One of the an/other hazards of living an expat life, is the fashion scene that I have to keep coping with. It has been proved earlier enuff, that my learning generally doesn’t follow anything that can be called a curve. Guess, that goes pretty much like my personality – either I learn the ropes, or not; either a yes, or a no! This way, or that!
Simply put, I am not good at learning a little of a lot many things, and so it’s difficult to blend into a new group (where people behave or dress or eat in a similar way) group easily; I have a tendency to always stick out!
When we were in process of planning our move back to China (this time SZ city), I took out my carefully stacked mandarin learning books & worksheets. After a gap of 2 years, if anyone expected me to swing back to the sounds n tones, they got to be kidding! As expected, I was behaving deaf & dumb again; even the words/phrases I was completely comfortable with, failed me. I was wishing for some miracle to pop the words out of my mouth, when I needed………just once, ONCE, to make me feel better, to save me from humiliation, that look my spouse gives ( my company spent so much on your mandarin lessons – and u cant even convey this much!)
No sir, miracles havnt happened to me all these 39 years, I am sure miracle fairies don’t visit my side of the world, ever!
And if not speaking the language didn’t destroy my confidence, the local fashion scene very much did. Take the ferry across the border ( to HongKong) and you’ll know where all the influence is coming from! Women take their appearance very seriously here. They swear by trends, brands, cosmetics, hair salons and waist sizes. I appreciate that, but I have none to boast of.
I must be really thick, that living in fashion conscious cities since the last 9 years hasn’t changed me much. I am reasonably well dressed when going to the supermarket or to the doctor or anywhere in public.
For sure I struggle to not succumb to the temptation to join the slob parade – No old sweats or baggy shorts or T-shirts proclaiming I’m still hot. It just comes in flashes now. I am decently covered, I buy my correct size, carry a lip gloss, and wear a smile, always! That is fashion for me. No sir again, my idea of fashion and being well dressed is way off the mark!
And this here, is sheer torture. It makes me want to weep. My jeans aren’t tight enough, my heels not high, my clothes not trendy enough, my lips not plump enough, my hands not manicured enough, my . . . do I need to go on? I think you get the picture.
Sadly, I will have to accept this state of affairs because trying to jazz up my appearance would require too much witchcraft. It’ll be a task for any witch, or fairy, you bet. Maybe I should get a T-shirt with this slogan I Took the Road Less Traveled, and Now Where the Heck Am I?
No amount of showing down will change me. Once get around here, I’ll find like- minded friends, like-dressed too. Or some who can understand me, and don’t mind my sartorial.