Conversations I’m guessing my North American female friends never have

yourfaceisfatFrom my Wexin (WeChat) the other day:

Woman 1: [shares photo]

Woman 2: “Hey, your face is fatter than it used to be, you should pay attention to control how much you eat so you can lose weight.”

Woman 1: “Haha, that’s because I’m the farthest in front. I sacrificed myself! You’re both behind me.”

Chinese (and other cultures) can be incredibly blunt by North American standards. Particularly when it comes to bodies and physical appearance. Or: North Americans are hyper-sensitive about their bodies (probably because we’re raised in a photoshop-saturated media culture, we’re taught to have very thin skin and feel entitled to society’s affirmation, and neo-platonic dualism is a major formative element in our general worldview). While Chinese may ultimately rate somewhere on the “insensitive” side of a global scale, they’re closer to the majority-world norm than we are when it comes to talk about appearance.

Jessica has an endless supply of funny-but-painful anecdotes like this.

Happy dancers in Licun Park, Qingdao, China

One of the fun things about China is the out-of-doors, active, social culture. And ballroom dancing groups in parks or any large, flat, central public place are a happy sight.
This couple was one of many last Saturday morning at Qingdao’s Licun Park 李村公园

[Photo Gallery:] Spring taiji lessons, our neighbourhood, Qingdao, China

It’s that magical time of year again in our neighbourhood, when spring blossoms surround the taiji lessons (太极拳). Took these this morning on the way to work. Click a thumbnail to open the gallery viewer!

For more tàijí from our neighbourhood, see: