‘Picture yourself in a sleepy town in Southwestern Australia during the early nineties. You’re on a swingset in the playground of a Catholic Primary School, swinging along gaily. All of a sudden, your nemesis appears, Irish freckles ablaze in speckly glory, with his index finger squished against his nose. He is mocking you. You are yellow. You are ashamed.
Fast forward to 2007. You have spent the last seven years in Washington D.C., studying international development, engaged in youth advocacy, working for a humanitarian relief agency. You have decided it’s now or never, and that Mandarin your parents tried but failed to make you speak as a boy isn’t going to happen any easier.
Welcome to Chengdu, Flatnose. Enjoy your culture.
NB: My header picture, “Crouching Tiger, hidden ping pong ball,” is borrowed from Sean Hawkey’s flickr