Monday, September 15

It Still Hit Me

Yesterday I went to work for my classes (9:20a-12:30p). Then I had made plans to meet up with my new language partner (JiangYue). But of course that would be the day that the afternoon teacher had to call in sick. So I asked, even though it was our first time meeting up, if we could just do lunch and then I'd have to go back to work. She didn't mind coming back with me though.

When got back to the school my co-worker handed me the class' lesson plans and then while I was looking over them a couple of boys ran out of the classroom to get water. They turned around looked at me for a bit and then one goes "A real ghost! Whoa!" and his mom, i think, ran out the sitting room "HEY!!" and he says "but she soo ugly!" and of course she smacked him in the arm and dragged him out of the room giving him a good scolding.

My co-workers think I'm in the beginning stages of Chinese so they were silent with shocked faces. Of course I just smiled and then my language partner looks at me and says "Don't think too much about it they're still kids. They don't think before they talk."
I was very pleased that she'd said those words and didn't just look or pretend it didn't happen. I've read that at some (recent) point in time black people were called ghosts and ugly. And all asian societies firmly believe that the whiter you are the more beautiful. I haven't been called that directly or made fun of a lot since I've been here, but understanding what the child was saying and it's background still hurt a bit.


JiangYue still showed me around after that and we switched back and forth between english and mandarin. I am happy to say that I've found the 3rd person who doesn't underestimate my understanding of the language. So I had to make sure I did something for her. She's a medical student who wants to be able to do the "in" things and start wearing make-up and so on. So I took her to Starbucks! No surprise that it's still "expensive" so she would only let me buy her the small size. She's only in town on the weekends but I think she and I will be good friends.

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