Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Person I Would Most Like to Meet

Open Note, to a Chinese Person Who Has Wisely Chosen to Remain Anonymous:

I understand that you live in a place where manners as Westerners understand them many times are not part of the socialization process. What may be a folkway in America usually doesn't even reach acknowledgment here. People hack, cough and spit on the ground even indoors or on buses, people blow their noses straight to the sidewalk (finger holding closed the other nostril), people push and shove instead of standing in lines. They will pee on the side of the street. In times when it doesn't matter, grown people will sprint to get on a bus before anyone else. They will yell. They will be near-violently physical in insisting that you buy their product or use their method of transportation. They will talk right in your face for several minutes, when you've told them that you don't understand English. They will try to cheat you every time because you are a foreigner (we call it 'foreigner tax').

That is all fine. I understand that it's a culture thing.

But for goodness' sake, if you're going to throw dirty water out of your 2nd floor apartment window, take a look downstairs just briefly. I mean, a casual glance, less than a second. Because it wasn't like that splashed my shoes. It landed right on my head, bull's-eye, to where I took a taxi the last five minutes of my walk home so I could towel off. I would think it was purposeful except that I couldn't bear to. First of all, it's literally freezing outside, and being soaked doesn't help. Then, the smell was somewhat less than ideal, though I've been avoiding that thought pretty persistently. A friend was waiting for me, and so I had to wait for an hour and a half to take a shower. Before I finally did, my hair had dried and stuck together. It was at the end of a long day, and while now it admittedly seems pretty funny, at the time it was almost the last straw.

And if you ever see me around again and want to learn some interesting new words in English, please, please introduce yourself.

Most sincerely,


Winn said...

wow. unbelievable.

And your hair stuck together? Yikers.

Erin said...

At least you have your heat turned on?

We'll mail you a super-soaker. Sounds like you could use it.

Justin said...

I don't know if it helps, but when Erin and I were moving out of our apartment, the girl who lives upstairs decided to throw a bucket of bleach out on her porch, above our door, just as we were coming in. Our clothes (including the new pants I bought that weekend - significant because I buy clothes once every three years) were ruined. So maybe it helps to know that people don't even look in the West before they dump water on people.

amy said...

drew norris! how did you find my iggli blog? come back to america now so that we can talk about dancer in the dark. NOW!

and i'm sorry about your hair.