Australia: Not the place I thought you were

The other day after work, I was flowing with the peak hour crowd down Anzac Parade, when I witnessed something awful.

An Aboriginal man was heckling and shoving an East Asian man. The Indigenous guy was yelling obscenities and things like “Go back to where you came from!” to the suited up Asian guy, who was trying, literally, to shake him off. That was Awkward thing Number 1.

People just watched. And did nothing. That was Awkward thing Number 2.

By people, I mean mainly Asian people. The University of New South Wales appears to be predominantly Asian, even the law faculty – a contrast with the College of Law at my own alma mater. That was Awkward thing Number 3.

And I did nothing because, frankly, I’m both Asian and female. I actually thought I might get hit. That was Awkward thing Number 4.

It made me think about how Australia is not the place I thought it was when I was little. Continue reading Australia: Not the place I thought you were

Sorry, what do you mean?

I’ve been considering whether National Sorry Day would be more or less controversial if we spoke Spanish. There are a couple of ways to say “sorry” in Spanish: Disculpa/Perdóname Literally “Excuse (me)” and “Pardon/Forgive me”. This form conveys an element of fault on the part of the speaker. A sincere apology and plea for forgiveness would use these verb forms. At the same time, perdón and disculpa are sometimes also … Continue reading Sorry, what do you mean?