Strange and Unexpected Impressions While Traveling Abroad


#323

No, most didn’t once she explained I was from taiwan mixed Korean and they understood and was even pleasantly surprised to meet me as they have never encountered people from east Asia. They def did not refer to me as the Chinese guy and I know enough Italian to know if they did. They were pretty respectful, although some did not like non Italian guys being with Italian women. It wasn’t just with an Asian thing. Most people really loved me and apparently I made a name for myself in the town where my girlfriend is from. It’s a small community and it was like everywhere I went they already heard about me and was feeding me so much food when I walked in. I made many friends who were very interested in us living in Taiwan and was happy to show me all the good things of Italy.

It’s about you @Mr.Lin. Although I do share some of your sentiment that Asian men can often be discriminated against without much thought. I made a point to be a interesting and outgoing person that people can enjoy being around. If someone really is going to notnlike me because I’m Asian. That’s on them. I mean are you interacting with people around you? I love going to local places and chatting them up. One shop even put up a 100nt bill in the front as their first Taiwanese customer. I really enjoyed my time there and meeting the people.

I know they are ignorant people out there. But what are you going to do? Go and change all their minds? I said it before and I said it again. You can’t control what other people think or do. But you have full control of how you think and act. So enjoy life, stop looking at all the negatives. I’m all of pushing equality and bringing social issues into light. But to have it affect your life in this way is not healthy.


#324

China is a cradle of civilization going back thousands of years, spanning many states, one of probably two sources of all living writing systems. where rice comes from, paper, chopsticks, examinations, blah blah blah

You can’t really equate “Chinese” with a guy taking a shit in the middle of the road. And you can’t really equate it with a single state either. It is objectively more significant than either of those.


#325

Well it’s the only country I’ve ever seen people do that and everyone be cool with it.

But yes, I’m perfectly aware of thousands of years of Chinese history with different dynasties, ethnic groups, etc. I’m joking with the guy. But we’re clearly using the Chinese to describe current Chinese mainlanders in the context.


#326

The mainland! Right that is like a totally different place to the China that I was talking about! Sorry, carry on…


#327

Mr. Lin I don’t know you personally, but I can see that even though we joke, not sure you’re picking up on that. You do feel slighted and even hurt by things.

As an Asian man myself, I do understand on some level of what you are saying. I’ve witness racism, been a victim of it myself more than once. I’ve had girls tell me they could not date me because I was asian, i’ve had kids in school call me chinky eyes and had to stand up for myself and fight back and lost many of those fights bloody and bruised. I’ve seen how the media can portray us as unmasculine nerds. I get that, i truly do.

I have stood up for myself and for what I viewed as wrong. And will continue to do so. No one should feel like they are less than or treated unfairly. I’m not asking you to accept that racism is ok, or anything of the sort. That’s not what i’m asking you to do.I’m hoping you can listen and learn to live a life that can make you happy, because it seems you are not.

Here is what I want you to see, yes there are negative stereotypes you might not like. Yes, there are ignorant, racist, bigoted and even hateful people. But having those people affect your life to a point that seems so joyless is no way to live. You have no control of other people, you have full control of your life. You can still speak out on injustices of the world without seeing all the negatives all around. If you only look for the negatives, you will find only the negatives, even when theres none.

The world is a wonderful place, people are mostly genuinely good. They may or may not have misconceptions of you based on your race, it’s entirely possible. But you have the opportunity to show them that you are your own person. If they choose to not accept that, move on.

I think you can find many people come to Taiwan experience negative stereotypes themselves. And i’m sure they think many Taiwanese don’t like them here, I myself am happy more and more people choose to come to make a life here. And many of them are probably just as accepting of people. Don’t let the small percentage of people ruin your whole view of the world.


#328

I think more than 50% of taiwanese speak to westerners in English not because English is the Lingua franca, but because of the assumption that they are American.

People in western countries greet you in Chinese, because they may think Chinese is the Asian lingua franca, or it may be the only Asian language they know.

I think it’s a little better than that they think everyone speaks English. Isn’t Chinese taught at public school in UK?


#329

I think the video you posted is interesting and informative.


#330

Moreover, I don’t agree with you and many other Taiwanese’s behavior of falsely claiming to be Mainlanders when you do something stupid or unacceptable abroad.
They have their own problem, and I’m not defending them.
But what you did was framing. You produced false evidence against the Mainlanders to make them looked even worse.

It’s really silly of you to think Westerners can tell the difference whether you’re from the Mainland, or from Taiwan, or are American/Canadian, whatever the case it is.
Yeah, sure, some of them who have more contact and exposure to East Asians may tell the difference, but how much percentage is that?
Most Westerners can’t tell.
So, what you say about the Mainlanders will all come back to you.


#331

And I rest my case:

Haven’t you realized the double standard yet?
Westerners can get offended when you mistake Spain for Italy, Ireland for the U.K., Canada for the U.S., etc, but you Asians are Chinese. Japanese, Koreans, etc, whatever, you’re all Chinese

His words. His point.


#332

Do you mean that you have also noticed the double standard that I had pointed out?


#333

Go to India…They are king of the shits.


#334

Just an FYI, Westerners from country A don’t get offended when mistaken for someone from country B. At the most, the reaction is:“Uh? Oh no, I’m not from B, I’m from A!”.


#335

Correct, happens to me on a daily basis, in fact happened 5 minutes ago. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest. If you allow yourself to get upset by these so called microaggressions, you would spend your entire life being upset about something.


#336

At the risk of sounding like a troll, I find it highly unlikely that anyone would be experiencing many, if any, British people greeting them in Mandarin Chinese. This is a nation where almost everyone struggles to even order a beer in French/German/Spanish/Italian… In addition, as a multicultural society most people will have encountered British East Asians in which case if they tried to address them in Mandarin Chinese it would be clear cut fighting talk.

When I were a lad people used to think of everyone from East Asia as being Japanese so, if what you say is happening, at least you’re being noticed.


#337

Some people like being upset.


#338

I’ve not going to help you anymore. You asked my personal experience in Italy if people just referred to me as the Chinese guy. No they didn’t. The entire town knew I was from taiwan. They enjoyed me there as we exchange gifts, conversation and our company from people who would otherwise never meet. Maybe if you would just stop assuming that all westerners were racist and against you, you can start making friends instead of being paranoid about what everyone thinks.

I was fed, treated well, shared laughs and drinks in the small town I was staying called colle di val d’elsa. Everyone was happy to meet me. Maybe it has something to do with you if people don’t like you. Has nothing to do with if you look Chinese or not.


#339

What I have noticed is that you are pushing a racist concept very rampant in Overseas Compatriots communities. It is an isolating victimization. You are looking to justify the racism here in Asia by being antagonistic and not trusting anyone who is not of your same race. Think about where these feelings come from, what purpose they serve.

We point out it is difficult to find the cases you mention. Yes, there are morons who make fun of the way you look and people who make comments about your appearance everywhere all over the world. But to make that a race issue just because you are Chinese people look down on you or criticize you, it is a problem. Especially when you do not understand what they say.

Being upset when someone starts talking to you in Chinese is weird. Yes, not all Overseas Compatriots can speak Chinese, but there are also many I know who never learned the language of the place they live and remain in the bubble. If it happens in a hotel or an airline, even a restaurant where you made reservations, it would be part of the service one is expected to give. You are supposed to greet the customer in a familiar way. If half the place is booked with Chinese tourists or it is a popular shop with China groups and you walk in a Crocodile t-shirt, it might be even a logical assumption you too are a tourist. So do not take it that bad. Set the context. Observe.

Take it from someone who has experienced real racism living and working abroad. When you are not given service because of your race or you cannot go somewhere because of the color of your skin, that is a real problem. Here in Taiwan that racism is sold as mistrust, you cannot have certain credit cards, access loans…or be a true participant in the community. We are tokens at work, thought as irresponsible and unreliable in spite our performance. There is a lot of fear and lack of information. And legally speaking we are sitting ducks. That is something you Mr Lin in London or even the average Overseas Compatriot in a 3rd world black hole as the one I come from does not suffer.

So if you have a real beef you are legally entitled to sue. The law has your back. For the rest, if after careful observation, you still feel slighted, then be the better man and shake it off. Do not sweat the small stuff. Listen. Learn what you can. Dialogue. Teach.


#340

Before I decide to stay or to leave this forum, let me finish telling Westerners the right thing to do.

If you’re curious about someone, why don’t you just ask that person?
It would be a lot easier than discussing it with your friends who have no idea either.

This morning, I went to a restaurant in my hotel in London.
It’s self-service breakfast buffet, and two waiters started discussing my ethnicity after I walked past them.
I was still around there to pick up my food, so I could here what they said.
A:“Where is he from?“
B:”…Mexican.”
(All right, this is interesting and a new one. I was thought of as Mexican for the first time, so I decided to gave him a pass. LOL.)
A:“No…”
(And this A dude walked toward me deliberately just to have a closer look at me. WTF.)
A:"… looks Chinese."
B:“Maybe he’s…”
(Not able to hear it, as I had walked away from them to go back to my table.)

So, let me check about my statistics in the West.
I’ve been referred to as Chinese like 100+ times.(In many forms, but basically they’re saying the same thing)
Turkish or Arabs like 10 times.(When there’re many Muslims nearby)
Spaniard or South American or mixed like 5 times
Mexican for the 1st time.

What’s the point of discussing (guessing actually) a random stranger’s ethnicity?
If you’re so curious about it, why don’t you just ask that person?

Anyway, although I was not happy about encountering such a thing when having my breakfast this morning, I was a bit glad and relieved that not all Westerners can’t tell the difference between different East-Asian individuals. They can tell that we all look kind of different. They also understand that the stereotypical East-Asian look (i.e., small slant eyes, ugly faces, dorky and nerdy appearances, etc) only applies to a small percentage of East-Asian people. Not all East-Asians look like that.

In fact, East Asians are just like Westerners. We all have various kinds of looks, body types, appearances, etc just like you people do, all right?


#341

Do you make this stuff up?


#342

I think nobody has any objection.

And, this forum is not for westerners only.

When I’m curious something about a stranger, in most cases, I cannot ask the person directly.