A few random little stories and things I’ve seen happen here.
By the way I’m not really sure the format to share things about China hence it’s normally in list form.
1. Children can be spoilt little brats but parents can also discipline them. A few weeks ago I saw a mom smack her child in the road and I was like yes ma’am, cuz some of em deserve a smack. I’m pro belts and hands, I’m from that Caribbean era where we kinda mainly turned out well. On the other hand I’ve had parents accuse teachers of punishing their child in the sense of putting them in the bad square etc. Said parents have then asked to see video and could see their child was blatantly naughty and will still defy the tape and cuss a teacher out. Foolish, not all kids are angels.
2. I had a week straight when the weather was 20°c where most of my classes thought it was fun to touch my butt. Genuinely in my sports capris they would find a way when I turned my back to approach and tap. This was also when I really wanted to start squatting again but didn’t because the kids may have noticed a better looking derriere.
3. Some Chinese people are too excitable, in the sense that they really are over enthusiastic to take a picture of you, touch your hair, take a pic of your hair, grab a sneaky selfie… as a black woman this has been very weird because they laugh and smile at the fact that they’re seeing a black person. I’m not a mystery, a phenomenal woman yes but my race isn’t for amusement. I’ve had it explained to me from their perspective but I can’t help but feel very sectioned out to be looked at in awe. I guess I could just appreciate it but I’m not there yet.
4. White is best. the view that the whiter the skin is better is strong, I even learnt of this for India too! The products here have lightening ingredients are there are specific store sections for such products. I had a Chinese person explain that my black is ok but pure dark and white teeth is scary. I’m of a caramel tone so I get a bligh I guess. I had to then share that we’re all beautiful, light to dark as night. Every skin tone is beautiful. I don’t think they got the drift but if they saw the difference in skin tone from me to my brother they’d be shocked that our parents could produce two different coloured kids. Lol, so when I say I feel white it’s because I’m actually looking pale whereas my brother can’t say that about himself really.
5. The beggars go hard. Usually I see them coming through on the train as 1 woman holding a baby, then her partner behind with a boom box singing a song to raise funds. Sometimes within minutes on the same train you’ll see another pair coming from the opposite direction! I do know that begging is a career as some people can sit and make money by deceiving people that they have no food to eat yet they have a well furnished home here and abroad. Here I have never given money, usually because my purse is far at hand. I don’t encourage people to give nor do I discourage. Each to their own, but I’d prefer to get them food which I’ve yet to do because I’m running somewhere in England. They do get a few pounds at home from me though, especially the usual guys working and trying with “The Big Issue’.
6. China is a bubble. If I haven’t said this before, it’s literally a bubble. Also why being of a different colour is intriguing to them. I asked ny class if they knew about, How I met your mother. It’s a typical tv series westerners know about, but they didn’t. I don’t think they have any western series on tv actually. They’re missing out on a lot here yet it works a little because some cultural things remain untainted and pure. So for me I only know about new music because I access twitter (shh) and from the clubs.
7. The banks are long. I thought banking at home with queues were long but just to get info with my Chinese friend was potentially the most tiring thing I’ve done all year. An hour of my life and I had to go back to bed afterwards I was that tired! I just needed general info on the best way to send or bring money home from Chinese RMB to GBP. Now I have 1 answer that’s reasonable I’ll just do that since I can’t withdraw from this account in the UK. Btw, anyone ever lived here and decided to keep their chinese account open for future? I’m not sure I will but wondered if it would be a good idea.
That’s all I have for now as you take in this view of The Bund xx