From what I can tell HKers don't obsess over weight like Americans do. I've met lots of people here who have nicknames based around their weight. A guy I used to work with at the flower shop happened to have the same name as another employee. So he was dubbed "Fat Boy" instead of using his real name. He volunteered it. He said that's what his mom calls him. At Matt's office Christmas party this year, they had a gift exchange. Matt got a book. The receptionist (who happened to be a little chubby) got fat cream. Apparently it's not that big of a deal to be fat here.
Which I guess is why one of the salesmen at a shop I frequent felt completely comfortable telling me I was fat. He said the very first time he met me, I was very skinny, but now I am fat. Instead of bursting into tears, I laughed it off and told him I'd eaten nothing but pizza the last two weeks (which isn't far from the truth considering we're in the midst of moving and our refrigerator is empty). Perhaps what he doesn't realize is that the first time he met me was about 2 months into our HK adventure, at which point I was only eating Skittles and baby-carrots because everything else made me want to throw up. (Surely I've mentioned my drastic food aversions, right?)
But it was still a blow to my ego. Because I am an American, and I am weight conscious and I've been feeling a wee bit tubby these last few weeks.
This little conversation stirred up unpleasant memories of the time I was trying explain to an itty-bitty Asian shop girl that I would not be buying the size 25 jeans she was pushing on me because (clearly) they would not fit me. As I made gestures to my general hip and thigh area and mumbled something about American girls being made differently, she perked up and said,
"Oh, you have baby?!"
No, Lady, I have not had a baby. I just look like this. Boy, these people sure know how to flatter a girl.
I know that I'm REALLY going to miss living in Hong Kong, but I am looking forward to feeling "normal-sized" again. Perhaps even a little on the small side.
Not to mention that my first order of business when arriving on American soil again is to put on 10 pounds. Ten pounds of pure Mexican food. Oh, I can't wait!