Another one of Kristine’s questions included: Do you ever feel like you stick out like a sore thumb?
In short, yes!
Every. single. day.
In fact, some days so much so that I find myself hiding my face so that I don’t have to stare at other people staring at me on the street or on the MRT. (Although, some days I stare back with a look that says, “Why are you staring? Don’t you realize how rude it is?”) Some days it’s felt so much so that I often avoid eye contact because whenever I look them in the eye, all they are thinking is, “Oh, my, her eyes are so blue…” Or, at least, many of them seem to. So much so at times, that even though I love high heels, I have avoided wearing them 95% of the time I’ve been here because, while I’m tall to begin with (here and in the states), the added height just makes it easier for others to pinpoint my location and blond hair in order to tell their friend that there is a “waiguoren” (“foreigner”) over there.
Some days here it’s like you’re a walking museum exhibition; people notice you everywhere you go, and you hear “waiguoren” at least 20 times that day. Sometimes the term is used in fascination, sometimes in surprise, and sometimes it’s just Captain Obvious doing his job, but thankfully it’s rarely said hatefully. (Maybe two or three times total have I heard it in meanness throughout my time here.) However, no matter how it’s said, often every day I am reminded of how different I am here. Some days it may be less obvious than others, but it is always there. Needless to say, I believe that I can officially say that I know what it’s like to be a minority now, and yes, it can definitely suck.
I would like to elaborate more, but I feel each related topic (beauty, employment, hatred, assumptions, etc.) would work better as separate blog posts, as each has a story to go along with it; so, I will leave you with this picture and award 10 Schrute bucks to those who can spot the foreigners! 😉