Monday, October 16, 2006

Like an Asian Clarke Kent

Until more recently, I hadn't received the usual "Are you part Asian?" question, however it did finally happen twice last week. Then again yesterday I had the more inconspicuous but closely related "Did you die your hair?" The question came out of the blue, and I took it to mean "How did you make your Asian hair less black?" Perhaps I'm reading into it a bit much, but it doesn't change the first two questions:
- Are you maybe oriental?
- I thought maybe one of your parents is Asian decent?
So, there's the proof - while not as blunt as the infamous schoolyard kid who yelled "Hey Chinese guy! Pass the ball!" - EVEN Japanese people suspect that I'm at least PART Asian.

For those of you who haven't known me for that long, understand that this is an ongoing theme for me. Every couple months or so somebody (sometimes people I don't know, other times close friends) ask me about my Asian heritage, or refer to me as being part-Asian. Of course, I have been known to go along with this, sometimes embellishing on made-up family background. For example, at my highschool graduation dance I wore a kimono (as made by mom!). As my good friend Tim Golem is fond of saying..."You know're really not helping this people-thinking-you're-Asian thing by walking around in a kimono."

The other presumed aspect to my identity (at least my secret identity), is of course Clarke Kent. The more dedicated readers of this site will recall the "You look-a like Clarke Kent-o" anecdote from a few weeks ago. Other friends may recall Justyna drawing this connection in highschool (although Claire was more fond of calling me in Powers), and Jen from Cafe One calling me Superman.
Today marked the fourth unprovoked Kent-comment when an Aussie Nova Instructor in the elevator asked me if I had ever been told that I look like Clarke Kent.

I don't know what it is about that damn elevator, but it sure brings out the mild-mannered news reporter in me.

In less pointless news today:
Of course, since I haven't written anything about NOT going to Kyoto, this will not come as a great relief to you, but let me assure you that the last few days have been a struggle through red tape and fax machines.
Wednesday I am scheduled to work. Tara has this day off. To take this Wednesday off, I had to find somebody to cover the shift for me, in exchange for working one of their shifts the following week. This WAS taken care of, but unfortunately the guy covering my shift backed out before signing the agreement. Since the paperwork is supposed to be in 3 days in advance of your shift, the trip to Kyoto was in temporary jeopardy. It took me 2 days of calling other schools to finally find somebody else to cover the shift. Fortunately my manager was understanding and allowed the swap on short notice.
SO, to Kyoto we go on Wednesday. 2 nights, and 3 days, in what's supposed to be one of the most beautiful cities in Japan; absolutely packed with ancient temples, heritage, geisha, and all other things Japanese.

Final comment, for those of you who know and like Justin Sanchez, you'll be happy to know that I spoke to him briefly today. He is safe and enjoying the beaches in Fiji!

Ok, that's all for now!


anita said...

You know, my parents have asked me about your Asian decent as well.
Might it be possible that you were swapped with another baby in the hospital?

Fiji? I want to go to Fiji! Not 8:15 lectures. Will you ask Justin, next time you two speak, whether he would be willing to sit in my lecture for me while I lie on the beach? That'd be really great. But I mean, I would gladly also swap a spot in Japan if one of your tires of your adventures!

your friends in Japan said...

Well, apparently the Mathesons had a trading company way back when... Perhaps an Asian wife was thrown into the deal one time when they went to trade for spices.

Don't worry, Anita. You'll be the first person I talk to as soon as I feel like taking medical lectures in Germany at 8:15am.

MomE-San said...

Uhh Ian, there's something I've been meaning to tell you...only joking. I can assure you Anita no trades were made at the hospital but if you met my father-in-law you would see the oriental reference. Ian's Dad's knickname in high school was 'China'. Maybe there is something with the rum runners theory:)

Derrick M said...

Ian, the Matheson trading company still exists! There is even a Wiki:
and their own website:

Now, I wonder if I can get a job there, just because of the last name... ;)

amy said...

I always wondered if you were part Asian, but I don't think I ever brought it up. Mostly because of a guy in elementary school to whom I unwittingly made an inappropriate comment once.

Hmmm, the above attempt at being vague sort of makes it look like I made a racist joke or something. I didn't, but he just kind of looked at me like I was crazy. Sort of like this: O_o Yes. That is exactly what he looked like.

Ha! "...made an inappropriate comment once..." 'Cause, you know, I'm never inappropriate. I am a delicate fucking flower.

Des said...

Did you tell your Aussi friend that you don't use your super powers when down there....flying upside down I understand gets you confused....

Have you heard any shout-outs lately...."Look in the Sky, is it a bird?, is it a plane, no it is a high flying Asian guy!"

Hey I hope you aren’t using your x-ray vision on my daughter!!!!

Tara buy lead lined underware.

Fiji...maybe I can find a customer there to sell to...I will extend my Caribbean accounts....

Meaghan said...

hahahaha oh dad...

I miss you asian superman guy!

your friends in Japan said...

Heyyy, you guys probably won't see this comment since it's OLD NEWS now...but anyway:

Derrick - Well thanks for bringing up the fact that our ancestors were all crack-dealing pirates. :P
Good luck getting in with that crowd!

Amy - you're delightful.
Please remember there are children reading this blog. :P

Des - no comment.

Meaghan - Thanks, miss you too!