Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Personal Space #amwriting #flashfiction

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.


TJ. Paris


I hear mandarine, loud in my ear. I’m taller than many Chinese women and fatter. They pull at my blond hair and it’s hard for me to understand why people in China have little concept of personal space.

I came to China to see the history: The Buddhist temples and buildings; The Terracotta Army and other artifacts; and even the Great Wall, though it was a tiring hike which spanned a distance too great to finish walking.

I have known many wonderful people of Chinese descent; I have great friends from China. But I will never live in China nor return.

Yet, there is strange kind of beauty here; I see it in the paper lanterns, glowing at night and in the New Years fireworks. I wanted to love this country, until one too many women tried to cut-off my blond hair; they each said it was for luck.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

25 thoughts on “Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Personal Space #amwriting #flashfiction

  1. Priceless Joy July 20, 2016 / 12:45 am

    What an ending! Trying to cut off your blonde hair for good luck! Yikes! I would want to leave too. Hahaha! Cute story, Mandi! I enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 July 20, 2016 / 1:10 am

      I’ve never been, but I have a good friend who told me, that’s what would happen if I went there and she’s Chinese. Thanks PJ.


  2. Yinglan July 20, 2016 / 12:53 am

    How funny, and I agree on the personal space, I find it very annoying that a lot of Chinese people, especially the elderly don’t know how to respect people’s personal space.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 July 20, 2016 / 1:09 am

      Oh I’m glad you can relate. I was hoping not to be offensive when I wrote this. I was a bit unsure. 🙂 Glad you liked Yinglan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yinglan July 20, 2016 / 1:12 am

        Oh no, not offensive at all. I’ve been through similar situations. 🙂


  3. Joy Joyancel July 20, 2016 / 7:00 am

    Hahaha funny, I love being in peoples personal space. I wont cut your hair though 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 July 20, 2016 / 4:17 pm

      Haha. I guess it depends on the person in your space, how well you know them. Glad to know my hair is safe lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Graham Lawrence July 20, 2016 / 8:11 am

    Great take! It’s strange how personal space is interpreted in different cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jenn July 20, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    I would love to visit China. Great descriptions in this story. If you do ever make it just remember to wear a dark wig, lol…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joy Pixley July 21, 2016 / 6:25 pm

    It’s interesting how people from different cultures have such different sense of personal space. Until you have to deal with someone up close, and then it can be very off-putting! I have experienced the opposite too, where the other person keeps backing away from me. At first I thought they didn’t like me (or maybe I smelled!) but no, they just had more sense of personal space than me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 July 21, 2016 / 7:28 pm

      Hey Joy. Yes, I agree. Culturally it’s interesting but I think as well, different people have. Comfort zones as they know you. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hemangini July 22, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    wow why would they want to chop off someone’s pretty blonde hair, because it’s different? :p i took the liberty to read comments, so that happened to a Chinese friend? wow, real incident. All countries have different traditions and myths and folklore… amazing but sometimes scary, no?

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 July 22, 2016 / 3:12 pm

      My Chinese friend told me that would happen. I thought she was joking around. But she told me later, it had happened with blond women who had visited China before. So perhaps, it depends where you are and the superstitions of the locals. Yes, traditions and folklore is very neat. Some of it a bit brutal. I saw a news story on the last woman who had practiced foot binding in China. Too my eyes, I thought her feet disfigured and wondered how painful that must have been but years and years ago, men (and women) thought it attractive .

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hemangini July 23, 2016 / 1:16 pm

        wow that’s really difficult to digest.. women in many island countries and others still go through some painful procedures to look beautiful in their community which might even mean deforming their bodies. Good that you have a friend to warn about it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • mandibelle16 July 23, 2016 / 5:01 pm

        Yeah, I’m not sure where they would do this? Maybe it’s different in big cities rather than big cities? But she was quite series. Thanks for reading 🙂


      • Hemangini July 25, 2016 / 2:23 am

        It’s difficult to let go of some conceptions for people. Maybe we are quite adaptive since we are brought up that way, to challenge and think whats in front of us.

        Have a wonderful week Mandibelle 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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