I’ve since learned not to pack tank tops, regardless of how hot and muggy it is in Shanghai in the summer. The other incidents referenced in this comic: being told to bring formal wear “that you would wear to a formal dinner”. I went out a bought a proper dress and fancy sandals, only to go there and find out that we were supposed to wear “business” casual. There were looks of shock at my asking if we needed socks. Then I had to give a speech in my dress. We were a group of 20 Chinese-Americans and 20 Chinese, and it was quite striking that all of the American ladies wore formal dresses. The other incident was during the Beijing Olympics. Those were some of the other overseas Chinese girls and guys that I was hanging with. It’s kind of funny that a half-naked old guy can admonish you for wearing too little because you’re in flip-flops and a tank top.
To be fair, the socks thing made sense — Chinese streets are sort of grimy, with various air-conditioner drippings and other stuff, so you don’t want to expose your toes to that stuff.
My major challenge to fitting in with the Chinese youth fashion is that everyone is supposed to be tiny and skinny. This is why I end up wearing 40-year-old “mom” styles. That and I don’t like 15,000 sparkles and misspelled English words.