Thursday, May 24, 2012

Staring Contest

I met a Japanese girl who had done a year long foreign exchange in America. She was very nice, it was good to meet here. It was also really fun to talk about the strange things people do when they see you as a really foreign person. She lived in Ohio when she went to America, and lived in an area that was not very racially diverse. We talked about how strange it is when people just continue to stare you down as you do mundane things like shop for groceries. People sometimes forget that you are even a real person, they act like you are separated from them by an invisible TV screen.
The other day, I was walking to the train station; a large group of high school boys were walking the opposite direction from me. One of the boys was staring at me, while walking towards me. I really think he thought I was a figment of his imagination, because he looked utterly shocked and mortified when he walked straight into a real physical being. He had no concept of how to deal with walking into a foreigner, so he turned red, kept staring and stood as still as possible. It was a very strange interaction.

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