Thursday, July 17, 2008

culture shock

back in the early days of having a layover in san fransisco to get to taiwan, i told the gals i was with, "well, i guess the culture shock starts here." we approached the gate for our flight to taipei and i immediately felt that i wasn't in kansas anymore. excited and thrilled about it, to be sure, but the flight was where the cultural experience with taiwan began.

i remember the beautiful and petite flight attendants who offered me a chinese rice soup for breakfast, how strange i found it to see shrimp in pasta and now it has become commonplace. i remember how i thought that i had worked in a restaurant where i was often the only white person, so taiwan shouldn't be too far a stretch. but i still can't get over how often my friends and i are stared at. and i could have never imagined trying to describe something like movie "the blob" to a bunch of taiwanese 5-year-olds because that was one of their spelling words.

today in class i was like, "blob. B-L-O-B. hey, who knows what a scary movie is?" .... blank stares. "OK, who knows what a movie is?" .... blank stares. "Like Peter Pan is a movie. You guys went and saw Peter Pan right? That's a movie." They got excited about Peter Pan and I eventually got the discussion back to The Blob.

"So, a blob is like a big thing of......well, nothing really....." i faltered as i drew a swirly circle and said, "Well, in this blob, there's like....well, whatever in it. Nothing in it. Erm, anyway, it's this movie in America. And it's supposed to be scary."

another classroom of blank stares and then a pause. king, probably the most astute of my students, goes, "Teacha, that not scary."

exactly.

1 comment:

Erin Shaw said...

I know what you mean about getting blank stares from kids. With my Enrichment class especially when I try to explain something even as simple as a joke. I just wish I could explain in Chinese sometimes.

The Blob, I love it. At least you tried to explain to them ^_^.