The Parasol Paradox | Speaking of China

9 Responses

  1. Crystal
    Crystal September 20, 2010 at 2:49 am | | Reply

    Now I live in Israel – and the UV here is SOOO strong. I can’t just imagine getting out of home without my umbrella. And – yes – people always stare at me but I really don’t care 🙂
    Anyway, when one umbrella got broken, I couldn’t find a good one in the local stores – so my cousin had to send me one from China.

  2. globalgal
    globalgal September 20, 2010 at 3:09 am | | Reply

    I have wholeheartedly embraced the sun umbrella since moving to China and I can’t believe I never used one before! Humans just don’t get any paler than me, and I’m very careful about staying away from the sun, but there are times when I’d forget the sunblock or I didn’t realize parts of me were exposed. Carrying an umbrella has saved me countless times. I had serious blisters and burns in my childhood and watching my brother and father have parts of their anatomy cut away due to skin cancer – well, I could care less if people laugh or stare at my umbrella. I just want to be safe! I plan to use a parasol no matter where I am in the world! (I do draw the line at the arm covers and full-frontal face shield girls use here on their bicycles, though!)

  3. Sara
    Sara September 20, 2010 at 4:10 am | | Reply

    I still feel that using the umbrella all the time is little bit silly, but maybe after some time I notice using it my self too! I have to admit that it’s good to protect your skin if the sun is shining a lot. And maybe I should keep my white skin because in China it’s considered so beautiful 🙂

  4. Mali
    Mali September 20, 2010 at 7:46 am | | Reply

    My skin is pretty white, even for a European… I’ve also started using an umbrella in China. I think it’s particularly cute how Chinese guys always hold their girl’s umbrellas 😉

  5. melanie gao
    melanie gao September 20, 2010 at 6:44 pm | | Reply

    Yep, the parasol is a great thing. I always use one, or else I wear a hat. Of course in Beijing the pollution gives us an additional layer of sunscreen! 🙂

    Protecting my skin from the sun is one of the best things that China has taught me.

  6. Jessica
    Jessica September 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm | | Reply

    Sorry, not on the umbrella train here, not even after 7 years in China. My husband does not buy into the umbrella thing either, so he never tried to convert me. I hope you folks that carry umbrellas at least try and watch out for other people — so annoying to be walking down the street on a sunny day and have your eye just about poked out by passing umbrella carriers! 😉

  7. globalgal
    globalgal September 20, 2010 at 9:29 pm | | Reply

    Ah, Jessica, don’t even get me started on umbrella etiquette! I frequently complain about it on Facebook. I’m very conscientious of my umbrella after living in Costa Rica. During the wet season, we carried umbrellas constantly and it didn’t take me long to see all the carefully orchestrated lifting, lowering and side-tipping the locals used to navigate the narrow sidewalks.
    Something else I’d point out – if you’re going to carry an umbrella for sun protection, make sure it offers UV protection!

  8. Louisa
    Louisa September 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm | | Reply

    My friends and I used to laugh at all the Chinese immigrant moms who would bust out the umbrella or huge visor when they had to face Southern California sunshine. Then I went to Beijing and Shanghai in the summer, and my friend and I caved and busted out umbrellas to save ourselves from the crazy heat. It totally was 10 degrees cooler under the umbrella, and now we’ve resolved to never laugh at an Asian under an umbrella ever again.

    But I’m still against the crazy huge visors and arm covers the Asian ladies use when driving. Those are still silly.

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