We have not blogged too much on the cultural difference that we experienced in South Korea/ China, but this is a good opportunity to tell you about one that we experienced on the day of our engagement photo shoot. Most of us – or should I say “Foreigners” – are pretty discrete about our bodies. Admittedly, many Westerners are not afraid to show
some too much skin, but the majority of us do not want to be seen half naked by strangers. In Asia, we have found that it is quite normal for friends, or even co-workers, to go to a sauna/ spa for the day and be completely naked together. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with being naked… But around my boss? Or around students that I will see at school? This just seems odd to us!!
Back to the story – During our photo shoot my “privacy” boundaries were pushed to the limits. We had two outfits to do in the park, and they involved me switching between a yellow and then a red dress. There was a moment were I wondered where I would change in the park, but I was sure that the hair and make-up stylists would find a spot for me to do that privately. We arrived at the park in our “yellow outfits“, and began shooting from the moment that we got there. Slowly but surely, more and more people stopped to watch our photo-shoot unfold. Although there were numerous other young couples having wedding pictures done, we were far more entertaining. We were the only “white faces” there, so why would the locals not stop, sit down, and watch the show!
This was not a problem at all, in fact, we felt like celebrities.
It only became a problem when we had to switch into our second set of outfits. Justin was told to change into a new suit, but fortunately for him, all that would be exposed was what would be seen if we were on the beach. Still… This caused the surrounding crowd to grow at a rapid pace. A “Westerner” had just removed his shirt in the park, “ooohhh…” I too was watching Justin, and wondering, Where am I going to change?!
Next thing I felt one of the stylists unzipping my dress from the back, and start to pull it downwards with no warning at all. Another girl had taken out the red dress, and was attempting to put it over my head. I guess the idea was to pull the one dress down while placing the next dress over me.
That was the idea.
It didn’t go that way at all.
More and more people stopped to stare as a frantic white girl tried to hold onto her half exposed bum, and her boobs which were about to be flashed for all to see. Four hands tugged at me, and all I could do was try to hold tiny bits of each dress over the exposed areas of my body.
The normal response to being “exposed” is to bend over, right?!
You try to duck down to the ground so that at least you are not standing there, in all your glory, while half of the locals in the neighbourhood get a glance of your “lady bits”.
I remember exactly how I felt at this moment – Shocked, humiliated, amazed, and completely unable to control what was happening.
Well, of course, I was giggling uncontrollably!!!!!
I eventually got out of the one dress and into the other.
Hopefully with minimal boobie and bum exposure!
Who knows, there are probably some poor quality camera pictures of my half exposed butt somewhere on the internet.
Even though it felt like an eternity, it all happened so quickly.
My face was bright red when I turned around and saw how many people had shopped to watch!
“Stalkee” becomes stalker
This year, in Zhongshan Park, for the Cherry Blossom Festival, there were a number of couples doing their wedding pictures among the beautiful spring blossoms. As you can see above, behind Justin, a girl is sitting on the ground with her fiancé’s jacket over her legs as she tries to change into a new outfit. This city is far more developed than Dongying (where we did out shoot last year) so things are handled a little differently here… but still, this picture shows how it is quite okay to change in public here. Being a modern city, people here are more discreet, so at least this girl is trying to cover herself and avoid exposure.
Of course – Taking this picture make me a completely creeper – I know!
Don’t judge me!! It was my turn to stop, watch, and be amused.