Well obviously I’m not famous. But I don’t think the majority of the population here has caught on to that yet. I have only seen a handful of other westerners here since my arrival, so when the locals spot one they can’t help but stare. Usually its just staring and hushed Cantonese to their friends (they could speak as loud as they want, the only Cantonese I know is ‘bow la’ which means full) but I have been approached by a few. Most of the times they just say hi and run away giggling when I say hello back, but a few have been even bolder.
My first Sunday here we went ice skating at a local mall’s indoor rink so I felt right at home, apart from probably 100 Asians staring at me, wondering who I was and why I could skate so well. One girl approached me and asked if I could teach her sister to skate. So, I tried. How does one teach someone to do something I’ve been able to do for so long? I don’t remember being taught though I’m sure I was at some point. So I pulled her along telling her to step and glide, and I think she was going a bit better after I had helped her.
Last week, on my first venture out by myself I was greeted by an eager pre-teen near the market. He said hello! And I said hi! And that was it. On my way back from the market he was there again and he extended his (sweaty) hand and said ‘nice to meet you,’ and I said ‘nice to meet you too!’
‘Where are you from?’
‘I’m from Hong Kong’ and that was it, the end of our exchange.
This past Sunday when I went to the pottery kiln, I was stopped by a mid-teens boy who asked me for a picture with me. Had I been quicker thinking I would have taken one to remember that moment, my first picture WITH a stranger here (though I have witnessed others sneaking pictures). I wonder how many blogs my picture is ending up on, as the foreigner with the Chinese family, the confused looking blonde, the tall one, or any combination thereof. If there is a next time, I will definitely get a copy of the picture that I’m asked to be in.