Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Now You Are Fat

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!


michelle said...

i can completely relate. i almost cried last summer when i landed in san francisco (after 2 years in hk) just because it was so nice to feel "normal" again. and i've had people ask if i was pregnant too, which of course is very flattering.

enjoy spotlight! :)

Kelloh said...

ok, that is too funny! Only because I completely know what you are talking about!! Everytime I go to this one store, at which I know I am a medium in tops, the sales lady will look me up and down and then say "No sweetie I think you are a large" Oh man, I want to slap her!! I even have people come up to me and pinch my fat and tell me how squishy I am!! Man Alive!!

Crabby Rangoon said...


Squishy! Oh you poor girl... That can't be pleasant.

Crabby Rangoon said...

I actually bought XXL underwear the other day. How considerate of them to make that size, don't you think?

kjl said...

If you wear an XXL underwear, I can't imagine what size the 90% of Kansans that are larger than you wear!!!

John Hendrix said...

Andrea's grandmother always says something like this: "You look so much better with a little weight on you."

Why thank you.

Crabby Rangoon said...


Grandma knows best!

Andi said...

yes- thank you grandma. you should just call me a fat ass.

erika- i promise to never to ask you if you're pregnant, even if you're 9 months prego.

Erin Evans said...

Hey Erika! Hooray on coming back to the states!! Now that I know you are a comment whore I'll try to comment now that I've found you!

Re: the fat comments...what the??? What is it in people that makes them make comments like that? Afterwards you wonder if they like "DOH! I shouldn't have said that!" But it doesn't seem like they have any remorse. Aren't sales people at stores supposed to say how great and skinny you look in everything? You go to a store to try on clothes and you want to be flattered. Bottom line. Sales will increase, at least in the US :)

Crabby Rangoon said...


Welcome to crabby comments!

Yeah, you'd think they'd want to make money, not run me out of the store.

Dorothy said...

I don't think people really think before they speak. Last summer I knew I was getting to my "bad" weight and this lady at work (after I had just eaten chicken noodle soup for lunch-so I was not my "morning" size) had the audacity to ask me if I was pregnant. She said I was getting a little pooch or paunch or whatever they call it. She is about 100 x's my size too!! Needless to say I went on a diet and lost 15 pounds and put almost all of it back on when my mom went through chemo...so now I am eating salads for lunch again!! Aye de mi! What we women go through. Notice male actors like John Travolta are still considered "attractive" when they put on wait, but if female actresses do well...they don't get hired for the next movie. I feel your pain girl.

amylew said...

That's crazy! Not that any of you need it, but let me recommend the best weight loss plan: move to a new country, get the flu, a cold, have an adverse reaction to water & food. Works pretty good at dropping a few unwanted pounds

Crabby Rangoon said...


That's what happened to me, and that was when my salesman friend first met me, hence the "when I first met you, you were very skinny..." part. Too bad it didn't last.