“Does this have rabbit??”
It probably didn’t mean ‘rabbit’ but from my minimal Chinese vocab, I assumed it was rabbit because it sounded like ‘rabbit’, but given the context… it probably wasn’t it.
I was in the supermarket looking at teabags when an old Chinese lady and her husband came up to me holding a bag of Devondale Full Cream milk powder, I was the only Asian in the aisle at the time.
“Do you speak Chinese?” – in Mandarin
“can you help us read this?”
“Does this have 兔子?” (tu zi aka rabbit)
In Mandarin, the same sounding words can mean a million other things due to the vast number of chinese characters… tu zi could mean anything, but to me I only knew rabbit.
Clearly Devondale Milk isn’t from rabbits so I told her no… She thanked me profusely and walked away with her husband, insisting she was right the first time. My heart sank…
- I did not know what on earth she was on about
- I answered her
- She was happy with my answer
- I messed up so much but I didn’t know how to say that in Mandarin
I’m of Chinese descent. Born in Melbourne raised in Malaysia and speaking only English at home. My parents don’t know Mandarin themselves. I went to a Chinese school in Malaysia as my parents didn’t want me to repeat their mistakes of not knowing Mandarin, but ever since moving back to Melbourne… the need for me conversing in Mandarin has reduced and eventually I’ve lost it altogether.
It hit me with a realization walking back from the supermarket
Seeking advice from people who seemingly look like they know it… isn’t right. Representation isn’t everything.
She came to me because of my looks. I’m Asian. I’m meant to know and understand what she is on about. I even thought I did. I clearly did not.
It made me realize that in real life, when I’m seeking people for answers in terms of my spriritual walk or just life in general, they can perceive to know it all, did all the right things… but do they know it. Is it even right.
The importance of picking the right mentor is so important. We could end up in very different paths with the choices we make, either we ended up feeling inspired or driven, or completely confused and down the hill from where we started.
Just making my rabbit milk experience applicable to real life. It just made me realize how much I need to pray and seek God during this process of finding a mentor in my life. I do need one and I want one. As much as seeking God for advice is nice, my peers advising me on things that I find it relatable, it would be nice if someone older than me who has that actual wisdom I can learn from is present. Someone other than my parent, someone I know that she/he will be right and be on my side. My peers are lovely and I love them to bits, but as much as our experiences are relatable and we can share it with each other, we are of the same generation and we can only know so much.
Praying I won’t get Rabbit Milk.
Of course I won’t… I have Jesus.