I know it’s very in vogue to remember the true meaning of holidays these days, at least amongst the “educated intellectuals”, which is not without its elitist undertones. But I’m just trying to get my grub on, so a short tiff (instead of finishing up the 4 unfinished posts I have sitting in my posts box? oops):

Last night, over a gin and tonic and too many cigarettes (is it an excuse to say I’m inclined to smoke more around foreigners or people who’ve traveled extensively in countries where smoking is not so …antagonist?), I got to talking to a couple – British lady and American gentleman (who, omg, looked like a gay Anthony Bourdain, you know what I mean?). They’d both spent some time in Asia – he, Thailand; she, Shanghai (holler). They met during the Tsunami. I mean…seriously. But there’s this: in talking about her time in Shanghai and being the target of the unabashed Shanghainese staring, she said that it was a good experience to have been a minority somewhere, because as a white person, she usually isn’t.

Well, yeah, it is a good experience, isn’t it? And I just want to say, they were both lovely people and have a rather realistic grasp of life in Asia. A grasp that can only be had after having lived there, and not from hearsay, books, or a drunken American style vacation. But, but, but.

It’s a nice thought: reversal of minority/majority dynamic. While she was a minority, mathematically; the reality is she was not, yeah? It bothers me a bit that she has the luxury of having this thought and being ignorant of its significance at the same time. I don’t like to politicize situations, although, I guess, some of my posts would suggest otherwise. Race, culture and ethnicity are, obviously and naturally, topics that weigh a lot in my head, but they don’t veil my view of the world as such. Ok, maybe a very transparent veil, but if I am to consider race with every person, every relationship/interaction becomes a bit like some kind of racial paradigm, and that’s …dull.

Like, am I supposed to reconcile my irrepressible attraction to white men with, I don’t know, all the possibly awful implications of this and also my disdain for their lack of awareness? And not awareness as in…oh, I’m sensitive to the idiosyncrasies of cultures and am therefore a better person, because, um, no, that’s incredibly stiff, which is not what I’m looking for in a brain. (Basically, I don’t like people who take themselves too seriously, which is why I am hating this post.) More like an awareness that’s almost a sort of innate sense. Awareness that’s more background than foreground? I really hate the dialogue, but I guess sometimes it’s necessary.

I will not be pondering about this as I dig my teeth into a juicy chicken leg later, you can bet on that.

xoxo, you know you love me.


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