To play Xiangqi (Chinese chess) as earnestly as I have been lately [see http://harveyblume.wordpress.com, and http://blog.theartsfuse.com/2008/08/13/short-fuse-the-art-of-chess-in-chinatown/] is to revisit a familiar situation, one in which I am at the gateway of another culture, hungry for the experience, but positioned as a junior. That was the case with African drumming and with neurological difference, for example, especially Asperger's Syndrome. I studied and wrote about both (a book pertaining to the former, many pieces about the latter) but could never be full-fledged.
Is it absurd to stake out such positions? Is it a sign of open-mindedness, or of failure and flight from one's own cultural possibilities?
(But wait, I forgot! This peculiar sort of intervention, of sympathetic nosiness, has another name -- anthropology!)