February 16, 2010

One Foreigner Among Many Locals

We’re back in Harbin and we’re hungry! Since I’m willing to brave the cold and not afraid try my Chinese, I ventured out to find some food. I went to our favorite Chinese restaurant (aka “Street Guy”) and ordered our favorite dishes.

As I sat down to wait, I crossed my legs and immediately the conversation began:

Mr. Blue Jacket: Those are some big shoes!

Me: Yes, they’re big.

Mr. Blue: What size are they? 45? (he used the European shoe size measurements)

Me: No, 48.

Mr. Blue: Wow! You didn’t buy those shoe here did you?

Me: No, I bought them in America.

Mr. Blue: (laughing) Look at his jacket, it is huge and goes all the way down to his knees.

Me: (smiling)

Mr. Blue: How old are you?

Me: Me? I’m 29 years old.

I was a bit shocked at the final question. I think that’s the first time I’ve been asked for my age. I’ve been asked the age of my children, but never my own age. The conversation continued as we talked about more routine questions (where are you from, what do you do, etc.). Mr. Blue left with his food and the next costumer came over to my table, pulled up a chair, and began to talk.

Mr. Black: (pulling the headphones off his ears) Do you like music? Pop? Rock? Hip-hop?

Me: I like rock.

Mr. Black: Do you like black metal?

Me: Black metal?

Mr. Black pulled out his MP3 player and gave me his headphones to listen to his black metal music.

Me: I like rock.

Welcome back to Harbin! I forgot just how interesting I am as a foreigner among the locals. Then I remembered that we are all foreigners belonging to our Father and we are interesting to the locals (non-believers). What a great way to shine the Father’s light!

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