Everyday, at approximately 4:00, I look out the window, and notice that the neighbor man is out for his daily jog—on his porch. He runs back and forth on this little porch (used for drying clothes) for about 20 or 30 minutes. He doesn’t move very fast (as you can imagine he’s switching directions every three feet), and he appears to be wearing normal work clothes. Noticing the way he “exercises” and comparing it to the way I usually “exercise” helps me understand why people might stare at me.
Lately, I’ve been running more here in Hengyang. I guess the local people are not used to seeing a running, foreign woman. I feel annoyed when people stare at me, so I started to respond to them. However, my Chinese friend told me that I was not being very polite, so I will try to think of another way to deal with the attention.
From experience, I now know that I should not say any of the below:
1. What are you looking at?
2. What are you laughing at?
3. Am I ridiculous? I know. Go ahead and laugh.
4. Don’t stare at me.
5. What’s your problem?