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.