Attention Magnet

Last weekend, it so happened that there was a sale at this mall called ‘Big far hundred’ – 大遠百 in the city next to the one I live in. I asked J if he also wanted to go, and it just so happened that he was already going to go this weekend as well. He told me that he was accompanying a group of american exchange students that was here to visit for a month. It was part of this overseas program from a high school in Utah which had a relational tie with a school here in Nantou.

We exchanged times and planned to meet up. Since I didn’t know them, I asked if he was able to take a break from hanging with them, so we can head to the shop with the sale. I can imagine it being pretty awkward with all these foreigners hanging about. He said it was cool, and so our shopping date was set.

That day, we met up… browsed a few stores, browsed the goods. It was alright. His friend called up asking if he wanted to meet up, cause they’ve almost finished browsing the entire store. I had about an hour to spare, so I followed him to meet up with his friends and exchange students. There were about four of them. Three guys and one girl. Two of the guys were American Chinese and the other two were Caucasian.

Okay so long story short, (as im a bit short on time right now… sorry…) but here’s the details… The girl, she’s in her first year of high school, she’s already an amazing 183cm… so basically, she’s TALL! (especially in an Asian country) She hunches a lil so she doesn’t appear freakishly tall, which in my opinion dampens her figure. I think she’s okay looking, but I can imagine the kinds of thoughts as passerby view her. She’s blonde, tall, skinny, young, and more importantly… foreign. I guess with all these aspects put together, you can imagine that she catches a lot of attention.

So as I’m getting to the point of this post, just imagine this. She attracted A LOT of attention, I kid you not. I know this was a crowded and busy mall, but as I noticed from a third person perspective, the amount of looks she’s been getting is unexaggerated. I would guess a 98% attention rate. So say… for every 100 people we walked past, there were only 2 people who didn’t look in her direction.
Also there were many different types of viewing ways. There was the, observe from a distance look; the I am going to pretend I’m not looking at you but as I walk past you I need to check to see what’s behind my shoulder look; the I have no shame and am just going to stare at you like it or not look; the oh something different… double take, mmm a young pretty blonde girl look; the oh look a huge crowd… oh.. interesting… maybe I will follow a bit look; the I’m just going to pretend that I am looking at something behind you look; the I need to just stop and stand still to admire the beauty look; the Hey girlfriend… look at that flashy dress on the mannequin… then going for the quick sneaky peek look; and lastly, the dodgy uncle look. Everyone of all ages, young and old, guys and girls, casual and formal (especially shop attendants) all at least had a peak. I was literally observing a living natural phenomenon right before my eyes. It really startled me and surprised me. I would say, about a year ago… I was almost as foreign to the country as any other westerner that would’ve visited the country. But my appearance allowed me to fit right in easily. In a way however, I’m happy for this experience, and to see quite a unique cultural behaviour being exchanged as a third person. Was definitely something cool to experience living here.

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