Saturday, December 29, 2007

Handsome Me

Every foreigner who has lived in China long enough has certainly been called handsome/beautiful at least once. When I first came here I was astounded by the number of Chinese people who were impressed by my good looks. But I soon realised that the phrase "You are handsome" is used too freuently in China. It is the polite thing to do. Just like it is polite to say, "You are so strong" [yea, they've told me that too...]
But it came as a pleasant surprise to me when I was at the dentist's one day and this young lady went up to the doc and told him that I looked handsome. She assumed that I didn't understand any chinese at all and so I was sure she was sincere, not just being polite. All my narcissistic feelings came rushing in and I actually smiled, or at least tried to, what with one of his wire cutters in my mouth. She then went on to explain how my eyes and nose were so good looking. I was about to thank her and assume an expression of innocent charm when she blurted out that all Indians looked the same to her. And since they all had big eyes and long noses they all looked beautiful. That brought me down to earth.
"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder" is so true. For some people here we look beautiful ["your eyes... they seem to have so much depth"] for some, plain ugly ["you are so black!"]

1 comment:

Chinese Kim said...

Look, Sun, a comment! Do I get 20 points??? I like your "hindsight" picture, by the way. And I give you 2 points (which is my norm) for using the word "narcissistic." Great word. Happy (and Handsome) Everyday!