semi-long-ish-post here are three different recent experiences
(oops) i started this post on 7/04/18 and I am just returning to it
okay fine its not semi-long – its long … read at your leisure… i had some time to write today
Catching up with my friend Jai
I was at a friends birthday party and I got to catch up with my girl Jai – moreso than the birthday girl. But the brithday girl was making her rounds and having a blast. Jai said – you should really blog and share about what were talking about. Let the people know what it’s really like here.
Jai has been in China longer than me so she was asking the normal question “How is China treating you?”
I always have a long answer to this but in short – my answer this night was “They Rude and they get on my nerves” They – being Chinese folks.
Now y’all already know that these are my experiences – and of course every single Chinese person is not rude… but on this day – I had, HAD enough of the shenanigans.
Generally speaking the Chinese are rude. And they are impatient. I was in line getting my lunch. I was at the front ordering. But yall know it takes me a moment because I am still working on my Chinese … and this woman walked up in front of me and started ordering like I wasn’t standing right there… I said real loud “NOT TODAY CHINA – DO YOU SEE ME??” I WAS HOT. livid. I just couldn’t understand how this woman felt like it was okay to walk in front of me. Like her order was more important than mine. A lot of the people here are only focused on themselves. What they need at the moment as if they are the only ones who exist. There is a whole line of people ordering dumplings and you think you deserve yours before everyone else. Not today. Nope. All the nopes that ever lived in Karlatown, Nopeville – Wakandaland …
I wasn’t having it. You Maam. Can Wait. I was grateful that the person helping me pretty much ignored her – probably because I was so loud and extra – but continued on with me.
Yall… sometimes … these folks … make me wanna scream … and then you know what I do? I scream… then I keep going on with life.
Jai and I talked about many things this evening, but I thought that I would share this…. I have so many Shanghai/China stories-experiences I could write a book – but I wont – I will just keep blogging!
Dinner with friends at “Fellas”
Nothing like folks from America coming to visit. Nothing like it.
Yall – I have been so blessed to have so many visitors from America visit in my time here. I haven’t even been here 10 months. My sister Natina – knows so many people … and her friend was coming to China with her cohort … so while the cohort was in Shanghai – with a jam packed schedule we were able to meet up for dinner.
We went to Fellas which is a great restaurant on ‘The Bund’. The Bund is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. The Bund is a super famous tourist stop in Shanghai and you can see a great skyline view, skyscrapers of Lujiazui and many other famous buildings.
While eating our dinner, enjoying our rooftop view of the city, some ladies sitting next to us overheard our conversation and asked a few questions. They are what you will label “Shanghainese” …. These are people who are natives of the central city of Shanghai. We were discussing how it is exhausting that daily people want to touch you and take your picture – when I say ‘you’ I am speaking of Black people – but this does happen to many other foreigners. When I say touch you- yea people touch you, grab you, touch your hair, all of it. When I say take your picture… it is so common that Black folks learn how to say “no pictures please” and have even had shirts made that say “no pictures please”. It’s an everyday – constant occurrence. I will say this… if you are coming from a smaller province – live way outside of large cities, it could be possible that you have never encountered a foreigner, especially a black foreigner. But, I will always believe that it is in appropriate to touch someone and take their picture without asking.
So the lady next to said, “These things really happen to you? Noooo- I don’t believe this.” – It’s crazy to me when you are sharing a real and personal experience with someone and they look you right in the face and say, “I don’t believe this.” – Maybe it sounds too crazy to be real – and I can’t make you believe me, but these words that I am speaking are very true words – it is up to you to believe them or not. She also stated, “I think it would be so cool to have someone taking my picture all day.” I agree this might be so cool if you asked to have a photographer follow you around and it was your choice. We tried to paint the picture for her. You are sitting at the park and people walk by and hold their cameras in silly positions and they take your picture. Or you are on the train and multiple people snap photos of you. Or you are drinking water… you are … or you are … you’re just living and someone is taking your picture. I promise yall… I am not exaggerating the situation. It happens all day and everyday. I am sure it happens without my knowledge but lately if I see it happens I speak on it so that they know its not okay. Once we painted the picture for her – she said, “Well maybe I wouldn’t like that so much when you put it like that.” Ya think? Yeah we don’t like it either but it happens all the time.
She had a hard time believing the things we were saying about our experiences as black foreigners in China. So she made another comment- “Well it must be because you’re in touristy places. So there are a lot of tourists – Chinese tourists from all over the country and other tourists who have never seen a foreigner before. Even if this is to be true. It would be nice if people asked first. And maybe my friends were in touristy places but I’m not always in those places and I still experience this. I live here so I am just living life. Walking to the metro. Sitting at the park. Buying fruit in the grocery store… just doing things that everyone else does only I am doing these things as a black woman … I cant help it though yall … this is all I know to be!
If you ever hear about the picture thing- its so real. If you ever hear about the touching thing its so real. Some people don’t mind it at all. Some folks hate it. Others kind of indifferent on the issue depending on the situation. It bothers me. I am a person. You do not have a right to me. I don’t have a right to you. Treat me as you wish to be treated – because if I treat you the way you treat me- you would not like it at all.
Run in Blue – 5K – But not really a 5K because the route was only 3.1K
Yall … this Fake 5K though …. I have so many thoughts about it!
I was so upset by this 5K. This is the first 5K I have done that was not a full 5K. The first one was organized by some work folks, but they said it would be a 5K. It was just a little over 3 kilometers.
So I saw a flyer for Run in Blue – I was excited. a 5K on a Saturday morning- early before work. Finally an event I could make. I work on weekends … this makes it tough to do most organized athletic events. Saturdays I don’t start work until 12:15 so I had this event planned perfectly. Race starts at 8:30. I should finish in under an hour. Be home by 10. Shower and change … and make it to work by noon.
Well … the race did not start at 8:30… it started … welp when it started. When I asked a volunteer when would they race start she responded “I don’t know” – I was a little frustrated because shes a volunteer, she has on a purple shirt, and she should be able to answer a basic question…. at the same time- if you don’t know – you don’t know. Maybe that’t not here in her realm of volunteer trainee information. So, I took a breath and asked another volunteer, she also didn’t know. I kept looking at my watch like every minute we don’t start is going to mess up my perfectly planned out schedule. Let’s try this again- third time is the charm right? Nope! Not in Shanghai. The third and final volunteer told me she didn’t know and that she was sorry the race wasn’t starting on time. To which I responded, well there’s a start time on the flyer and registration – for a reason, right? Or is it just a suggestion? To which she responded… ” You must be new here. I remember being like that. This is just the way things are in China. It’s the China way. Get use to it.” I was really bothered by that because even if I am new here- and you didn’t ask if I am new or not – what does that have to do with the price of beans in Iowa? Nothing at all. If the race says 8:30 it should start at 8:30 … I was calm and kind when were having this conversation but she seemed very defensive. She said, “You’re not the first foreigner to be upset by this. You must be from America. Everyone from America expects races to start when the time says but that just doesn’t always happen. Things start late or not on time. It’s common.” I don’t think it so common. I have been to various events since I have been in China and they have started at the exact time that they said they would start. This is not to say that there are events that consistently start late ,but even as a newbie in China I beg to differ with her statements. If this event says 8:30 it should begin at 8:30. You don’t know what else people have planned for the day and to expect them to be okay with just hanging around all day for all of the extra activities you have planned is not fair. I wasn’t the only one frustrated about the start time. There were some local (Chinese) people frustrated and foreigners. I guess I just expect events to start when they say they are going to start or to be informed that “We will start in 15-20 minutes sorry for the delay”.
At any rate… I did the race. It wasn’t a 5K. I received a medal and a certificate and I made it to work with minutes to spare before my first class!
So this is month 10…. really month 11 is starting in a few days… so I will give a months 9/10 update very soon! Hope Yall are well… Thanks for enjoying the journey with me.
I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY!
I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’
(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.
#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod
“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” – Hellen Keller
*I choose ADVENTURE*
Currently Jammin to ….