When To Ask The “Where Are You From?” Question

As an Asian Australian living in Australia, I get the question “Where are you from?” thrown at me quite a bit.

When I get asked this, I pause: it’s a confusing question. Where exactly is “from”? The place where we were born? Where we live? Our heritage? One of my favourite responses to this question is, “I’m from three countries. Guess” (I grew up in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore to Chinese-Malaysian parents; see previous post). It’s also an intrusive question that demands a very personal answer, maybe demanding that we give our life story away.

A touch of kindness. A touch of kindness makes us feel at home| Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity.

A touch of kindness. A touch of kindness makes us feel at home| Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity.

We usually feel the urge to ask the question when get the feeling the person we’re talking to has a different story than us, judging by the accent on the tip of their tongue, the colour of their skin, the way they dress.

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Picking Up An Asian Girl. Being Asian Australian

As an Asian Australian girl who has lived Melbourne for nearly a decade, I’ve had quite a few local Caucasian guys hit on me.

These encounters are amusing and annoying. They give me the impression some Caucasian guys are attracted to me because of my ethnicity (maybe some have yellow fever). These moments also remind me of what it means to be Asian Australian, an Asian person living in Australia.

You never know what's ahead when you're in love. It's one big adventure | Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure!

You never know what’s ahead when you’re in love. It’s one big adventure | Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure!

On a recent winter’s weekday afternoon, I had one of those random encounters in the city. Two hands plunged in the pockets of my grey Target jacket, I settled down on one of the empty benches along the glass panelled sky bridge linking the Melbourne Central and Emporium shopping malls. Tired from window shopping, I gazed at the traffic on the roads below, and sensed someone sit down beside me on the bench.

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Why We Love Living In Cities. Especially Asians

City life. Some of us love a lot of the things that come along with being in the city.

I’m one of those city-loving folk in Melbourne. Whenever I have a free day, I usually head down to the city and see what’s going on there.

Silhouettes of Melbourne as the sun goes down. Princes Bridge | Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette.

Silhouettes of Melbourne as the sun goes down. Princes Bridge | Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette.

We love living in cities because everything is literally at the tip of our fingers here. Shops and restaurants are just around the corner in Melbourne: Nike shoes to Nintendo games, Hong Kong yum cha to Spanish paella. Convenient, and variety is never dull.

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Reasons To Wake Up Early

Early mornings. Some of us like them and have our reasons for waking up early.

I’m not a fan of waking up early. Don’t like waking up before 9 a.m. But since I have a day job, I have to and grudgingly drag myself out of bed at 7 a.m. on weekdays. And I’ve come to see the upsides of rising early.

Layers of fog, layers of colour on a winter Melbourne morning | Photo Challenge: Texture.

Layers of fog, layers of colour on a winter Melbourne morning | Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture.

Some of us wake up early because we want to get going with our day. We wake up early because we have to – we need to make breakfast, do the laundry or maybe do some exercise. We also wake up early so we can do what we want to do.

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How To Make Your Dreams Come True

We all have dreams. We all want to tick the next thing off our bucket lists. Maybe we want to run a marathon, earn a degree or be a musician. It’s not hard to imagine all of that in our heads. In reality, it’s usually hard to get there.

Winding path, taking us to places beyond our dreams | Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag.

Winding path, taking us to places beyond our dreams | Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag.

One of my dreams is to write and publish a book about what it means to be Asian Australian, what it means to be different in the cultural sense and how I’ve come to be okay with this.

But writing a book and getting it on bookshelves doesn’t happen overnight. Dreams don’t happen overnight. It takes time for things to happen.

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