Random Solitary Thoughts

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On being(of) Chinese(descent)

The other day I was at a clinic awaiting my turn to see the doctor. This clinic, is immensely popular, and the waiting time ranges from an hour to two or three hours. The doc is a physio and does a good job with sprained ankles and whatnots.

Anyway, on this particular day not too long ago, I was waiting when a small group of malaysian born chinese came in. This one guy sat next to me and asked me (in mandarin) "what was the current number in line?". Not that I could understand him, but he seems to be anxious to find out, judging by his body language.

So I calmly informed him (in English) that I don't speak mandarin. His reaction was the standard classic one which I have seen way too many times in my lifetime thus far.

"You ar... not chinese ar?" To which I replied, "Erm... I am, but I don't speak mandarin" And the classic reply? "Oooo...", followed by an expression of OHMIGAWDICANTBELIEVETHISISTHEFIRSTTIMEIVESEENACHINESE-WHODOESNTSPEAKCHINESEOHMIGAWDTHISISSUCHADISCOVERY-IMUSTTELLSOMEONEABOUTITNOW!!!!(but preferbly behind his back... hehe, in true chinese style)

Now where in the bejabbers does it state that if you happen to be chinese, you HAVE to speak the language?

The next time this happens, I shall calmly and collectively state that "No, I am not chinese. I am Malaysian." And proud of it. Period.


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