Thursday, October 6, 2011

Banana People and Lung Cancer

My title and the two things it describes are not connected but they are both interesting. One in a funny way and one in a "how the f*** did they let this happen" way. I was at my weekly Mandarin tutoring session with my amazing teacher Vivian (if anyone is ever in the market for a tutor in Beijing, please let me know) when I saw THE cutest little mixed toddler. Chinese and Caucasian babies combine the cutest features. This child in particular had beautiful black hair, light colored skin (which every Chinese person woman wants) and pretty blue eyes. Plus she had on the most adorable dress and was running around like a crazed maniac...which I thought was hilarious. Her mother...not so much.

Anyway, I pointed out this little cutie to Vivian and she asked if I knew what Chinese people called Chinese Americans. I said no because I had no idea...Race traitors? I hoped we were not about to venture into an uncomfortable conversation...as I have apparently been falling into those lately. She revealed that they were referred to as Banana People...because they are yellow on the outside and white on the inside. I thought this was hilarious and just had to share.

As for the lung cancer...where to start with the Beijing air? It is pretty well accepted fact that it is best, health wise, for expats to live in Beijing for 3 years or less. After 3 years, permanent damage is done to your lungs...lovely I know. When we first arrived I was curious about what Chinese people thought about their air quality. Nothing...it turns out. Most days I hear it referred to as FOG...yes, the water in the air type of fog. I laugh when I hear this and am quick to correct. FOG is close...but the word is SMOG. Since the government could do something about it and chooses not to (ie. before and during the Olympics they had the longest streak of good air in quite some time) its best not to get to hot and bothered over it.

My point...this week at a friend's birthday party we were told a story about 2 avid runner expats that were here last year. After 9 months of continuing their outdoor running practices here, apparently with no mask on (extremely big mistake), they were both diagnosed with lung cancer. Only in Beijing, are 2 runners rewarded for their hard work with lung cancer...LUNG: the very organ it is supposed to strengthen.

Back to studying now. Hope you like my new background! I love Halloween!

2 comments:

  1. Can't believe I just did this..but..I just Googled "banana people" and unfortunately is brought up people dressed up as bananas...But, I'm guessing the "banana babies" are adorbs!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Banana people? That is hysterical! I can't believe the air pollution is so bad that it gave people cancer!! That just seems insane to me.

    ReplyDelete