Breaking bad Asian stereotypes

First of all, as an Asian American living in Asia, this is an interesting (and dare I say, amusing) topic to investigate. I’ve been trying to understand why this is entertaining for me though. I guess because I have what I consider a more balanced view of stereotypes.

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Can you cook Thai food?

Upon learning that I am half-Thai, folks want to know, “Can you cook Thai food?” When I was younger, the answer was no. As in why on God’s green and blue earth would I want to? My mom can cook wonderfully though, thank you. As I got older, I became annoyed by my mom’s badgering.

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What’s up with Asians and White Couples?

It’s weird, you know, being back in Thailand. There are enough White men with Asian women around for you to you raise your chopsticks and your eyebrows. Sometimes it’s the age difference that’s startling. Sometimes though you can’t really tell, as some men look older than their age, and the women look (and dress) younger…

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Celebrating 7 years abroad

It was Facebook that reminded me that the milestone had passed. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have continued to scroll past this moment, drinking my coffee and eating my banana. I posted, “I signed up for Intensive Thai, but based on my photo (with my application) I was enrolled in Intensive English instead.” Now, normally,…

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Do you speak broken English?

Despite the fact that I’m an expat in Asia and I hear broken English all around me, and struggle to communicate just as much as the next foreigner navigating these poorly maintained roads, I don’t speak broken English. And this isn’t because I’m an English teacher and I have my nose in the air, it’s…

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Identity, what is it good for?

According to Marcel Proust, via Alain de Botton, “We don’t really learn anything properly until there is a problem, until we are in pain, until something has failed to go as we hoped. Though we can, of course, use our minds without being in pain, Proust suggests, we become properly inquisitive only when distressed. We…

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Asian American American holidays

American holidays overseas don’t take on any extraordinary meaning, if anything they seem to diminish in specialness. And that’s okay. I think what really helps me is I’m a first-generation American, and what that means is, holidays as a child were perfunctory and often awkward occasions.

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Foods I love from Hawaii

Folks from Hawaii talk about SPAM as if we are talking about sex or something better. I’m fairly certain if we replaced SPAM with the word ‘sex’ the giddy teenage excitement in our voices would be the same. SPAM is our bacon, our beacon of light, our bowl of comfort and a beautiful mess.

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Chinatown, Hawaii

Visiting Hawaii meant not only visiting memories, but places where those memories are contained. Chinatown is one such place. Honolulu’s is one of the oldest Chinatowns in America and probably is one of the smelliest. So, I find it rather amusing that tourists come here and based on their 3 star reviews, visitors possibly find…

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My Ubon Ratchathani story

Have you ever chased a dream? And if that is too dramatic to say, have you ever chased down something that didn’t hold much of a chance, but you decided to give it a go anyway? Because that is where my Ubon Ratchathani story begins, with a pursuit.

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Was it really stealing? Stealing is wrong.

First of all, let me say that I’ve never stolen anything before. Well, that was what I truly thought until I started to write and then I began to remember my dishonest and theiving past. I was astonished, really. It’s funny what we forget and what we remember once we start writing. Forgive me and…

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What’s your comfort food?

The problem is my mom is an amazing cook so I have fond and savory memories of her cooking. I can think of many comforting Thai dishes she made that taste like home: Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup, Pork Knuckles in Sweet Dark Soy Sauce and a very simple Chicken Rice Soup that she made whenever…

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How has your name impacted you?

I remember in the sixth grade when this new kid came to class. He was one of the few black kids at our school, and on his first day he answered Mrs. K’s questions as best as he could. “Your name is Filet Mingon?” “Yes.” She said it louder and slower, “Your name is Filet…

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I’ve been discontinued.

So, I signed this petition (I’ve been signing petitions lately.). This one is by 18 Million Rising because American Girl® doll cancelled their only Asian American doll. 18MR basically wants American Girl® to create another doll that looks like us.

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American Football, Family and God.

I like American football. I have fond memories from childhood, when the rest of childhood was more complicated and slippery. People are often surprised to hear that I like American football. I suppose because I don’t announce this, I don’t seem like the type (???) and because after college, I’ve never dated a guy who…

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My first sky lantern

Watching the sky lanterns float in the daytime sky, from my apartment window, reminds me of the first time I experienced a khom loy or khom fai. In 2007, I returned to Thailand after being away for 18 years. It was a pretty big deal made even grander by the fact that my mom said…

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Who is Tell-Thai Heart?

Me! I originally started Tell-Thai Heart back in 2009 (first on blogger and then on its own URL) as a way to put-myself-out     there. But after so many problems with the hosting company, etc, I decided to move my site back to a free hosting platform. Now I’m using WordPress and have integrated it with…

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