Friday, March 30, 2007

Being Famous

Now I’ll admit that I’ve been a jerk a few times and mistook an innocent “Hello Mister” from someone desiring a reciprocal “Hello” and a smile for the attention getting “Hello Mister” from a taut who wants my money. Make eye contact with one of these dudes and they might follow you for half a block. The worst when the scent of blood is in the air and a whole gang of the vultures descend. Tremendous split second judgment is needed to differentiate between the “excuse me” of a high school kid whose buddies nominated him to be the one to ask if I’ll take a picture with them and the “excuse me” from someone attempting to strike up a conversation in broken English in hopes that I will then be more likely to purchase some of their overpriced tourist crap.

Occasionally I ignore and once in a while the “I know you ain’t thinking ‘bout robbing me” instinct kicks in and I aggressively eye somebody, but usually I’m pretty good at taking the imitative and providing a smile and a head nod of acknowledgement to whoever is staring at me. People have every right to ogle exotic things that insert themselves into their dialy lives. I blogged more extensively about this on the myspace a few weeks ago, but basically if a midget, a naked lady, or an elephant is walking down your street it is human nature to gawk at this curiosity. I am such a curiosity to many in Indonesia, and am appropriately scrutinized. By breaking the fourth wall and interacting, the starer’s role changes from that of observer to participant. Eyes widen and stoic faces erupt into smiles as a breakthrough cross cultural connection is made. Score one for team globalization. Getting pretty good with working class folk, loiters, and the elderly, but my bread and butter demographics remain children and adolescent girls. I am not yet the 21st century’s Fred Rogers, but I’m good with kids and have broadened the horizons of many as iconic individuals did for me when I was a wee lad. Being a teen icon is my forte though. A skill honed over many hours working in a Korean middle school, I have made young women’s hearts skip beats on several continents. For some reason, it is even more of an ego trip making chicks in headscarves swoon. It’s like I’m some kinda extra level of forbidden and the repression makes having a crush on unattainable dream man all the more intense.

1 comment:

Jess Lynd said...

ian, thats gross...