Skip to content

When I was Fat: Seeing Culture Different through Privacy

March 30, 2012

When I first came to America, I was not very used to spending dollars. The calculator in my head always secretly converted dollars to Chinese yuan, RenMinBi. By then the currency exchange was even more controlled by Chinese government, it was like one to eight something, so I was very enraged to discover that a mere green pepper cost about ten yuan instead two. Everything edible was so expensive comparing with China. But there was two things I immediately got addict to:

Orange juice: in China the “orange juice” meant it contained two percent of juice and the rest was sugar water, the best you can get was about thirty percent, the hundred percent not from concentrate juice was only available in Pizza Hut, the most fancy, girls most dreaming dating restaurant (yes, that was right, maybe I will elaborate on that some other time), and a tiny glass cost two dollars, which was enraging for dining in China.

Ice cream: Chinese were not very good at making ice cream, the ones they imported from other countries were super expensive. While in the supermarket, there was always this crazy deal about buy one get one free, so I can get really decent branded ice cream for five bucks per gallon.

That was basically the most important component of my diet for almost half a year. I drank a gallon of orange juice every other day, and finished two gallons of ice cream every week, (actually I got them on Friday, and they were gone during the weekend.)

It was in the fall semester, and “the winter is coming”, so I behaved like an animal about to hibernate: I ate a lot and put a lot insulation on me.

It was when I went to my aunt’s house I finally found out my development. I stared at the number on the scale and could not believe my eyes, that was about 25 pounds higher than I have ever been, also first time ever crossing the overweight line on the BMI chart.

So.. I killed myself to get back to my weight, yaliyada, but I took my driver’s license’s picture before I managed to lose them all, so there was an evident what I had been.

The next winter break, I went back to China. And I was telling the story of juice and ice cream and handed my driver’s license around. I got some really nice comments:

1) How did you become so fat?

I shrugged innocently: I did not have a scale.

But I thought you would have a mirror in your house?

2) OMG, I could not even tell if you are a girl or a boy

3) Now you looked like a laughing Budda

4) I need to put your driver’s license on top of my bed as a motivation to lose weight..

Then I realized how come I gained so much weight, because the Americans were so polite that they would never comment on my weight issues! When I was in college, if I gained anything more than 5 pounds, my friends would be poking at my belly in the public bathroom and laughed at me. Surrounded by friends that observant, I was so shapy.

So rude or polite, what can we tell?

At least that one time in my life, I really hoped there were some “rude” friends around me to stop me from turning myself into a beast.

But man, orange juice and ice cream are tasty.

  1. I probably shouldn’t even suggest this but did you ever try mixing the orange juice with the ice cream? My dad used to make orange juice shakes when I was a kid… sounds weird but it was DELICIOUS.

    Man, now I want one of those. I should call my dad and get the recipe. On second thought, maybe it’s better if I don’t.

  2. Hi,
    I can fully understand why you liked the juice and ice-cream so much, each country is so very different with food, but I had to smile when you were describing what your friends said about you, I should imagine they also would of liked to taste the ice-cream and juice. 😀

    • I also enjoyed when they made the comments. They are my close friends. Some of them came here and enjoyed the ice cream with me, but with my model, none of them just eat them for meals.

  3. Anonymous permalink

    I enjoyed every word…thanks for sharing.-Susan

  4. Sorry…that was my comment made without signing in on my Kindle.-Susan 🙂

  5. Just wanted to remind you I looove your blog And let you know I nominated you for the “inspiring blogger award” check out my blog for the details! :]

  6. well written …waiting for more stuff 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: