Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beijing – November 8

Oh boy…Beijing…so many sights, so little time.

And, congratulations blog readers, you did successfully help me procrastinate my biggest grade for developmental economics. And profs here are not nearly as lenient about deadlines as Dartmouth profs are. Great. Good thing grades don’t transfer, right?

I would say that hands down, my favorite part about Beijing was being treated like some international super star. The videographer and camera person for Semester at Sea travelled with our group, so everywhere we went, we were being followed by a very intense looking crew of cameras and camcorders. But even without my every move being recorded for the SAS video and slide show, every single Chinese person we passed turned around to snap a picture of me. …I have blonde hair you see. And I spent most of my time in Beijing with Nicole, another lucky blonde. And I may or may not have been drinking a beer at the top of the Great Wall at 9am, which also won us some attention. (Hey, you’re only at the top of the Great Wall once, why not have a beer to celebrate?)

Unlike the other blondes in our group, Nicole and I loved the attention. If we noticed somebody taking a picture of us (and they were not to secretive about it), rather than rudely snap a picture back of them like most the others in our group, we would ask if they’d like to take a picture WITH us. Their faces would light up with learning about this unimaginable luck and they would quickly rush over and pose for a picture – holding their peace signs high of course. Nicole and I actually came to love this attention so much that we were offended to walk around areas and not have anybody take pictures of us. We would wear our hair down and unnecessarily throw it back due to the “wind,” just hoping somebody would notice our blonde locks.

It was definitely attention enough for me to be happy with my terrible dye job – because, if nothing else, it does mean that my hair is blonde. I only hope that they do the same in Japan. Because it will really be a sad day for me when I stop being special to strangers on the street.

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