Like I said in a previous post, I have been living in Taiwan for nearly a decade and a half (!!) and on June 13th, it will be official.
Living in Taiwan has also presented some bright and beautiful moments. A smile plus a great attitude have proven to be the perfect assets in creating some wonderful memories and life-long friendships.
However, since arriving in Taiwan, I sometimes receive unwanted attention. OK! Maybe more than sometimes. People stare in amazement or give peculiar, often confusing looks. They comment about things that define who I am as an individual. They point out things about me that I never think about. Maybe because it is different, maybe because it is not the norm here, or maybe they just can’t believe I do the things that I do!
There are also several incidents which have left me speechless, at a lost for words, and dumbfounded; occasions where I have no idea whether to take it as a compliment or as an unintentional insult.
However, whatever the reason, I take a positive spin on the remarks. I mean, what else can I do? – and some of them still make me giggle at the thought of them.
So enough with the rambling, here is a list of the funniest questions or statements directed my way by the younger generation of Taiwan:
“Did she eat too many carrots? Her hair is turning orange.”
OK, for the record, I don’t have a flaming orange head nor do I have hair the color of carrots. However, I do give my husband’s niece brownie points for noticing my new dye job which indeed has a reddish tint. For a 4 year old, she definitely has an amazing eye for detail.
Ah! If life were only that easy – what a perfect world it would be. I would opt for brown hair and it would give me the perfect excuse to indulge on chocolate morning, noon, and night.
“Are your teeth your own? Are they real?”
One of my junior high school students posed these two questions not too long ago, adding that if they are, they are the best teeth he has even seen for a person ‘my age.’
First, I want to make it clear that I am not ‘that old’ and according to my sweet grandfather, I look the same as I did 15 years ago. But, I guess telling this class that I am 21 for the past 4 years have made them aware of my quest to stay young.
However, with that being said, thank you very much for noticing my pearly whites. They are in fact real and with good daily habits, I love to show off my dental assets with a big, wide smile. What? Did anyone say ‘cheese’? 🙂
“Your eyes are blue. Did you see blue? Is everything blue?”
My five year old students were amazed when they came to the realization that I have blue eyes. It happened one day during play time and the news spread across the classroom like wildfire. Each student came over to examine and one-by-one, they each confirmed the fact that I did indeed have blue eyes (like there was ever any doubt). Then one of the students waved his hand in front of my face and said “What color is my hand? Do you see blue? Is everything blue?”
No, I don’t see blue, everything is not blue; actually my life is everything but blue, everything is very colorful and bright. My eyes are not one-dimensional, limited to seeing one color. They may be blue but I see life as exciting and eventful, not blue and dreary.
“Do you know your arms are dirty?”
As she asked this question, she tried to wipe some of my freckles away. Yes, my student must have thought I had some fun and rolled in the mud before school that day.
No, it is not dirt. Actually, they are freckles and some people often refer to them as ‘beauty spots.’ I am blessed to only have them on my arms and I have to give credit to my Irish blood for these spots. I have been tagged by other westerners as Irish because of my reddish hair and freckles and then I am considered American when I open my mouth but I make them aware that I am a Canuck to the core!
I could go on and on but I will stop here. Interested in what people say when they discover I am left-handed? Then check out this previous post!
What about you? Have people ever pointed out your unique features when traveling?