Monday, May 03, 2010

Crazy half-naked foreigner

Since moving back to China last summer, I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I do not garner the attention I once did when I am outside, at least in this part of town. Therefore, it was a strange feeling this morning to have all eyes on me while I ran up to the Summer Palace and back. After awhile I started thinking, "Did I forget to wear something? Is some part of me showing that shouldn't be?"

In a way, yes. It was . . . my arms! That's right, I was wearing a sleeveless shirt. This was cause for staring because it's only May 3rd. It doesn't matter that it was 65 degrees at 6:30 in the morning. It's only May 3rd! It's irrelevant that it's been 85 degrees the last two days. It's only May 3rd! Crazy foreigner looking to die young, that's what they saw.

There's a saying here, "Chun wu qiu dong" which roughly means, "Overheat in the spring and freeze in the fall." I don't think they really abide by the second half of that, but the Chinese are sticklers about the former. They'll wear as much as possible, as late as possible, into the spring. We have a neighbor girl whose mom has hidden her summer clothes from her. On Saturday this poor girl was wearing lined pants, a long sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt. 85 degrees! That seems like child abuse. I kept pumping her full of water so she didn't pass out. I'm sure people are still wearing long underwear and I have yet to see bare arms or legs. Is it any wonder that I looked like an idiot to them?

1 comment: said...

I love your blog! I am mommy to 5 kids, one recently adopted from China! She is the love of our lives ,as are all of our children. We know about the overheating thing, she came to us in 5 layers of clothes topped off with a puffy jacket in early November. Thank you for sharing your stories from China. We met amazing beautiful people there and when we met a Christian and they found out we were christians it was like family for life! That's the way God would like it to be for everyone!