As I was walking back to my apartment, I noticed a Chinese girl staring at me with her mouth wide open. China does provide for some really high ego and admittedly she was attractive. So I waved. She continued to stare at me and walk but then she walked directly into a tree. Forehead straight onto the tree with both arms between the tree. She fell straight to the ground but got up quickly to keep walking. She was embarrassed and didn’t want to look at me again. I felt bad but it was really hilarious.
I had just come back from lunch. I was invited with a few students to meet a girl that has never spoken to a foreigner before. They wanted to practice their English. Here’s an email I just got from the girl I met.
hello,Michael.im mengdie,my english name is miffy.I am a girl that have a meal with you on Thursday
frist,nice to meet you.
second,Very honored to lunch with you
You are the first one and I talk of foreign friends, for me, the special significance.
I appreciate your coming today.
I hope we can become good friends.
im looking forward to meeting you here again.
Her English is better than some of my students that are English majors in their 20’s. Anyway… It’s odd to know that I was really the first foreigner she has ever spoken to. I didn’t realize it until now that many of the students like to talk about the other foreigners they’ve met. They remember every detail about the few foreigners they’ve met from what they did, what the foreigner liked to eat, where they came from, their name, color of their eyes, etc. Sometimes they’ll give me a whole list of people they’ve met from different countries as if each person is like a stamp in their own passport.
Being a big deal seems to come with a lot of responsibilities in China. I need to remember that all my actions have a reaction. Many of the things I say or do, may be remembered and passed down onto others. I think that the one hour lunch I had with Miffy made an everlasting good first impression of a foreigner. I may never see her again but I bet she’ll tell everyone she has a friend from the US.