Thursday, May 10, 2012

Paparazzi

A bald Britney Spears. Lindsay Lohan sans underwear. Kim Kardashian without her wedding ring. And me at the Forbidden City. What do these all have in common? Each event inspired a mob of frenzied people to whip out their cameras in order to capture the perfect shot. That's right, in Beijing, I was practically a celebrity.

 
 Posing with one of my many admirers

I should backtrack slightly and mention that I have had my picture taken before in Shanghai. At least once or twice a week, I will notice a camera or cell phone being slipped out of someone's pocket as I walk by. But in general, foreigners are so common in Shanghai that most Chinese could care less about our presence.

But in Beijing, I was a novelty, especially to the many Chinese visiting from rural areas for the holiday weekend. Add in a tourist attraction and chaos ensued. I was first asked for a photo while waiting in line to buy my ticket. I said yes and within seconds, a line of approximately 50 people had formed to have their photo taken with me. I smiled, I put my arms around men, and I even threw up a few peace signs as was often requested by my admirers. And then someone dropped a baby into my arms. It was like I was a presidential candidate on the campaign trail.  They wanted a picture of me holding their baby. By the end of the day, I had posed for hundreds of photos and my smile was starting to strain.

I suppose this incident has made me into a seasoned professional should I ever decide to run for public office. Or for when I forget to wear underwear in public. Whichever comes first.

2 comments:

  1. LOL! So weird.

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  2. Isn't it the funniest thing? The first time I was in China, there was a woman in my group with bleach blonde hair and the Chinese couldn't get enough of her! It was hilarious!

    Have you ever been to an English corner? They might not have them in Shanghai because there are so many foreigners, but you should definitely go if you can find one. I went to some in public parks and a couple in bookstores. They were generally on a Sunday afternoon and foreigners would stop by and give locals a chance to practice their English with a native speaker. Talk about crowds! The cutest thing was all the parents pushing their little kids up to you and getting them to say, "Hi. How are you? My name is... Do you like China?"

    ReplyDelete

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