Singing in the Streets


So I realized today that although I am/have always been a person that likes talking to people, that there is a certain peacefulness in not being able to interact with everyone around you.

For 1 – I actually feel as if I’m not a real person  (in a good way).  I feel as if I am just floating on by.  It is true that people often stare at me…because hey, I look different.  But other than the occasional “hello!” yelled at me after I’ve already walked by, most people don’t take too much interest in me.  What do I mean?  Well…an example:  I am usually listening to music when I walk around.  And nowadays, I often sing along with the music.  Would I do this in America?  No.

1 – people would recognize the song and realize that I don’t actually know all the words that I am blurting out and 2 – well, in America, I would think this is weird.  American people are much more judgmental than Chinese people (and yes, you can say I am basing this generalization off of myself…and my friends).

Oh and No. 3 – I have this theory that anything sang in a foreign language sounds better than if it were sang in your language.  If you don’t believe me, then go to KTV and listen to a Chinese person sing a Chinese song.  Then ask that person to sing an English song immediately after.  That person who once sounded fantastic….well, you will realize that they aren’t.  I do realize that this may be because Chinese people practice singing specific songs so that they can sound like a pro when they are in front of others.

Anyway, I like being able to sing in public and have people stare at me not because I am singing…but because I am a foreigner.  It’s like…since I am already a foreigner, I would have to do something more outrageous than singing to shock them any further.  FOREIGNER?  Where?!?!  He’s singing?…who cares.

So another plus to the language barrier.  Today, I was walking across a bridge and accidentally kicked someone’s mini-basket cage things they were selling.  I don’t know what they were.  And before I had a chance to assist a hand, the man scurried after the little ball basket cage thing and picked it up.  Being a foreigner, we both realized any type of conversation would have been more of a struggle than it was worth.  He didn’t yell at me, and he didn’t try to make me buy it for my reckless walking…which was a good thing because a conversation about the idiocy of propping your cage ball baskets at the top of steps on a bridge is not my forte.

I guess the main idea is: I feel less judged about what I do in public here than in any other place I have ever been, even despite the fact that I get more attention than in any other place I have ever traveled too (or lived in).  Strange.  Thanks, China.

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