Bloggable event

I’m back! and I’m … sleepy.

I am finding myself un-inspired to post. Predominatly because I have been reading heartfelt and heartrending posts from other, better writers than me. I’m curling up in a little ball of awe and self-doubt.

But onwards with the me-blog nevertheless. I’ve always been a battler. I was actually much more inspired to write posts during the Film Festival*, but, alas, sloth did beckon and I did obey.

* when I have sufficiently rested, and digested, I’ll tell you all about it. I’m still suffering visual/aural exhaustion.

***

Bloggable event # 1

During one of our many speedy meals at (usually Asian) restaurants over the past few weeks, the (Asian) waitress said to me in surprise or shock (I was not sure): You’ve got a full on Aussie accent!

These things don’t bother me so much any more. Depending on the tone and the speaker, I am usually amused and only occassionally bristle in offence.

I replied: That’s because I am a full on Aussie.

The waitress exclaimed: No! Really? And, wittily, I said: Yes. Really.

Bloggable event # 2 –

I attended a law function and was seated at a table with a number of legal luminaries. Naturally, I introduced myself to the (not-Asian) woman beside me, whom I did not recognise. I stuck my hand out and said my full name. She stuck her hand out and said: Are you from Inala?

For those not in the know, Inala is a suburb of Brisbane wherein resides a large proportion of the Viet-Australia population of Brisbane. It’s a wee bit notorious.

I responded, not unkindly but certainly in reprimand: No. I am from [the firm of lawyers that I work for].

She replied: No, I meant do you live in Inala?

At this, I gave up. Unkindness here I come. Actually, [her given name], I knew exactly what you meant. And then I turned away and managed to not speak with her for most of the night. I don’t think she really wanted to speak with me, either. I hope she saw me walk over to the most luminous legal luminary present and have a friendly, comfortable chat.

Bloggable event # 3

On Tuesday lunch at a café, owned by an Asian woman, staffed by all and sundry. My (Asian) friend and (Asian) I were paying the bill, when another woman asked the owner (who was on the till) if the café would be open tomorrow, being the Ekka “People’s Day” public holiday (it’s a quirk of Australia).

The owner said: oh no! and laughed. We Asians like our businesses to remain open when other people shut. Then she turned to my (Asian) friend and (Asian) me and said: don’t’ we?

I blinked at her in surprise and looked over at my friend. I am a lawyer at a middle-sized firm. She’s an accountant at a large firm. The people who patronise this café are people who wear suits and work at the various businesses in Brisbane’s ‘prestigious’ end of town, and I know the owner knows that a lot of her regulars are from the law and accounting firms round the area. Sometimes she serves me after serving someone else, even though I was there first, and says gratingly and apologetically, that was so and so from some large national firm. And I always want to say (but haven’t yet been brave enough): I know and I really don’t care. I was first.

***

So, what do these events tell me?

Event # 2 made me angry, but events # 1 & 3, which made similar assumptions about my Asian-ness did not raise any ire. A little amusement, and perhaps a raised eyebrow. (Okay, maybe a little ire.)

Looks like I’m racist too.

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