T-6: Tuesday - Insert Witty Title Here - CycleBlaze

May 9, 2023

T-6: Tuesday

Anime Me, Gift from a Fan
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My thoughts on parasocial relationships are complex. 

Back in 2015, on the Singapore/Malaysia Tour, my awesome host in the KL area pretty much only took me in because he knew of me and wanted to meet me. The only reason this wasn't weird as fuck¹ was that the same thing had already happened with all the potential couchsurfing hosts I'd talked to in Singapore².

Prior to that, although my reputation had preceded me, I don't think I'd ever really had "fans", or at least if I had, I hadn't been aware of them.

Douyin has expanded my reach in ways that were unimaginable in the niche-interest days of bulletin boards and websites (like this one³) dedicated solely to a specific hobby. And while some of my followers are perfectly fine, perfectly normal people who just want to say: "Hey, I love your content," others of them seem to expect that I should know them the way they know me⁴.

People like the lady who treated me to dim-sum last year in Guangdong are just astonished that I don't specifically remember the comment they left on a video almost two years earlier.

I don't want to get to the point where I need to have someone screen my messages to decide if I should agree to a fan's request to meet up. But, I also don't want awkward "first date" conversations with someone who is all about meeting the Wonderful, Fabulous, and Amazing ME, and who doesn't actually have anything to talk about with me until I awkwardly claim a need to go back to work.

Almost certainly the base image for the drawing above
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I'm working out of A to Z again today. Their tables are a better height for typing than the tables at 570.

Unless earning the money that allows me to Tour counts as "specific Tour prep," the only specific Tour prep I get up to today is liaising with one of my China Daily contacts who is actively helping me with talking to some provincial-level tourism administrations about my being specifically invited to do content production at places in the general vicinity of my Route. I also find out more about my flying to Hebei barely two weeks after I start so that I can experience the cabins on a first-class bullet train and visit a train manufactory, but that's more of an interruption of the Tour rather than the Tour itself.

I know it has been a bit of a running theme ever since 2020, but have I mentioned enough by now just how incredibly weird it is being even moderately famous?

A familiar looking Jewfro ....and, if you squint, the fashionable handbag previously mentioned in the context of gifts from Boyfriend
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¹ It was weird. It just wasn't weird as fuck. 

² The information imbalance with my British host in Singapore already knowing all sorts of random shit about me and my knowing very, very little about him was a nice preparation for KL.

³ Or that other one.

⁴ I'm beginning to understand why the married Kazakh lady I know with 3 million followers is a single Russian woman online.

Today's ride: 11 km (7 miles)
Total: 44 km (27 miles)

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Bill ShaneyfeltHad to chuckle "incredibly weird it is being even moderately famous?"

Although you are exponentially more "famous" than I am (for my doing bike tour nature IDs)... Yesterday a comment (on "the other" bike touring site) in one was "Bill! As in THE BILL who “fits” the bird and plant identifications?"

Yup, weird!
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1 year ago
Marian RosenbergTo Bill ShaneyfeltNow imagine being recognized by random people on the street.... every week
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1 year ago