restaurants, talk down about said restaurant, claiming it’s for tourists who don’t know any better, then talk up your cheap restaurant of choice: “Secret Menu! No freezers!”

    As a creative flourish, bring this cheap food and your guests to one of our local parks, make a big show of spreading a blanket on the grass, and invite everyone to sit down and enjoy an all-American, al fresco dining experience. Grandly pour water into their red Solo cups. If you can get a gallon of Alhambra water (Sparkletts’s NorCal product), all the better; talk on and on about how fancy and famous this local “Alhambra” water is. Rave about how great it is to see them and spend time with them. Pay no attention to their clear disappointment at not getting the royal (a.k.a. expensive) treatment.

    If you lack the guts to do that, be stealthy when you take them out to “nice” places. For example, order several plates of bao first thing at dim sum. (Make sure you’re sitting strategically so the carts pass by you; avoid non-cart places.) Make a big show of your generosity and place the bao onto people’s plates with great enthusiasm to pressure people into eating the bao and getting full fast. Order every single bao you can think of: bbq pork, chicken, those little ones with the bean paste. Then, order rice porridge and lots of fried food. (Liquids and fried stuff make you feel full fast.) Ladle out the rice porridge and distribute the fried food onto everyone’s plates with great flourish to ensure everyone gets too full to order more.

    Plan ahead with the restaurant staff and have them deliver the check just after you’ve conveniently excused yourself to go to the bathroom. (If you have a spouse, hopefully, you have a baby who needs his/her diaper changed about the same time. If you lack said kid, consider borrowing one. Or, have your spouse take an urgent call from work — have said spouse walk out of the restaurant to take the call after complaining the phone reception is so bad.) If your guests are so rude as to leave the bill on the table till you get back, you’re out of luck. But if you think that might happen, have the captain/manager show up to the table with the bill and stand there imperiously till your guests pay up.

    Rather than drive your guests around, insist on taking the bus and train; tell them it’s how locals do it, that you want them to get the “full L.A. experience.” (I actually like taking guests around on the bus and train, as it’s a great way to see L.A., but my guess is most people aren’t into this.)

    You *can* take the train/bus to Disneyland. To get to Hollywood or Universal Studios, take the 76 bus down Valley Blvd. to Union Station, then take the Red Line. Gets you there lickety split, and you don’t have to pay for parking. You can also get to the beach by bus/train. (76 to Union Station, then take the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus freeway line.) Union Station is connected to everything; the 76 is your ticket to paradise. (260 up Atlantic Blvd. takes you to Old Town.) Just get back home before it gets too late; the brief walk from Union Station to the 76 bus stop gets a little dicey after 9 pm.

    If you’re too much of a wimp to handle public transit but have a sense of humor, get your hands on a moldy clunker and use it to drive your guests around. Remember, remain cheerful, polite, and oblivious to their discomfort.

    For those who possess a certain joie de vivre, rent a bunch of Flying Pigeon bicycles (not sure if Flying Pigeon bike shop in Cypress Park rents, though I do know they sell) and use them locally and on the bus/train to take your Chinese mainland guests around. The cool guests will think it’s a hoot; the uncool (I said uncool, not unbeautiful) ones won’t.

    When asked about maternal care, real estate, whatever, claim utter ignorance about the subject and refer them to the Internet or a paid professional they need to pay for. Or, claim ignorance but express with great enthusiasm your determination to help them. Then drive them around (though Flying Pigeon bikes, buses, and trains would be better) in circles to the wrong addresses, feigning surprise each time you get there. (“I had no idea this was an HIV testing clinic!”)

    Or, just before they leave, gallantly present them with a stack of pamphlets, business cards, and such, that happen to have the completely wrong kind of information (e.g. periodontal disease info, Jehovah’s Witness pamphlets). Remember, you have no idea about this stuff.

    If you have no sense of humor and/or can’t handle the above, just plain tell them you can’t show them around due to work/school obligations and provide them car rental info and AAA maps. Remain cheerful, enthusiastic, and ignore/gloss over any obvious hints or statements indicating you should being doing more for them.

    For the true pushovers who can’t handle any of the above, just get out of town that week.

    Above all else, never get angry or frustrated. Maintain your sense of humor. Always appear cheerful, enthusiastic, and polite. Overdo your apologies.

    And whatever you do, do NOT give generous laysee/hong bao/lucky money/red envelopes! Give the absolute minimum. But stick to bills. Don’t give coins.