It’s so nice to see…

After I moved down to Tennessee, I finally got a job at a Timeshare Resort in a very small down.

I always joked that when I got to work, I would double the Asian population in this town.

THAT is how small it is.

We would in one weekend check in as many as 600 families and it was crazy. People would drive from all over the country, and some people even came internationally through their timeshare bankings. It was great, and of course I would get excited when anyone from my home state of New York would be there, or anyone from the Tri State area would come. I love New Jersey and Connecticut as well.

As I was helping with the check in process, an older couple stepped forward and they were an inter-racial couple. She was Japanese and he was White. Now, you’re wondering how I knew she was Japanese? Well her name was of the Japanese variety, I don’t remember exactly, but I knew she was and asked her if she was and she of course said yes. [And No, I did not ask her how long she had been in the country or if she was Taiwanese HAHA.]

Well after the 4 minute check in process and after I thanked them both for choosing to stay with us, she put her hand over mine and said

“It is so nice to see another Oriental person here.”

My eyes were the size of quarters. I could not believe what she just said. Now, I am not a fan of the word Oriental to describe Asian people. I just do not like the word, but that is not what got me. What got me was her statement. What was I supposed to say to that? You’re welcome? Thank you?

Well, that’s what I said “Thank you” because I did not know what to say. I put on a big uncomfortable smile and said Thank you. And then I got to thinking, I guess if you had been coming to that resort for over 20 years and you never saw someone that looked like you, someone who you think you could relate to, and finally THERE SHE IS! Then I guess I can understand where she is coming from.

I guess that is the same thing about how I get excited when I see Korean/Asian people at Tennessee football games because it is nice to know there is someone else that is here that looks like me. I guess I should just give her some credit for having the guts to say what was on her mind.

Now that I look back on the statement she made to me, it makes me realize how much I do enjoy seeing people that look like me whenever I am around East Tennessee.

So to the Japanese woman that I met a while back…It was nice to see you too!



Is your name Jimmy?

Part Two

In my previous post I was talking about how I was just asked “How long I had been in the country.” I also mentioned that it would get better and it does. When things like this happen, you really wonder what people have learned in school about other countries and cultures.

So back to the story…

While we are trying to decide who is going to touch the sturgeons first…

Volunteer: “Excuse me is your name Jimmy?”

Hubs: “UM no.”

Volunteer: “Oh okay. My friend’s neighbor’s, son is supposed to come today and he married a Taiwanese girl.”

Us: “Oh, okay”

Volunteer: “Are you Taiwanese?”

Me: “Um no, I’m Korean.”

Volunteer: “Oh. Do you speak Taiwanese.”

Me: [my patience is running out at this point.] “No, I speak Korean”

Volunteer: “Oh is there a difference?”

Me: [in my mean, stern, annoyed tone]

“Yes, they are two totally different countries.

Now before I start cursing an old lady out, why don’t you tell me about the damn sturgeon?”

Volunteer: “The sturgeon are one of the oldest prehistoric ….”

Yes, this did happen. Was I mean? Yes! Honestly, I don’t think I had much patience for this. Does Taiwanese and Korean sound the same? I will say the fact of the matter is that first she asked me how long I had been in the country, which is rude in itself. Everyone that looks like me are not immigrants, there are people that look like me that were/are born in the United States and are citizens all day and every day.

Secondly, to go and ask follow up questions that are completely asinine are beyond me. So am I sorry that I lost my patience? Yes and No. Should I have been more forgiving to that old lady? Yes, considering that she looked about 70+. Do I regret reacting the way I did? NOPE.  Hopefully by my reaction she will go and find out about how many DIFFERENT countries, cultures and languages there are in Asia. 




How Long Have You Been in the Country?

Part One

One of the first times I ever left the Northeast was to see my husband [he was my boyfriend at the time] in his home state of…you guessed it. Tennessee.

Confession: I am obsessed with aquariums. Yes, I have a list of them and I have highlighted all of the aquariums I have gone too. I also don’t care about how many times we go to the same aquarium… I LOVE THEM. [Except the Ripley’s chain…. I have noticed that those are all the same]

For my birthday he was taking me to TWO aquariums! [My birthday falls around Valentine’s Day so we were killing two birds with one stone….long distance relationships…sigh]

First stop was the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, TN. It was amazing! Love the place. To this day I think I have been there over a dozen times…can you tell I am OBSESSED?

We were walking around and exploring each exhibit and we stumbled upon the sturgeon tank, which also was a touch tank. We walked over to it and noticed there was a older woman volunteer standing there, and this is when it gets interesting.

Lake Sturgeon

Volunteer: Good Afternoon! How are ya’ll doing today.

Us: Great! Thank you

Volunteer: Well, where are ya’ll visiting from?

Hubs: Well I’m from Knoxville

Me: I’m from New York

Volunteer: [looking directly at me…] Oh, okay. Well how long have you been in the country?

Hubs looks at me with that devious smile of, I know you’re going to be angry…and at this exact moment I am so floored at the question. I mean really? I just said I was from NEW YORK?!?! That is a part of THIS country. The United States of America!

Me: 27 years, my whole life. I was born and raised in New York.

Volunteer: Oh. [Like she does NOT understand how I was not from another country]

Now, you would think that it would end there right? Absolutely Not! I was amazed already at the conversation we were having…but there’s more!

To be continued…