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The 'R' Word

Being Chinese in this part of the world does have its challenges. I'm not saying everyone is racist in this country but there are those situations where you would go 'wait a minute, why did I just accepted that slightly offensive remark? I would not tolerate it back home so why should I do it here?'

For instance, a lot of people have no idea where, or even, what Singapore is. It's one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, relative to its size and so many still think it's in China. Why? Because most Asian people are Chinese? Ignorance. It's like that dumb blonde on 'are you smarter than a fifth grader' who has no idea if Hungary is a feeling you get in your stomach or if it's bigger than Europe.

It became a norm for people to categorize different Asians too. When I first went into Tescos here, I saw an Asian section and an oriental section. You might be thinking 'one refers to the brown people and the rest falls under the other' but really, are you saying India is not in Asia? Why am I under oriental and not Asian?

I was on Brick Lane the other day and saw this new Asian food shop and it has never got me more frustrated. The sign says 'Chinese Sushi'. Now if you don't know our history, just think of it as the French and the British back then when you guys really hated each other and that's what you get between the two different races. Have you heard of escargot and chips? Sushi is not freaking Chinese, you morons!

England is still rather gentle on the racism thing. I rarely have to remind myself I'm Chinese here because I seem to just blend in like everyone else. In America, you are constantly reminded of your colour. It's awful, really. I was in Hollywood and if you observe carefully, all the Asian food shops have that bamboo-looking font on their signs. We don't eat bamboo three meals a day and my first ever fortune cookie was when a classmate brought into class at the start of the year. Is that really a thing? Not in my culture, it's not.

Back to those little remarks I secretly have an issue with, A while back, someone looked at my tattoo asked how many Asian guys get tattoos. I thought 'the same percentage of white guys?' Then I thought about it - what do you mean? Asians can't get tattoos? Just because you don't see a lot of us have tattoos it means we don't practise what I call 'white rituals'? Have you seen the Yakuza? They have ink all over and you don't want to mess with those. Another time, when I walked past this black dude, he was asking if Bruce lee was my uncle. I just went along and said, yeah, he is, you gotta be careful or I'm gonna kick your ass up, down, left, right, inside and out if you aren't. Then I asked him, hey, is your dad the boss of America? I cheered for myself on the inside as I left the crime scene. Asian 1, black 0.