I have learned to keep my lips together when my brain explodes. In my frontal lobe the synapses were firing messages to my lips, messages like "WTF. Did you expect a rickshaw to pull up? A Charlie Chan accent? Madame Butterfly?!" Of course, I didn't say all that, instead I gently let out a sigh and said "I was born in Canada to immigrant parents. I am Chinese Canadian and I took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America in 2000, so that I could vote in my adopted country".
This subject is close to my heart because of my family history, but mostly because of my personal experiences as a someone taken at face value. I will be writing about the experience of being a Hyphenate, of being able to see Los Angeles in multi-layers, of being able to cross bridges, and of co-existing in a city of 224 languages; from Little Tokyo to Chinatown to Historic Filipinotown to Koreatown to Little Saigon to Thai Town and to that city called Los Angeles.
Ophelia Chong. A true multi-tasker: illustrator, designer, teacher, networker and writer of short blasts of pent up hot air, writes about Los Angeles every Thursday at 10 a.m. on KCET's SoCal UpDaily blog.
Image: Flower Drum Song / Ophelia Chong