This post isn't really a post for me. It's a link to my friend Ellis's blog.
She has a post on an all too typical experience for her: Chinese people's fascination with foreigners.
Now, it's a very interesting read, and from what I've heard from her and others, not an atypical occurrence. But not for me.
Now I can certainly understand that at first glance I may not get noticed as much as other foreigners, I'm neither glaringly white nor dark, my hair is black, and I'm not too tall. From behind, it might be hard to know that I'm not a Chinese.
Once people see my face, though, they are immediately aware that I am indeed not Chinese. I get some stares, but not the way my other friends seem to.
And as far as something like Ellis's experience at the gym, the well-meaning, yet still annoying pestering while working out... it just doesn't happen with me. The only people that talk to me at the gym are essentially one of two physical trainers that work there. One uses English, and the other uses Chinese. But even then, I wouldn't say they talk to me at length or to an annoying level, it's usually just a hello and a few words.
I'm not complaining. I'm sure this would get old fast. But for whatever reason, even though other gym members can plainly see I'm not Chinese, I guess I just don't incite the same level of curiosity. Or maybe it's because I'm a dude.
By the way, if you don't know, "laowai" (from the subject of this post) means foreigner.