This novel reveals the truths about Asian culture, which will shock you!
|Yellow on the Outside, Shame on the Inside: Asian Culture Revealed - Chapter 1
Doctor or lawyer—my only two options. These would be your only two options if you had Asian parents. You would think that you would be able to pick your own career, since you know, it is your own damn life. But not when you have Asian parents. So my only two options: doctor or lawyer. I wonder if my parents even know why I should become a doctor or a lawyer. Is it because doctors save lives and lawyers protect the innocent? I bet they didn't know that doctors these days are only trained in surgery and prescribing medicine and pretty much nothing else; doctors don't know anything about proven alternative medicine, homeopathic remedies, chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, yet, they make all the big bucks. And they're treated like gods because they supposedly know it all, even though they haven't cured one disease since what—smallpox? As a matter of fact, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, even acne is on the rise and more prevalent than ever before! Shouldn't these reputable, knowledgeable doctors, with such advanced medical technology, know why there are so many new diseases such as acid reflux? And why is there nothing being cured today, not the common cold, not even polio? Maybe it really is all about the money since doctors make big bucks on the sick and dying but not a penny once you're cured. Because once you're cured, you're no longer a customer—I mean patient; I guess the medical profession isn't all that benevolent or caring.
Perhaps I should consider becoming a lawyer; after all, it is my only other choice. I could go to law school and graduate magna cum laude, then my parents would be really proud of their only son. Besides, attorneys work really hard to protect the innocent—or do they? I read in the paper about how a group of lawyers filed motions against DNA testing for prison inmates sentenced before 1970, because many of them would have been found innocent, if they were indeed tested. And if they were found innocent, it would obviously be catastrophic for these insidious lawyers; money over morals, I suppose. Now, I'm not exactly Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama, but I'd like to be able to sleep at night knowing that I didn't put someone innocent in jail for the rest of his or her life. And besides, they do have lawyer jokes for a reason. My personal favorite: “What's the difference between a lawyer and a gigolo? A gigolo only screws one person at a time!”—hilarious!
So I guess my parents want me to become a doctor or lawyer, for completely different reasons, other than what's important—like saving lives or protecting the innocent from an unjust, inequitable system; reasons being money and status, which of course, lead to power. My parents really want my little sister Jordan and me to become doctors—or lawyers if we couldn't hack it in medical school—just so we can make lots of money and then they can brag to all of their friends. I really can't think of any other reasons, since third place on the totem pole of Asian career options is engineering, and there's nothing moral or ethical about being an engineer; only the paycheck matters, so in the end, it all boils down to money.
So since it's really all about money, I guess I might as well become a prostitute, because I'll make just as much as any lawyer, and both professions are just as equally immoral. Plus, I won't have to put up with going to class anymore and I'll save my parents so much money; it's a win-win situation for everyone. Too bad Asian guys have small you-know-what, down you-know-where, so prostitution is out of the question. Of course, I'm just joking about becoming a prostitute, but I really may not be joking if I don't get into medical school.
Between you and me, what I really aspire to be—ever since I was a wee laddie born and raised in Irvine, California—is a writer. I remember telling Mommy that I wanted to become a writer, inspired by scores of the greats: Chaucer, Hemingway, Joyce, Faulkner, Ellison, Orwell, Gaiman, among many, many more. But she gave me a look, with harsh, derisive eyes, and shouted, "Write? What you write? Bullshit? Stupid boy!"—that pretty much ended my “never got up and running” career as a writer.
Well, I guess I'm done with my diatribe. I tend to digress inexorably whenever I have to sit here at the library waiting for Jordan to get done with her studying and her research. I don't even know why she uses the UCI (University of California, Irvine) library, since she goes to Stanford University, for crying out loud. Jordan should stay at Stanford, even on the weekends and not have me take her around everywhere. Just because I wasn't smart enough to get into Stanford doesn't mean I have to be her personal chauffeur.
Instead, my little sister decides to come to my school and take up my time. And she constantly reminds me of how she got a full scholarship to attend Stanford—big deal! It's not like UCI is deplorable by any means—not that it's all that great either. Everyone knows that it's the school to settle for if you can't make it to any of the Ivy League schools. And you're always reminded of how you didn't make it, especially when you drive to UCI on Harvard Avenue, which passes Stanford, Oxford, and Columbia Court Apartments and runs through the prestigious streets: Cornell, Columbia, Berkley, and last but not least, Yale Avenue. I guess they're telling us that UCI is just as good as any of the Ivy League schools. Somehow, I don't think street names and apartment courts are going to measure up to that standard. I would have gone anywhere else other than UCI, but I didn't have a choice in the matter since my parents are paying for my college tuition. My parents love the idea of me attending college here in Irvine, because it means that I have to live at home, which means that they have absolute, tyrannical control over every little detail of my life—the dream of every Asian parent.
So Jordan goes to Stanford while I settle for UCI. She was always Mommy and Daddy's pride and joy, the wunderkind of our family. Mommy would always say to me, in her FOB—Fresh Off the Boat—broken English: “Johnson! Why you can't be more like Jordan? She very smart and always the best at everything.” Daddy would then add, in his much more FOB, broken English: “Johnson! We don't want just do your best. We want you be best. You first in family to go college. You need make us proud.” Asians here in America would call Asian foreigners FOB's, because of their thick and heavy accent, as if they really just got off the boat from Asia. FOB is quite derogatory, needless to say.
Whenever my parents would scold and yell at me, I would drift off into reverie and think about Emilie Lee, the most beautiful girl that I've ever laid my eyes on. I've known her since middle school—okay, the truth is that I don't really know her, but I've been in almost every class with her. Let me tell you that she's absolutely stunning in every way: tall, thin, and statuesque. Her eyes are wide but nicely shaped, and deep-set with a gleam of chestnut. And her hair—oh my god, her hair—like pure, fine silk matted in black velvet. I can't believe I sound just like a damn romance novel! And she has the most radiantly clear, lightly sun-tanned face that makes her ivory teeth shine so luminously. But it's her insatiably full, lush lips, turned down slightly at the corners, that speak her most resounding feature—well actually, her most resounding feature is her ass. And if you must know, most Asian girls have an ass that's flat like a brick wall with breasts to match. But Emilie totally defies the natural laws of Asian genetics by having abounding, voluptuous breasts and a captivating lower exterior. It's a good thing that she didn't make it to any of the Ivy League schools, or else I wouldn't have the absolute pleasure of staring at her in class. And it's also a good thing that she was forced with the proverbial two options of “doctor or lawyer”—just like me—so that we ended up taking the same pre-med biology classes for our final year here at UCI.
“Are you daydreaming again?” Jordan asks, sneaking up from behind in order to startle me on purpose. She loves to catch me daydreaming, especially when I'm sitting at a table near lots of people, so that I'm embarrassed as hell.
“No...just thinking,” I reply apathetically.
“Well, we've been here all morning. Have you gotten anything done?” Jordan asks, with a more patronizing tone this time.
“Time flies when you're thinking hard.”
“Whatever. We have to get back home. Mommy and Daddy are waiting for us.”
On our drive back home, I notice the natural—or rather contrived—scenery of Irvine. You'd be surprised at how untarnished and strictly parallel the roads are, with concrete walls along the sides of these roads holding factitious vines and descending sidewalks neatly paved with erect signs posting the words: No Parking At All Times. The City of Irvine doesn't like parked cars because it taints the perfect, suburban atmosphere. Even the trees are in on it, perfectly aligned as if they're bowling pins set in an array of rows. But you never notice these things, especially when they become a part of your everyday life—like the copious number of exact-styled homes with impeccably cut, green lawns, surrounded by spaciously rectangular gardens of every flower of every color. I just happen to notice these things this time around, because I really don't want to talk to Jordan. Besides, she's humming this rather nettlesome tune while I'm driving. She always has a surreptitious way of annoying me even when she's not trying. I can't decide if Jordan is the greatest bane of my life or my greatest envy.
Please go to: Asian Culture Revealed - Chapter 2 http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1510799