Thursday 11 April 2019

On being Asian

X: Ha ha ha, how typical!!!
Me: What?
X: That you are eating Vietnamese spring rolls!
Me: I happen to eat that once in a while...
X: I love spring rolls! They're so delicious! I have to have them once a week!
Me: How typical...

French Lady: Oh you remind me of that actor I saw in that film!
Me: Which film? 
French Lady: The last Emperor!
Me: (I suppose it wasn't Peter O'Toole...)

French Lady: Oh I thought of you the other day, I saw that film and you really look like the actor in it!
Me: Which film? The Last Emperor?
French Lady: No! In the Mood for Love!

X: Do you do martial arts?
Me: No, unfortunately. Why?
X: Jet Li is soooo cool in Romeo must Die!
You should learn kung fu so you can be the next Jet li!!!
Me: Indeed that's my greatest wish...

X: How's life in Japan?
Me: erm... I live in Taiwan...
X: I thought you were in Japan...?
Me: I had a few projects and love it there... but I live in Taipei.
X: Yes that's what I mean! So how's Japan? 
Me: 素晴らしいです
X: ???
Me: That was Japanese. It means really great.
X: Oh? I thought you spoke Chinese...

X: Where are you from?
Me: Have a guess...
X: Japan!
Me: No...
X: China!
Me: No... try again
X: Thailand!
Me: No...
X: Korea...?
Me: No... I'm from Vietnam
X: Oh yeah of course! I knew it!!!

Girl: Where will you go next?
Me: Japan. I will go to Tokyo in two months, then Niigata.
Girl: Oh nice! I will be close! I will go to India!!!
Me: erm... that's just a few thousands of km away...
Girl: But it's in Asia, isnt it?

J.: Hello!
Me: Hello!
J.: So we are supposed to talk to each other...
Me: Yes, I know... You were in Vietnam a few months ago... and I'm Vietnamese...
J.: My mother told me to come tonight because she had met you the other day and she thought I had to see you because I had a trip in Vietnam last spring...
Me: So we have to say something huh? ... I don't know what to say...
J.: Me neither!!! 
(we both laugh)

MC: ... And let me introduce you to our wonderful pianist tonight, mister Ang Toon Ta... I hope I said it well!!!

(first day in primary school)
Teacher: Sellier? 
Sellier: I'm here
Teacher: Tavernier?
Tavernier: I'm here
Teacher: Thoretton?
Thoretton: I'm here
(long silence)
Teacher: ... T... Toôô... Tôôôô Taaah?
(all the faces turn to me)
Me: I'm here... (I wish I weren't...)

X: You really look like...
Me: ... that Asian actor in 'The Lover'. 
X: Yes! Did other people tell you so as well?
Me: Those who saw the film yesterday on tv.

Wednesday 10 April 2019


Beyond the physical distance, the questions, with all the hope, prayers and uncertainties that are inevitable during such times, I'm glad I could have been of some moral support, to make make the day-by-day process a little less painful these last four months of your life. But the big Cancer Monster defeated you before you could return home... And I'm heartbroken. 

Goodbye, farewell, wherever you are, my dear.

What a week.