YJ (that’s short for Yun-ju, aka THE wife) and I just flew back from Taiwan last Friday. We were there ten days, and it was quite an amazing experience. Politically, it boils down like this: Freedom good, mainland China bad. That aside, there were about a million other interesting things going on there, a couple of which I picked up on.
YJ and I went to the National Palace in Taipei (that’s Taiwan’s capital and biggest city, about the size of Philadelphia). the museum was kind of like Taiwan’s Smithsonian of Old Chinese culture dating back oh, a few thousand B.C. I saw the Asian exhibit in the Smithsonian (Jordan remembers!) but this was the big leagues. Lots of jade. There were English tours twice a day, and our tour guide was a weird European lady who was nonetheless a top notch docent. She took us on a tour of the ancient religious relics, royal trinkets, and old art. There was a decent crowd for the english tours, among which there were these two chinese kids, an 11-ish year old girl and her younger brother (about 8-ish). While the rest of us walked, these two slid around on their shoes, which actually doubled as skates. I kept thinking that the little boy was probably overweight because he didn’t have to walk anywhere, he just slid around. YJ and I shared a look, the kind of look we shared before. You see, skates are loud, and usually not worn in a national museum. When kids skate around while the docent is trying to talk, it is kind of hard to understand what’s going on. In addition these kids strutted around with a complete disregard for everyone else in the room.
At one time when the docent was explaining the type of dye used to stain royal ceramics and why the dye was used. I didn’t understand it all because the little SHAT got right behind the ceramic and put his face on the glass and started banging on the glass. HA HA HA, so funny. The boy, heretofore known as SHAT, later pushed YJ to try to get behind another piece of royal jewelry to make more monkey shines for his more clever and quieter sister (AKA the puppetmaster). YJ was conspicuously preventing from doing so, huzzah to her, and he pushed her with all the might his sense of entitlement could muster. He’s only a little kid though, so no big deal. I later pushed the SHAT myself, right in front of his mother, too. She wouldn’t stop her kids, so I knew she wouldn’t stop me. I’m like 6th generation American, so that trumps the SHAT’s measly generation in the land of milk and honey.
Ok, long story, right. The point is YJ and I both knew these kids grew up in America. Their parents, maybe from China, but most likely from Taiwan, must have busted their ass to get an advanced degree, probably in engineering or medicine, overcome all kinds of difficulties to succeed. Now, the next generation is a bunch of inconsiderate little shite-ass punks. Some of the worst behavior I’ve seen has come out of American born Asian kids, and I’ve seen more than my fair share. Living off the largesse of their parent’s hard work, they completely turn their backs on their culture and buy into the most crass and base aspects of American materialism. They learn how to game the system to get A’s and letters of recommendation with a minimal amount of effort or interest…kind of like skating through a national museum.
I know I’m being too hard on these kids in particular, but my sister would beat that ass if her kids would try to pull that crap. YJ likewise said how ashamed her parents would be if she acted like that in public. By no means is this isolated to American born Asian kids…it’s just that every ABC (american born Chinese) seems to act this way. The thought of 60-70 million SHATs in our country (I’m factoring in all Americans this age) is not a happy one.