From This American Life episode 467 “Americans in China”:
In urban China, the sight of a foreigner no longer causes a crowd to gather and stare. But in the rural half, people still approach me with friendly, cautious curiosity, the way you might if a giraffe wandered down your street. I read that the comedian Steve Martin used to hand autograph seekers a signed name card that confirmed the person had met Steve Martin and found him to be warm, polite, intelligent, and funny. I've often thought of making a similar card to present with a silent smile, answering the usual six questions asked of me in this order.
One, I'm an American. Two, I've been in China a long time. Three, I was born in the Year of the Rat. I'm 1.86 meters tall. Four, I do not have a salary. I'm a writer. Five, Chinese is not hard. It is easier to learn than English. Six, yes, I can use chopsticks. We eat Chinese food in America too, but often it's expensive and orange.
On rare occasions, someone starts me off with a curve ball. A gruff construction worker sidled up to me last week, hard helmet in hand, to ask if anyone has ever told me my beard is beautiful. Once, a gentleman in a business suit, standing on a country lane, wondered if morality was more important than wisdom.
Is wisdom more important than morality?