My Life In China: Being a Waiguoren

Waiguoren loosely translates to foreigner in Mandarin.  The children out in public just stop, point and yell “Waiguoren!” whenever they spotted us out and about.  In China, it is evident when you are an outsider.  Me, I’m black, Chinese people are not.  Ashley Rose, she’s white, with blonde hair.  Again illustrating how it was absolutely impossible to go unnoticed in the streets of Beijing.  This is not always a horrible thing, as the people of the city are generally harmless, and will only give you positive attention.  But no matter what, you will get lots of attention.  After a while it can really grate on you, and especially when you’re having a day, everyone staring at you can be too much to handle…but as long as they are calling you waiguoren and not louwai…you’re okay!  On a day out in Wangfujing, Ashley and I were, as usual, some of very few foreigners in sight.  It had been a long day out, and we decided that we needed a break from the oppressive Beijing heat, and we stopped at a Vitamin Water shop.  Yes, a shop specializing in Vitamin Water…its a big deal out there.  We sat down at a table next to a group of young boys.  Once they saw us sit next to them, they were psyched, to say the least.  We could hear them talking, I am no Chinese expert, but it doesn’t matter, anywhere you go, you can tell when someone’s talking about you.  Next they pulled a little digital camera, and were trying to take snapshots of us on the fly.  Yes.  They were covertly taking pictures.  People would come up all the time on the street and ask for photos with us, and some people would just blatantly shoot us without permission…but these kids were on a secret mission.  We quickly were wise of their enterprise though, and to play back, I decided to take some spy photos of my own.  The results of which you can see here.  They knew what we were up to and it was all good, a little bit of laughter on a hot summer day.  But we still weren’t going to sit around for them to take as many pictures of us as they wanted though!  You can see Ashley Rose hiding behind the Goosebumps book we just bought a few minutes earlier!  Enjoy.

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This entry was posted in Awareness, comedy, International, Life In China, Rashan's Erratic Eye, Rashan's World and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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