I’m not sure if you guys have heard of a FB group called Subtle Asian Traits- basically its a group of English speaking Asians sharing Asian memes and the group has over 1 million members in it. They have little branch offs like Subtle Asian makeup/beauty squad and Subtle Asian mental health which I really enjoy, and the Subtle Asian mental health one always gets me thinking.
A core value of Asian culture is filial piety, or in non poncy language, listening to your parents/elders. Everything you do is to give back to, or to honour your parents’ wishes. Listening and following your parents’ wishes is what makes you a good child, because a) your parents are smarter than you and know the key to success, and they can brag about it to their friends about what a good child you are and b) doesn’t everyone deep down want to be a good child and not to disappoint their parents?
You grow up with your parents expecting you to listen to their every word, normally ending with the parents lashing out and punishments laid out if not. I always hated it, and I’ve never wanted to follow what my parents told me. Most of the time I do things that I know they will disapprove of, just to show them that I won’t listen to them. I see it as a form of control, and I am not going to be controlled by my parents. A lot of Kiwis will be like “don’t listen to your parents, do what you want”, and find it weird that Asians value the opinions of their parents and let them affect their lives so entirely- and here comes that clash. To be a weak willed Kiwi or a bad Asian child: I’ve always chosen the second.
After seeing some of the content in Subtle Asian Mental Health I realised that my parents can actually be quite chill compared to the stories I’ve read, and that they gave me the freedom to choose how I lead my life. They’ve never threatened to kick me out, or ground me for trivial things that I didn’t listen to them on, my mum has never threatened to die or throw a hissy fit, and they’ve never forced me into a field or career (all seem like extremely common in Asian culture)- and I am actually astounded at the amount of people that are doing degrees or jobs they hate or fail at just because their parents want them to. And I can’t believe that some Asian parents reallllyyy don’t let their kids make their own decisions, or think they know best in life. The arrogance, the control, the disregard for their kids happinesses- it really gets my blood boiling because I just don’t understand WHY they think they can act this way.
I don’t understand why so many Asians let their parents do so as well, even when they do have disposable incomes and don’t need rely on appeasing their parents for anything. If they took a step back and thought about what the repercussions were, maybe it’s worth it? Little rebellions will get your parents knowing that you don’t listen to them anyway. They won’t disown you since thats quite shameful to admit to their friends and the rest of their family lol. A lot of them seem to be scared of making them upset since so many Asian parents throw hissy fits over the smallest things (my mum might not be a fan of dramatics but my dad can chuck a tanty like a toddler over the pettiest shit its his brand), but my mentality has always been ‘fuck you, throw a tanty thats what you get for trying to control me lol’ . I have always been a bad child, because I’m very ready to make my parents feel like shit if they attempt to make me feel like it too, and they know I’m not afraid of them. I’ve had cousins tell me that I’m so independent, and what my parents might think about things I’ve done but to me I feel like I’m just being an adult. I want to make my own decisions. And I’ve never realised that I’m lucky to have parents that respect that and find it normal.
I don’t understand why Asian parents think they can control their kids lives. I don’t understand why they think they know best and force their kids to be doctors or engineers, or into science degrees. I know it’s very easy for me to say as a non parent, but wouldn’t you want your kids to do something they want to do? Let them actually develop a drive and passion for something, rather than wishing they were your puppet? Especially if they start failing their papers, struggle to find jobs or struggle to find meaning in their jobs- I don’t understand why they don’t think ‘maybe its time to try something else’ and ‘my child is old enough to make these decisions and I need to let go’. I don’t understand why independence, or empowerment, is seen as a bad thing. Don’t you want strong, mature, and independent adult children?? Isn’t that the real dream?? How the fuck are your kids supposed to be that when they are micro managed by their parents??? I full well know that most Asian parents think success and happiness is the same thing. They want their kids making as much money as they can because that equates to stability, to having nice things, to being able to buy a house, food and live comfortably. But is that worth the resentment your kids feel toward you for causing so much unhappiness in their life? Is it worth knowing that it’s not what your kids really wants to do, that they’re depressed or anxious, that they’re struggling or they will never reach their full potential or have the opportunity of being wildly successful at something because they’re extremely passionate about it, and it’s all because you’ve forced them to take a certain route in life? There is so much to enjoy, so many different opportunities and ways to make money. And I’m not going to have meltdowns to scare my children into listening to me- I promise to only do it if my kids break the law, become an addict or have become spoilt little shits knock on wood!!
I think it will be very interesting to see what these first generation Asian kids will be like as parents- on one hand, they will most likely not want to repeat the trauma they faced over explosive parents and hard studying regimes, but on the other unless they have fully healed and accepted their childhoods they face the risk of carrying on the trauma. It’s hard not to shout if thats what you were raised with, although I picture myself to be a mother like Madeline in Big Little Lies lolol.
I am back home from my 6 week Contiki trip and it was amazing! Loved the sights and sounds and the trip manager was so great, but I don’t think I could do another big group trip. I think I would do better with a smaller group, and definitely with friends or a partner. I think I really needed it – I needed that excitement, I needed to learn more and get that perspective in life. I found it very easy to distance myself from things like World Wars, Nazi Germany, current refugee situation, GFC ramifications and Brexit since I live in a place that literally could not be further from the action – all of those things were just subjects in school or on the news for an hour a day. It is so much more confronting and makes it so much more real for me when I’m seeing the university Hitler got rejected from in Austria and the balcony that he stood from when he declared Anchsluss. When you see how much war is in Europe’s history and has so many consequences, and has caused so much fear and death. I never could grasp how powerful ideology could be, until I was going through the House of Terror and realised that fascism and antisemitism are literally just ideas. Ideas that caused millions and millions of deaths just to defend that idea, that people are killed for not thinking the same, or being the target of one of those ideas.
It’s so crazy to me that when I visited the Hot Gates with a Spartan statue to comemmerate the 300 Spartans that fought there against the Ottoman Empire that.. Spartans were real. Before, Spartans to me were as real to me as Maui and his fishing boat and I thought the movie 300 was based on a myth. But it’s not. 300 Spartans, who were some of the fiercest warriors the world had ever seen fought there and were people like me. I just can’t really get over how all these historical figures and events became extremely humanised for me. Of course I have heaps of stories and things I found interesting on the trip.
Some little bites I’d like to share;
- My favourite country was Greece- sooo dreamlike. White sands, white houses, beautiful seas and sunsets. I’m currently reading a book called Mythos by Stephen Fry and the myths and legends from Greece are so beautiful and interesting to see how a lot of english words came from Greek god/goddess names. I went to Athens, Ios and Santorini in Greece and my favourite was definitely Ios. I would love to go Mykonos and Crete.
- I LOVED Paris! Before I had heard that Paris was dirty and lots of scammers but I didn’t think so at all. I loved the history, the vibe and the architecture of the city, every street is so beautiful and I love how passionate people are about politics. I also loooovee the way they respect their food and treat it so well, I appreciate it so much. I would really like to go back and visit Lyon, because it’s supposed to be a gastronomical destination and you can do gastronomy tours there and that sounds ammaaazzingg. I really like the French language too- I always thought it was tacky when people were obsessed with Paris and French and although I still do, I can see why there is a hype. French is so chic! My trip manager also told us that French people were like coconuts- hard exterior but once you get passed it they’re really soft and sweet on the inside and I love that analogy. I like those sort of people. Plus how good would a French boyfriend be. I was literally daydreaming about moving to France and immediately thought about how I could not speak French, but then at least I could get swiping on Tinder and Bumble and get a French boy and that’s what really matters- to be in range for booty call apps.
- My favourite food had to be from the Germany/Austria/Switzerland region because they really like pork belly and knuckles, sausages, beer and divine cheese. I had this really nice herbs cheese and ham cheese in Switzerland and I still think about it regularly. There were so many cheese stores who would give you free samples and I don’t think I can ever eat cheese that could top Switzerland cheese. I also really liked their roast pork belly and roast pork knuckles. The crackling- sooooo goooooddd. Switzerland was actually so beautiful, no wonder the rich and famous always decide to hide or send their kids to boarding school there.
- I don’t think I want to live in London. I know a lot of Kiwis and my friends have moved over there but I think I would seriously struggle with the high cost of living and the pressure. I believe I would be more excited to move to France, before England.
- Places in Europe I want to go to next: more time in Italy, Lyon in France, Mykonos and Crete, Croatia (the cities have their GoT name on their instagram geotag and it killlss me I want to go there so bad) and more of the UK!
I also got quite sick so my body definitely needed the rest.
I think it also has helped my direction in my life, and helped me think about what I want- I have some really clear goals now that I want to work towards, and I am actually really keen to get started on them. I know it will be different once I am in a routine again, and I’m so glad I’ve gone an adventure that I’ve always wanted to go on my entire life. it actually surprises me a little that I went to America before Europe, as i’ve wanted to go Rome, Italy specifically since I was in school.
Now I am back on the jobhunt again. I’ve managed to sort out a few life admin things since being back, like getting my full drivers license!!! And reporting for jury duty. I got summoned before I left and they knew I was coming back so they sent me another letter while I was away, and I have to go in and see if I get chosen at the end of this month!!
Hope you are all doing well- until the next thing that crushes my soul and I end up on my blog ranting about it lol
I am currently on a ferry from Athens to Ios as I’m on a great European adventure for 6 weeks and I’ve been travelling about 2 and a half weeks, so nearly halfway! We had a call time to breakfast of 5:25am, like literally crack of dawn.
As I’m sitting here watching the bright blue waters, the tan mountains and sun steaming down I can’t help but feel like the sun is mocking me.
I’m sick at the moment- I’ve got a massive cold and annoying cough, my wisdom teeth hurt, I got sunburnt badly on my shoulders, my iPhone is constantly freezing and shutting down that I bought a new one and I’m generally quiet because I’m not getting the amount of sleep I used to, plus when I talk I cough and my throat hurts either from the cold or the wisdom teeth, not really sure. I feel like everyone else is so excited- they see the sun and it energises them. They’re so excited to be on a yacht drinking in the scenes straight out of Mamma Mia while I see the sun and it makes me even more bitter.
It’s mocking me about how different my mod is compared to the rest of my group- they’re all so happy while I’m so subdued and making me feel so left out and different. It shines down letting me know that I should want it, that I should be so happy to see it, when I would be so happy to draw the curtains and bury myself in bed. It represents the personalities of the people I’m with- all so vibrant, funny and happy and here I am sitting in the corner in a hoodie and a jacket over my lap like fucking Bran the Broken because the air conditioning is right above my head and blowing cold air on me. Everyone at home told me that it would be easy for me to make friends on the contiki because of my personality. But I’ve realised that for me to be that happy and bubbly personality that my friends and family see it’s because I’m so comfortable. They’ve all had time for me to get to know them. I’ve never done well in networking and large house parties where I don’t know anyone- and this is like a large floating house party where everyone is circulating in the solar system and I’m just a moon in my own orbit.
I have made a few friends though, and I’m really grateful because I hate being alone and they’re really nice.
The sun has always made me feel like it’s mocking me.
When it streams down in a weekend, it sets the expectation that I probably should be doing something better with my life and that I’m wasting a weekend. That I should be at a beach and having fun instead of what I’m doing, which is normally shopping or watching Netflix. Even when I am doing what I suppose I should be doing in good weather, it mocks me with what I see.
The sun, the sea, flowers blooming, fruit ripening, brightness, warmth and therefore perfect weather for couples to come out. For the sun to remind me of what I don’t have- someone to love that I can share the good times with. The more fun I’m having, the better experience I’m living, the thought that it would be so much better to share it with someone or that it would’ve made such a good memory with someone always crosses my mind. I’m going to Santorini in a few days, and that’s a prime honeymoon spot. It would’ve been great if I could’ve experienced Santorini for the first time with someone. Being in love is like being in the sun- joyful, fun, life, happiness- and I haven’t been in love for years.
Honestly, I’ve knocked out a major point on my checklist already for the trip and I don’t think I’m going to be falling in love with anyone on the trip soon (and no one is exactly falling in love with me). I’m loving the sights and sounds of Europe, and I’m glad I did it. I didn’t come here to find a boy. I didn’t come here to “find” myself. Coming to Europe was something I knew I was going to do with my life. It was as sure as going to university, going on exchange to America and moving out. It wasn’t a matter of if, but a when. I’m so controlled in all the departments of my life except one.
I feel like this blogpost is very sad but I guess I am at the moment. Dark nights I can do. Nights are easy. Rainy days are fine; anything I do on a rainy day is automatically productive. Oh, but the sun- proud in its happiness, in its love and good times- I can never measure up. I don’t know how to obtain it, I don’t know how to achieve it, I don’t know how to embody it. I am noones sunny day when I can’t muster the strength to be my own. Oh shit, this is where that “if you can’t love yourself how are you going to love anyone else” comes in, but I feel like I do. Maybe I’m the clouds to a boy who’s like the sun so our day is bright but not glaring. Maybe I’m the grey to a boy who doesn’t like the heat and burn. Or maybe I just need someone to be the clear sky to give me the space to shine.
The sun is definitely mocking me, because it holds my day dreams of my life and who I want to be and rubs my face in it.
The sunnier the day, the harder it exposes my inner insecurities myself that I cannot unsee. And I’m currently feeling like I’m the only person in the person in the world who gets a sense of relief at sunset.
I finished my job two weeks ago now, and I’ve definitely been leading a life of leisure. No stresses, brunches and lunches, shopping… of course I wouldn’t be able to do this forever as the cashflow would run out, but if I could… I definitely would haha. I don’t think I’m getting bored? I leave for my European Contiki next week and it’ll be all go go go go- but I’m enjoying taking it slow so much I’m already mourning my lazy (every)days. I am just so content to mellow along. I was already so caught up on my sleep when I had a job, and now I’m over-rested haha.
What exactly have I been occupying my time with?
I was having brunch with my friends at Cornwall Park on a Monday, and we had a walk, looked at a few cows and then sat down in a green field and talked about life while the sun shone. And it was like yyyyass. This is what being productive while unemployed feels like haha. No worries, no projects I needed to be stressing about, my mailbox never getting any emails- it’s taken me a long time to adjust to not see my emails increasing.
I’ve been been brunching, lunching, dinnering and not buying chips for the last two weeks. I am so proud of myself although I have not noticed any results from my chip ban. I figure with the two months away with no access to the chips I like (my kryptonite are those orange powder chips that you buy for kids… rashuns..cheezels… ohhmmmyggaadd) that it will help me from getting back on my orange crack.
Also can you please congratulate me on figuring how to have it link to my foodie instagram? I take pics of food every time I go out to eat, so I thought I would make the habit useful and make a foodie account for me to look back at all the good times hehe
- Becoming obsessed with Spiderman
I don’t know how I became obsessed with Spiderman/Tom Holland but with all this time on my hands I’ve watched literally every interview on Youtube. I watched Spiderman Homecoming and he/Tom Holland was just so cute. I don’t even find him particularly hot, he’s just so cute. I just want him to make me cups of tea and call me darling and sweetheart when I’m sad in his British accent lolol.
Since I ran out of Tom Holland content to devour (I’m totally not interested in his work when he was a literal child), I have now started becoming obsessed with Robert Downey Jr who has yeeeeaaarrss of content. And yes, I watched Avengers: Endgame on the day it came out which was a Wednesday because I am unemployed and have the time to haha. Because I DO NOT have time for spoilers!!
- Annoying my flatcat
In my defense, I think she likes it. Since I’m at home the majority of the time when she would typically be alone, she seems surprised every time she sees me and each morning the greeting becomes more enthusiastic in my hover mum eyes. Previously, I would have to find her to say hi, and now she walks to me when she hears my door open. It’s just little rewards like these that make godparenting worth it lolol.
I literally only have like 48 more hours of this life of leisure left- it’s Tuesday night as I write this and I leave around midday Friday- aargh! I just googled where my hotel is and it’s very close to the British Museum, Tescos and a Boots so I’m definitely going exploring. I am very excited. On Saturday (UK time) I’ll be walking through Russell Square trying to get to the museum, and in London! I’ve never been to Europe before. This Contiki is probably going to be a very significant time in my life- in two days it will change from leisure to adventure (and alcohol)!!
It’s a week of gratitude for me- a lot of success, a lot of relief and just good going!
This Friday will be my last day at work- crazy!!! As I mentioned before, I’m resigning since I have booked myself a 6 week Contiki through Europe and Greece.
Also, I’ve had my personal essay “Bananas” go really well! I entered the Nextshark’s, a US website, personal essay competition where I came as the runner up and won $100 USD! I was very happy. Seeing the response on my article was also amazing! People saying they related, people that enjoyed the piece and also a few people scoffing about how stereotypical I was. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of kind words and people reaching out to share them with me!
Read it on Nextshark here: Bananas on Nextshark
Someone who had read it from NZ suggested that I send it into The Spinoff, and the editor got in touch with me to see if I was interested in publishing it there. So I edited it to make it more suitable to a Kiwi audience.
Read it on The Spinoff here: Bananas on The Spinoff
Before when I had told my friends and coworkers about it being on Nextshark, they were pretty happy for me since I had won prize money, but hadn’t heard of the website (sorry Nextshark). However, when it was published on The Spinoff which is a wellknown website in NZ, the excitement ramped up haha.
Some points I wanted to mention:
- I wrote this essay when I was 19 and for a Nonfiction Creative Writing class in the States. Every essay that the class worked on was pretty sobering; someone’s Dad had their brain surgically split due to seizures, someone had a nose job after being bullied in their life, someone else was bullied by someone I knew, to my horror. We would have to critique each others essays every class, and it prompted this email from my professor after noone had anything to say about mine (not a brag- the person who was the most vocal during critiques was me so when it was my turn to take it noone was dishing it out lol). I got an A for it so that was good!
Read the email here: My Favourite Email
I do wonder if the piece could be better if I had written it now.
- Guys, success is attractive. All, and I mean all, the people that I’ve had friend crushes on, have reached out to me and told they’ve liked it. People that I would’ve thought had forgotten me by now are making the effort to personally tell me that they enjoyed it!! It actually makes me giddy. Now I just need Tim Lambourne to slide into my DMs hahaha…
- So many people said that they relate! When I sent it to my brothers one of them got all reflective on me and I was like, hold on- our relationship so far has been debating whether Brooklyn 99 is worth the hype and me talking at him. Then he got contemplative on me! I am actually very surprised at the reception Bananas has received- if you read it, I felt very alone when I was younger. It’s strange to see that a lot of people I know, some that I thought wouldn’t, have shared the experiences and felt the same.
- The Spinoff had white Kiwis being very nice and kind on the comments. I had not really expected white Kiwis to have much of an opinion on the piece- I honestly thought that they would find it boring and they wouldn’t read it. So happy to see nice comments!!
- My Mum read it -___- I had linked it to my parents thinking that because it was too long, they wouldn’t read it. I just wanted to prove that it wasn’t a scam when I said I had won $100 USD. Cue the long wechats where she got uber defensive about the lifestyle I grew up in. I had actually panic read it after I realised she was reading it to see how Bananas could be construed through my parents eyes and was eeehh I went easy on them. I could’ve done a lot worse but my parental issues I can save for my debut novel haha! 😀
I am just feeling super happy and validated right now that my writing is good! I would like to think I have a talent for it, but I’ve been plugging away at this blog for years now, and I have gotten any recognition for it haha.
It’s just so nice for something that I made, that my literal life story, I have told it in a way that I can be proud of.
Well the name of this blogpost is quite self explanatory. But yes. I have quit my job(s) and am going on a 2 month Contiki throughout Europe and Greece!
It’s been a long time coming. I’ve always wanted to – I wanted to go to Rome in particular before the States. I don’t even know why I was so deadset on going to America in the first place when before I had little to no interest in it, but it felt right back then. I would learn about the Roman Empire and the Colosseum, read Dan Brown novels which always involved the Vatican and watch show after show about Italy. For someone that isn’t religious, I am fascinated by the Vatican, and the stories and the meaning behind every painting and sculptures. I love stories and symbols, even though I am not a fan of religion or their beliefs and the Vatican and Rome is soaked in it. As you can tell, I am the most excited to go there, but I will also be going to France, Turkey, Gallipolli, the Swiss Alps, Athens and the UK!
And it feels right now – before when my friends were doing their own OEs I felt like it wasn’t the right time, but now my gut is telling me yes, which is why I’m perfectly content to barrel right into it haha. I feel like I have enough saved up, I have enough experience that job hunting won’t be too harrowing (fingers crossed) and I feel independent enough. I don’t have any responsibilities like a mortgage or kids, and I feel like it’s now or when I’m 50. And I want the pics to be of me when I was young lol.
I am very relieved and excited, because I’m finally crossing off a huge goal on my bucket list. I feel like I am finally doing things that will make me happy instead of just talking about it. And I won’t need to do any work- yes yes yes!
I plan to come back to NZ in June when the Contiki is over but it’s just a plan. I am not looking forward to going back on the jobhunt and interviewing, but I figure that it’s too early to worry about when I have an amazing trip before then.
I am still giving my hardest at my jobs- I would feel so bad if things went to shit (not that I am irreplaceable) but I don’t like doing a shitty job anyway. I’ve always had my mind on my jobs so it feels a bit weird that in 2 weeks i won’t need to.
I’ve still got things to tie up- I need to buy travel insurance, international SIM and cash passport, and last night I had a horrible thought about being caught up in a terrorist attack overseas but there is nothing I can do if that happened but try my hardest to run away 🙁
And we are not ending this blog on a scared note! I am excited, I am relieved, I am so glad that I am doing this. This is something that I’ve always wanted, and it feels bizarre that the goals that I set for when I was “grown up” and for my life- I’m finally living them.
Some disgusting white supremacists went on a mosque shootout on Friday. I believe the death toll is at 51 and many people are injured.
This is the worst thing that’s happened in NZ, and I am so mad, and so sad that it was white supremacists against the Muslim community. I donated a little bit to the Canterbury Muslim Charity but I know that money can never replace the life lost and the horror witnessed. The whole event is so, so wrong. I hope we are taking the right steps on rebuilding and helping the Muslim community.
It has to be such massive levels of ego, entitlement and loss of common sense to be someone like that. To actually believe it, and inflict harm on innocent people. Absolutely disgusting. And I don’t want to give another thought to people that aren’t worth thinking about.
Apparently NZ will be banning semi automatic weapons, which is great. But what about the white supremacy thing? I’ve been reading articles about how the shooter wasn’t on any watchlists and had posted about it earlier on 4chan. I reported this group on FB that was a white supremacist group with 870 members. I feel like it is common knowledge that the South Island, and Christchurch, was racist.
It is always hateful ideology that perpetuates crimes like these. I feel let down, as someone who is not white, that people who hate people like me and / or other ethnic and religious groups aren’t high on the priority list.
I am mad that news outlets are starting to paint him as the ‘innocent boy brainwashed’, they interviewed his grandparents about how he was harmless and yet he’s in the public docks flashing white supremacy signs. That politicians like Fraser Anning and Trump have validated him and white supremacy is on the rise in the world because they can’t deal with the fact that they don’t deserve power because they were born white and through no achievement of their own.
I am so mad that the Muslim community have to go through something like this. Innocent people have been persecuted and had so much against them in the Western world for no reason. I hate that they feel vulnerable, that they’re in danger and that they cannot live in peace. I hate that they have had to suffer this tragedy and were targeted.
I had the worst dream last night where I was on a minibus in the countryside. The bus got taken over by white supremacists,and I was the only person on the bus who wasn’t white. I ran out, but they had made a bomb – I miraculously survive the blast but now have to run through fields full of the KKK. It was sort of like the world had been The Handsmaid Tale’d but instead of religious zealots, it was white supremacists- which is more likely now that numbers for religion are down but white supremacy is going up.
I woke up and I was so sad, because that was probably what the Muslim community are feeling like right now- that the world is full of hate against them for NO REASON. I really really hope that they have people around them who are making them feel safe.
And it also hit home that I would definitely also be on the hitlist of a race-motivated hate crime. That the shooters would also hate me, and if a car full of my friends and I got hijacked by a white supremacist I’d definitely be the target too for no reason but for the colour of my skin.
I have always been passionate about racism and how wrong it is. And of course I’ve had my fair share of racial slurs and encounters, but I’ve never feared for my life from it in NZ. And yet here we are, where people in NZ now have to. It’s so, so unfair, but because of who they were born, their culture and their religion. It could be the Muslim community yesterday, the Asian community tomorrow. And what have I done? What have innocent, normal Muslims done for governments around the world to not put white supremacy as a threat to public safety? David Duke, leader of the KKK ,is walking around America not being condemned by Trump living more safely and with more validation than an innocent person without the right paperwork. I’m not sure if parliaments and governments haven’t simply because they are typically white dominated and know that they aren’t the target and so it’s not a priority for them.
I’m sure everyone’s thoughts are still with the Christchurch Muslim community. It still feels wrong for me to think about anything else to be honest- this was a very significant event and that will has such deep pain that carrying on makes me feel insensitive.
My goal is to practise what I preach, and the next time someone says something racist to me or anyone else I need to step up and defend them or me. I’m not going to play a part in letting this shit slide, or being complicit.
Apparently a lot of people Google what to give an Asian family- I’m guessing when you need to meet your Asian partner’s family, or when it comes to Christmas and host gifts it can be hard to give something thoughtful and useful to a different culture.
I’ve witnessed this myself with people giving my parents things that they puzzle over: I’VE even done this by giving my parents a frozen turkey which I find hilarious that my parents are still puzzling over to cook (they asked me if they should make Chinese soup with it and I was like NO).
When you google this, it comes up with all these repeated, stereotypical ideas- no, giving an Asian a bag full of pears will not make them hate you- in fact if you gave Asian parents a bag full of Korean nashi pears I’m sure they’ll be over the moon. Giving an Asian partner a pair of shoes or a watch will not offend them- literally no one is going to be upset over a new pair of sneakers or DW watch they’ve got their eye on
So here’s my version of what to give that would impress Chinese and perhaps other Asian parents and families too. Note that this is not for the Kiwi Asians. This is a list for their parents.
What Not to Give:
- Chutney, pesto, gourmet dip and relish
Forget about a traditional Asian family, don’t even give ME chutney, pesto or relish simply because I/we don’t know how to use it. The only time I use pesto is when I make pesto pasta and I probably only make it once a year, and what exactly is chutney and relish used for? The only time I can think of is for cheese and crackers which I rarely eat.
More Asians are appreciating cheese, but a lot of them are also lactose intolerant or won’t eat nice cheese fast enough before it goes off.
- Marigold flowers and bouquets with a lot of greenery and ferns
Marigold flowers are used in Chinese funerals, and bouquets made up of leaves will have Asian parents thinking about how they could get some branches from outside and make the same thing. Flowers that are red, pink, purple or yellow would be better received.
Unless you know for certain that they want books, coffee table books and cookbooks will most likely be regifted.
Yuck! What not to give anyone, really.
Find out if your giftees drink, and you won’t miss the mark with a wine or a spirit with a label.
- Fruits, nuts and vegetables
My parents will appreciate a bag full of walnuts more than a bouquet of flowers! Asians love fresh ingredients. My brother’s friend gives my family smoked fish, which my parents positively GAG over. Also, the more exotic the fruit the better- mangoes > apples. Blueberries > grapes. Cherries will also go down very well.
Local, organic or expensive honey.
The height of sophistication
- Hawaiian Macadamias or Australian nougats
A must for anyone to bring back for their Asian friends or fam if they’ve recently visited Hawaii or Australia.
Hopefully this is more helpful than what I have seen through Google and next time you’re coming to visit my parents and you’ve got a tasteful pesto and chutney spread….unless you’re prepared to give my entire family and I a tutorial on how to use it, just keep it and buy a bag full of oranges please 😛
My flatmate has been on a long holiday this month, and my other flatmate works long hours and has a girlfriend to spend time with, which means I have been myself in a sort of empty house. I say sort of because I still have Booboo, my little goddaughter who makes sure that her presence is known all the time:
And guess what?
I love being by myself!
It’s so much fun!!
Having a crisis was a weekly thing when I lived with my parents- I constantly felt lonely, caged in and that everyone was living a better life than me.
Now that I am living out of home, I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. As sad as it sounds, I think my parents played a big part in my crises. They are stereotypical Asian parents- constantly asking where you are/how much you spent on this/you don’t need to go to that/how much money are you wasting/you don’t need to eat that/get some exercise. I thought I was immune to those comments since I’ve grown up with them, but I didn’t realise how much of an impact it made on my mood and how much I couldn’t stand their nitpicking. It makes me question how I actually put up with it, and why I didn’t move out sooner.
My parents also love to argue (or at least my father does) so that also contributed to the atmosphere at home.
Now that I am by myself, I feel carefree and in a calm, happiness bubble. I can do and eat what I want, when I want and being alone is great. I can walk around in various states of undress (my bedroom faces the road and path and we’re not giving out free shows) and take a shower with the bathroom door open. I can sing and talk to the cat loudly.
I always thought I couldn’t stand being by myself, and that I needed at least 1 person to keep me company. When 19 year old me first lived by myself in the States I was constantly going into loneliness spirals but 6 years later 25 year old me would be jumping for joy … is this because I’m now an adult? Have I grown as a person??
When I was 19 I went to the States on exchange. Because I was living in an American dorm and not the one where the rest of the international students stayed, I was on my own for a week before the domestic students moved in. I spent a lot of time crying and feeling sorry for myself.
I could attribute this to culture shock and unfamilar place, but even when I became familiar with the campus and town, I still stayed in my room feeling sorry for myself when my friends visited their parents during the weekends. I couldn’t imagine doing things by myself- I didn’t even have the thought of going to the lake and icecream shop, or go grocery shopping without someone else with me. I wish I did because I was eternally struggling with buying too much when I did go and having to carry all these heavy shopping bags on the bus when I could’ve been going more often and not needing to carry as much.
If I ended up in the same situation now, it would be so different. I would explore the town and lake, sit in the on campus Starbucks or chill in the many green areas of Oswego instead of wallowing in bed licking Cheeto dust off my fingers. All that wasted time! But I guess it’s taken me 6 years to build up this confidence. However my terrible sense of direction didn’t help my 19 year old self- I didn’t know how to walk back from the main hall to my dorm room for the first week (thank you Nanami for also choosing to stay in an American dorm and steering me the right way!! Love you and miss you 🙁 ) and even though I spent 5 months there and my friend drove us to Walmart probably fortnightly, I still didn’t know the route (miss you love you Nikita!!).
I am fine being on my own. I like being on my own! I actually enjoy being in my company! Does this mean I’ve started to love myself? Is this why I’m in better moods lately?
For once in my life I’m not having a quarterlife crisis. I’m having a quarter life epiphany! I never thought that moving out would actually be a form of self care.
It’s 2019! And one of my goals is to improve the quality of my posts. I see that the others I read are so well written, and I honestly believe I can do better than what I’ve been pushing out the last few years. One of the big telltale signs for me was that I was never proud to tell people that I had a blog (granted, it’s lost me a lot of things), just because I knew that the content here wasn’t great. No more to do lists. No more repeating myself. Let’s get this bread.
Speaking of bread, it’s a nice segway into what I really want to talk about: FOOD.
There is nothing that makes me feel as much as food.
People around me definitely notice- when my parents want me to visit them, they tell me what they’re going to cook for dinner. My brothers tell me when they’re planning on eating out since they know I won’t be able to resist going in on takeaways. My friends have given me chips on my birthday, and that hanging out with me will involve FOOD- but I don’t think most people, including myself, realise the extent that I think about food.
One of my favourite every day places and tasks is grocery shopping and the supermarket. I’m so obsessed that I watch hours of grocery hauls on youtube- basically it’s when Americans show how what they got from the grocery store. I like ones where they’ve normally spent hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars and they’ve got 11 children – there is something in my soul that loves seeing someone buy 5 milks, 12 breads and 25 jars of applesauce. I am in walking distance of Lims, an Asian supermarket, and I go about once a week- it makes me even happier to be surrounded by Asian food and produce that’s cheaper than chain supermarkets.
And of course, the actual eating part is also very important. Overordering has become a routine, overindulging is why I struggle with diets and always finding new places and food I want to try. And I don’t just like eating- I like other people eating too. Back in high school I had this weird thing of watching people eat, and now I get to do it privately with the rise of mukbangs on the internet like a real pervert. It makes me feel fulfilled for some reason. Seeing others eating something they like and getting happy like I would be if I was in their situation makes me feel better too.
So I get it. Food makes me happy. I’ve grown up with food as a celebration, something to look forward to and something to value. When I’m sad I comfort eat because I deserve a treat. When I’m happy its a reward. When I’m bored it’s a distraction. I have a list on my phone to plan for my meals that I keep more updated than anything in my life? Why??
Because I Need Control
Apparently reports show that many millenials feel helpless, hopeless, passive, bored, scared, isolated and dehumanised, resulting in a loss of independence and community connection.
Because millennials feel like they can’t control a lot in their lives, and if they can its not simple at the slightest, we cope by making systems for ourselves and its common to do it for food. According to this article from mind body green this is why everyone is a variation of gluten free/carb free/ doesn’t eat dairy / oat milk only/ no refined sugar/ because its the easiest thing we can 100% control and feel secure in it too. I can research for meals and restaurants I can find them in, buy the food i want to eat, when and how I want to eat it.
Since I seem to have an existential crisis every week, I can relate to this. I can’t control how my career is going and who is going to give me my next job or step up. I can’t control when I’m next going to have a boyfriend to my absolute anger and disdain. I can’t control my friends supporting me, the way my parents treat me, I could not control when I got my driving license, or the housing market to go down so I can buy a house (sidenote: I cannot find a house under the price cap in Auckland that fits into the Welcome Home Loan scheme for first time buyers… isn’t that total bullshit?!?!?). Maybe this is feeding (bu dum tss) into my food obsession, and why I keep a little meal plan going on because the thought of not knowing what I’m going to eat makes me a little anxious and why my pantry and drawer at work is STOCKED. I can’t really control anything in my life, but I can eat whenever I want.
Food does offer me a sense of knowledge and control that I didn’t even know I was lacking so severely in my life (cue another existential crisis over how I cannot trust anything…)
Food is not an antidote to my millenial life, as said in The Atlantic. It’s a pacifier. It’s lulling me into a false sense of control and makes me feel slightly better, but it’s not actually fulfilling anything deeper than my stomach.
Because I need attention
The Atlantic also bought up a really good point- maybe I LOVE food because it’s a different way for me to get attention.
This part in particular: “I feel like one reason that young people, or really, people, obsess over food is that it lets people have social currency. It’s a way of showing off. And there’s a weird dimension: You are demonstrating that you have the luxury to be very, very deliberate about something that a lot of people really struggle to have.”
Fuck. What if I like food…Because I like showing it off? Here’s my food instagram by the way just to prove the point even more.
But when I ask myself why I am posting these pics, I don’t know if my answer would be so narcissistic. I just like pretty pictures of food, I take all these pictures of food and they’re all sort of wasted sitting on my phone with noone to look at and like a good millennial I wanted to make my hobby more valuable.. but I guess I want the attention or else I wouldn’t be hashtagging like a maniac… :/
But I don’t want to rub it into people’s faces. I typically go to cheap places anyway, and I don’t even get that much attention from it. My main reason was that I enjoy food pics and content but I didnt want to bombard my friends with pics of my dinner since it’s one of the examples people use when they want to explain the vapidness of social media (… if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard people moan about how “they don’t want to see what they had for dinner” on their newsfeed… i would able to buy a dinner from Momo Tea) and thought that I could create that content too.
Because I’m bored
I can feel, taste, smell, learn about and hold food. Not many things in life can excite so many senses, or at least in my life anyway. I don’t have another hobby that gets me pumping from adrenaline or dopamine or holds my interest as much. Although i do find it a little bit worrying that I obsess about food so much, I honestly think it’s because I’m bored and food is the most stimulating thing I enjoy. I’m going to drop a sizzling pun: food puts the flavour in my daily routine. It’s a mundane task that I can look forward to throughout the day and I have total control in making it exciting or not.
So I might be powerless. I might be attention seeking, lonely and have nothing to do.
But at least I’m not hungry..!