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on March 17, 2019 on 3/17/19 from ,

Being Asian in Spain 2.0

iHola a todos!

I am officially done with 9 out of my 18 credits this semester! Wow, how time flies when you are having fun (and learning)! Before I update you on how my week went, I want to talk about a topic that I previously mentioned in my blog which is the generalizations about Asian people in Spain and Europe. Since writing the post, I have experienced for myself what it is like to be at the receiving end of this assumption.

When I visited Granada, Spain with my classmates, I was approached by two local girls who immediately greeted me with “Konnichiwa.” This is a Japanese greeting which means “hello.” Initially, I was shocked by their ignorant and the fact that what I have read about prior to coming to Spain was true. As I told them I was an American and not Japanese in Spanish, their facial expression changed. Between the three of us, there was a moment of awareness for the girls while I felt the second-hand embarrassment since I figured they had assumed I was simply Japanese based on my physical appearance. My second experience happened over the weekend when I was at a Thai restaurant with my friends. The waitress brought out our food and a woman sitting next to us wanted to know what they ordered. After having a small conversation with her, on our way out, she singled me out and asked if “I make this kind of food in my kitchen?” To confirm that what I heard was right, I asked the woman again if she was asking if I make the food or cook in general. Once again to my surprise, the woman wanted to know if I indeed make Thai food in my kitchen and was shocked to find out that I was from the States instead.

Both encounters made me feel extremely uncomfortable because I was put in a spot where I couldn’t have done anything about it or could control what was said to me. I was told to not let it bother me and to overlook it because some people do not know better. I wholeheartedly agree that there is a lack of world knowledge and general ignorance, but it’s disheartening to see this kind of behaviors be excused. I am aware that one person ’s ignorance does not mean that the entire population is. Perhaps the people I encountered will learn from their experience and grow to understand that the world is bigger than them and that ignorance is not bliss.

On a lighter note, this week I got to cross rowing in Retiro Park and watching a Real Madrid game off of my bucket list!

  • Rowing does not sound as easy as it seems. It took a lot of tries for my friends and me to figure out how to go forward and backward! However, all the hard work was worth it as we got to watch the sunset on the lake.

  • On Saturday, my friend and I went to watch the game between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo. As someone who comes from a huge soccer family, I was born and raised as a Real Madrid fan so watching them play at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium was something I could have never imagine! The game also marks the return of Zinedine Zidane as manager and we won 2-0!

Hasta Luego,

Lisa

Song of the week: “EL BAÑO” – Enrique Iglesias ft. Bad Bunny