Now that I remembered it, my Spanish Colleagues call me by a special name: China. That is Chi-Na (Tsi-na), pronounced the way it is spelled – syllabically, and not China as in China the country.
I do not remember exactly how it all started, but I think it started sometime when they told me that all Asian people look the same (just as they Europeans all look the same – for me before, hehe). And that we, Asians, have small eyes. Or that we, Asians, are short!
They call me “petite” or “little one” at work as well. For majority of the Europeans, indeed, I am short.
(But I have to defend ourselves, Asians! Not all Europeans are tall either!! Haha, poor them?)
Where did this “Chi-Na” name calling started really? Let me see. I think when some of them Spanish people said that I sound funny when I speak in Spanish. Oh yeah, that was it – when they said that I speak Spanish with Chinese Accent. I do not know how they know about the accent of the Chinese people, but they really sometimes can be nasty. (I am only talking about my Spanish Colleagues, of course).
One thing I have over them: I can speak American English. Oh yes, I can do that. And I think, somewhere in the deepest chamber of their hearts, they admire me for that.
Anyway, even if they say I speak their language with a funny accent, or I try to speak Dutch, again, with my funny accent – they still love me. They love this weird, funny, different, rare and small “Asian” woman in their midst.
And why wouldn’t they? I received them for who they are!
Normal people, just like me.