Saturday, April 19, 2008

My quest to become Asian

Do you ever sit at home and think, while watching Rock of Love "Man, I really wish I was Asian?" Or is it just me? My fascination definitely started when my mom invited Japanese foreign exchange students to stay with us 3 summers in a row. While everyone was gagging over the seaweed wrapped candy, I was double fisting it and saving it to eat in the privacy of the space under my bed. I also LOVED saying their names: Yoshiaki Shirahama, Siuki, Warren (he changed his name for some reason). I even got over the fact that one of them was obviously gay and hitting on my blue eyed, 11 year old little brother. I say- adding to the cultural experience.

Now, you may be asking yourself, Is Heather just being funny? And I would answer your question with a question- would I be joking about wanting to become Asian if I told you-
  • beyond all the fabulous museums and parks to visit, my favorite part of living in NYC was shopping weekly in Chinatown?
  • I use to make out with Ryan Kimura throughout high school, even with his chronic bad breath, because I wanted to birth his beautiful babies
  • I sit through awkward lunches in McD's playland with Mina, a woman I met in Target, and make myself believe that she's really learning English and I'm really learning Japanese when in reality, we're both really needing an excuse to eat cheeseburgers
  • I grow immune to the dead hooker smell at Li Li's Asian market within 20 minutes (that must be a record)

One more example. This month's recipe club theme was Tapas and Sangrias. I don't know about you but that just screams spring rolls to me! (that just made me laugh). You may think to yourself "Spring rolls? That sounds pretty difficult even for a wannabe Asian". Well you can bet your ho-dens it was. I found a 15 year old stock boy to give me the tour of Li Li's and show me where to find the paper wraps, fresh mint and peanut sauce. Then, I muscled my way to the back of the Vietnamese kitchen next door and stood in the freaking disgusting/amazing kitchen as some 3 1/2 foot lady showed me how to wrap them.

Yesterday, when it was show time, I performed. Sure, I burned off two of my fingertips and sat on the floor and cried a couple times in the process but wow, it was worth it. The spring rolls were a success and I think I moved up a rung on the ladder to complete Japanesation!

Dewa Mata!

6 comments:

Julianne said...

Well you have the dark hair. Now you just need to shrink a few inches.

Tara said...

Do you seriously remember the names of the exchange students that stayed with you? Impressive. Oh, and should I know who Ryan Kimura is?

Kat said...

I am so proud of you... I have been wanting to learn to make spring rolls for a long time! I love them. Still not sure about the fascination w asians, although I did laugh hysterically trying to understand ;)
Way to go on getting that lady to show you. please please teach me!!

ArizonaLewis said...

Tara- Ryan was the guy that threw fish at Pike Place Market. I met him at those camps I use to go to. Remember when my mom dropped me off to see him for a minute and got yelled at by some guy and said, "Kiss Your Ass"? It's all coming back now.....

libbie said...

i wish you luck on your "becoming asian" quest. you must be serious because i could not remember the names of our japanese exchange students if you paid me. but i do remember my sister carie running around in her swimsuit flirting with them. oh that carie . . . . .

Laurel MacD said...

Kee me wah . . .

Oh, and beautiful spring rolls.