On a very, very few occasions, I've had the following conversation:
Them: Hey, nice to meet you. So where you from?And usually I just tell them that my parents are originally from China, and I leave it at that. But inside, it kinda bugs me. Really, I know it's just curiosity about family backgrounds, chit chat, getting to know you. It should be more annoying than anything, like if my last name was "O'brien" and the first question out of somebody's mouth was: "So, you Irish?" But that isn't the case, and I know that I've always had something of a neurotic streak in me, and that I've always been hypersensitive about being different, of standing out in the crowd. (I'm tall, it comes with the territory.)
Me: San Fernando valley. Y'know: Southern California.
Them: No, I mean where are you really from? You know, are you Chinese? Japanese?
So in my head, sometimes I take it the wrong way. I hear accusations that I'm a foreigner. That I don't belong here. And I just want to say: "No, I'm an American. I was born here. I live here. I'VE NEVER EVEN BEEN THERE! I'VE NEVER EVEN BEEN TO CHINA, FER CRYIN' OUT LOUD!"
And now all that's out the window now.
...because I'm going to China. T-minus 6 hours and counting. W00t!
My mom and I are heading to Shanghai for a week, and then hopping up to Beijing for another few days before heading back to the States. As mentioned, it'll be the first time over there for me, and the first time back for my mom in probably more than 40 years. Should be cool.
Of course, trying to avoid the political commentary here, but I thought I'd mention that it's been an interesting experience reading the travel guides about Shanghai which all give an overview of the city's history. The Paris of the Orient, Shanghai was a city largely partitioned up into concessions by multiple imperial powers (England, the United States and France) for much of the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, each concession wholly administrated by a foreign power. But I'll leave the analogizing and conclusion drawing as an exercise to the reader.
Anyway, when we get back, the SOOTTAD is going to fly out to L.A. (pretty much day of) and we'll spend a few days hiking in the desert. AND THEN, some Korean BBQ in Vegas, catching another Cirque show and then finally back to Boston. I'm usually better about leaving some breathing room between activities, but there was a lot of cross-coordination that was needed on this one (the SOOTTAD almost immediately gets back on a plane to go to a dance thing in Florida), and we wanted to get it all in, so it couldn't be helped.
And I figure I've got some free time afterward, so I'll just rest up once I'm back home.