Thursday, September 14, 2006

BJ fashion

my assistant, the red pants are posh
I'm trying to write once a week, even though I'm really busy these days. Despite being busy, my life is quite boring. I did have one traumatic experience this week though. It occured on the bus. . .where else? After all, that's where I spend most of my time. I do believe that I was violated. I didn't think this occured in Chinese society, but I'm afraid I am wrong. I definitely felt a man doing some inappropriate touching. I was a bit stunned and since I'm not sure how to say "back the f*&k off b$#ch!" in Chinese, I just moved away. A couple minutes later, it happened again, and sure enough, the perpetrator was behind me. Being as crowded as it was, it was difficult to make another getaway. Luckily, he got off at the next stop. Moral of the story, I'm now scarred for life.

That's really all I have to say about myself, but I do think it's time I tell you a little bit about Beijing fashion. That is to say, it's non-existent. It's really difficult to even begin to explain it because there's really no style. Don't get me wrong, I'm not much for being trendy. Especially these days. I occasional wear brown shoes with a black shirt and I've even worn the same shirt two (OK, four) times in a row. But, in my defense, I had several co-workers who wore the same clothes for the entire duration of winter. Brand names also start to lose their meaning here, especially when you see a middle aged woman in a Winnie-the-Pooh sweater sporting a knock-off Louis Vitton purse. So let me paint a picture for you. . .

Let's start with the gentlemen. I actually noticed something today (as I was sitting on the bus), almost all men carry a bag. Sometimes it's something like a backpack, brief case, or messanger bag. In America, I would consider all these totally acceptable. But then there are those who carry shopping bags filled with their day-to-day personal items (work papers, books, cell phone, etc), there are also those with fanny packs. I had always hoped I'd never have to see one of those again, but it saddens me to say that even Zhao Ming has one. But that's not the worst of it. Many, many men carry around actual leather purses. Yes, a true man bag at its finest.

Then there are the pink shirts. Lots of men in pink shirts. Don't give me any crap about them being "salmon." It is a pink shirt! Yes, there are those men who can pull it off, my father arguably being one of them. As with women who shave their head, the people who can pull this kind of statement off are few and far between. Why take such a risk if one doesn't have to?

As for the ladies, I don't even know where to begin so I'll just provide one vexing example: In the summer, a lot of women wear ankle tights--with skirts and dresses. First comes the shoe, then the tight, then bare leg, then the dress. If there be tights, there should be no seeing of the bare leg. There really should be no tights to begin with.

The last thing I have to mention are the plethora of t-shirts sporting foreign brands and/or ridiculous English phrases. Usually they make absolutely no sense. Sometimes they do, but you can't help but wonder why a person would wear such a thing. Today I saw a shirt that proclaimed "A Watched Pot Never Boils." One of my personal favorites was a flourescent orange "Versace" shirt that had a sequined Minnie Mouse on it. Others have embarassing sexual innuendos that most (highly conservative) Chinese people wouldn't dare wear had they known the meaning.

I guess the moral of my story is that I can be totally lazy about my appearance and yet mock those around me. I'm really enjoying it.

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