Boy, am I glad to have this much needed period of rest where I don’t have to stress about exams or spend hours working through tutorials. I must say it feels rather weird to have all this free time and nothing to keep me occupied. For those who missed the memo, I am back in Kimberley – the land of the cold and the lonely. My electric blankie is now my favourite possession and I don’t know how I survived my first 10 years in this hell-hole without one.

It’s nice to see my parents again and to spend some quality time with them. My mom is still crazy (she kept on referring to Windows XP as Windows PX, and she confused a well-known South African DJ who is white, with a well-known South African comedian who is coloured). My dad’s starting to show signs of old age (he fell down a ladder while trying to prune some trees and he’s starting to forget simple things like whether he’s put salt in the scrambled eggs or not).

It will be my 22nd birthday in two days and I definitely get the feeling that time is becoming more precious. My parents want to move back to Commie Land and when they do, who knows how often I’ll be able to see them. Once a year? That’s hardly enough, especially for someone who grew up as sheltered as I have. Because of this, I’ve started to appreciate all the “Asianess” whenever I go home and so, I’ve decided to make a list of all the crazy Asian things that happen in this household.

It’s An Asian Thing:

* No outdoor shoes inside the house – we have a separate set of slippers that are worn inside the house so as not to dirty the carpet. When my friend Candice used to come over, my mom would run to bring her a pair of slippers and tell Candice to put them on (in Shanghainese).

* Soy sauce, salt, sugar – The 3 Ss. We don’t really use any other kind of spices or flavours. We never put soy sauce in rice either because that’s not how you do things the proper Asian way.

* Woks – they’re heavy as hell and I can’t lift it with one hand, which makes cooking kind of difficult. But that’s what we use – don’t really work well with eggs and I keep on telling my parents to get a non-stick pan but nooooooooo.

* Lots of frying. We stir fry everything, even lettuce. But not rice. We have a rice-cooker for that. Best invention ever!

* No presents – For some reason my parents do not buy into the whole present-giving thing. I’ve never gotten a birthday or Christmas gift from my parents. If I’m lucky, I’ll get some money but otherwise, the only thing I get on my birthday is a cake. It’s probably why I’ve never been excited about my birthday. I’m pretty sure the other Asians have evolved from this rather archaic attitude. If only my parents would follow suit…

* Don’t finish everything on a plate when dining out – Apparently, having left overs is a sign of wealth (or whatever). Weird.

* Jam bottles – After finishing a bottle of jam, my parents clean the bottles and use them as glasses. Except, they’re better than normal glasses because they have lids! Which means 1) No spoilage 2) You can use it to make tea.

I had more but I couldn’t exactly remember all the crazy Asian stuff that goes on. Will append this list when they come to me. :)

In other news, my blog view passed 5000 woot!


  1. Hi there, I have a question.

    Do you perhaps speak asian to your parents? Judging by the level of your English proficiency and also being asian, one would feel that perhaps you grew up in Kimberley without a rooted sync to your mother-tongue. Ya ok…



  2. Yeah I speak Shanghainese to my parents (I know a bit of Mandarin as well). All the crazy dialogues I’ve posted sound a LOT crazier when spoken in Shanghainese.


  3. But like… Isn’t Mandarin the same words and letters as Shanghainese? the only thing that would make Shanghainese unique is the way the tongue works in the mouth to produce more rounded words when spoken.


    1. Yeah- the two are pronounced completely differently. I’ve forgotten how to read/write *hangs head in shame* – The spoken dialects have little to do with the way Chinese is written since Chinese isn’t phonetic

    1. Well, your surname is “Shih”- Granted, that could be a fake name but I also googled you and your Twitter profile pic has an Asian dude in it.

  4. First of all… I don’t even Twitter.

    Second of all… Having a surname with Shih does not automatically put a banana sign over my head

    Lastly… you forgot to add that Asians hate it when people shake their legs repeatedly


    1. I’m sometimes guilty of repeatedly shaking my legs- To my defence, I’m (almost) convinced that I have ADD. I suppose Shih is a pretty common surname but “Oscar Shih” isn’t so common. Google says that you’re Asian and you went to UCT and you’re friends with 3 of my friends… Ok, this is awkward :| Do I know you?

  5. A girl with ADD is not a good sign at all… you must do yoga or something to fix that.

    Shih in China maybe, because there is like ______ people living there. Exactly, Oscar Shih is not common at all – infact, I’m even willing to throw in rare.

    Google did not say that.. FB said that, thus in conclusion, You are officially a banana stalker. Welldone.

    No, you don’t know me

    PS Have you ever seen me before on campas? I don’t recall seeing you.


    1. dudeeeee I said Oscar Shih ISN’T so common! IN FACT, I bet that isn’t even your real name! Most Asians I know have made up first names, like Oscar and Amy and Train. Anyways, I don’t think I’ve seen you around campus – I hardly ever venture outside my lecture/tut venues.

  6. IN FACT, that is like so no duh… obviously all Asian have an English name to make it easy for the local inhabitants of this country.

    Were you at the 2010 ROCSA formal evening party event thingy?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s