A few months ago I was making pizzas in Australia, one of the many shit jobs I had to collect money while on the road. Darwin has a big Asian community, and very often I was serving and observing them coming into the restaurant: Indonesian women married to Australian men, an Indian doctor who loved pizza very much, Papuan people who totally abandoned the life in the most savage country in the world and, of course, Chinese. My favorite kind. Why? I don’t know. I am just always fascinated by those features, those almond eyes, those movements. And it was quite weird after one year in China, a Malaysian Chinese girlfriend and a basic understanding of their language, see them almost perfectly integrated in the Australian society.Now I’m back in Malaysia, finally, and I’m glad I’m still surrounded by them and by the chaotic mess of sounds, smells and foods I missed so much. I’m no Chinese, but currently I’m living with them, the language I hear in the background without understanding is Cantonese and its variations, the food I eat is mostly Chinese, and the body I lie next to at night is Chinese. The only problem is, I’m white, and no matter if I’ll be able to speak their language one day, put pins in my eyelids to make them look Asian or get a Michael Jackson skin treatment to gain that natural beautiful Asian tone, I’ll never be one of them. Never ever ever. This is the Chinese rule.
The intellectual struggle is beautifully challenging: Kit Yeng has some pre constructed ideas about the white race that encompass the three sides of the Western World, are put in an ideological blender and vomited out like a retarded fetus out of a degenerate womb. In her almond eyes, I’m European (what does this mean, it’s unclear to me), American and Australian, all at the same time. And at the same time, I am none of the aforementioned things, because she’s one of the luckiest ones who got to travel and see and experience, and still has some knowledge and wisdom to discern where she’s right or wrong. In their eyes, we are utterly stupid. Yes, stupid because we don’t do the things they do in the same way they do them. So If I don’t wipe the table using an open tablecloth, instead of clutching it as I like, I represent the whole stupidity expressed by the white race. This is very astonishingly interesting, to me. It makes my brain twitch, my ideas get small like the aforementioned deformed dead babies. And I silently shut up, with patience. Absolute patience.
When later it’s time to outline how they do things in ways that I consider weird or inappropriate, and when confronted in a way they cannot escape or answer in a normal way, the “pression syndrome” starts. And I become an executioner, a sadistic killer that just desires to crush the Chinese and Asian cultures under his black boots’ tips. Like you’d do with a fat, oily cockroach crawling on the floor. But did you know that a cockroach can survive for 9 days without its head? Kit Yeng, lovely Enthomologist, told me this. So believe me, it’s impossible to kill them, or change their ideas. This is were the relationship challenge starts, and where sometimes I’d like to be able to explain more, and be understood. But it’s not easy at all.
This said, I love the Chinese and I think they are beautifully intelligent people, although I’ll never be tired of saying the difference between Chinese in China, and Chinese in Malaysia is like an abyss. The latter are cleaner, more p0lite and open to a discussion, and probably being used to using English as one of the primary languages, they don’t avoid a conversation just because it’s been led in English. In China, if you don’t speak Chinese, you’ll never get to know them even if they speak the most fluent English. It’s a big difference in terms of style, life and classifications. And this makes me enjoy more those morning breakfasts where I have to eat pork and noodles with my coffee, making me feel like I’m completely ready to accept this different point of view. But will this be accepted by our counterparts?
So far, my final answer is no.