Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Chinese People Being Weird

ok, so I've been getting some crap from the 4 or 5 people that read this site that I've been a little slack on the updating. While this is true, I haven't updated in awhile, would you rather boring/dull/pathetic/lame entries ever couple days, or an all-star entry like this one once a week? I vote for the second, and since I am the only one who has a vote here, that's how it will be until my life becomes more interesting and there is lots to write about. So after accepting this laziness criticism for the third or fourth time, I decided today to think long and hard and come up with a decent entry to get the ball rolling on here. I spent all of dinner thinking, and then it struck me, well more like flashed in my face.

You see, I was eating dinner at McDonalds. I usually hate McDonalds, but for some reason I found myself craving a Big Mac and fries for dinner. I especially hate eating McDonalds in China because everyone stares as me and is like

"Look, there's an American, and he's actually eating in McDonalds, this is so damn crazy...I can't believe it...I'm in an american owned restaurant and here is a real american eating along with me, I should call all my friends to come out here, because they will never believe what I saw."

So yeah, I get a lot of stares, and the eating experience is a little uncomfortable, but I couldn't withstand my craving, and went anyway. Me and two friends were sitting there, eating our Big Macs and fries, when a mother with her little kid walks by to go to the bathroom. The kid was about three years old, and screamed out "Hello!" to us as he walked by. We didn't think anything of it, this happens a lot. Then about 5 minutes later they come out of the bathroom, and the mother is trying to pull the little runt over to our table, but he wiggles away and keeps walking. 10 minutes after that she comes back again, but this time has a camera, sets the kid up in front of the three of us, and says she is taking a picture. She doesn't ask to take the picture, just whips out the camera, lines it up, and snaps two pics off real fast. As soon as she's done, grabs the kid and runs away. The three of us just start cracking up, not really believing what happened. That is China in a nutshell.

So that was an entry in itself, I hope a pacified my critics, but I have a few other things to say that this event made me think of. These have been brewing for awhile. Just random strange things Chinese people have told me, or that I've seen around china. Many more were probably forgotten, but I think i'm going to make an effort to record them from now on. Maybe to other people these won't seem all that strange or interesting, but i thought they were at the time.

This relates to McDonalds, so I'll put it first. Every McDonalds has a ronald mcdonald statue sitting on a bench in front of the store. It's not uncommon to see people sitting next to him or taking pictures with him. But once I saw a grown man, probably about 35, sitting on his lap talking on his cell phone like it was nothing. Just chilling there, on the big yellow freak's lap like he did it every day. As soon as the cell phone conversation was over, he turned off the phone, got us and walked away. That might have been the moment in my life where i most wished I had a camera with me.

I was talking to a person who works in a BWM dealership. She was asking me whether BMWs were common in america. I said they weren't really uncommon, but they are really expensive, and you don't really see the 7-series too much. so I asked how much they are in China (for the most expensive ones, 7-series), she said $100,000. I said, yeah, that's about what they cost in the US, she said "O, I didn't think that was a lot of money in the US."

Talking to a chinese girl, I asked her what she thought about black people (she had never spoken to one). She said she doesn't like them. I asked why, and she said "Because they are so black." No further explaination given.

Waiting in a train station, talking to some random guy sitting next to me who is obviously pretty poor, but a really nice guy. Asked me if I'm going back to america now, I said no, just back to school and that i'm not going back to america till later in the year. He said, "O, can you take a train from here over to a America?" It was kind of difficult to explain why I couldn't, especially since I didn't know the word for "ocean" in chinese.

While discussing marijuana usage in the US/Europe.
Chinese person: "But, marijuana is addictive."
Me: "No it isn't"
Chinese person: "Yes it is, it's just like Heroine"
Me: "No way, do you even know what Marijuana looks like?"
Chinese person: "It looks like tobacco right?"

And here is a picture of a muddy cow from Spring Break: