Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Life is extremely weird here

There's no compelling reason for the reason the title is what it is for this update, other than it's the truth.

Living in China is so weird. Always. I mean, almost too weird. Everyone here is pretty dang weird. The majority of the time it's the good kind of weird, with a few dashes of annoying weird. But all in all, fun weird. Which is one of the things I was looking for.

I'm not so much learning how to speak, read, or write Chinese in the formal sense at the moment, but I'm rocking out the understanding what people are saying. And that part is the scariest part. While I was in Zhongguancun getting my Wii tinkered with... umm... wow that just came out wrong. The sad part is I'm afraid of being more specific than that, so lets just say it involves the installation of some hardware to make my Wii better... I'm just going to stop saying Wii. Anyway, I was there being slightly impatient because I had a party to get to. I overheard the local proprietor mention something about me hovering over him like a hawk waiting for him to finish. He said, "laowai" alot, which is what I am. I could tell he was using it in the slightly pejorative sense. So I kind of laughed. Then both shopkeeps looked at me wide-eyed, and said in Chinese, "Does he understand Chinese?!". Bwahaha. I just kind of nodded.

Then a couple of days ago while waiting for my ride to school, I heard the security guard outside the apartment mention to a passerby, "Hey, there's that American standing by the gate." Said passerby turner 'round and stared right at me. I just sort of nodded and acknowledged that I was apparently the subject of great fascination. They both laughed at me of course.

Here in China, if you look like a whitey, you will instigate some incredibly odd behaviors. Ranging from stunned bewilderment to steadfast discrimination, it's always a surprise to me the extremes that many people go to when you're in their presence. While it's funny sometimes, I do feel highly uncomfortable most of the time. Heck, I could swear that my discriminates against me sometimes. I'll be waiting patiently on the eighth floor after hitting the button, and the elevator will come up and pass me by to the tenth floor, and then again on it's way back down. No way is it going to have some burger-eating white devil pushing its buttons with its greasy, hairy fingers. Not in a million years.

So I've been debating making some sort of comic about all the strange happenings in China. Because most of it is so surreal that I feel like it can only be best expressed through some sort of comedic medium. I'm just not convinced that: A.) I'm funny enough, B.) I can draw, or C.) I'd actually do it. Time will tell.

1 comment:

Keiyla said...

Those are the sort of anecdotes I love best! Do they like you better, or appear to, when it's made clear you understand them? Or treat you differently?

And don't worry, I don't think the elvator is prejudiced against you. At least, I hope not, because the elevator in my History building did the same thing to me. It can't be true. I won't let it be true!