« It’s funny, I’ve just had the exact same conversation two blocks ago with a girl that, in a way, looks exactly like you* ». It’s like when they make a change in the Matrix and you see the cat walk past by the brick wall twice.
Every time I sneak away from a scam, I am left with a question: What was it this time? Many times I have let them talk some more just to see where it goes but today I am walking around with my passport, all my credit cards and 3000 yuan that an ATM has kindly agreed to give me. It is out of the question that I pursue any conversation with scammers with pockets full of *goodies*. It’s no use taking risks so I told her that I wanted to walk alone, twice and then she said « Oh! No me? » and went on to deliver her payload in a last, desperate attempt to not lose the opportunity. « Do you want massage? ». There you are! I should have thanked her for taking away my doubts but she had already stayed behind. I could only hear her congratulating me for my good looks or maybe something else, I don’t know, it was in Chinese.
I was also accosted twice by girls that asked me to take a picture of them together and claimed to be tourists from other parts of China headed for a traditional tea house and « would you like to join us? ». My short answer is a clear NO but I could also go on about how I grew up in Argentina and this kind of thing is every day life in Buenos Aires and even locals are targets of scams like this one. This one in particular, I had seen it in Argentina already but in the form of a guy that offers you a free or very cheap ticket to enter a very exclusive bar or strip club. You sort of develop a sixth sense for these things growing up in BA.
* Moderately good-looking Chinese girl elegantly dressed in 100% Western clothes (nothing looks Chinese except of course her) speaking quite good English but not so perfect that you would be suspicious