Today I got a phone call from an unidentified number. So I picked up and this is how the conversation went:
Unknown caller: Mumbles incoherently in Chinese.
Me: Can you please speak in English? I don’t speak in Chinese.
Unknown caller (Responding in English): Okay. Can you speak Chinese?
Me: No. I can only speak English.
Unknown caller: Hangs up without saying anything.
Why you gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human too?!
I feel insulted. Why did you call, say my name (she even skipped the “Denise” part and went straight to “Lee Zheng Yi”, which is the part I don’t even use) and then put down the phone because you can’t hold a conversation with me in English? If by some chance, you are calling for some customer service thing, woman, you suck at your job.
Even I am surprised at my inability to speak any Chinese dialect, to be honest. My Korean, although horrible, is still better than my Mandarin. I had extra Mandarin classes for 2 years when I was 12-years-old to no effect. Even in kindergarten, I could not pass my Mandarin test. Yes, horrible is me cutting myself some slack. In fact, my inability to understand Mandarin is actually quite shocking.
Banana’s are used to describe a Chinese person who cannot speak Chinese – yellow skinned but white on the inside. Don’t know where the analogy came from but I never really needed Chinese, if I were to be perfectly honest. I only speak English (well, Malay and very little Korean too but that’s not the point I’m making here), and to be completely frank, I’m pretty damn good at it. I’m a talented banana. I don’t need Chinese to get by.
I AM A TALENTED BANANA.
(now leave me be, and stop telling me what to do – yes you random people on the phone who speak to me in Chinese and cannot understand English when I say I DO NOT SPEAK CHINESE)