Super Hans wrote:Guys if you are having a rough time in Asia due to "microagression" I'd say grow up. Your an adult, microagression. Learn some Chinese
Hmmm...when I don't speak Chinese, I am often talked about in a derogatory way, especially in places like traditional markets. I also sometimes get charged higher prices for things, and I know this because it is often suggested to the laoban right in front of my face. Understanding Chinese but not letting on is a revealing insight into how a significant cross section of the locals perceive foreigners.
When idiots shout "heeelllooooh" at me and I choose not to humour them, this often results in expletives being hurled in my direction, and often some of those expletives are in English: Fuck You being the most common. This leads me to believe that the intent of the original interaction was indeed to annoy or garner a response from The Foreigner - a kind of sport if you like, and when this response is not forthcoming, a resort to a more offensive line of approach is used. Singling a person out due to their colour or race for the enjoyment of oneself or others certainly is an act of racism or aggression, benign as it may be.
In arguments and verbal conflicts to do with traffic, negotiations, employment and contracts, I am usually briskly reminded of my status as a foreigner here. In heated debates, I am often told to 'go back to America' or whatever my nationality happens to be that day.
Now none of the above particularly bother me, as it is all part of the experience of living in a place I choose to live in which is not my home. But for the purpose of this thread I disagree with many posters here who pass off this micro-aggression business as totally harmless. I agree that the majority of encounters are just people being curious or trying to make conversation or be hospitable and accommodating, and in comparison to many other countries, life as a foreigner here is pretty easy. But there is also a noticeable bunch of people here on this island who can be quite vicious and discriminatory, and these people surface at regular intervals - at least in my case, so it is understandable that some foreigners here have a hard time dealing with it.
Every person has their own perception of how things are, and that perception is important to any given individual. What doesn't bother me bother's somebody else, and that's why I think it is important to acknowledge how certain posters here feel about micro-aggressions and cut them some slack. Learning how to deal with this kind of thing can be a long process for some people, and often the negativity of such things can be exaggerated and influenced by other things that are going on in their lives.
I agree with your post except the part that this isn't your home, you live here IT IS YOUR HOME. Even if you plan to return to the country in your passport at one day in the future, right now you live here it's your home. I adopt that attitude and look at it from that perspective. Now looking at things from that angle, I got the same garbage from the country in my passport while growing up so its a wash. For me, when I go out with my gf and I'm handling some business and talking to a worker, they almost refuse to acknowledge me so I just check them, excuse me. I'm talking to you, is there a reason why you keep looking at my gf for answers. It's like they don't see me, if it's bad enough I cut the conversation short and leave. I find somewhere else to do business. If in a conversation someone tells me to go back to my country I asked they are they original people, if not then they can do the same. I rarely have issues from original people here, they seem truly genuine but that may also be a front. For now Taiwan is my home and I deal with people here the same way I would in a English speaking country, there's no reason to feel like a second class citizen.
In the morning markets I get treated well, never really had any problems there but if you hear them say charge you more, and your looking at the scale make sure the use the correct prices, if not check them, in Chinese, that's what the locals do. Maybe I'm somewhat lucky, being a black guy they either A: too scared to try anything fishy, or B: think I'm too poor. Either one is fine because what they think don't put money in my bank. You can be just as sharp to them as they are to you, plus do you listen to the way they talk to each other, or better yet the way they are nice face to face but are so devious behind peoples backs. We notice because we are fish out of water here but just get your goggles on and see it like the rest of the fishes.