I was with a couple of old China hands last night discussing acculturation assimilation and the movie Jackass. This was happening as I was frantically tearing apart a box of cough medicine and trying to figure out how my friend, who was wearing after-shave his buddy said must have been bought on gaygweilo.com, knew that the mixture was a knock-off. Behind me during all of this were two men arguing over whether or not to buy a live eel, rabbit, or cat for dinner. No, I am not kidding. Sleep We all decided–and mind you, the two of them speak perfect Chinese–that no matter how hard we tried, or how much we learned, we would always see the world through Laowai eyes. While we were rehearsing a spoof for a possible dharmashack.com V-blog website (In the works!) we decided that our humor was decidedly American and a bit cerebral. The skit to come is about a real life Texan, fluent in Chinese, who can’t be understood by a soul in China (including Americans) because he was taught Chinese by a native Lone Star State resident and his accent is, well, Texan. We thought Americans would love the skit, but Chinese wouldn’t. They love visual humor: Mr. Bean is a genius here. The Three Stooges, had they been Chinese, would also have a tomb in Tiananmen Square. Chinese muscles A few of you might be old enough to remember the prism glass experiment in High School. A privileged group of us, mostly those of us in constant trouble, were given a pair of prism glasses and told to wear them until the upside-down sights we were viewing magically righted y=themselves, which they did. Of course you repeated the same experience once you surrendered the glasses, but now were smart enough to bring Dramamine for the second trip. Chinese dancers How I wish I had a set of spectacles that would right my way of seeing thingAsian. I understand so much, but still am not culturally fluent and likely never will be. (We got real close after several Pearl River beers had J chasing the waitress with a live snake, but….) Chinese humor–some expats seem to think that is an oxymoron– is one of those things that I fully understand, but has me shaking my head regularly. But, I have come to enjoy it as well. Hell, I have the entire Bean Collection and am looking for the Keystone Cops, Chaplin and Red Skelton…. sneaks Here are some more pictures–some a bit dated–of things Chinese find funny: PICS The hat tip goes to Virtual China (VC)

By Lonnie Hodge

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