Sunday, May 11, 2014

I Am Not Chinese: 10 Reasons Why

Yes, it's true, it's official. I renounce my race. I am not Chinese. Never was, never will be.

For years, I thought I was Chinese. And I tried to be Chinese. God knows, I tried. But I cannot live this lie anymore. A thousand of apologies, I bid to the Monkey God, Lord Buddha, Emperor Shih Huang Ti, Confucius, Sun Tzu, Genghis Khan, Ip Man, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, Chairman Mao, Bruce Lee... and all the other celestial deities in the Arena of Stars. I'm sorry. I am not worthy enough to bask in the Jade Garden of Eternal Spring.

I'm just not Chinese enough. The evidence is conclusive and incontrovertible.

Confucius say: "Small eye, good. Big eye, alien."

1. I'm Not A Family Person

Family values are high on Oriental culture, due to Confucianism. Respect your elders - speak softly and use the appropriate title for each branch of the genealogical tree. Come back for family reunions, or risk being disowned. Family first, everything else second. It's okay for a powerful parent to plant their son and daughters into political or corporate positions that are completely beyond their depth. 

But I don't buy into this whole family package - blind loyalty, blood-is-thicker-than-water and nepotism. Call me ungrateful, if you will. No one gets a free pass into my good books by default. All is equal, before these squinty eyes of mine. Hell, I don't even like traditional Chinese weddings.

2. I Eat To Live, Not Live To Eat

I do have a list of favourite food. But I'm not the sort that travels a thousand miles just to satisfy my cravings. Neither am I the sort who posts a gazillion of #foodporn pictures on Instagram. I'm not a super big fan of dim sum. I can live without pork, for months. Unlike the typical Chinese, I'm not a crazy foodie.

3. I Don't Speak Mandarin (And Little Of Any Other Chinese Dialect)

Yo, 'sup homie? I ain't no speak no Chinky-Chonk kung-pow chicken shit, aite? Say wut? Imma wut? Banana? Dirty yellow on outside and white on inside... Dafuq? Bloody racist innit, callin' me bananas? Shut ye trap, 'fore I rip ye bloody head off, cunt bag!

'Sup, bitches?

4. I'm Not Superstitious

Yes, I just typed the number '4'. Not '3A', but '4'. Yes, four. Or in Chinese - sei (which also means "die" or "death"). I ain't afraid of the number, even if it appears on the elevator or my number plate. 4, 4, 4, 4... Sei, sei, sei, sei...

I don't bother wearing red on Chinese New Year. Nor do I care much where my bed frame is positioned in relation to the door. I like keeping a goatee. I'd think twice dabbing dog's tears onto my own eyes - for hygiene reasons, not so much because it might let me see dead people. I don't believe in superstition - if only life was that simple (it's not).

5. I'm A Straight-Talker

I say what I mean, I mean what I say. No pussy-footing, no sugar-coating. If your opinion sucks, I'll say it sucks. If your dress is hideous, I'll say it's hideous. I sound the same, whether in a work discussion or in a casual conservation. If I come across as disrespectful or insensitive, sexist or racist, controversial or crazy, so be it. As Kurt Cobain once said: I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

6. I Have A Wry And Dry Sense Of Humour

The times when I'm not straight-talking, I be joking, trolling, insulting and provoking. No area is taboo for me - not even religion, culture, sex or death. No person is above ridicule - not even God, family, friends or myself. If my sense of humour offend you - that's too bad, deal with it, chill the shit out. As an infamous clown once said: Why so serious?

7. Money Got Enough

I'm a moderationist (or minimalist). Like some kind of Zen-Buddhist monk who sits atop a mountain dispensing cryptic, sagely advice. That sounds Chinese alright, but these monks are the minority. Most Chinese are the sort of obnoxious tourist you meet in Paris or Tokyo - loud, uncouth, hands filled with shopping bags.

I have a wallet, bank account and credit card, of course. I'm happy living a simple, frugal life, though. If I were truly into money, I would be dedicating my free time selling gold bars, insurance or something, instead of writing all these sagely articles which doesn't earn me a cent.

Keep calm and Zen on the beach

8. I Don't Like To Gamble  

There's a gambling streak in all Chinese. Buying lottery, playing mahjong, betting horses, touring casinos. It's the adrenaline rush. It's the no-risk-no-gain mentality. It's the YOLO genes breaking out.

I don't gamble. I take calculated risksI enjoy playing cards, but only games like poker, chor tai ti and bridge, where there are skill and mind-gaming involved. I organise betting pools in office and among friends, which feels more like stock investment rather than rolling the dice (my money was on France for World Cup 2006, Netherlands for World Cup 2010 and Italy for Euro 2012 - how's that for consistency?). I hate casinos, as I don't see any purpose and fun playing against stacked odds.

9. I Like Being In The Nude

At home, mostly. I would be topless more on the streets, if it wasn't illegal. Not that I like flaunting my body (which I don't have much, anyway), but because it's so bloody hot and humid in the tropics. Most Chinese are self-conscious about nudity, guys especially (unless they're posting their workout #selfie on Instagram). But I'm not. I suppose it disturbs my family, friends and house-mates, when I walk around in my briefs or boxers. Well, they can do the same, I don't mind. Please knock before entering my bedroom - I'm fond of sleeping buck naked.

10. I Like Non-Chinese Chicks Too

When I recently whined about why there's hardly any Chinese guys dating white chicks, one of the more sensible, insightful explanations given - amidst the flood of condemnation of me being racist (not that I give a shit - see point 5 above) - was this: Chinese dudes generally don't fancy white chicks, because their perception of the perfect lady is the typical slim, fair, quiet, submissive Chinese maiden.

I don't deny being attracted to such types, but I also equally adore females who are toned, tanned, opinionated and assertive. Jessica Alba (that bitch face!), Tyra Banks (that poise!), Anna Kendrick (that spunk!) , Emily Blunt (that accent!)... I could go on forever. So yeah, my taste in chicks is pretty diverse.

I love #selfiequeens

So What Am I?

Hence, for the aforementioned reasons, I hereby solemnly and verily renounce my Chinese ancestry.

What race do I adopt then? None. I don't have a race. I'm a world citizen.

Anyone can renounce their race, too. Don't be afraid, don't be shy. You may feel like it's walking into a new, exclusive club. But you're not. You're simply walking out of one, and into a world of infinite possibilities.

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