Asian Australian

Essay by anaraboHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2008

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Creative Writing - ‘Where we belong says much about who we are’My parents arrived in Australia at the same airport on the same day. Ironically, they didn’t meet until a year later at the library of Sydney University, they were both undergrad students. When I was born, we moved to Chinatown and stayed there for 9 11. When I was about 8, I used to play with a group of boys around my age. They used to come over on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons, since our TV set had the best reception. Then we would recreate the battle scenes in cartoon’s with miniatures which left them smelling like spit.

On the morning we arrived at our new house in Cherrybrook, I was sent to year 6 which was taught by Mr. Brown. He announced “Everyone this is your new friend and classmate, Ching Chang.” Then suddenly noticing the mistake, he corrected “I mean Ling Chang.”

There was another Asian in my class. We avoided each other as much as possible.

The playground was a noisy affair. I was content with my own table and seat in a cosy, and above all, quiet part of the school. On the day I arrived, Jimmy and his friends came up to me and asked what I was eating. Soon afterwards, they told me to stay away from their dogs and left without another word.

Over the next few months, my relationship with the bench quickly developed. That is until he came. I distinctly remember that day. It reminded me of my first day at this school and somehow, something made me want to beat him up. Mrs. Green, the substitute teacher rasped “Everyone, this is you new friend and classmate, Tsao- Tsao.” Then she noticed the mistake and corrected “I mean Lao-Tsao.” At the start of recess, I saw him approaching me. He didn’t look unique. Large rimmed round glasses, tight dull black pants and a shirt to match it. Lao asked “Chinese person- you?” After a quick nod, he asked to be my friend. I was annoyed. I hoped secretly that he could go bug someone else, but these thoughts were interrupted by the repeat of his question, all in flawed English. I told him that I had enough friends such as Jimmy. He looked disappointed, sighing he took out a miniature depicting a character from a cartoon 3 years old. I asked if I could see it and over the next few months, Lao-Tsao became my best friend.

I had many friends in Hong Kong. After school we all used to play with miniatures. Australia was very different. When I got off the plane, a rush of new smells, and scenery overloaded my senses. My parents had rented a small unit in Cherrybrook, we weren’t as rich as we were in Hong Kong. My first day at school was very alienating. Everyone looked different, and felt different.

There were only 2 other Asians in my class. They looked unfriendly, but I approached the boy called Ling during recess. He sat hunched, reflecting something rebellious. Nevertheless, I asked “Excuse me, but your Chinese right?” He seemed not to understand but then he said “speak English, your in Australia.” I was angry with my self, my first day at school and I had already annoyed someone. Using my limited vocabulary, I asked him if he wanted to be friends. My heart sank when he replied that he had enough friends. I sighed. I took out my miniature that I brought from China, Ling had noticed it too, and he asked if he could see it. Maybe life in Australia won’t be bad at allWORD COUNT 615