Things I’ve learnt from my Asian boyfriend

When people ask me where I’m from I say: ‘I’m a skippy. I’m really really Australian.’ 
It’s true. I’m a white kid, from the country who is sometimes accidentally racist. 

I grew up in Ballarat before the City Council introduced a refugee program, but during the whole Pauline Hanson: ‘Please explain’, (for lack of a better word) episode. There was one Asian girl in my year, and there were 200 kids total. I’m no mathlete but that makes her .05 % of the population. The whole time we were at high school together, I just assumed her Mum was Asian but she was actually adopted from Korea. Since we’ve left school Kym and I have become very good friends and I have discovered she too is a white kid, from the country who is sometimes accidentally racist. When people ask her where she’s from she knows they don’t want to hear: Ballarat, and she can’t be arsed entertaining them so she just gets to the point. 
‘Korea. South Korea, not bad Korea.’ 
I guess my point is, that although I’m well travelled I am also very ignorant when it comes to any influence from a different culture. Don’t get me wrong, it is in no way an excuse for being accidentally racist, or just plain racist, but I have had very little exposure to people who are unlike me. 

That is, until I met Billy. 
Here I was 30 years old going about my ‘white kid, from the country who is OFTEN accidentally racist’ life when I met my Asian boyfriend. 
People assume that Billy is Polynesian and with that they also assume he was either born in NZ, Hawaii or Mexico (..?!) and lots of people think he looks like Bruno Mars, which he is secretly stoked about. 

Actual image of Billy chillin’ at home

Billy was born in Thailand, his Mum is Thai and his Dad is Aussie. He grew up in Melbourne’s south east and is a bit of a yuppie who wears chinos, drinks turmeric lattes and only listens to SEN radio. But he has taught me lots about how it was different for him growing up and also there are so many things my ‘white kid, from a country town who is ALWAYS accidentally racist’ upbringing could have never have taught me. 

Here are 7 Things I’ve learnt from my Asian boyfriend! 



1. Spring rolls in lettuce and mint 

The authentic way to eat Vietnamese spring rolls is to wrap them in lettuce and mint and then dip them in the dipping sauce. It’s honestly the best because you don’t have to wait for them to cool down as much and it’s semi healthy. Trust me once you’ve tried this you’ll never want to eat a spring roll on it’s own again! 

2. It’s pronounced: Poo-ket, not Foo-ket 

I avoided saying this word in front of Billy for a long time but then I saw a cheap flight in the travel section of the Herald Sun and said: 

‘Let’s go to Foo-ket!’

Billy looked at me with a slight smile but I could see from the twitch in his brow this was a common occurance, having to explain the correct pronunciation, for him. And really he was thinking: ‘Who dis ignorant white girl?’

But he calmly went on to explain:

‘First of all it’s Poo-ket…’ 

3. How to use chopsticks!
 

The first time I ever used chopsticks was at a Chinese restaurant in Blackpool when I was 19 years old. I sat down with my dance partner, also a white kid, from the country who was sometimes accidentally racist, and 10 wealthy well to-do ladies from Hong Kong (one of them was Donald Trumps realtor at the time). Look, I tried my best but left the restaurant a little bit embarrassed and a lot hungry. I absolutely made a trip to Maccas on the way back to my hotel. Needless to say I was super impressed when I discovered Billy is able to eat Maccas, chips and gravy, with chopsticks. 



4. Tiger Woods is half Thai 

I always just thought he was of African American descent (are we still allowed to say African American?!). But Billy informs me that Tiger woods is also half Thai. Both Billy and Tiger have a Thai mother, and due to this genetic resemblance that should mean that Billy has the same golfing ability as Tiger. I’m not convinced that’s how it actually works… 

5. Agreeing with David Oldfield is frowned upon 

Last year SBS did this series where they put privileged white celebrities in Aboriginal communities. Ray Martin hosted and I remember him interviewing David Oldfield at the completion of the experience and his opinion towards implementing change for these people hadn’t altered in the slightest. He then said something that I agreed with. Not only did this expose my political views in an unflattering light it also made it harder to convince Billy that watching Lisa Oldfield on ‘The Real Housewives of Sydney’ was not in anyway influencing my lifestyle ideals… 

6. A Ricemobile or a Ricer

You know those cars that are all decked out with a flash paint job, big exhausts and spoilers? Lots of cosmetic additions but probably unable to drag your Nan at the lights. Well apparently these are called Ricemobiles or adding any of these useless accessories to your shit heap of a car is called: Ricing!



7. Just cos your Asian doesn’t mean you’re a mathlete 

Darling, you are still paying the hot water bill for the place you lived at 3 years ago… call them and have it disconnected. 

because: budget

I read a bloody good Mamamia article (You can follow the link here) this week written by a Sydney-based married millennial. Basically she documented her social, active, city living life by tallying up her total weekly spend. This did not include expenses just her ‘on the daily’ needs… and sometimes impulsive wants. I was gob smacked that her total weekly spend came to $1000 (remembering this is less expenses) until I realised I’m probably just as frivolous with my money. I decided to back track through my week and tally up my total weekly spend. Here’s what I got:
Monthly expenses:
Rent $800
Netflix $8.99
Myki $80
Phone $105
Health Insurance $72
Interweb $25
Adult braces $320
Total monthly expenses $1410.99

Thursday
Get a coffee on the way to work and accidentally also order toastie $11
Pay for a hen’s day $40
Go into the city during my lunch break. Need to get back to work ASAP can’t wait for Uber, get a taxi instead $12
Grab a sandwich for lunch $8.90 (Literally just a turkey and dust sandwich – nothing else)
Go for drinks after work with my mate Bridget $12 (Thank god it’s still happy hour!)

Friday
Coffee $4 (Go to the good place as you’re a Melbourne coffee snob)
Get sushi for lunch then are disappointed when it comes to $17.00 (I should have just got a $10 souvlaki!)
Bottle of wine after work to drink while watching the footy, even though it’s pre season, with the boyfriend and his mates $12 (Don’t care if it’s full of sulphites, it’s on sale!)
Ice creams from the 7/11 on the way home from watching pre season footy $8

Saturday
I’m determined to pack my lunch all next week. I need ingredients for avo on toast, tuna salad and almond meal zucchini fritters. Like an idiot I get everything from the organic section of the supermarket $41
On the way home from the supermarket realise I locked my keys in the flat. Housemate is overseas so have to call a locksmith. Pay $120 for the privilege of getting into my own flat.
Pay for another hen’s $100
Spend the night (like actually the whole night 7pm – 6am) at White Night, go for a walk at 3.30am to stay awake, get sliders from food truck (also shout my sister but eat her share of the chips) $16

Sunday
Go to Maccas on way home from White Night. Devo when I discover they are only serving breakfast (I just wanted nuggets!). Get an Aussie breaky burger instead… and 2 hash browns $11
Sleep all day and don’t leave the house until 4.30pm spend $0 doing so (YES!)
Go to boyfriend’s for dinner, get the organic wine $18

Monday
Go to yoga but forget to bring a towel, mat, or water. Pay for class and hire of items $28
Need a coffee because I woke up at 5.30am to go to yoga $4.50 (get soy because I’m still pretending to be a flexitarian)
NEED new white t-shirt as I spilt olive oil on the one I just bought so have a quick look at ASOS… $46 later
Teach dancing in Yarraville after work and get an Uber home $23

Tuesday
Transfer money out of everyday account into my savings so I don’t spend my rent money – forget health insurance and Interweb is coming out. Get an overdrawn account fee $15 (… it used to be $9!)
Coffee $4.50 – Consider giving up coffee but I hardly eat meat I’m not giving up coffee as well!
Teaching in Yarraville again tonight another Uber $21

Wednesday
Coffee $4.50 (realise that soy is now $5.00 so just get a skinny flat white)
Go for a walk at lunch, fight the urge to get a Diet Coke… Get one anyway – it’s only $2.50
Read Mamamia article about Sydney woman who documents where her money goes over one week and realise this is a great idea. I then go to supermarket to buy coriander and tomatoes and end up spending $48
Buy a bottle of wine as well but finally sign up to Dan Murphy’s club card $12
Total Weekly Spend $619.90

I’m no accountant but it seems my lifestyle doesn’t match my income. Kind of like how my education doesn’t match my ambition or my crockery doesn’t match my apartment. I’ve heard about these people that track their spending and adhere to something called a budget..? And after actually seeing how much I spend weekly, on nothing, I’m likely to be implementing one. Maybe next week though…

I’m of the firm belief that money doesn’t buy happiness and having smashed avo on toast, e’ry day, is the ultimate meme, I mean dream.

#liveyourmilleniallife

because: yoga

I really don’t actually enjoy going to the gym. Like, I am not even going to pretend that I walk out of that place filled with endorphins and a new found life motivation. I kind of wish I was one of those people that said: ‘Once you go, you just feel so much better!’
… I believe they are lying not only to you, but also to themselves.

Anyway, I pay my membership and I plan to go to the gym every day but the reality is that I might go twice a week… Or maybe once a week. Ok, I go once a week. Once.

Of late, I have been enjoying far too many Uber Eats and $3 pies from the 7/11 so the boyfriend and I entertained the idea of doing boot camp together. But neither of us were thrilled with a 6am start or the idea of being verbally harassed into our dream summer bikini bodies. It is one thing to start your day peddling a stationary bike while reading a romance novel and quite another to be yelled at by a tattooed middle aged man who Googles, daily, the words: French Foreign Legion and Michelle Bridges. The next option I was presented with was CrossFit and I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about that, but I was sold the idea by use of my favourite nine-word sentence:
‘You could get a blog post out of it.’

*I fear I may have also agreed to go camping, for the first time ever, because these words were also used in a bid to convince me three days without a shower isn’t so bad!*
Fortunately the CrossFit bloke never got back to us about scheduling an intro session so by we decided to just go to yoga instead. I was a little nervous about participating in a hot yoga class considering my normal low blood pressure and the heightened chance of me fainting in a warmed space. I have the same feeling when I get on the tram and it’s over 23 degrees. There is always the chance I will faint, have a seizure and shit myself all at the same time. So the 10 minutes before the start of the class when you just lay there and adjust to the room temperature is really for everyone’s benefit. And they are not kidding about it being hot yoga. It is V hot!

I do cheat on half of the breathing exercises and it’s going to be a long time before I can successfully stand on my head. But, so far, I’ve made it through without incident and have since cancelled my gym membership and am planning my life around yoga classes. It kind of matches my wine allergy and maybe by the New Year I’ll have become a vegan? It’s for sure better than psyching yourself up for the gym and then never going.

(insert video Boasty tagged me in)

Even though I’m no closer to rocking all my belly tops this summer I don’t even really care, to be honest. I just like that I’m sweating while lying on my back with my eyes closed.

The best thing about this whole yoga experience is after the class we go for dinner. And we walk straight past the place with overpriced Vietnamese noodle salad and the organic chicken restaurant with gluten free/dairy free/no fun Snickers bar (I’ve never had one but the internet told me so) and go and get burgers.

Big fat dirty delicious burgers.

I didn’t feel guilty at all, not even when I order a beer or dipped the whole burger in mayo. And all I can think about is going back this week to try the southern fried chicken burger.
This probably indicates I won’t become a vegan anytime soon… or a full time yogi.

Namaste.

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