Wednesday, January 19, 2011

“Where Are You From?”

It is one of the most frequent questions we get from the curious strangers, and it is the one we dread answering most. Some days I feel like getting the following laminated and stick it to our foreheads.

Driver: Half-Filipino Dutch.

Passenger: Chinese Canadian.

Motorcycle: UAE-registered German.

Bet you can’t imagine all the questions that answer would invite, and very quickly instead of a 10-second speed chat, we are telling the whole dozen-page story. Sometimes hearing myself makes me feel like a broken record player, telling bits and pieces about ourselves and trying not to be too confusing at the same time.

2011-01-04 17h43m16s DMC-TS2 P1050884

Often we just reduce our answers to single words, out of sheer laziness. Mine is “Chinese” and Q’s is “Holland”.  But with a slightly more educated or observant crowd, Q gets himself into trouble with the simplified answer. “You don’t look very Dutch.”

Crap. Here goes the broken record again. I guess at the end of it, we are eager to see those satisfied nods because we too can be curious sometimes.

So where are you from?

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