The China Narratives Part 3: Stranger In A Strange Land

I’m not sure people know what to make of me here in China, the land of the people that are on average about a head shorter than I (or if it’s a male, about my height –a staggering 5’6” and a half feet tall of which 80% is mostly comprised of legs). Coupled with my 50 shades of brown to blonde hair and dark beach girl tan, I stick out like a sore thumb of dubious nationality.

Walking through the busy bustle of the various shopping centers and food courts, the shopkeepers quickly give me a once over and start firing away at me in a variety of languages. From one shop to the next, the caterwauling could be that of Cantonese, Mandarin, broken English and other languages that are indistinguishable. And invariably, if I even ask for a price on something, it’s at least triple if not more than the price quoted to my mom.

We’ve been asked over and over where we are from especially after we smoothly break out in Mandarin laced with English in the same sentence. Most people think I am a mutt, a mix of Chinese and the genes of a milkman, I suppose. My mom just laughs and jokingly says I’m a bastard child from her first boyfriend. I assure you in case you’re wondering, I am the legitimate child of my fully Asian parents. Most people guess that I am from Malaysia. (I googled it and aside from the dark skin, I don’t know…)

Added with the fact that I wear makeup on a daily basis for no reason at all, I’m just a mysterious foreign being in a strange land.


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