Not everything has been positive being a foreigner in China. I’ve found it can actually be a hindrance to look the way you do. A few friends and I decided to go to an electronics market known as 赛格(saige). This market is vast and has nearly every electronic available. You want into this building and it’s almost as if you stepped into the future. However, this blog post is focused on what happened next. My friends and I were running late so we wanted to grab a cab and head back to our dorms. So we stand along a busy intersection trying to hail a cab. We see plenty of the cabs pass by having customers in the back. But eventually we started seeing empty cabs pass by. We thought to ourselves maybe they were at the end of their shift. But we saw more than a few pass us by and no more than 20 meters down the road pick up someone of Asian decent. After 30 minutes of waiting, we realized what was going on, they were racist towards foreigners. We realized we weren’t going to get a cab and just took the bus. This is the first time in my life I’ve been a minority where I went, and unfortunately I was discriminated against. The worst part of this whole situation was I had things to do and waiting a half hour for a cab wasn’t on my list of things to do. I’ve talked with other foreigners I’ve met and they all have experienced the same thing. I’ve also learned a few ways to get around the system. First, if you travel with someone who either is of Asian decent or looks Asian, then you allow them first to hail the cab and then you come out from wherever you were hiding and get in. You immediately see the frustration in the cab driver’s eyes. Another way that I learned from a Chinese friend of mine was to carry around a small backpack that has wheels and a handle and prop that out on the sidewalk. You won’t have to wait more than a minute or two for a cab to stop for you. Much to their surprise, you won’t be going to the airport, but your preferred destination. It’s unfortunate that I need to stoop to hiding or misleading a cab driver just to get picked up, but I’m here to build relations between the two countries by doing my part and learning the language. If only they didn’t group all foreigners together and let a few bad apples ruin the bunch.