Story. Of. My. Life. I don’t understand why this happens so frequently.
Upon arriving in Paris, I was able to stumble through the train station to get to my next train station for Normandie. I had some time to spare and decided I would let Roger, my host, know that I was on the early train and would get into town around 4pm. Like a deer in head lights, I was overwhelmed by the size of the terminal. Ou est les telephones? I must have looked a little lost.
And as if on cue. A security guard approaches me.
Him: [in pretty good English] Where are you from?
Me: Huh? Oh. United States? Question mark?? Why was I unsure?
Him: Ah. So beautiful. Beautiful girl.
Me: Oh thanks…. [I looked around] Wait for it.
Him: And before that? You’re so beautiful.
Me: Gotcha. Oh. Um thank you. Taiwan. I don’t see phones anywhere.
Him: Beautiful Asian girl. [starts singing the word beautiful to me over and over] Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.
Me: [awkward smile]
Him: What are you looking for?
Me: I’m looking for a payphone? This is a statement..but I’m just so thrown off at this point.
Him: Are you a singer?
Me: Huh? A singer? Do I look like a singer? What??!
Him: Yes. [in all seriousness] Do you sing?
Me: Oh. Uh no. Not out loud. Is he going to help me or what?
Me: Yes! Yes, where is it?
Him: [waving a group of other train station staff over] Come. Ask them!
[Three people approach: two guys and one girl]
Man #2: What are you looking for? [also in English…because I apparently wreak of American]
Me: A telephone. I need to call someone.
Man #2: [insert long explanation about how to use a telephone and dial a number]
[Another guy approaches first looking at me, then the support group around me, then me again]
This guy: You’re beautiful. Where are you from?
Me: Oh god. Not again. The United States.
Him: [stares, smiles, and waits for the other, more acceptable answer]
Me: Well, Taiwan, originally.
Him: Ohh. Okay. Very beautiful.
Me: Déjà vu. Thanks. Where are the payphones?
Him: [Pointing across the hall] Over there.
Me: Thanks! [I say, almost running away.]
Don’t get me wrong. These stories are all fun for sharing but it does get old after awhile. I haven’t been back to Taiwan in years. To say I’m from Taiwan would be a grave exaggeration; I moved here when I was so so young. I can barely speak Mandarin. I’ve been American-ized. I sunbathe. I’m ridiculously tan. I look nothing like these girls:
These. Are Taiwanese girls. Well, a Taiwanese girl group [according to Google Search Images].
Anyway, my point is that I just think it’s silly that these random boys keep asking me where I’m from like it seems to make a difference. Thank my parents for my good looks.