Just yesterday. I was chided about the way I handled a sensitive case with one of the customers of our café. The conclusion was “Serene doesn’t know how to handle things in the ‘Chinese way’”.
This has been a recurring chorus in my life… I am not Chinese enough.
When friends laugh and poke fun at my inability to speak Chinese… I can only laugh along and agree what a terrible person I am, not being able to speak a word of my so called native language. Their eyes demand an explanation. I am obligated to justify myself… to offer an explanation for my condition. It must be some kind of sickness it seems.
When coffee shop aunties and taxi drivers speak to me to take my order or ask my destination, I can only try to follow as best as I can with my smattering of Chinese… and try my best to make myself understood with the few words and sentences I know in Chinese. I am already familiar w…