It’s rude to stare

That’s what your parents told you when you were a child, but decades on you still do it. Why do people stare? Do I have something on my face? Is my shirt buttoned up wrong?

No. It’s because I’m not Caucasian. Yes I have black hair and yes I have brown eyes – which, of course, means I’m an alien.

There comes a point when you get on a train or a bus and the person sitting opposite you across the aisle positions themselves to get a better look at you. They think they’re being subtle. I just think it’s creepy.

I’m Chinese, I’m not exactly a rare breed of human, we’re kind of taking over the world. That ipod you listen to your music on is probably made in China, that top you’re wearing is probably also made in China. But when you see me get on the same mode of transport, in a somewhat closer proximity, all of a sudden it’s as if I’ve got two heads and you have to turn to see if that’s true.

Maybe it’s where I’m at. I don’t exactly look like the mass majority of the people in this county but there is a university here, and there is a slight possibility that I may be an international student – yes, they do exist.

On the bright side, at least all I get is queer looks, not like this.

I can’t believe the woman in this video has the stick to shout her mouth off and curse in front her own child, though she’s probably drunk. Yes, we have freedom of speech in the UK, but this person has no respect whatsoever. And shouting your face off in a tram isn’t exactly going to get you anywhere, I mean, come on, grab a box in speaker’s corner.

Apparently the woman got arrested, which I don’t find very surprising, she’s clearly a public nuisance, provoking a fight on a tram. Some people on the internet have responded saying that she’s just “speaking her mind” and that England has no “free speech”. She’s clearly not just speaking and she obviously wants a fight – and that’s not exactly free speech.

The worst I’ve got over the past few weeks is a wife of a private school house master ask me: “So are you Japanese?” This came out of nowhere, after I’ve had a five minute conversation with her. She must have been trying really hard not to ask from the offset, though I did reply to her “where are you from?” with “Southampton” – probably not what she was after. Why even ask? It’s not like I would’ve ever seen her again, and she wouldn’t exactly learn anything from my heritage.

Another lady stopped me in the street to tell me that her son wore “emperor clothes” in China to marry his Chinese bride, and she told me because she thought I looked Chinese and therefore must be interested. I smiled and walked her down the road, letting her cross said road by herself though.

I guess I’m used to these sorts of words, which oftentimes now happen to be spoken by rather posh ladies of the older generation. Before, when I was at school, it was often jeers by the boys just because they were older, and uh, a boy. Sexism and ageism all, somehow, lead to mild “racism” it seems.

The people who were with me at these incidents were horrified, I’m obviously immune. If anyone ever does blatantly speak to me like the woman in the video above has done, if they have internet on their phone, I’d just send them this.

Because, yes, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen. But seriously, if you’ve got a Northern or West Country accent I’m not going to ask you “where are you from?” It’s pretty obvious and I don’t want to know specifics. So why do people have to ask me where I’m from? Especially as it is kind of blatantly obvious where that is. Blind much? Or conversation “starter”?

3 thoughts on “It’s rude to stare

  1. people are just curious because they’re fascinated by different cultures. in china the exact same would happen i promise you. as long as its out of friendliness just be polite back i guess.

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