The Asian Curse

It’s impossible to look cool when you’re part of a tour group.

Especially if you’re Asian and you’re visiting an unfamiliar place with your Asian family (and that one awkward American addition).

You look on with disgust at how your uncle-who’s-not-really-your-uncle-but-connected-in-some-way-only-now-you-call-him-with-some-honorific-title is dressed in the typical Asian outfit — polo shirt tucked into jeans with a belt holding back his gut belly –spits as he lectures the whole group like a tour guide. For extra Asianness, he also wears a pair of eighties glasses.

You try not to roll your eyes when your Aunt brags about her daughter who’s going to Harvard University, because you know it’d be disrespectful and you might get a chopstick lashing from your mom later for your disrespect. Instead you put on an interested face and ask what kind of study techniques your cousin uses. You don’t even ask what kind of major your cousin’s going for; it’s obvious she’s going to add to the family of doctors.

You feel utter sympathy for the American guy who just had to fall in love with a really nice Asian woman, but an Asian woman came with a lot of packages — and that included her family, who, although they don’t say it aloud, mourn the fact that she didn’t marry an Asian. The family likes the American well enough though. But it’s clear that the American gets confused sometimes, but you give him props because he’s still part of the family.

You look on, amused, when one of your family members goes up to a stranger to ask him to take a photo of the family. That amusement quickly turns to annoyance when you hear the stranger ask your relative to repeat himself. Honestly, his accent is not that bad. So, you go up to the stranger — suppressing the urge to smack him when seeing relief on his face — and ask the question again. He nods eagerly then.

You trudge back to your twenty-something Asian family members (and White person), dragging your feet and praying to Buddha that they don’t do that stupid Asian sign. The stranger counts loudly and slowly, and you open your mouth to curse at him — when the flash goes on.

You then realize later on, after checking the camera for the picture, that about half of your family’s eyes are closed.

Curse the Asian features.

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Dates of blog posts

December 2011
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