Today I had an interview as an anchor for a television program called BON TV. I stood awkwardly in front of a green screen squinting from bright fluorescent lights, aware of the presence of curious onlookers. They watched me closely as I stumbled through the words on the projector. I could hear laughing and quiet words exchanged in Chinese, I had no idea what they were saying. I immediately thought of Bill Murray in Lost in Translation as he’s filming a commercial in Japan. Thinking of that scene made me relax and laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation and just go with it.
I never thought much of the movie ‘Lost in Translation’ when I first saw it in high school. I found it completely uninteresting.But now, now I get it. That movie is my life here. I am always lost in translation: hassling with cab drivers in my broken Chinese, wandering through hutongs late at night trying to find the directions to a bar or restaurant while my phone conveniently goes on “emergency mode”.
Getting lost is a part of my life in Beijing. It’s all my own doing of course, I should just learn the language.
This crazy place is filled with unusual, and often embarrassing situations. But each new experience presents me with growth, I am lucky to experience this. To live this far outside of my comfort zone, to feel alive.
Even if at all goes terribly, I’ll have some pretty funny stories to tell when I’m an old bat.