Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Staring at the foreigners (that's me!)

Before I got to Sun Moon Lake I was so through with people staring at me and talking about me. It's always gone on and it didn't bother me for the longest time and all of a sudden it did. It also annoys me when people act like they can talk about me like I don't understand, but I do understand what they're saying. Again, for a year and a half I took it in stride and all of a sudden it started to drive me crazy.

Given that Sun Moon Lake is a popular tourist destination I thought it wouldn't happen so much but it was worse than ever. When I was by myself on Friday all I heard was wai-guo-ren this and wai-guo-ren that. When my friends (Janelle and Kirsten) came they noticed it too.

We had dinner outside (it was dark) and this big group eating dinner across the restaurant sent a few kids over to find out if we were foreigners. So the kids stand there like three feet from us and discuss- "I wonder if they can speak Chinese?" "No, probably not." "Little friend, we can speak Chinese," I told him. "I think they're English teachers," one observed, oblivious to my speech. "Go back to your parents," I told him, which sent him away.

Later in the evening, a man going into the hotel said to his friend, "It's dark- I can't see clearly- are those foreigners?" This just cracked us up. Then it got funnier as he walked back and forth about 4 times, each time staring intently to ascertain whether we were, in fact, foreigners. (We're loudly mocking you in English- of course we're foreigners!)

Anyways, I was stared at and talked about all weekend but it was almost like a homeopathic dose- it got to where it doesn't bother me (again).

No comments: