As an Asian American in Asia, I’m mistaken for either the local population or a Chinese tourist. This even happened in Ecuador! I was seen as an Asian Latin American, and not even having a fellow gringo as a sidekick changed their perceptions. But I think this incident best summarizes my experiences (because I’ve had plenty as an…Read More
What’s your relationship with change?
As a Taurus, I’m told I don’t like change. Yet, my life-line so far has been a series of interruptions and situations that have forced me to adapt. After college the longest I’ve ever lived in the same town was for about three years, and that’s not counting the times I moved within the town.…Read More
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. I understand that some stereotypes, in a…Read More
🇹🇭 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.Read More
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help (and why concepts like greng jai need to die)
There’s a Thai word “greng jai” that has always annoyed me. It’s basically used to describe a person who doesn’t want to be an inconvenience to anyone. They don’t want to be a bother, and it’s supposed to be a positive trait. We have this same idea, too, in American culture, but I feel it…Read More
What does it mean to be Asian American?
Sometimes I feel like an anomaly. I’m a 45 year old American Thai-Chinese woman who was born in Hawaii, who has lived on three continents, and who was raised by a Thai immigrant mother and a working class white male. I can’t squeeze into an “ism”. My dress size is small in America, but…Read More
The problem with creatives, Asian daughters, and non-conformists.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – as attributed to Mike Tyson OK. Here’s what I’ve told you. I had to come back to the US of A. We were not sure for how long, but we thought we’d give it a go, you know, return to America for good,…Read More
Identity, what is it good for?
“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… we become properly inquisitive only when distressed. We suffer, therefore we think and we do so because thinking…Read More
Chiang Rai: First Impressions
I underestimated how much my life would change. Part of this had to do with not knowing how my life would change. Nevertheless, I tried to guess. Originally, I thought my biggest adjustment would be down-shifting from busy Chiang Mai to quiet Chiang Rai, and while that is true, there is so much more to…Read More
White people in Chiang Mai: It’s an expat jungle out there…
Expats feel the vampire Kiss of Death, if a business gets into Lonely Planet‘s Thailand, any uniqueness, quality or good deal they might have discovered will become tainted or tarnished. A friend of mine wanted to take me to this really great traditional Thai restaurant but her only stipulation? Don’t mention it in your blog, Lani.…Read More
Siam I am
I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about being Asian. Asians aren’t supposed to be persons of color. We’re supposed to be like pork: America’s other white meat. And because we have a grimace and bear it attitude we let stereotypical and racist remarks fall on us to be locked away under the file,…Read More