The Chinese always stare at me and the other Americans. It’s like being a celebrity. Maybe they haven’t seen a white person before or something. I get my picture taken all the time! I don’t know if it’s the blonde curly hair, the white skin, the blue eyes or what. I literally had a guy about 2 feet away from me point his giant super nice camera at my face and take a picture. They do not care. They just do it shamelessly. Some of them actually try to be sneaky about it, but very few. And then there’s the people that actually ask to take a picture of you with their child. That’s my favorite. There’s this little girl that I always see in the lobby with her grandpa and he asked me the other night. Poor little girl was scared of me and now having it. We did get a nice picture of me and the little girl looking at each other. It was cute. When I say something in Chinese they are always so happy. They smile and laugh. And then there are the people who just say whatever they know in English like hello, beautiful, I love you, bye bye and so on. I have had groups of kids walk by me in the park one day and they all said hello one by one, so I said hello and Nǐ hǎo back and they loved it! It’s always funny to me.
I think whats even funnier is when they look at you funny and start talking to you in Chinese like I’m supposed to know what they are saying. Nope. For example, I walking home one morning and there was a giant mouse running in the grass. This lady started talking to me in Chinese and I said tīng bù dǒng (I don’t understand) and lǎo shǔ (mouse) and she was like yea yea and kept talking to me in Chinese. I’m learning Chinese really fast and I can get a lot of things with the little chinese I do know, gestures and stuff but no, I have no idea what she said. That’s one thing that drives me crazy is not knowing what anyone is saying. It’s hard because they have chongqinghua which is a sub-dialect of Mandarin that doesn’t even sound the same. My goal by the end of this journey is to be at least conversational. I think it could happen if I try to really learn Chinese.