The Unsuspecting 

We had a wonderful dinner in a restaurant in Paris last night. Except it took 4.5 hours, and I was told that was normal. Great meal, except that I was half asleep and edgily squirming in my seat towards the end of it.

Too much alcohol, too much gluten, too much dairy, too much oysters, but I loved it!

Conversation at the table was fun, and deeply telling in more ways than one could put it through on words. Asian women discussing the difficulties of reaching /staying at the pinnacles in front of a very kind but unsuspecting french white male.

Some things go unnoticed even to myself -maybe subconsciously I had already fallen to the stereotype of how an Asian woman should be. Kind French male was praising me for my executing skills, and Korean lady said, ” I’m sure she is much more than just executing “. Oooooooooohhhhhhh. Precisely what we were talking about – the preconceived judgment of an Asian woman’s role and capability. I would have jumped to his defence that he was just being kind with his words, but then again, I have been strategizing quite a few things for them in quite a few ways just that I don’t quite talk about it. So yes, that opened my droopy alcohol-engulfed eyes a little more.

Then he also kindly introduced my background and how good I am as a designer. And then, the other Singaporean lady spoke up, “you know, she is actually more than just a designer. In fact, she is a certified urban planner, well-versed in … blah blah blah…” Hah, another point I missed. I never really bothered clarifying my credentials, cos yes, my involvement now mostly deals with the design and language aspect., so I had never really bothered with anything outside necessary.

Interesting conversation! I love these three wonderful people for company.

But it taught me some hard facts in life: discrimination is deeply ingrained in our everyday life, but because it is so ingrained, they just pass by unnoticed.

Ah well. Anyway, happy pride day to fellow human beings who are standing up for their identities in worse discrimination than I can describe in my little titbit blogpost.

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