What Is You Means?

Yeah you read right – What is you means?  That’s what my dad says when he doesn’t get what the fuck someone is asking or saying to him (this is most of the time).  The man has been in Australia for 30 years and he rocks to his own version of English.  But I’ve stolen this line from him in reply to all the times someone comes along and just says some really smacked up incomprehensible shit. A sample:

‘Hey, you can speak English really well!’ – Why wouldn’t I you stupid fucks, I’ve lived in an English speaking country all my life.  Even if I lived in the Chinese ghettos, we’d still need to know how to speak English to deal with the ‘outside’… how else would we be able to sell our pirated dvds. 

‘Hey, I couldn’t tell you were Asian from speaking to you on the phone’– Why not?  Couldn’t you hear my dad singing karaoke and my mum paying the pan pipes in the background? 

‘Do you speak Asian at home?’ – I didn’t even know that one generic language existed amongst over 23 countries.    

‘I was walking down Russell St and I wasn’t used to seeing so many Asians’ – Does this mean they had an allergic reaction to seeing all that shiny black hair?   And my all time favourite….     

‘Hey, you’re kind of nice looking…for an Asian’ – What the damn fuck is you means??      

As a reader of my blog feel free to use this line whenever you encounter a talker of shit, and really try to fuck with them by saying it in a Bruce Lee sort of accent and do some kind of kung fu chopping thing with your hands.  If you recognise me on the streets of Melbourne I’ll do you a demo.


    • Friend, I know you come in peace – I can speak Chinese but can’t read it so had to hit the google translate. To answer your qn: Yes I do know it & I’m feared in Chinatown for it – E x


  1. Oh Ev, every time I read your blog it makes me feel better about my life – and you know I need that! There’s just nothing like an Aussie ‘compliment’ is there???


  2. Ah there is so much stupidity out there but I think the experience is heightened if one has something “different” to offer. I was just pondering the other day why it is that people feel compelled to give voice to the stupid questions and thoughts that swirl around their heads. “If in doubt, shut up” is usually a good motto but it seems so few adhere to it.


  3. Love this, especially the Lee Hsiao Loong. My personal favourite to those smart ass non Asian Aussies ….What talking you???


    • Hell yeah that’s another fave of mine for when I need to stall and buy time, but nothing beats hearing it come out of a tall blonde with blue eyes like you boopy – authentic accent and all! 🙂 – E xx


  4. I copped the ‘you speak very good English’ the other day from a Thai store keeper on Victoria St (little Saigon). Caught me by surprise. Just reminds me tho that everyone lives in their own world. As soon as they step out of it or we step into theirs, there is communication negotiations involved, much harder when the person your talking is different in colour and gender?


    • I agree Tintin, it’s a ‘tunnel vision’ thing with many – they see the world as being a certain way with no other dimensions. The danger is when ‘tunnel vision’ becomes outright narrow mindedness – E xx


  5. Did you watch the blue eye/brown eye documentary on ABC 2 tonight? V. interesting discussion about racism, perceptions, realities and the dominant hegemony… doesn’t that remind you of Uni!


    • I saw this doco awhile ago. It’s unsettling as it shows a glimpse of how prejudice can be ‘taught’ and how hate is easily ‘passed on’ from one generation to another – which may partly explain both racist slurs coming out of young children’s mouths to what has instigated some wars – E x


  6. One of my all time faves:
    “So, where are you from?” Me: Australia. “No, I mean where are you FROM?” Me: Australia. And this could go on and on (obviously i know they’re searching for an answer that fits in with their belief system that all black haired ‘slanty’ brown eyed people come from some generic country called CHINA).. I usually let them continue until they break and ask “well where do your parents come from then?” Me: South Africa. At which point I usually get one of two responses – “but you don’t look black either” wtf?! Or their brains just melt and they back away, no longer able to comprehend how a person of my appearance could possibly have been born in this country, speak only english, with an aussie accent, to south african-born parents. But yet me look so, well, ching chong… I could well bust out the kung fu moves on the street, along with some sort of african tribal dance, if only I knew how.


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