Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Unwanted Attention

As a Filipina with Chinese ethnicity, I may look a bit different to some people in my home town. I do get unwanted attention from strangers. Sometimes, the comments I get are somewhere between positive to neutral. Other times, the comments are racist and downright rude (read about my racist experience in a grocery store). In any case, these comments make me incredibly uncomfortable. Like when a fast food staff in a food court asked me questions about my ethnicity. Our conversation went on something like this:
Staff (after seeing my mom's Senior Citizen card): "Is she your mom?"
Me: "Yes."
Staff: "Are you a Chinese?"
Me: "Yes."
Staff: "Is your mom a pure Chinese?"
Me: "Yes."
Staff: "It's amazing that she can still speak Tagalog. But she does have an accent. How bout your dad? Is he a pure Chinese too?"
Me: "No."
Staff: "Oh, so you're not a pure Chinese... But you look so Chinese. Does your dad look Chinese too?"
Me: "Not so much. Where's my burger?"
I quickly left the counter and asked my sister to wait for my order. When I got my order from another fast food outlet and my sister got my burger, I learned that she was also asked the exact same questions. From our table, I caught the guy looking at my family as if we're Martians who had just arrived on earth. It was not a negative experience, but it was awkward. Even the guy looked kind of awkward. I just wanted my darn burger.

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