“I think you’re biracial”

One day in August 2013 I’m at the gym. It’s a hot and sweltry evening. After only 15 minutes of working out, my head is red like a tomato. A guy in his 40s stops in front of me.

He says: “Your head is red like a tomato”, and laughs.
I: “It’s hot today, that’s why.”
He (looking at my trainer): “Is she Chinese?”
My trainer replies: “I’m not sure.”
I, asking the guy: “What do you think? Am I Chinese?”
The guy says: “I think you’re biracial (mixed blood, 混血, hùnxuè).”

Have you ever had a similar experience? I’d love to read your stories.

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12 thoughts on ““I think you’re biracial”

  1. How good is your Chinese pronunciation? If you don’t have a detectable foreign accent, that could be the reason why people think you might have some Chinese heritage in you.

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    • If I only say a few sentences, I think there’s no clearly identifiable foreign accent. People have sometimes thought I’m Chinese on the phone, but most people who see me or talk to me longer will know that I’m not Chinese. My Chinese is clearly not on-par with a native speaker.

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  2. They can’t comprehend that Chinese speakers might not have a single drop of Chinese blood in them and vice versa. See it the other way round – Chinese people expect me, a Western born Chinese, to know the language.

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