On Appropriateness

Right now I’m back home and I love it, despite the humidity and heat. I went to have iced lemon tea, HK style yesterday and it was SO good. However, I’m currently extremely jetlagged, and it is 3:19 in the morning. I went around Central to all the trendy little furniture shops with my friend Jun, who returned from London. It was a grueling walk, especially for this Canadian girl. There were steep steep hills, tiny stairs, and OMG the heat. People stared at me as I sweated, panted, and generally looked red and unattractive.

So in HK, people generally dress more conservative. None of the cleavage-popping short skirt wearing attributes of my peers back in Canada. So although the outfit I had on – yellow flowy tank top and striped shorts – would seem relatively tame back in Canada, I received many stares of many kinds while trekking up and down those wretched steps. Most of them from disapproving old women.

I remember last summer when my sister and I went into a fast food joint in the older, poorer part of town. My sister, being rather Americanized, was wearing a baby tee, the kind that slides up as you sit down. Combined with low rise jeans, this can have the so called “plumber’s butt” effect. My sister sat down, only to be promptly whacked on the arm by an elderly woman. She looked at us with such hatred. “Shame!” she hissed, while whacking herself with two fingers across her own face. (In Chinese body language, this means ‘shame’, evidently)

Although I have not had any such experience happen directly towards me, I fear it will happen one day. One day, little Westernized me will be walking through a market and be chastised by a horde of osteoporosis-afflicted women.

When that happens, I will blog about it.


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