Archive for November, 2013

Mistook as…

Have you ever been mistook as a person of certain region/ethnicity that you don’t belong to? Well, I have some experiences that might be suit that condition. It could be just my assumptions™, but at least on some cases I even mistakenly thought as non Indonesian, mostly fellow South East Asian. I think it is harmless to share those experiences :mrgreen:. First of all, my physical appearances were just average for Indonesian, with (slightly below) average height, average weight, average permed black hair, average tanned complexion, slightly slanted eyes, small noose and small mouth. Typical average Indonesian from mid-western part so I think it’s not surprising that sometimes I often thought as a person from it or it’s surrounding area.

Anyway, these are my experiences being mistakenly thought:

  • as a Sundanese by some passers-by during my trip to southern Sukabumi, West Java. Not uncommon, moreover I was traveling with 2 guys who speak Sundanese fluently  😛
  • as an African (or perhaps South American) by fellow passenger while I was on the Metro Subway in Rotterdam. This is weird, and this could be my assumption™ since he didn’t mention that and suddenly asked me whether I believe in God or not and then handed me his religious website pamphlet :P. We had a short conversation back then about his spiritual experience and his activities to encourage Dutch to going back on church. Perhaps I was being thought as a Zwarte Piet (though I’m not that dark on term of complexion :P) or a Good Samaritan Padre from Amazon (this is purely my crap 😆 ) 😛
  • as a Banjar by a shop keeper at a traditional market in Martapura, South Kalimantan. Not uncommon, although it surprised me since I was there with my 2 friends who clearly are not Banjar. I suppose my average Indonesian appearance hinted that shop keeper to talk to me with Banjar language 😛
  • as a Malaysian by another shop keeper at the main road in Hanoi. This is also common given my physical appearance, moreover I was there with a bunch of Malay-like (which is Bahasa Indonesia) speaking people 😛
  • as a Vietnamese by a goods-care guard at Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, still in Hanoi. Now this is weird since I didn’t think my appearance would be that similar with Vietnamese, but those guard initially talked in Vietnamese to me, and since I said I’m not Vietnamese he then spoke in English :P. When I asked my friend who lived there about it, he said it’s not so strange to see me as Vietnamese. Moreover, my body size fits the criteria of Vietnamese, since it is very rare to see obese Vietnamese :lol:. Well, I’m not that skinny or slim, but at least compared to my Indonesian fellow back then I was the slimmest :mrgreen:
  • as a Filipino by a shop keeper at a money changer in Toronto. Regarding my average Indonesian appearance, and possibly South East Asian general appearance, it wasn’t really surprised me, though :P. And since I once mistook a certain Canadian girl as Indonesian, I think that was fair enough 😛
  • as a Japanese by a homeless at the downtown street in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This is nouveau, and probably just an assumption™ since we were in a group and looks busy to take pictures 😛. We were strolling on the street, passing that homeless who just sitting hopelessly and asked us to spare some nickel. As we ignored him and just walked away, he still asked us to spare some coin, even Yen will do :P. Since we don’t have any small changes, and the temperature were getting cold, we just walked away. Perhaps those homeless thought that every Asian-face guy with camera as Japanese, or that was just a mere wild guessing 😛

How about you, have you ever experienced something similar? Perhaps a lot of you have :mrgreen: