Still Not Over The Staring Thing

As Jeff and Fresca both said, mere words cannot describe the constant staring in Kafaqu, but I’m going to try anyway. (Sorry to bore the old China hands.) I can understand it on some level, a foriegn girl playing games in your local net cafe might grab some attention. But what’s with the grocery store stares? Surely it’s not a surprise that Westerners also need to eat.

I’d probably never eat at KFC at home, but sometimes I really want to eat french fries that taste like french fries, and ice cream that’s not flavored with red bean. So I ordered, in understandable if imperfect Chinese, and took my food upstairs to the seating area.

Ok, patrons, you’ve all chosen to eatin a KFC. It’s not that surprising that an American would be eating in the only place which serves Western food. At least swallow your burger before staring opened mouthed, ok? And don’t any of you want to resume your conversations? Oh well, I like to enforce a no-talking-while-Meg-is-eating-Western-food rule, and clearly the entire restaurant wanted to abide by this rule.

Hey Mom, remember that advice you gave me in middle school? I remember a whole speech about how it may feel like everyone is looking at me, but really, they’re all too focused on themselves to really be staring at me? Yeah, I know you remember, I made you repeat it often times. It’s not true, as a point of fact.

By the time I got to my ice cream, the autographs had started. I never know what to write when a preteen girl pushes her glitter pen and English book into my hands and mumbles a request. Best wishes from the American who was trying to eat dinner. I can only assume that the girls know that I’ll be internationally famous soon and they plan to sell their signed textbooks on E-Bay to pay for college. Or they plan to take their books to school tomorrow and show their friends the signature of the lao wei who really does chew and swallow, just like real people.

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0 Responses to Still Not Over The Staring Thing

  1. Aorijia says:


    I understand you perfectly well. One of the Murphy Laws states precisely that the greater the amount of stares towards you, the greater the need you will feel to pick your nose.

    If you ever get used to it, please let us know!

  2. pandapassport says:

    I enjoy tap-dancing in these situations…

  3. Stuart says:

    When I was in China, I found that if you stare directly back at them with an icy look that says, “Watch out. I’m a bad-ass American who, as you know, would just as soon eat you as look at you”, they realize they’re being rude and look away. Actually, this often works with just a regular stare-back as well. Although, sometimes I’ve found that the men don’t look away in embarassment but with a kind of angry disgust. It’s very disheartening.

  4. Mark says:

    Well, uh, maybe this will make you feel better. One time, a friend found his way to my apartment just coming into town and asking people on the street if they knew of a white guy with a goatee.

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