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I’ve never liked small talk with strangers, not because I’m an introvert, but because as an Asian person there are always the same inane questions people insist on asking to start a conversation.From “you don’t look American so where are you really from? ” — I’ve heard it all to the point that none of these questions amuse or annoy me anymore, I’m too tired to even react to them because they simply bore me.“I’m actually dating an Asian boy, he’s Korean,”she said out of the blue.“I’m kind of known around here for having yellow fever.” Did she want praise? What kind of person starts off a conversation like that? I don’t get it; mixed babies are so much cuter,” she said looking slightly disgusted.Like other immigrant and minority ethnic communities, we deserve to be able to share our experiences without outsiders playing devil’s advocate.When these non-Asian romantic partners use the existence of their significant other or their mixed-race children to establish their authority in arguments and get away with making insensitive remarks, they are reducing their “loved ones” to mere bargaining chips.
It was a horribly rainy afternoon in Cardiff and I rushed into a taxi to avoid the wet Welsh weather. ” For the rest of the journey, we sat in awkward silence.But of course, the taxi driver was not alone in assuming this status.Two years ago, I was at a small house gathering in college when I decided to step out for some fresh air.After I told the driver my destination, we sat in silence for approximately 10 whole seconds before he asked the inevitable question, “so what kind of Oriental are you then? Lucky for both of us, it wasn’t rush hour quite yet.” Before I could say anything, he interrupted with, “I know it’s rude to ask these things, but you see, my wife is Chinese, so…” “So, what? What makes this conversation so unique was that this man was able to call himself out on his own ignorance but he seemed to view himself as an exception because of his relationship with an Asian woman.