Also Odd


“Only the American man is crazy,” says my lady friend here in China, where we are watching a Chinese variery show with a dozen foreigners at the table, speaking perfect Chinese.

The foreigners – especially Americans I guess (we have a reputation to uphold) – are encouraged to do some pretty wild things, mostly acting like the unpredictable barbarians we are, confirming China’s view of foreigners. The guy above chowed down on meat with his hands, no fork or chopsticks, revealing our Neanderthal DNA.

I guess it’s all amusing. But I’m a little surprised Justin Bieber got banned from China considering the foreigners on TV.

More strangely, a lot of the foreign men wear rather heavy make-up. My friend notices. I’m not sure what is up with that.

There are hundreds of millions of Chinese with little of no contact with foreigners (depending on their location). Their only real knowledge of us comes from these freaky shows.

I’m visiting this lady in a town two hours from Chengdu, so… no wonder people do a double take of me on the street. It’s not every day they see a foreigner.

Actually it is indeed everyday they see foreigners – but just the zany ones on TV.

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