March 02, 2007

Random Conversation (Imagined?)...
Seeing as I'm a foreigner in China, a lot of Chinese people like to point it out to me by shouting "laowai" or "waiguoren" when they see me. As if I didn't already notice I'm not from China! Anyway, a lot of people also like to shout or say "Heellllow" at me. Not to me, but at me. They often say hello as I walk by, or just after I've walked by, or from across the street, or when they're walking behind me, or as they whiz by on their bike, or while crossing the street, or when they want me to buy something, or...
University aged guys and girls will often say hello at my back, then burst out laughing as I don't respond. I've often wondered what they think/say. Here's one possibility:
Guy1: Hey, there's a "laowai", let's shout Hello!
Guy2: Yeah, great idea. He'll love it.
Guy1: OK, you say it.
Guy2: No, you say it.
Guy3: Not me, I've only studied English for 9 years!
Guy1: Fine, I'll shout. Heellllow!
All: Hahahahahaha
Guy3: That was hilarious!
Guy2: We'll have to shout Hello more often.
Guy1: Wasn't I brave?!


Dad said...

That's great! An unnamed person that works at an optometrist's office was recently intaking a new Chinese patient and found out that they had only been in Canada for 3 months. After mentioning that you were in China for a year and talking about some of your experiences, she said to the new Chinese patient "That makes you a 'laowai' too". He had a good laugh over that one!

Stephen said...

Unnamed eh?
Pretty funny though. I can't imagine going up to an Asian person in Canada and shouting "Ni Hao" at them. I wonder what they'd think?