Thursday, November 29, 2007

Looking local

Looking Chinese here has been a struggle. Eventually, it'll probably help me find some great news stories, but for now it means confused or disapproving looks when I can't respond to questions. If I'm in a conversation, people come to find out that I'm Vietnamese and Meiguo ren (American). Strangely enough, the Vietnamese thought that I was Japanese when I went there on a 3 week tour.

Being with Josh, this means that I couldn't possible be his taitai (wife), but a "friend" or rather...a Chinese prostitute. Yikes! During our first trip in September, a relaxing late afternoon walk and seat on a bench in Fuxing Park brought on intense stares from every local. A transfixed gaze, maintained by turning their heads back as they walked away.

A conversation with a professor in Chinese history, who frequents the country, revealed what people were probably thinking about us. Josh, the white businessman, and me, the Chinese prostitute! As one friend said, I must be the most wholesome looking prostitute in Asia walking around in a t-shirt, rolled up worn jeans, and mary jane sneakers. Darn, they just don't check for wedding rings around here! Just another thing for Josh and I to get used to and laugh about.

1 comment:

Gunaikos said...

Wow, that certainly is quite a situation to find yourself in. I'm sure it will definitely provide you more material for future blog entries!