Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The great pretender

Today two Tibetans got on the train I was on. One of them wore the traditional Tibetan costume so one could not mistaken where they were from. They sat right before me. I immediately felt a bit nervous. Would they recognize my Chinese face? They looked so attached to their tradition, like the Northern Africans living in my neighborhood who still wear sandles and dresses in the bitter winter of Chicago. Would they try to start a debate with me?

Of course they didn't. The old man just took off his shoes right after he sat down and put his feet on the chair. That was so Asian. It seems that in a place so crowded, people have to treat public space like private space. Only Chinese waiters and cooks will eat in front of their customers. That was the first time I saw anybody in the States put their feet up in public. Interesting.

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