Sunday, May 03, 2009

On the Bus

Today, I was coming back from Hengyang, on the bus to the Hengyang train station, when a commotion started toward the back of the bus. I really feel anxious when there are these kinds of commotions in China, because I don't know what's going on, and usually after the commotion, people start to stare at the foreigner, almost like they are embarrassed the foreigner witnessed the "commotion."

Today, I witnessed just such a commotion. I'm not exactly sure what was happening, but all the sudden, a middle aged woman started yelling and hitting a man fiercely toward the back of the bus. The bus also happened to stop at that moment. The man quickly got off the bus. Then, I noticed that the women beside me were starting to illustrate how the man was trying to steal from the lady. Apparently, he was using a knife to try and slash through her purse or her pocket to get at her wallet or her phone. Have any of you witnessed something like this before?

As soon after the event happened, I noticed that people started to look at me and say the "wai guo ren" (foreigner) word a lot. I felt a little weird, but I think they were talking about me because I was clearly aware of what was going on, and they felt like it was an embarrassing part of Chinese culture that I had just witnessed. Have any of you ever witnessed something like this in China or in America? What was your experience?

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