Thursday, 6 March 2014

Who Am I?

This question is persisting in my mind lately. Who am I really? Why am
I so different and so difficult to deal with?

A colleague has just shared an article on "why Chinese parents do not
say I love you", and my question popped up again. You see, I know my
parents love me, and I do notice those tell-tale signs. Yet, I still
wish they would accept me for the person I am - I mean, the real me.
So what if I prefer sandwiches instead of rice for my regular meals?

I remember very vividly, a friend and I were so overjoyed with the
prospect of visiting UK back in 2008. Our common goal; no rice eating
for the next three weeks! So, did my parents not know about it? The
issue escalated when I returned after a one-year placement in UK. That
was 2010. Well, I rather like having a cuppa and a bowl of cereal with
milk for breakfast. I would like to have my vegetables steamed. And
still prefer sandwiches over rice or noodles. Worse still, I acquired
a British accent, only slight. Now, as a languages enthusiast, I do
believe in speaking English like a native and speaking Mandarin like a
native. The same goes with Malay.

On top of it all, I wanted my independence. Life was so miserable when
I fell into the pit of "dependency". I felt indignant. I became
bitter, I was resentful. How dependent you might ask. Let's see. I
have no control on my own finances (I have no access to my own bank
accounts, and I depend on my parents to withdraw my money), I was
criticised for my dietary preferences, public transportation is far
from my home resulting in me depending on my parents to provide the
transport, and all purchases are done with the help of my parents.

Since the situation could not be improved, I changed. I learned to
accept things for what they are. But, I did "fight" for my basic
right. I got my very own bank account (not joint) after a little
explaining and discussion with the bank manager. (Still no access to
my own bank accounts despite it). Recently, in a discussion, the issue
of my independence came up again. And guess what, my parents retold
the story on how I obtained my own bank account, but in a different

They said the bank manager would not have let me have my way, if it
had not been because I was "verbally fighting" with them. That is the
literal Chinese expression. Now, "verbal fight" would involve raised
voices, harsh words, and angry faces. None of those were present when
I was asking for my individual bank account. How humiliating and

So, with my non-Chinese ways, the tendencies to "fight"and dating a
foreigner, my mother claimed she has lost me. At this point, I do wish
I could be gone, I could disappear. Vanish. Why? Who am I? Must I
continue living as the person others want me to be?