Asian Provocation #2 — Tu Au — Asian Experiences in Australia
- the difficulty of Asian names while living in an Anglo country.
- generational experiences and difficulties that comes with being an émigré
- experiences and observations of racism
- the sexualisation and condescension of asian women and emasculation of asian men
- the problem with integration and question of identity
- issues of being an asian model minority
- parental career expectations vs personal life choices as an Asian
- sailing across the Pacific Ocean with no experience
- the learning lessons of being uncomfortable
- and other topics
Ayoto Ataraxia 0:21
You’re listening to the sounds of birds in the rain forest in Queensland, Australia. That was a recording sent in by my father recently on his walk. Welcome back to Episode Two of Asian provocation. And I’m your host Ayoto Ataraxia. This week the conversation travels to Australia. And on today’s show we have Tu, no pun intended, or name spelled T-U.
On this episode, we share that of laughs porn I listen back on this recording, I realized I use laughter as a survival mechanism to mask my anger and ultimately, sadness deep within. But this process of opening up speaking out the stories and experiences have been very cathartic for me. Realizing that I’m not alone, and sharing it with you, perhaps you too have some shared stories.
So what’s your pseudonym?
Tu Au 1:17
Ah, I didn’t come up with one. But I thought you were gonna come up with
this fake name that I use here now. Okay, but I’m so terrible because I never remember it. So when
to the dentist. And like, the dentist came out and he was calling me and I was just sitting there like, just staring out the window. And he’s like, Hello, mail. me. I was like, Yes, that’s me. And he just thought I was like, some whack job because he was trying to find me. He was like me. Me. I was just like, don’t know who this dude is talking to? Why do you have a fake name going to your dentist? What do you do? I would try having this name. Like this might be part of our conversation later. It’s so difficult to talk to you all like you call someone up. And you’re like, Hello, Baba anila who’s speaking on like to and they’re like, Who? to retire. And then they tell me to spell it. And then I’m just like t U. And then they’re like, surname au. And they’re like, this is a joke. Like, they just you can just hear in their tone that they’re like, this is like some prank call or it’s just, you know, yeah, it’s so fucked up. Yeah, so I was like, I’ll just come up with like this really generic like, because Chris’s name is. His name is Hunter. So now my name that I use is Mia Hunter. Except I don’t remember that’s my name and sounds like a porn star.
Nice. I didn’t know that. It’s not something to know. It just sounds like it’s, yeah. Yeah. So that’s me now alone that I didn’t come up with. I’m gonna go and youporn and see if there’s something that comes up under that name. Okay. Excellent. I hope.
Ayoto Ataraxia 2:51
Yeah. What do you what would you What would you be scared that she could be like, Ah, what would you not want your porn character be doing?
Tu Au 3:00
Oh, no, I’m open to whatever she wants to do.
As long as people are watching her.
Ayoto Ataraxia 3:04
Now, there’s Mia Khalifa, who’s quite famous. Yeah, the name thing is is a difficult thing that I think non Anglo people don’t realize how annoying it is.
Tu Au 3:15
They don’t struggle with that. And also even coming up with a name that would suit me because I was asked a few people like, Hey, what do you think I should change her name to and then they look at me and they’re like, you’re just Tu, like, you wouldn’t be anything else. I’m like, but if you didn’t know me, and you looked at me, what would you think I am? And they’re like, Oh,
I don’t know, like, just like, and I couldn’t think of anything. Oh, like, I want to be like, maybe like Anna or something. And I’m, like, really?
someone’s like, Lily, or may some like kind of May. Like, you know, Lily, very Asiany flowered night names and stuff like that. So I was just like, Uh huh.
Ayoto Ataraxia 3:52
And it’s so it’s so annoying too, because I also find it really annoying to have to come up with some kind of Christian Anglo variant. So that, you know, for some, some idiotic white person can, it’s just easier for them.
Tu Au 4:07
It’s that and it’s also easier when you’re actually doing a lot of times when you’re doing business on the phone like people I don’t know. They will take you more seriously for some reason. If I say Hey, my name is too Oh, they’re like, Ah, you know, like for them that’s just like, I don’t know if I really trust this person.
Ayoto Ataraxia 4:24
Yeah, this is systemic racism, though.
Tu Au 4:26
It is. So I came up with this Mia Hunter, just because I was like, well, it’s kind of cute name. It’s kind of like hard to figure out what your name would be because you know yourself so well already. And you could don’t really relate to other names.
Ayoto Ataraxia 4:39
I was never attached to Paul. I hated that name. Oh, really? I mean, other people like it, but that’s their thing. You know, it’s not my thing.
Tu Au 4:45
Who came up with that name?.
Ayoto Ataraxia 4:47
We just got this name book. When we immigrated. We just flipped through it. And then the translation for Paul was Bao-Luol, which which is from Paolo, and then Paolo in
In the Chinese Mandarin variant sounds like Bo-Rong, which is my Mandarin name.
Tu Au 5:06
Ayoto Ataraxia 5:07
Hmm. But in Taiwanese is quite young. And so it’s a different iteration in all these languages. So I was never too attached.
Tu Au 5:14
It sounds like you got your parents actually thought it out carefully. So So I mean, it’s not, I like Oscar. He just liked Oscar the Grouch.
Ayoto Ataraxia 5:25
I like that one.
Tu Au 5:26
But that’s good.
Ayoto Ataraxia 5:27
And then it’s something that I chose when I was seven. I didn’t even choose it. We just looked at it and go, yeah, this will appease the white man. Yeah. And it’s just, it’s something that I’ve always resented. And I always hate it. You know, I went through different stages, I’ve, you know, removed my family name to English iteration, because I didn’t want to be another Cheng-er. Yeah. And that’s so fucked up and frustrating. And so now I’ve kind of went full circle and go even more extreme and like, let me come up with some weird, weird sounding name that I feel for and just stand my ground and like, you know, and I’m getting that back again, people like, Huh, what? Oh, like,
Tu Au 6:02
what is that? What? What’s
Ayoto Ataraxia 6:04
your name? Some other racist bitch was like, she asked my partner. She’s like, how’s Kyoto going? And she’s like, you mean? What? So? Yeah, so yeah, there’s a lot of this kind of shot, they
Tu Au 6:13
met you. This is in person, and then someone I
Ayoto Ataraxia 6:15
know, and, you know, oh, it’s even worse. Yeah. It’s just like,
Tu Au 6:20
it’s worse when it’s someone you know, because you really think that they would be understanding of where you’re from and know more about you and
Ayoto Ataraxia 6:27
no, Europeans can be. I find like Australia, or more. I like that chart. 60% full time or part time racist and 40% full time where as
Tu Au 6:37
Oh you know exactly what they’re thinking though.
Ayoto Ataraxia 6:40
You know, what they’re thinking. And but Australians, I find, are a bit better with if they’re a bit more knowledgeable and aware, they’re just more cautious. like them. Yeah. cautious. I wouldn’t say they less racist. They just more cautious.
Tu Au 6:53
Oh, they’re definitely still racist. They’re more Yeah.
Ayoto Ataraxia 6:56
Whereas here, they just, they don’t even know.
Tu Au 6:58
Yeah, okay. Right. So there’s not, are they’re not friends with many other different types of,
Ayoto Ataraxia 7:03
I would say, so there’s just, it’s just more homogenous, there’s less, and there’s less Asians, and less Asians, like, they could be like, second or third generation, but they, a lot of them are unaware of the political past, or the relevance, you know, like, that’s why I’m tripped out with European mix kids, or second or third generation kids here. And they grew up with just German surroundings. And they have no idea about their history or their past. They just want to be German. Right. Right. Which is, are they kind of fair, but not like, it’s still a bit, you know,
Tu Au 7:39
but are they included, like, are they seen as Germany was? I would
Ayoto Ataraxia 7:42
say they would have their own struggles. Yeah, this is what’s been fascinating for me. I’ve been doing a lot of research. And I realized, like, a lot of my issues and my frustrations or depressions and psychological problems. It’s not my issue. It’s not like, Oh, I was predisposed to have this. Or that. It’s like, holy shit, it totally makes sense. And I’m not unique. If you go through this kind of experience, where you’re isolated or you’re separated from the group, you develop very predictable patterns. Yeah. And so I yeah, I think about some of the people that I grew up with in Australia, other Taiwanese Australians that I know, some that have gone through a lot of mental struggles and issues. And at first that beginning I was it was just taboo for me, like, oh, like, God, I want you know, and that I didn’t want to think about it. But as I started to meet other Asians and read more, and look at all the patterns and just studying sociology, it makes, it’s like, of course, you would be like that, like, you’re just part of this statistics. You know, and, and it’s really sad. And all the what I found interesting was some of the, say, mixed mixed kids are really funny, because it’s kind of like being a Jew. Now, this sounds really horrible. I don’t know why
Tu Au 8:59
this guy thinks like, a Jewish
Ayoto Ataraxia 9:02
You know, when you’re Jewish, you could you could kind of choose to disclose or not, depending on how, quote unquote Jewish you look, but you could just be like, Yeah, why you don’t talk about a
Tu Au 9:11
lot of because kids will either identify with I’m Asian, or I’m white, they can just decide which side? They’re
Ayoto Ataraxia 9:17
Yeah, depends on how they look. I mean, still, a lot of times, I think they have different experiences, depending on how they relate and how they look and
Tu Au 9:24
how they look is important.
Ayoto Ataraxia 9:26
So it’s even like, I don’t even blame a negro white person. You just never had to think about it. You don’t have to deal with it. And then if your intelligence level is not that high, and you don’t have time to deal with it, why would you it’s it’s just just the way it is, you know, like this, and that kind of helped me with I don’t really feel angry about people. But the funny thing is, as I say these kinds of things, it makes people angry because now I seem to be an asshole. But no matter what I’m seeing and asked
Tu Au 9:55
did it make you angry in the past
Ayoto Ataraxia 9:56
in the past I was I had different anger, like I I was angry because of many things. I like this. There was another guy that was saying like, he grew up. He’s Asian, Asian American, and he grew up. He wanted to be white. But then he realized one day, he said, I realized I didn’t want to be white. I just wanted to be treated like I was white. Yeah, basically, I just want to be treated like, like everybody else. I didn’t have to. I don’t want to deal with this shit.
Tu Au 10:21
Yes, I kind of agree with that. I remember being younger and thinking I would be so cool if I was white, but also Asian, white, treated like white, but still have all this cool Asian stuff like, right that we have. But yeah, I can see what he means.
Ayoto Ataraxia 10:35
I find there’s another layer for Asian men and Asian women. Yeah,
Tu Au 10:40
yes, I do recall, like from experience, it’s definitely well, even with my older brother, I remember when he came to visit. And this is before social media and all that kind of stuff. So and there was not a lot of mingling between Caucasian and Asians and all the different you know, so he came over and he just thought, hey, it’s going to be easy. I’m just going to go clubbing and meet some ladies and you know, have a good time. And I think he said, I he went over to some, some girl and said, Hey, do you want to dance? And she’s like, why are you talking to me? And he was like, Why can’t I talk to you? And he’s, she’s like, well, I’m white. And you’re Asian? She said that he’s like, yeah, and he was like, and I just want to have a good time and dance like, do you like dance? He’s like, yes. And he’s like, so what’s the problem? And she’s like, well, we don’t do that here. You’re Asian. And I’m white . And he was just like, well, we can start doing it. Do you want to dance? And she finally went, Okay, and let you know, but it took that little bit of conversation. And he was like, I would never have got anything like that. Even though it was the same timeframe, I would have gone out and been like doing a dance and people would be like, Yeah, right. But him being an Asian guy asking Caucasian woman to dance. She just thought that was this. It was never done. You know, this is back. 2003. So it was
Yeah, she was just shocked
Ayoto Ataraxia 12:00
Because was he grew up in Canada, right?
Tu Au 12:01
Well, he had come from Canada. He was visiting from Canada. So he was just like, everyone kind of mingles more, and there’s more. There’s acceptance, right. So he just thought that was very normal.
Ayoto Ataraxia 12:10
And he didn’t grow up with that kind of internalized racism and like, feel, he didn’t know that you’re not supposed to do that. Whereas somebody that had to deal with more of that shit. It’s like, Oh, yeah, we just don’t do that.
Tu Au 12:21
Well, he dealt with it a lot in primary school. Over here. He went to primary school and had that but when we moved to Canada, then he didn’t, it was very different. So I think he probably forgot a lot of that part of his life.
Ayoto Ataraxia 12:34
How dare you forget the racism? policy? Yeah.
Tu Au 12:38
And also, skin color makes a huge difference, because he had a lot dark at being agent and being very dark yet racism within the Asian community .
Ayoto Ataraxia 12:47
It’s like you get you start getting points with whites, but then Asian starts looking down on you.
Tu Au 12:52
You do because you know, his experiences of traveling to Asia, he was treated very poorly. And he’d be with his friend who is also Asian, and had light colored skin. They thought he was that the guy’s servant? And, yeah, so he would go into his friend would go, they’d be going to a club, and then his friend would be let in. And then they would hold him at the door, like, No, you can’t come in. And he’s like, we’re together. They’re like, no, you’re not allowed in here. He had to, like, bring his passport around everywhere to say, Look, I’m from Canada, and they would let him in just from his skin color. That was that was purely what it was. And that was Asians being racist to other Asians.
Ayoto Ataraxia 13:29
It’s horrible, is the last few years I’ve been living in, let’s say, quote, unquote, metropolis. Places, right. And everybody’s supposed to be so woke and like, Oh, yeah, racism is gone now. And but what’s interesting is, when I say some of these stories are like, why behave certain ways I do, or fears and memories. And people look at me like, Really? Wow, no way. That’s dates, they say that is like,
Tu Au 13:57
I think because the bigger the city, the more there, there are more pockets of groups of people. And, you know, people tend to stick to certain groups, and they’re not mingling.
Ayoto Ataraxia 14:09
How’s it going for you these days?
Tu Au 14:11
Well, I think, again, like you’re saying about the male, female, obviously, being female makes a big difference. People don’t get taken seriously. Also, if you’re smaller, or like how you look, you know, like I have to dress a certain way or speak a certain way to be heard, because the first thing they see is like small Asian, you know, this and that. And they made an assumption. And they’re like, I don’t look my age, right. So people assume that I don’t know very much about things.
Ayoto Ataraxia 14:38
You don’t look to white person
Tu Au 14:40
to what they’re thinking or to what they’re assuming that I should be. So they’ll be talking to me, like, I don’t know this. And I’m like, Look, I’ve experienced this. I’ve dealt with this before. You don’t need to explain it to me, I’m not saying these things. But I’m thinking why is this person like babying me and explaining every little thing like I’m here because I know what I’m talking about. And this is what I want and they’re like, Oh, no, no. No, let me explain it to you first I, okay,
Ayoto Ataraxia 15:03
that kind of thing. So this term mansplaining, I would expand it to more like white splaining.
Tu Au 15:08
Yeah. And so I get that. So I know how for you, it’s a, you know, a different struggle for me. It’s like, people don’t take me seriously, because of the way I look, I remember, even out of high school, people would judge and say, you know, I have a friend, and she looked more serious and wore glasses, and everyone’s like, Oh, she’s really smart. And she’s like this and that. But she was actually just an average student, but because she looks like she was smart and quiet. They’re like, Oh, she’s really deep. She’s really smart. That kind of stuff. And with me, they’re like, Well, you know, you look really extroverted. And you look really like this. And that I’m like, sure. I mean, that’s possible, but doesn’t mean I don’t have all these other qualities as well, you know, and that comes that keeps coming into play later in life as well.
Ayoto Ataraxia 15:49
Do you see how that’s still going on for you with this?
Tu Au 15:52
For sure. Because like, you know, even because I work in finance, and when people see me, you know, I have to make sure my hair is like frizzy and stuff, I have to present myself in a certain way when I meet clients and so forth, so that they take me seriously, if they see me as I normally would look. Just, you know, like, they would be, I’m not sure if this person can really take care of my money. Do you want to understand like, you
Ayoto Ataraxia 16:15
because you don’t look You don’t look Jewish,
Tu Au 16:18
in their head, they’re thinking that, but even if, with what kind of work you did before people judging on what you wear, how you’re presented, who you know, that kind of stuff, that’s all important. Same with anything.
Ayoto Ataraxia 16:32
I’m not a big subscriber of this fitting into the white man’s prerogative this model minority concept, because I’ve tried that too. And I’ve seen other people try it, and different people try different levels of it. And by trying, I mean, you dumb down, or you simplify your way of being I see within Asians doing this a lot more, we somehow have maybe less security, or I don’t know what it is like, there’s like a strategy for a large percentage of people that tries to figure out and integrate and fit in, but I think it’s a scam, because it’s it only gets you so far. And there’s a ceiling for that.
Mia Hunter 17:08
Oh, well. Yeah, I don’t actually think I fit in.
Ayoto Ataraxia 17:11
So no, but you kind of gave up early on that.
Tu Au 17:14
Ah, I don’t know, if I gave up I think I just thought What do I want from my life? I think, you know, the turning point was like, early on, probably around 19, my dad passed away. And I was just, I remember thinking, Oh, you know, he worked so hard all his life. And I remember him and my mom, planning the future of what they were going to do. And I was just like, you know, you can plan for the future. But you just don’t know what’s going to happen. And you should start living your life now. And that was like a huge kind of thought for me. I’m like, you know, at the time I was studying programming, I’m just like, this is actually not me. And I was so close to like, I was like, at the end of it, like pretty much. And I said to my mom, hey, look, I actually had to talk to her. I was like, I can’t do this. I’m this. And she was just like, Are you crazy? Like your legs like so close? I just don’t want to end up doing something for the rest of my life. That is not me that I don’t enjoy. And I I said to her, do you have? Do I have your permission just to do something else. And she just thought I had lost a lot because she was like, this does not make any sense. Like, why would you study that long, and then just decide not to even finish it? Like, can’t you just finish and I was I don’t even want to finish it. I’m just gonna stop now. I think that’s when it started. I’m just gonna live the life. I want to live and see how that goes.
Ayoto Ataraxia 18:30
It’s interesting, the different generations on top kind of another parameter for comparing to people who are marginalized, because, it’s, it’s getting to a point where I think more and more people are in this position or situation where you see, well, there’s not much point for me to do this. I feel like if you’re part of the non marginalized group in a society, and you could just be, for example, in Australia, you could just be I’m not saying that if you’re white, that you don’t have any problems, but you just have to kind of deal with regular things, right? Like, you just have to show up, you have to kind of put in the work. But for other marginalized people, it’s like, even if if you put in the work, you’re not guaranteed the promised reward. I think it’s also to do with space and the economy. And I think just in this, I see the younger generation just giving up more, because it’s so much like, what is the point? There’s nothing left really to do. There’s very little room for growth. I mean, depends on the industry and depending on the people, but I just see more and more of that happening and two more industries.
Mia Hunter 19:35
So going back to when you decided that you weren’t like you weren’t even going to play along with this. When
Ayoto Ataraxia 19:41
did that come about for you? I was never good at fitting in either in high school. I could see what I could do. And be good. I mean, I was already quite good, relatively speaking. You know, I was doing well with very little work, but I wasn’t because but because I my whole life was dedicated to the way that my mom structured things, I didn’t really have a childhood. I didn’t really have a, you know, I’m only having my childhood now in my 30s. I realize
Tu Au 20:09
that’s also like, that’s Yeah.
Ayoto Ataraxia 20:11
I mean, it’s kind of it’s kind of good, but kind of sad, because
Tu Au 20:15
there’s still a different type of childhood, it’s a different, you’re actually a child when
Ayoto Ataraxia 20:19
I was actually a child and actually enjoy that more. And now, there are things that I wanted to do. And then I get to finally do it, because it’s my money and my time, but then it’s not that enjoyable. And then it just makes me sad thinking like, Oh, I really wanted to do this the whole time. And, oh, it’s not even things that I want to do. It’s just like a way of life, you know, like, I just don’t, I just want to be irresponsible for a bit,
Tu Au 20:43
but it’s not possible at this age, right? A lot of those responsibilities is not actually as possible as when you’re a child because like, now you’ve got, you know, if you’re living somewhere, you’ve got expenses. Whereas if you’re a child, and you can be a child, you don’t have to worry about that. Because you’re who else someone else is dealing with that. So I get what you mean when you have that time to do it now, but it’s not the same.
Ayoto Ataraxia 21:05
So I kind of had like my midlife crisis. It was kind of Benjamin Button, some weird Well, I had my midlife crisis, all that shit when I was young, like, I didn’t have all that typical childhood stuff where you could just so I was, I was already like, Why do this this is horrible. This is already held, there’s no desire in this whatsoever. I don’t see the point. I didn’t have good examples. Sure, there was still Asians making good money, kind of, but I would say the people that made really good money, which is from family fortune, they were
Tu Au 21:37
already rich, they were
Ayoto Ataraxia 21:38
already rich. Yeah, this whole bullshit of like, just work harder. Like, I never saw any examples of that. I never saw people like, self made kind of, you know, like, they had inheritance. They, they, you know, they had some kind of path. There was no examples in my life of like, wow, you worked your ass off, and you get any paid off. You know, like, I would say, my parents were probably one of the hardest, not the hardest working but like they went the academic route. And they got they got the fruit of that in Taiwan. But in Australia, they just became second class citizens, because the language, the language barrier, that Yeah, there was not that space for them to grow into and society recognizing their skills. And you see that a lot with immigrants.
Tu Au 22:21
Yeah. And even if they could speak and all that kind of stuff, if they have an accent, for some reason, people just judge you based on accent, your IQ level for them goes down. They’re like, Oh, this person speaks with an accent. They mustn’t be very bright.
Ayoto Ataraxia 22:35
And the way they do it too, right?
Tu Au 22:36
Yeah. Explain to me really slow and loud.
Ayoto Ataraxia 22:41
I heard this other Jake is this. This English woman goes to Spain and she’s sign languaging herself to this waiter. And she’s like, do you have tea? And she’s even signing like tea with like, key cup and sauce sauce. And she’s like, patatas Yeah, but now we don’t have like shit like that, like I grew up with. I’m sure you’ve had those experiences.
Tu Au 23:09
I’ve had those things. someone’s talking to me. And they’re like speaking in another Asian dialect. And I obviously don’t understand and then
Ayoto Ataraxia 23:17
wait. Another Asian language is the dialect. That’s so racist!
Tu Au 23:22
Yeah. And, and then you’re just like, oh, then I’ve had enough. So I don’t actually want to have a conversation with them. So they can then they just say sorry, I don’t, I don’t speak English or something like that in perfect English to them. When they try and speak to me in English afterwards. And I’m like
Ayoto Ataraxia 23:39
you said sorry, I don’t speak English.
Tu Au 23:41
Yeah, but in perfect English, like, once they speak once I tried to speak to me in English, I say, Sorry, I don’t speak English. And then I just walk off and I just I look back and I see them a little puzzled, like, what just happened here?
Ayoto Ataraxia 23:52
I love the mic drop and just leaving.
Tu Au 23:54
Yeah, but you have to say it without an accent. So they’re just like, confused.
Ayoto Ataraxia 23:59
That’s the worst. I mean, I’ve had different variations of this or like, when I speak Italian. It’s also really funny because I was at an Airbnb in Denmark, and the woman was Italian. And she was she was speaking on the phone. And I needed to get something. So I asked her speaking in Italian. And she just looked at me. It’s like, you know, when your brain is occupied, your brain capacity goes down. But she just couldn’t make out that I was speaking Italian to her. It was just like, this is not happening. I’ve had other experiences like that where people just it’s some kind of cognitive dissonance. There’s no way that this Asian man is speaking, speaking, speaking, speaking even. Yeah, we don’t do that around here.
Tu Au 24:41
Yeah, maybe it’s the same as you know, when you’ve seen videos of Bart Simpson, the lady that voices Bart Simpson, and when she’s speaking, you see her and she’s just one middle aged woman and so forth. But then when she speaks, it’s bought and your head doesn’t connect the two you’re just like this is not possible.
Ayoto Ataraxia 24:58
I’ve had the opposite to when When I see like a white person speak Mandarin or something, and I’m just I’m also Yeah, the same. Yeah, it’s Yeah. hard to comprehend.
Tu Au 25:08
Yes. But like your accent in Italian is really good, isn’t it? Like, by chance? I don’t know.
Ayoto Ataraxia 25:15
I mean, I had the talent friends that would make these kind of racist remarks saying like, No, you just have access. What? No, you sound you sound Chinese when you speak Italian, but you don’t have it in English, which is also like, so what if I sound Chinese? You know, like, but we all know that there’s a negative connotation here.
Tu Au 25:33
Yeah, that is true. I think I probably have a bit of that sometimes, too. Even though, like I said, Asians can be racist as well. And growing up with parents that say certain things are yours, you kind of pick that up too. And you say it yourself. Like, that must be a Chinese thing. And you know, later on as you get older, you’re like, Mom, these are the things that we probably can fix and change. And not, it’s not great.
Ayoto Ataraxia 25:59
Yeah, it’s still a group thing, right? Like it’s a societal shift that we kind of have to be a bit more aware. I think it’s also because we just live with one and like, we live in a fucking society guys. Like we’re not living in Viking days, where you got to be watching out for the strange foreigners that are dark and scary or something that’s going to come and rape and pillage That’s true. Do you have the fear in Australia with with even talking to white friends about like, I get this thing where I’m kind of it depends. I have to pick my battles. Like some days, I’m like, I’ll bring it up or pointed out or say it. And some days, I’m like, oh, man, like, they are not ready or like we’re not, you know, and it’s kind of fucked up because they still being racist. Like I find here, people get almost angry if you point out the fact that they were racist, even though I’m the one or like, they’re not the what they’re not the victim. I’m just saying like, Hey, you, you’ve been really aggressive, and then they call them out.
Tu Au 26:57
Yeah, about being racist, right?
Ayoto Ataraxia 26:59
So not even them. Like I say, like, hey, so and someone else was racist, or that situation or you know, the system is like, system, it’s just talking about it. And, and then people get quite defensive and angry. You know, I,
Tu Au 27:14
I don’t think I have, but also, maybe I haven’t brought it up before, I’m not quite sure. Because I feel like when people are around me, particularly friends, they’re very careful about, like you said about Aussies careful about what they say.
Ayoto Ataraxia 27:29
And maybe you’ve curated your friends a bit better than what I’ve been doing,
Tu Au 27:32
probably. Yeah, that too, obviously, as well. But yeah, you know, you get to a point where you’re like, I want to I’m friends with these people, because I want to be friends with these people not because you know, I want to fit in or you know, just be part of everything else. I am actually, these people have been gone through a process. And these are the ones that are still around. Yeah, and also, I’m probably a little bit outspoken. So if I do feel like something’s not right, I will just say it without thinking about what the consequences of those words are going to be, you know, if I feel like someone, something’s unfair, I’ll say it,
Ayoto Ataraxia 28:04
and you have the other kind of advantage disadvantage thing, right? Like the fact that people perceive you, as you know, that you’re you’re less kind of confrontational,
Tu Au 28:16
I think so I don’t look threatening. So, you know, and I don’t look angry.
Ayoto Ataraxia 28:21
Maybe your brother or something?
Tu Au 28:23
Yeah, like even like, like he said, as a male. Like, if you’re saying these things, then people like, Oh, is he like, Is he really angry? Like, where’s this gonna go? Well, if I say it, they’re like, Oh, she’s angry. She’ll get over it or something. So it’s almost, it can be dismissive as well. Right?
Ayoto Ataraxia 28:37
Yeah. Like you could actually be much more angry than me. Yeah. But then you’re even more threatening. But then yeah, just don’t take you seriously. And I have sometimes the opposite way. There are times where I get into situations. I wasn’t even angry. I was just, I’m just saying like, super neutral. Like, oh, yeah, that’s pretty racist. And then people like, Oh, my God, like, why are you so aggressive? Why are you trying to start a fight? Like, Jesus Christ?
Tu Au 29:01
Yeah. And again, I’m probably as the people that you’re around as well. And like you said, if you’re living somewhere where they’re not really used to seeing different types of people, then that can be confronting for them to hear that, that they might be racists.
Ayoto Ataraxia 29:16
How’s the COVID and Australian racism going?
Tu Au 29:20
I don’t know. It’s like, I’m living in a little bit of a bubble here. I feel like definitely at the beginning, earlier in the year, there was definitely a lot of racism in terms of like, Oh, it’s the tiny you know, it’s from China, like avoid this from China don’t buy a Chinese product. They would like huge groups that forms that said, you know, don’t buy products that are coming from China, and this is that kind of stuff. But I feel like as the year went on, for longer, longer people will start to forget, while also a lot of products are from China, and
Ayoto Ataraxia 29:51
that’s the funny thing about Australia, like their economy depends so much on China and their relation with China. That’s right, but they they’re so desperate to be grouped in with the The United States and with Europe, but no one really cares about Australia in that sense.
Tu Au 30:04
That’s right. And most of you know, that’s how our economy kind of thrives because we’re buying and selling from China, and they’re doing the same with us. So that’s how it works. But for some reason, they’re just like, let’s it’s too simple, simplistic how they’re saying, let’s just boycott Chinese park that doesn’t work like that.
Ayoto Ataraxia 30:20
That’s not gonna stop COVID. Guys,
Tu Au 30:22
it’s definitely not gonna stop COVID you know, but, again, I think because of my friendship group, I didn’t really see so much of it. If I did see any of that kind of thing, it would probably be from news outlets, and that kind of other people discussing it. But not really me experiencing it myself or hearing it from someone that was close to me. How about you?
Ayoto Ataraxia 30:42
I’m quite shocked still at the Australian news outlet and their position on things. It’s just so outright racist. And it’s, it’s crazy. And this is kind of Australian political correctness as well. And like their their views on certain things. I find it’s so shocking, and they’re quite militant, even though like,
Tu Au 31:03
but at the same time you that’s like what you expect from them. Because that’s what you know that that’s how they have been,
Ayoto Ataraxia 31:08
maybe there’s a naive part of me that wants to believe the world is nicer than it is and that people are not so racist or aggressive. But I think it’s that’s just my my own naivety.
Tu Au 31:21
I feel like people can be racist, but still love or be kind to the race, the person that they’re races to. Yeah, that makes any sense. Yeah,
Ayoto Ataraxia 31:31
that’s, that’s a really good point, I am so much more scared of the politically correct liberal who says that they’re, you know, doing Black Lives Matter or whatever, versus the Redneck I I’ve, I’ve experienced more kindness from outright racist people, because they just have stronger conviction, I don’t know what the connection that may be stronger conviction and values, conservative values, in terms of just being correct.
Tu Au 31:59
They’re also more local,
Ayoto Ataraxia 32:00
they’re more vocal, whereas I find the liberal to be in Super generalizing in terms of categories. But there’s a lot of people who are woke, but I just I can see in their body language, or the way they treat me or others, that they actually are completely communicating in different, different ways. So it’s I rather the authentic person.
Tu Au 32:23
Yeah. And isn’t that funny that you can? Well, it’s not funny, but it’s good that you can actually read those underlying feelings and tensions. And even though they’re saying one thing, you can actually feel something else coming in from them. And it’s not not everyone’s that perceptive. A lot of people just will take words as face value and believe that
Ayoto Ataraxia 32:44
I realized I got really good training from that. Because I’ve been in so many places, what didn’t speak the language, I see how it’s come as a kind of a skill that sometimes people that are monoculture don’t have that skill. And I see how like, there’s like a kind of X ray vision that I can just tell the body language of somebody I could just pass by I know what they’re about. I don’t know everything, but I know what a big part of intention or what they’re, what they’re feeling much more than maybe even they do, right.
Tu Au 33:19
So really interesting, because that Yeah, that’s a that’s an important skill to have. But a lot of people don’t have that or not aware that that’s even there,
Ayoto Ataraxia 33:29
you also have a bit of ability for reading people,
Tu Au 33:32
I do have, I feel like I do. But then at the same time, I also naive, so I do believe that everyone is kind. And there’s a, you know, there’s kindness in people, they’re not just, you know, black or white, there’s like kindness, there’s like this, and that. And I always feel like at the end of the day, they will always choose the right thing to do. But then as I’m getting older, I’m experiencing people that I would even I don’t know, it’s a little bit disheartening to be to realize that there are people out there that you know, even that you’re just like, wow, they’re just out for themselves. They’re just thinking purely for themselves. And they’re, they don’t care for anyone else, and have to acknowledge that there are these people that exists. And whereas before I would say, Oh, you know, everything’s great, everyone’s nice, even though like obviously, you knew that they weren’t completely nice, but you’re like, you know, if they had to come down to it, they would still choose the right you know, the right decision and, and they’d be looking out for other people and all that kind of stuff.
Ayoto Ataraxia 34:27
There’s so much in our society that was pushing us towards a more individual and selfish kind of way of being, you know, you got to take care of yourself because like, I was thinking more about perhaps United States where there is not so much social structure and Social Security network that would cushion your fall if you do fall too far.
Tu Au 34:46
Yeah, I do see that in other countries as well that don’t have that support system for people that live there. And there definitely is a lot more of that. Take care of myself mentality.
Ayoto Ataraxia 34:58
I had a realization Now thinking about the idea of Australia, and I realized the reason why is almost like a shock, like he was saying, like, but you know that this is a racist place. And I was like, Well, I do know. But I guess what’s been happening and this is part of and this is why I hate this idea when people say like, you got to integrate, you could integrate to society’s like bullshit. I tried that, that doesn’t work. It’s horrible. Yeah, you also can’t not integrate depends on your level agree ability in your personality, right. And it’s really tough, because at the same time, I’m trying to individually and trying to feel myself more, but it’s tricky. When you’re trying to learn a language, you’re trying to be in a new culture, because it’s the complete opposite of that. Because if you’re individuating, you’re not supposed to absorb all their other shit, all the other people’s behaviors and mannerisms and the language. And to learn the language, you have to do that. You have to, you know, you can’t speak the way you do. Because that’s not how they speak. And so my whole life, I’ve been like trying to pick up all these things. And when you pick up, you don’t really choose either, like, Oh, I like this particular part of their culture. So I’m only going to pick that part up like, No, you just absorb stuff you a sponge doesn’t get to choose which part of the spillage that it wants to absorb. And I realized with Australia is that Europeans have a very good impression of Australia, like white Europeans, because it’s really, yeah, cuz it’s just another white place that they get to do this exchange, you know, Australians have the same thing. It just feels like another territory that they can go into exactly the same thing with a slight variation and feel completely accept
Tu Au 36:34
comfort. It’s comfort right
Ayoto Ataraxia 36:37
Yeah, it’s just it’s laziness, but and so when I say Oh, yes, I just say as a matter of fact, like, yeah, Australia is probably the most racist place I’ve ever been to, I think, yeah. Can’t believe you said, I’ve created a very nice, they’re very multicultural. And yeah, it’s like, yeah, it’s nice. If you’re white, you
Tu Au 36:57
they’re white, right? And they’re
Ayoto Ataraxia 36:58
white. So obviously, they never really get to see this, but they see that it’s multicultural. Because like, well, I am German, and or I’m finished, or I’m Norwegian, and they love us there. It’s like, yeah, cuz you’re like, at the top of this bullshit totem pole of people, you know, like, fucking air. Yeah.
You know? And so, yes, they never really see that. And they just think, no, it’s not true. And
Tu Au 37:21
so then at the end of the day, when you’re trying to relate to people, does it always come back down to who do you relate with more people that have been brought up, kind of not fitting in,
Ayoto Ataraxia 37:33
I noticed that the people that I I’m more comfortable with, and maintain relationships longer are people that are not monoculture, right? It’s really hard for me to maintain. to a certain point, there will be there will be a breaking point, because there will come a day where I’ve just had enough of the racist shit, I can’t deal with it anymore. Which is really sad. Because I, you know, I’m also a social human being, I also need interactions with people, I need that right. Like, I need, I need people I need that to survive, I needed to interact, I need that for economy and daily life. It’s
Tu Au 38:09
so do you get lonely? If you’re meeting all these people, and then at some point, there’s a breaking point, and you need to leave and not be friends with that person it that loneliness. Right?
Ayoto Ataraxia 38:20
I have. I’ve definitely been through a lot of depression for that. And it’s, yeah, and it’s not easy to admit. But that’s really what I was going through. And then here’s this really sick part that I discovered that there were friends in my life. And it’s not i’m not even saying that they were so toxic and awful. But it’s like, it sets me up in a very specific dynamic, where there will be times where and I think this is where Asians a lot of times have a tougher time learning assertiveness, I think it’s a combination of different things. There’s one which is that the Asian generally speaking, or at least confusion perspective, there is more of this group dynamic as opposed to individualism. So you don’t assert yourself as much in sake, infiltrate for the group benefit. That’s one aspect, but another. And that’s not to say, like, all Asians have no backbone and can say, you know,
Tu Au 39:13
they have backbones, but they won’t voice
Ayoto Ataraxia 39:15
as much. And yeah, and it depends on the situation. But that’s only one layer. The other layer is also that, for me, was that I have to also pick and choose my battles a lot more like I can’t assert myself all the time. I can’t walk away or like and this is how abusive relationships happen, right? Because if I need to be in this relationship more than you, then I’d be willing to take more shit because I need this and it sounds super desperate and sad, but that’s just just how it is. You know, like I don’t I mean, I have a large friend circle but at the same time, like how many people can I say count
Tu Au 39:52
they’re acquaintances, I think and people that you deal with for work or other types of things, interests that you have, they have that same in And you enjoy that. But other than that, there’s no nothing else that’s really tying that together.
Ayoto Ataraxia 40:05
And to be frank, like a lot of these people I can really, I don’t think many people really know who I am, you know, like they all have because I’ve, I think for a lot of people like me, or people that are switching and having to move to different places, I’ve developed like a kind of chameleon ability. Yes. Like, I’ve had to fucking integrate. And this is why I’m like when someone tells me it’s like, you should integrate you got to like you know, learn the folk you already speak fucking
Tu Au 40:32
you say fuck you as as you’re integrating. Doing this actually, I
Ayoto Ataraxia 40:37
am doing this is how Australian me would say you know, the perfectly integrated Australian This is how I how an Australian would react. Go fuck yourself.
Tu Au 40:46
Yeah, that’s very good at doing that accent by the way. It reminds me of I don’t know. Did you get? I think he used to say Galahs lot. Yeah, like the way that you said it was very Australian.
Ayoto Ataraxia 40:59
Wait, what’s the bird?
Tu Au 41:01
Yeah, the bird. But for some reason that what that particular word you’re very good at. I was just like, I could not do the accent.
Ayoto Ataraxia 41:10
You still live in Australia? I should I should. I should have a certificate.
Tu Au 41:14
I do I have a very strong Australian accent. I’m not even sure like, I never necessarily hear myself. No. You know,
Ayoto Ataraxia 41:22
yeah, it’s clear. It’s not the steve irwin bogan very, that people go Oh, yeah, I think if you don’t. Like anything, right, like, if you don’t know about a subject, your sensitivity is not very high. Yeah, you can only detect the more obvious things. But if you know it, then it doesn’t matter which type it in terms of strength, like strength, as opposed to like, if you only go in on the spectrum of Boganess, then short you don’t have a strong Bogan accent, but you’re very distinctively Australian with saying,
Tu Au 41:53
Yeah, nice. Yeah, it’s just, I don’t know, it is whatever. But it is interesting, because I know on the phone, when I speak to some people that are, you know, that are here. And obviously, again, I’m using, they don’t, they can’t see what I look like, they just hear my voice. They’re like, Oh, I hear I hear hints of a North American accent or like this and that. And I think I grew up a little bit in Canada as well. So there’s a little bit of that, but not much, you know. And like yourself, you’ve moved around a lot. So you’re just absorbing different types of things along the way.
Ayoto Ataraxia 42:25
I mean, the Australian thing I also got it I remember this one customs officer, it looks at my passport, he says, Why are you Australian?
Tu Au 42:33
Ayoto Ataraxia 42:36
Because I hate my life.
Tu Au 42:39
Like, what did he mean by that?
Ayoto Ataraxia 42:41
I don’t know. I just I asked him. I was like, I What do you mean? And then he just didn’t pursue the question, you know, like, kind of just let it be.
Tu Au 42:50
He got the result he wanted. You’re still thinking about him years and years later. I could just pull this up every once in a while. Like, why? And then you’re like, Why? I don’t know why, what? What did he mean, right?
Ayoto Ataraxia 43:02
There’s also people that ask me like, oh, why don’t you have an Australian accent? I say why not? Just it’s for your benefit. Because if I break out full Bogan, you won’t understand what I’m saying most of the time.
Tu Au 43:12
That is true.
Ayoto Ataraxia 43:14
And you’ll see that and you won’t enjoy it. You know, like I’ve Trust me. You don’t want me being full of Australian.
Tu Au 43:21
What are you trying to say?
Ayoto Ataraxia 43:26
My iteration, you know, which is like, yes, I’m really angry. Yeah.
Tu Au 43:33
Like, how does he do that? Excellent. So well.
Ayoto Ataraxia 43:39
No, it’s awful. It’s, you know, like, you internalize this shit. Like, it’s the period I think I’m really shamed about in my life is like my late teenage years were really, I’ve gone for my integration has reached full capacity,
Tu Au 43:51
Ayoto Ataraxia 43:52
And then I was full Aussie, and I was the biggest redneck. I was the biggest racist. I was like, drunk asshole at the pub. And being the loudest and drunk is racist guy in the room, you know? And like,
Tu Au 44:08
did you actually drink when you’re were a teenager? Okay.
Ayoto Ataraxia 44:12
You forgot that time. You forgot that time that I was too drunk to get home and I called you to pick me up and you told me to go fuck myself. And then your mom. Yeah. And then your mom was like, Who was that? No, you just said Nah. And then your mom was like, Who was that? And you’re like, or dislike, what? He’s drunk out that you got to go pick him up. You’re like,
Tu Au 44:35
did I go? I went to pick you out. Right?
Ayoto Ataraxia 44:37
You actually showed up drove all the way to the city. Your mom made you drove like he drove like 14 kilometers. One way. You pick me up? And then you prop me back and then on the way back. We’re both laughing and then you said you’re pretty much the same. Except you smell like alcohol.
Tu Au 45:05
Actually Got that? I bet you when you’re a teenager because you okay, I didn’t realize because you can tell me you know you didn’t you hid your age for me for so long. I think one time I finally got your driver’s license. I was like, this is how old you are like are you like
Ayoto Ataraxia 45:22
because you’re a pedophile
Tu Au 45:24
five years later before I figured out
Ayoto Ataraxia 45:26
I’m gonna I’m gonna come out with this whole #metoo, to collect collect my money.
Tu Au 45:35
Well, I’m gonna walk around with a walking like a walking stick or something and say it wasn’t possible. It’s not me. Isn’t that what? What’s his name? Weinstein. He’s walking around and trying to get sympathy from people. That’s what I’ll be doing. Just hobbling around. And you’ll be like, see her? She’s one. Oh, and they might know,
Ayoto Ataraxia 45:57
the classic alibi, right? Like, he lied about his age
Tu Au 46:03
though because I kept on asking you how old are you? And you’re like, he might not tell me
Ayoto Ataraxia 46:08
that doesn’t lead of any pedophiles, you know, like that doesn’t hold up in court.
Tu Au 46:12
You did not look like a teenager.
Ayoto Ataraxia 46:14
That’s what they always say.
Well, that was that was the other thing about ageism, isn’t it? Like, I mean, I felt like racism and ageism. And then because I’m Asian. I don’t really look. I don’t we don’t age as fast as white people do. And so there is this whole? Well, it’s just it is what it is, you know, it’s like there’s these Caucasians that’s like early 20s. And they look like they’re 40
Tu Au 46:44
they go injectables. Now, it’s not. It’s not not helping. What is you check? injectables?
Ayoto Ataraxia 46:53
Tu Au 46:54
You know, they’re injecting things on their face to smooth out lines and
Ayoto Ataraxia 46:59
like injecting Asian this or something
Tu Au 47:02
injectable like like, whatever.
Ayoto Ataraxia 47:06
You call them injectables.
Tu Au 47:08
Well, I don’t think people are just using Botox these days. There’s other like things that they’re using and they just call them injectables.
Ayoto Ataraxia 47:14
Just some? Yeah. That’s where COVID started the Asian. It was actually it was actually some white person trying to inject Asianess into them. Yes, they’re younger, and then they turn out to be
Tu Au 47:34
Well, did I tell you I’ve got to go on TV for like maybe 10 seconds and a tight you see rings? Ah, so what series is
Ayoto Ataraxia 47:41
the the Asian series?
Tu Au 47:42
It is an Asian kind of show. It was written by Asian Asians and film and for SBS. And
Ayoto Ataraxia 47:50
because I don’t have I think you need VPN for me to watch and
Tu Au 47:53
Did I send it to you? Yeah. Don’t watch it, please.
Ayoto Ataraxia 47:58
I looked at it. And I thought it’s not gonna be good. And I’m using VPN as an excuse.
Tu Au 48:05
I I already watched it because I’m in it for 10 seconds. And I was just like, you just
Ayoto Ataraxia 48:10
sent me the clip.
Tu Au 48:10
It looks so bad. I don’t want to send that. Like I was just like, oh, like they did like no makeup for me at all. Because I was like this peasant. And God.
Ayoto Ataraxia 48:20
Yeah, you’re this Vietnamese refugee peasant. Yes. You are
Tu Au 48:24
like, I’m like the stereotype. Like I’m wearing balancing baskets. And it was like so heavy, right?
Ayoto Ataraxia 48:37
But you’re too short for those.
Tu Au 48:39
Yeah, it was super heavy, too. And my friend like some people saw it and they I didn’t tell them that I was in and they’re like, hey, were you like veggie veggie ghost girl? I’m like, Yes, I was come carrying vegetables and my ghosts. And and they’re like, I love that hobble that you do into the alleyway. Like, hey, that is not acting. That’s me struggling to carry that thing like I’m, they told me to run and I could barely even carry the things today. I thought I was acting but that was just me. Like, holy crap. This sucks.
Ayoto Ataraxia 49:12
did you ever see me on Italian television?
Tu Au 49:16
Oh, that ad for that Institute?
Ayoto Ataraxia 49:18
Yeah, no, no, that was for that was for a TV show talking about sex. And I was on to portray a cliche. I was on to portray a nerdy asian guy, of course. Yeah,
Tu Au 49:31
I think I did. I think he showed me all like I thought I wish somewhere.
Ayoto Ataraxia 49:35
I wish you have a copy because it was on YouTube. But then they took it down because of copyright license. I
Tu Au 49:39
don’t have a copy of it. yet. It’s somewhere saying, well, I just watched on YouTube and then
Ayoto Ataraxia 49:45
yeah, they grease my hair. Like I had osipov they gave me a Casio calculator. Watch. And hey, don’t
Tu Au 49:53
lie. You had one of those when you’re a child. I wanted one but my parents would buy it.
Yeah. Yeah, and
Ayoto Ataraxia 50:03
yeah, and then I had to make out with I never know the political correctness term, dwarf or small person. It’s always wrong. So we didn’t actually make out unfortunately. But yeah, cuz it was the concept was that they brought they brought in all these cliche types. But it’s funny because I was the token guy token nerd Asian and the other types were like, you know, a jock, or a rocker. Or
Tu Au 50:34
but you still did it.
Ayoto Ataraxia 50:35
Yeah, I mean, I still did it. Of course it was a hundred bucks. And they had good catering. I didn’t you know, usual shit. And I had to fake an orgasm on television.
Tu Au 50:47
Yeah, I vaguely remembering this now. I was just like, that’s flopping on. About your orgasm.
Ayoto Ataraxia 50:57
Yeah, it was it was. That was a one take wonder the director was very pleased.
Tu Au 51:03
Come on time should have it. You need to like ask around.
Ayoto Ataraxia 51:06
But the other the other when that when when the other woman did it. The director kept saying no, it’s not. It’s not good enough yet. yesterday. I think they were just all enjoying it. Nobody wanted to hear an Asian guy screaming.
Tu Au 51:23
You should have said to them, I actually have just creamed myself. So that you guys know.
Ayoto Ataraxia 51:28
No, I didn’t say I was almost there. I like I could I could I could definitely improve it. Let me just take it take it again. From the top that. I’m gonna try this. Yes. It’s quite crazy. How many? How many ads? I’ve done in my life. Yeah.
Tu Au 51:44
Have you done like with you in it? You mean?
Ayoto Ataraxia 51:46
Yeah, I advertised for a fucking car once that I think I think I had a panic attack for the first time in my life. Like, I think I had a total meltdown. I I don’t know, it was it was really stressful. Because I think that was the stage the period of my life where I wanted to disappear from my physical iteration. You know,
Tu Au 52:05
you could just keep on seeing your image on there. And you’re like, I don’t want to be that. Yeah, I
Ayoto Ataraxia 52:10
yeah, I didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be an inferior Asian, you know, that’s internalized racism, bullshit kicking in. And it was this thing where like, I would get jobs based on my work. But if they see me, I wouldn’t get called back. Yes. Or I’ll do a job. And then it’s a one time thing. And they go, well, let’s not work with Asian guy again. Oh, I didn’t realize he was Asian, which is like, the worse.
Tu Au 52:34
I get on so much better when I’m talking to people on the phone when they don’t see me. And then when they see me, they can’t help but judge me.
Ayoto Ataraxia 52:43
This is why I’m doing podcasts now.
Tu Au 52:44
such the best talk on on the phone. Yeah. And they’re just like, so open. And so and then as soon as they say, Oh, hi, I had
Ayoto Ataraxia 52:52
I have so many of these stories. And I realized until I see it or hear from other people, I think I was in denial about that. I couldn’t face it. I couldn’t face that there was so much racism that I knew, but I didn’t want to
Tu Au 53:05
deal with it. Because it makes you angry. It makes me
Ayoto Ataraxia 53:07
angry. It also even people around me and like white people will continuously deny it, you know, there was like No, because it’s because there’s this other thing and because it’s another person doing this and
Tu Au 53:20
it’s like that’s the thing like sometimes, but also sometimes you become friends with people that you relate to, because of because their Asian as well. But there are other things that you don’t have some similarities with them. So
Ayoto Ataraxia 53:31
yeah, and then the work wise you know, like, I was doing the same job. And the same guy doing the same campaign as me before. Got 10 times more money than I did now, because, well, no, of course it’s like different things. Like it was a different generation and people had like he had made a bigger name for himself. And by you know, I always think of like that scene from Jim Carrey, what’s that movie where he gets a job promotion and he’s so excited and he’s taking the elevator because like the man up on the top wants to see him and you know, finally is going to get that promotion and he’s seeing like, you know, I believe I can fly all the way up and it gets to the top and they opens up and he realizes he got he’s the new manager or whatever the whole business but everybody’s it’s going bankrupt or whatever like everyone’s just a band now he’s got is basically just having to hold on to this like sinking ship. And I just feel like as a generation like also racially and everything it’s like whatever I do it’s it just feels like a bit of a scam you know, like I’m not gonna come
Tu Au 54:34
back to how people see you Yeah, and your name
Ayoto Ataraxia 54:38
I’ve had enough of that shit I just don’t care anymore because I mean on top with COVID the whole industry of just I’m speaking about photo industry like for me like what is the point I could I could slave away and make barely minimum wage and then have to deal with so much toxic people because I want to fit in you know, now that there’s Black Lives Matter, you know, and I all my support to all my black friends But and they know, they know like, it’s like a stage and there’s many periods in history, where it’s like, oh, now we go to support blacks better. And then it’s like a stage and then suddenly, you know, I had a friend who like, for the longest time she’s black and then nobody would give her a job. But now black line now she’s also like, you know, the phones is like, off the fucking hook constantly.
Tu Au 55:23
It’s fleeting is it’s fleeting, right? Oh, man. And then, and then it goes. And what annoys me are those people that I had a few. Like, I don’t know if they were friends, but like, you know, Black Lives Matter. And then they suddenly put all those matters. And you’re just like, Are you kidding me? Like, why would you even put that up there? This is not about obviously. Yeah, all lives matter. But start what this is about,
Ayoto Ataraxia 55:46
I saw this nice interview with this guy, rapper China Mac. Yeah, he’s a he’s like a rapper that just got out of jail, like I think two or three years ago, and he’s been making good work about also Asian representation in New York. And, and he made some videos way when it’s Chinatown and talk to some of the older generations and ask them about their voting. If they’re going to vote this year. And what are they thought and a lot of them are just so they’re like, Whatever, man, this is like, what what difference does it make? I like this guy. He was like, vote for my foot. Fuck this voting thing. And yeah, cuz it’s like, it’s bullshit. It’s just, I’m, I’m not saying we shouldn’t do anything, but I can see that older generation and like, their tiredness, you know, just yeah, I feel I’m kind of getting a little bit on that stage. Like, I still feel like no, I’m still gonna do things and put myself out there and speak about things. But there’s definitely Yeah, these ideology, ideological thing. I just feel like, you know, work wise, was like, a big thing for me where, you know, first there’s like, me too, and like women issues and stuff and does like our core
Tu Au 56:56
Apparently you as well.
Ayoto Ataraxia 56:58
Yeah, totally. But but because I look like I am, you know, like, people perceive me and I perceived myself as masculine. Anyway, I’m not included in in that whole discussion. But when it comes to race issues, and Black Lives Matter, Asians also again, have to take the backseat, and you know, it’s not your turn, because we’re the model minorities, and we already have a good life or whatever, when it comes to gender men and women issues. Like it’s always about the white woman. Right?
Tu Au 57:25
do you feel invisible.
Ayoto Ataraxia 57:26
Oh, totally. Okay. It depends. You know, like, it depends on how much I’m deciding to integrate that day. And how much do I want to or not want to rock the boat, like when I when I walk out the door when I just go to the groceries? I when I get dressed? I need to think about the white one a few more myself, or do I want to be more invisible today? Like how much shit do I want to deal with right now? Like, every time, it’s crazy, like cuz I walk down the street, and these fucking Germans like, they just stare at you. And they got this look at you up and down. And they shake their head or
Tu Au 57:58
so it’s still like that. I remember traveling in Germany and getting stopped at the border. Because we were Asian. And the guy that I was with, he had like a really nice, fancy Mercedes, like a really, really high end, one and he got stopped. And they’re like, this is not your car. And he’s like, it’s my car. And they’re like, No, you’re not. So he has to bring around with him everywhere. Papers of where he works and where he lives to show that I have enough income to buy this car. so far. We were stopped and then But then I also forgot to renew my passport because I didn’t realize if you go across the border, you have to have your password. I was like, Are we going to Switzerland? That’s fine, right? So they wouldn’t let me back into Germany. Anyway, I somehow convinced them to let me back in. Because, like I had to. They’re like, Yeah, but we only got stopped. The only reason why they stopped us was because we’re Asian everyone else was getting through no problem not getting stopped. We got shots because of that reason. And I was unfortunately, I didn’t have my passport as well, which was another thing on top of that, but we would have never and he’s like and I said, Ah, that was convenient. You had your papers with you about like that you he’s like no, I have to have it with me everywhere because you can’t believe how many times I get stopped all the time. Just because I’m driving this car. But I I making my money. I want to be able to enjoy nice things. That’s why I bought this car. But the thing is, along with it comes this racism
Ayoto Ataraxia 59:26
I find it’s like fucked if you do fucked if you don’t, you know, like, the days that I dress nice or have nice things, then people will I feel the envy and the judgment and the jealousy and whatever at the same time and open certain doors obviously, like going through life, you know, working but it’s like, well, whatever. It’s just it’s a superficial layer, right? But then if I don’t give a fuck and I just go out looking like a bum. Then they’ll go 30 fucking Asian. Or, you know, like, I’ll get some other fucking looks so And this is the bullshit. And I mean, this is why I like just the idea of like, you know, just, I’m just gonna be me, I do my thing, you’re gonna have problems, at least, I’m happy, you know, but still, I still need to, for me, I still get anxiety, you know, dealing with that. So I still need to kind of calculate a bit how much energy I have today. Do I want to put up? It’s this constant. You know, it’s like, it’s, it’s this thing that you develop a kind of skill almost.
Tu Au 1:00:29
But at the same time, you wouldn’t ever move back to Australia.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:00:32
Oh, hell no, that’s my biggest driving force for success.
Tu Au 1:00:37
Like getting away from Australia, but also, but then you’re dealing with all this other stuff. Yeah. Yeah, so better than that’s better than living in a totally
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:00:47
Yeah, that’s Australia’s like another whole whole nother level of shit for me. I mean, it’s no, it’s awful. It’s the worst. The weather is the worst I fucking and you know, in Europe, everyone’s going on about like, clear, sunny skies. It’s like fuck off. Sunny, sunny skies. The worst. Australia’s just bright every fucking day. You can’t open your eyes. Not because I’m Asian you racist, but because it’s just so bright. And I’m actually allergic to the whole country. I have developed this like hay fever.
Tu Au 1:01:21
I thought you said that. Was this my mom’s house you said I really haven’t done your mom’s house. I’m okay. Everyone else except for your mom’s house. I was just like, I don’t believe it’s true.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:01:33
I think I’m also allergic to my mom’s house. I think I think it’s just Australia that I think it’s my allergies sometimes. I it’s hard to say if it’s psychosomatic, but either way, it’s physically, you know, manifesting itself like it’s very Yeah, I’ve noticed that. I’ve as I as I get more in touch with my body and get more chakra chakra. I’m starting to see what gives and what doesn’t. And it’s a lot about psychological things. You know, like, if I don’t like something, I was stuck. My body will start reacting really negatively.
Tu Au 1:02:06
People don’t want to be uncomfortable for some reason. I don’t I don’t get that.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:02:10
Yeah, that’s suitable. Yeah, that’s been my whole life. I’ve just been doing you do a lot of uncomfortable. I love I love the story. Have you gotten this fucking boat? Right? This? Can you can you say the story again? About the yacht?
Tu Au 1:02:23
Yeah, my dad is looking for crew. You don’t need to you don’t need experience. You don’t. No experience necessary. And all I could think of was like, Oh, the we’re going to New Caledonia? I’ve always wanted to go there. No, no, you
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:02:35
thought I have no experience. That’s exactly what he’s looking.
Tu Au 1:02:40
Yeah, well, yeah. That was no exception, necessarily. Like, that’s me. That’s me.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:02:48
And then keep going with it is when you got on the boat. And then you said, Hey, does it is it important that I don’t know how to swim?
Tu Au 1:02:57
It was so long ago, but yeah, I think he was like when he met me. He was like, you’re like the firt. Like, I can’t believe that you actually came like he just didn’t expect that I would turn up. Because he’s like, I know. He contacted me and said you had no experience and like, Did you want and Bob up? And it just seems so random. And I’m like, No, I’m here like, I’m here. Like a lot of people actually said that. They’re calm, and they’ve had experience and they said, they come and they still backed out of it. And you’re here like, well, I said I was going to come and you said no experience. I have no experience where I am. And he was just yeah,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:03:30
it’s six months across the Pacific Ocean.
Tu Au 1:03:33
Yes. Well, it’s crazy. Obviously, when you’re sailing, there’s a lot of moments where you’re just alone, like I didn’t know that as I had was doing night shift. So it’s like midnight till six in the morning, I had to look like he would go to sleep. And I would take care of the yacht and just kind of sit out there in the dark and just make sure that it was going on track and all that kind of stuff. I didn’t know I couldn’t I could leave my seat. So I sat there their entire time to sitting there thinking about life and all this kind of stuff. And then later, I saw that he did the night, just one on one time. And then I was just like, oh, he’s getting out. He’s going to the toilet who’s eating food? I’m like, What? What did you tell me? I could do these things. Like, why I’ve just and I’m like, because I had no experience. I didn’t know like, I’m like, I have to sit at the home. I gotta make sure I’m near the steering wheel. I gotta make sure I’m looking at the compass you know the compass all the time. Like I was like, I gotta be alert the entire time. I can’t leave
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:04:28
it doesn’t really go that much off track.
Tu Au 1:04:30
But like you know, like I had to radio someone because I saw like this big vessel and I was like hello I May Day it like it’s like hello hello. I don’t know what to say like you’re supposed to turn on the radio and tell them hey, we’re like bola where you’re going and they could see you on the radar. But like I was just like it was bad. Okay,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:04:47
I love this story. When you met the the Norwegian. What is it called? Yeah, like backpackers
Tu Au 1:04:55
He was like composer for movies or something and he was with his girlfriend and they had been traveling for, like, almost two years, and yeah, they’re hitchhiking. They’re trying to make it around the world without going on a plane. And, and obviously we were, we were going to some islands and they we decided to take them with us part of the way. And I don’t think it was legal because customs waiter radioed and said, Hey, we’re going to come on board and check your, your yacht and blah, blah. And we’re like, oh crap, like disease. And I didn’t know the seriousness of it. And the captain was like, we need to get these guys off immediately. Like they can’t find these two people. Geez, yeah. So we had to, he put them on a dinghy and took them to this deserted island that used to be some kind of resort and just left them there for a bit well, like the customs people came on. And
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:05:48
one part of the detail I’m trying to figure out that was like, so the customs are coming, and you go off on a dinghy? Do they not see you going off and it
Tu Au 1:05:57
takes them a while it takes I think we were like maybe an hour or something away from where they already start railing.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:06:03
So they’re not even on the horizon,
Tu Au 1:06:05
though. Yeah. They’ll let you know that. Hey, they can see you on the radar.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:06:09
That’s that’s if I was the customs officer. Like that’s one detail anything, right? Yeah. Like what? Why would you tell like, Guys, I’m coming to see if you have any illegal people or substances?
Tu Au 1:06:21
I don’t think I don’t know how it works. Because obviously I’ve not sell but I don’t think they were saying that they’re coming to see if you go legal stuff. They’re just doing like normal custom things. They just go on board, check things, make sure your paperwork up to date, that kind of stuff. They didn’t say, we’re coming to check. And that’s part of the thing that they do. They come on board and they go through stuff, which I was just like, oh, because I was like, why can’t they just stay on board? Like why do we need to get rid of these guys like, and they’re like, because on our papers, it doesn’t the crew, there’s only two crew plus the captain, there are no two other extra people. So that was the reason why they had to get off. Otherwise, they were detain us or something, and we wouldn’t be able to keep sailing out of that countries. I was like, Oh, that’s and you know, yeah, I was learning all these things. And yeah, apparently, there were like all these stray dogs on that island. And like lots and lots of toads and or not Toad or frog like this had we’ve been breeding there and lots of mosquitoes. That was a good experience, though there was but there was a weird experience that sailing trip, like you’re saying, as an Asian person, you as asian guy, you’re invisible as an Asian woman. You’re like fetishized. So when I was in Nouméa, like I had all these guys just like, I’ve never had so much attention in my life. I was just like, I’m just buying a croissant. And these guys would be like, la la, like, just following me around. It’s like, I’m just buying croissant.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:07:39
How did you like that?
Tu Au 1:07:39
Like, I was like, wait it out? Because I was like, This is creepy, right? This is like, this is weird. And I was like, I felt very like self conscious. Because I’m like, Oh, is it because I’m being wearing stuff? That’s too like revealing? Or what? What is the deal? Like what’s going on here? Because like, even if people see you in Australia, like if a guy sees you, and he kind of likes how you look, they don’t say anything. They just look, you know, unless you’re at a bar or somewhere where they’ve been, they’re a bit intoxicated, they might come up to you. But mostly, they’ll just look unless you look at them. And then there’s an exchange of some sort. But people don’t just like, follow you around. And like, I remember being on the beach at noumea. And like, seven guys were just surrounded me and they’re like, Hi, I was like, let’s go swimming. Let’s go do this. I’m like, Oh, just didn’t know what to do. I was like, This is too much attention. You know,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:08:28
by the way, it sounds a little bit. I thought it it’s interesting, the allusion of comparing with the refugee experience of crossing the ocean. I was thinking like, Man, it’s such a white person thing to like, want to
Tu Au 1:08:43
they have the luxury to do that. Yeah,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:08:44
to hitchhike around the world and like sail and it’s like, Man, that feels like my everyday life.
Tu Au 1:08:52
Yeah, it’s like romantic for them. Whilst it’s like that’s, for some people. It was their way to stay alive. And because like, yeah, I didn’t tell my mom when I went on that sailing trip. I literally just told her, Hey, I’m going to Melbourne. Because I typically think
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:09:09
of Asians No, like, we just
Tu Au 1:09:11
can’t tell the truth because the parents will just freak
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:09:13
out on every hand.
Tu Au 1:09:15
So so when I came back for my sailing trip, it was like maybe two or three months later, I was very, very tan like very tan and she’s like, I thought like isn’t really like, cloudy and stuff.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:09:28
Tu Au 1:09:29
Yeah. Like, I’ve never been so tired in my life. Right? And she was just really confused. But then she just took my word for it. Um, and then we went, we had like a reunion dinner. So the captain came into town and some of the sailors in new Mir that I had met, came to Brisbane and we had dinner and I invited my mom. My Captain decided to break the news to her that he goes to her at the dinner. Hey, do you know actually where your door has been for the last? You know, however long she’s, she’s looking at? What does he mean? And she’s just like, Oh, yeah. So where did you think she was and he was like, trying to say like giving him dagger looks. And he’s like, What do you mean? Like, don’t you dare, don’t you dare, right? And she’s like, wish she was in Melbourne. He’s like, No, she was,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:10:11
oh my god, poor mum
Tu Au 1:10:12
sailing across the ocean with me and another crew member and we’re doing this and she was looking at me like, holy and she just looked at me. And then she finally just said, Oh, that just so sounds like her. That’s just something she would do. Like she just goes off and does some weird stuff.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:10:27
Where she was talking in this conversation.
Tu Au 1:10:29
Yeah, she actually said she, she, she didn’t say much, but she pretty much like Oh, that is her that does my daughter. That’s the she always does these things. You know, like she was
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:10:38
more that’s more words out of her that I’ve ever seen. we’ve ever exchanged looks. She just showed this to you. And he said, say something.
Tu Au 1:10:48
She can speak English. She just doesn’t have any confidence in speaking English, but she can understand English fine, but like, like most of time, she’s, she’s like, I’m shy. I’m like, Mom just speak English. Like I like you’re shy. You know, you obviously can talk a lot. But she does this, that confidence, isn’t there because I think she’s, she’s had her own things where people have spoken to her. And then they had difficulty understanding her with her accent. And then she’s like, I can’t speak English. No one understands me. And that’s just, you know, she believes that,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:11:16
you know, like, 80s 90s, Brisbane, Jesus, the level racism?
Tu Au 1:11:20
Oh, it’s so much racism. But yeah, so that’s what happened. I got dobbed in by the captain,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:11:27
I think part of my journey and this whole project and everything, like deep down I think the secret but not secret, unconscious, but not really unconscious driving forces. I actually want to come out to my parents with like, what I’ve done in my life,
Tu Au 1:11:40
do they not know at all? I don’t think they know, I don’t like even the drugs, you know, everything. Like,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:11:46
they know, like, I know, like going they know, like 2%, maybe two and a half percent. You know, they know nothing, they know nothing about my life. And it’s, it’s, it’s kind of worked up to this point, because of, you know, like, the whole, a whole lifetime of just being me, you know, like, everything is so controversial for an Asian parent,
Tu Au 1:12:06
why did you, I guess cuz like, I don’t know more about your childhood, but like, it sounds like your mom was quite controlling or just like, she was very put over protective, right. So
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:12:17
extremely dominant, extremely, I would say psychologically abusive.
Tu Au 1:12:23
So that’s the affected, how you present things, your parents, so you want to present yourself the way that they want you to be. And so there’s 2% that they see is the acceptable part that
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:12:36
you can give them this is the parent approved? version, but I had a conversation now the Chinese friend and she was saying, like, what is your fucking problem? Just to like the rest of us, you just tell you, you just tell them what they want to know. And don’t bother with it. Like that’s super disrespectful, you know, when you actually try to provoke them with all your actual life. Like, nobody does that just but I thought that’s so sad. You know, like,
Tu Au 1:13:01
that’s not true. I told my i’d slowly taught side time, my mom things more and more as, as things came along, like, yeah, like, but I still choose which ones I tell, but they’re still controversial for her. But I think at this point, now, she’s like, like, you know, that sailing thing at that point I had already broken told her so many different things that she was, like, disappointed with me about that. She was like, that sounds like her like, yeah, like, I believe it.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:13:28
I think that’s, I think that’s also just depending on on our own conditioning, right? Like, we’re more maybe westernized in some sense of like, we want to what we see as healthy, relationship wise and emotion rise, communication, communication, right. And so we’re wanting to do that. Whereas maybe my friend is still kind of, it sounds almost like the same as my parents, like, Oh, don’t tell the kid all these things or don’t allow it, you know, like trying to protect it for the other person trying to control their emotions and their experience so that we’re all kind of harmonious,
Tu Au 1:14:02
but you never get they never know you as you truly are. The same of it. Yeah, I
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:14:08
think that’s Yeah, that’s really sad. So,
Tu Au 1:14:11
but the insane that my mom thinks I’m an alien, she just keeps like, every once in a while, she’ll just be like, I think you’re actually not human. You’re like, She, I think she’s totally glitchy like you’re from this other planet. And you don’t really belong. Yeah, you do so many things. And the fact that you’re allergic to everything here on Earth, like you get rashes or you get like you don’t belong, like an alien. actually looking at me like she’s totally serious. I’m like, you don’t actually believe that to you?
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:14:39
Well, you know, I
have plenty of visas and green cards under the provision of alien with special abilities. That’s maybe I should put that in my bio alien. I guess I have actual papers from the government that says I’m an alien with special abilities.
Tu Au 1:14:56
You should definitely put that down just a bit.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:15:00
I put that in my bio alien with special abilities. But I think that’s also why we got along from day one. We were both misfits. Mm hmm.
Tu Au 1:15:07
Yeah. I don’t know something about a I’m not even sure about you just really disappeared. You didn’t want to work that. So
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:15:17
what’s a scam of a job scamming others. Here we were referring to the job where we met, working for a humanitarian organization that canvases on the street, looking for donations and child sponsorships. While I’m not against supporting those in need, I find it unethical to make a for profit organization looking to profit on the desire for the Savior complex of middle class populations, or profiteering a majority of the revenue. In the actual sponsor children see very little of this fund. Though on the one hand, I can agree that help is better than no help. But looking at the structural makeup of these systems, it didn’t make sense to me to see people working on the street begging and bothering people to entice them onto these schemes, like a car salesman. Meanwhile, the level of inequality in today’s terms, we’re getting to historical extremity and tipping point whereby some individuals in corporations have more cash than many nations. On top of that there’s the issue of the sponsor children can use as political and religious pawns of the organization becoming a neocolonialist structure, the sponsor children also grows dependence and the psychological effects of being always in the poor position. These are just some of my personal gripes but I digress. This is just a place where Tu and I first met
Tu Au 1:16:26
Well, yeah, I didn’t know that. I always thought I was trying to help. You know, obviously, but it was like it’s a it’s a fucking cold. Yeah, well, they were taking so much of a huge I got out of going through so but like, I yeah, you saw that very quickly. I was still in La La Land going, I’m helping the people. I’m helping them. No, well see, you’re just like, not, for me,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:16:49
it’s easy to see these things, because I’m not as much integrated being an Asian man, you know, like, it’s hard for me to like, get the sales work the people or whatever. And so like, I’m just kind of bitter and resentful and decided, like, okay, I could see it better. You know, I wasn’t special.
Tu Au 1:17:06
I don’t have to try.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:17:07
No, cuz you’re just a nice
Tu Au 1:17:10
way back then. Like, younger, right? So I had a different type energy. People just don’t want it.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:17:15
It’s basically pimping. You know, it’s pretty much you’re just whoring yourself. And I don’t even say that in the bad sense. It’s just, you know, you’re just doing it’s just sex work. Not sex work, but like, you’re whoring yourself.
Tu Au 1:17:28
Obviously, attraction like they’re attracted, obviously. Because I was just like, I didn’t, I told you what, how easy it was, I just put set up my little things on a bench. Yeah. And then people would be walking, just say, Come here, sit next to me. And they’re like, what, come sit here. And then like, Come and sit down. I’m like, Hey, I’m going to start talking about and like, do you wanna be a part of this? Like,
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:17:51
okay, that’s the thing about like, kind of sex work and buy sex work again, I don’t you don’t even have to have sex. I just mean like, you’re selling yourself. And people, like people
Tu Au 1:17:59
are thinking that they’re getting going to get something from this.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:18:03
Yeah. And and also, they think that the person working is the is the victim, like, I mean, depend on the situation. But a lot of times, it’s like you’re in control
Tu Au 1:18:12
was I the victim.
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:18:13
No, hell no. That’s this week’s conversation with to everyone. You’re listening to Asian provocation. And I’m your host Ayoto. Next week, I speak to Peter Leung, from the House of Makers, and the National Dutch ballet.
Peter Leung 1:18:28
In many ways, I would also like to let go of it also sort of making such a strong definition between male roles or female roles, especially more and more thinking about how we definitely embody both masculine and feminine sides, all of us and that has kind of been really nice to sort of get closer and to know that
Ayoto Ataraxia 1:18:47
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