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- The Class Bell What is this? High school? Why do we need to have a bell that signals class starting, break starting, break ending, class ending, and everything in between? More importantly, why is it a fifteen-second song that still plays on the weekends and over the holidays when the students have all gone home and the school is closed?!
- The Back-up Sounds of carts, cars, and various other motor vehicles It’s a sentence. Not just a beep beep but like an entire sentence. I imagine it says “Watch out, bitches, I’m backing up and if you don’t move, I’ll back up right over you.”
- Car horns A taxi drives past me, it honks. Oh, but there’s three people walking ahead of me, so it honks at them, too. And those two people across the street? Honk. Oh great, here comes another taxi. IF I WANTED A RIDE, I WOULD’VE RIDDEN WITH THAT TAXI YOU CAN STILL SEE YOU DON’T NEED TO HONK AT ME
- High-pitched screaming and squealing I live at a school inhabited by teenage girls. ‘Nuff said.
- “Hello, teacher.” This sentence usually is uttered when I am well past the person and walking in the opposite direction or when I’m peacefully trying to eat my dinner and someone sits across from me to stare at me with big blank eyes as I try to eat my noodles. It’s usually followed by my second-least favorite sentence: “I’m sorry my English is so bad.” Then go away, I’m eating.
- “Hello, picture?” I don’t know you, please don’t ask me for my picture that’s really weird please let me just walk through the Summer Palace/to the store/through the store/outside on the side walk/to the bus/off the bus/everywhere in peace. I have a feeling at least one-fourth of the Chinese populace have seen my picture by now, with the number of people who want to take it. They really don’t think it’s weird.