Is it purely possible that because I am so open about what I am feeling—my emotions and thoughts…that this draws certain people to open to me? Is it a power struggle? That I appear to be trustworthy? A good listener?
A few months ago, I lamented about my moments in Germany. I could not describe it, but I felt uncomfortable there. I felt almost like less of a person, walking the streets. I wasn’t sure how to explain it, but I described a moment at the Baohaus museum where as I walked in, I was given a headset with Chinese.
“No,” I said in perfect American English. “English, please.”
It was a discomfort perhaps knowing that I will always be considered Asian. I will never be consider “White” in the sense that I speak English natively. As an Asian American, I can tell differences between Asians born in Asia and Asians born in the states. And so I take the for granted, assuming that others can tell the difference. In Germany, I was just like everyone else. I was just an Asian, no matter my nationality.
And to see that the only Asians were behind the counter in convenience stores, that made me uncomfortable. As if I was a lesser race.
So I lamented to some friends. One friend said, “You shouldn’t feel that way. They’re just curious.”
I immediately responded, “You are minimizing it. You aren’t listening to me.”