I get reminded that I am tall everyday by the natives.
Sometimes talking to me. Sometimes talking about me.
My responses vary based on the time of the month.
Sometimes they get, "I am not tall, you people are just too short." Sometimes it's, "Heehee, I'm a dinosaur."
Today I had an hour between my two observations and I went on a noodle-shop hunt. After finding copyshops and stores selling tea in small plastic bags I finally found a little, dirty noodle place. Heaven.
I walked up to the counter, read the menu, and ordered my plate of, "celery, beef, fried noodles." The little family running the place was shocked. "This foreigner speaks Chi.nese, this foreigner speaks Chine.se," they repeated over and over while I stood there waiting to pay.
I paid my $1 for my meal and found a seat, aware of the talking about me that was spreading throughout the small shop but choosing to just have a neutral/nice face and act like I was just there for some noodles like everyone else. I soon heard the familiar observations and questions arising through the air, "She's so tall. How tall is she? She must be 180 centimeters."
I pulled out my Kindle and quickly got lost in my book, but was jolted back into the real world by a tap on my shoulder. I jerked my neck up to find myself nose to nose with an elderly Chi.nese woman whose wrinkles concealed her true age. "How tall are you?" she asked with a yellow-toothed smile.
"Yi mi qi ba," I responded for the zillionth time. 178 centimeters. (5' 10" for all you 'Mericans).
"Mmmmmmmmm," she nodded her head slowly while looking me over in disbelief. Then she turned on her heels, and returned to her noodle crew with my valuable information.
"178 centimeters, 178 centimeters..." soon the whole dang place was talking about how I am 178 centimeters tall. I tried not to look up or laugh and kept focus on my book until my plate of deliciousness arrived. I felt like I was in a comedy and was so humored.
Half-hour later when I walked out of the shop I waved to the family. "Are you full?" One woman asked. But in my half-consciousness (I was thinking about my book), I shook my head "no" thinking she asked if I wanted more - when in reality I was really full of her great cooking.
5 seconds later once I was on the street walking back to the Finance College for a visitation, I realized what I had answered. I was embarrassed because in Chi.nese culture, I dishonored them. I said my plate of noodles that they offered was not enough for me. And I embarrassed myself in my own culture by saying that my 178 centimeter body can pack it away and wasn't satisfied.
Oh well. haha. It was a funny lunch nonetheless. Knowing Chin.ese has it's advantages and disadvantages and today it was just funny.
More work pics, (this blog is getting boring....classrooms and colleges galore....)
My noodles with a side of e-literature, (reading "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall - highly recommended to runners and half-runners and non-runners alike)...
Gray, but thankfully not raining.
After my second observation, I rode the bus (standing in heels) for 1.5 hours home and rushed to my dorm to change out of my professor clothes and bike to campus to meet a former student from HDU. Robin is taking the entrance exam to my university tomorrow (all applicants must travel to the uni's they want to apply to and take a test that only happens once a year. If they pass, then they get in. If not - no chance.)
He messaged me online a few days ago and asked ifwe couldget together so he could practice his english listening. It was fun to see him after 2years! I miss my Chin.ese munchkins. Teaching Chine.se graduate students and American graduate students is so different.
One thing I did not count on was eating "Ox stomach" for dinner. I tried really hard to eat/like it, but found myself hiding a gag half way through my first bite. Weird foods don't really freak me out (anymore) but the slimy texture reminded me that I was eating the guts of a dude cow with every bite. (and I am trying to wean meat out of my diet for good so this was hard to stomach regardless of gooey texture.) haha, pun intended. Luckily, it was a spicy dish so I could blame the spiciness for why I did not eat any more slimy slivers.
Good luck to Robin on the entrance exam! I really hope he achieves his goal because he is a precious soul and I would hate to see him dissapointed.
I (almost) feel like an adult, I am so exhausted from the work/school week.
This 178 centimeter dinosaur is getting into bed.
walk slow. xoxo.