Mar 19, 2019

Don’t change your clothes

It’s fine

Keep up to date on the latest China giraffe vlog videos by subscribing to Hello Foreigner on YouTube.

Content warning for existential dread and meat. This week’s vlog thoughts consider how often one should change their clothes. In our part of China, it’s actually OK to wear the same outfit for a few days in a row. Not to bed, of course. That’s what pajamas are for.

Jan 10, 2012

New pants!

Lookin’ snazzy

Me in my new pants

Xi Xi, our neighbor friend, took me out shopping the other day, on the hunt for pants. I had told her that Peter and I had both lost a ton of weight since moving here (“Oh, that’s wonderful,” she said.) but that we were still larger than the largest sizes that most stores carry. I think she didn’t quite believe me.

She brought me to a mall that I hadn’t been to before (Luzhou has 4 malls, she said. They’re all located pretty close to one another.), but it had many of the same stores I had seen in other malls. First store, no luck.

Let me back up here and say that size is only part of the problem. The style for jeans in this city seems to be: the gaudier the better. Rhinestones, stone washes, weird patches … it’s hard to find a pair of jeans that doesn’t incorporate some of that into the design. So I have to narrow my search down to the plainest pair of jeans first, and then hope that they have my size. And like I said, first store, no luck.

Second store, though, they had a few pairs in my size, in black and blue. I chose the blue pair and tried them on. I don’t think you can see in the picture, but they have a weird vein-y pattern faded into the material, with fake rips all up and down the leg. It’s subtle as far as these things go, but I would not be out of place at a Bon Jovi concert circa 1986. This gave me pause.

On the other hand, they fit! They weren’t falling off my body like my old jeans, and they were not skin tight like other jeans I had tried on. And they were on super sale. And the only people who would look and think they’re not fashionable would be me and Peter, and Peter doesn’t really care.

So I went for them. Xi Xi asked if I wanted to look around more before buying them, but I said, “No. This is the first pair of jeans in two months that has fit. I don’t need to look around anymore.”

As the saleslady was ringing us up, she told Xi Xi that my jeans were the biggest pair of pants they had in the store. They were meant for me!

Nov 13, 2011

Relative sizes II

We’re smaller, but still giants

Peter and I both have lost a lot of weight since we’ve gotten here. We’ve put this down to the fact that we’re walking everywhere - including up and down the big hill that we live atop - and that the bulk of our diet is fresh vegetables. There’s no dairy to speak of and we don’t buy that much processed food. Yes, there’s a lot of carborific rice and noodles, but we’re pretty much going up (down?) a new belt notch every week.

Which is why Peter was a little dismayed the other night when he was trying on his black pants and they were a little tight. He could button the button, but barely. “All my other pants are loose. Why don’t these fit?” he asked. I looked him over: “Because they’re my black pants.” Yup. Peter can now almost fit into my pants.

But we’re still giants compared to the rest of the country. Peter has bought a couple new pairs of pajamas. He’s a XXL-XXXL. At the first purchasing, we picked up a large. The store clerk looked Peter over and shook her head, enlisting help to find the largest pair the store had. I am desperately searching for a new pair of jeans, because the ones I brought are now quite loose. Unfortunately, the trend here for women is super-tight skinny jeans, so I can squeeze into the largest size most stores carry, but I don’t really want to.

So we’re still on the lookout. It’s pretty funny. We don’t think of ourselves as big people, but evidently the Chinese do.