The Lighter Side of Being Multinese

 While it's true that we've all probably had some challenging times growing up mixed (or 'Multinese' as I like to call it) , there have surely been some good episodes too.

Here's one of mine: At the airport in New Delhi, I arrived with a couple suitcases of expensive brocades to deliver to a monastery. Coming from a cold country I had changed from heavy clothes into a kurta on the plane knowing it was going to be hot in Delhi. I wore my long brown hair in a braid.


At the customs desk, an officer looked at the brocades and said sternly that the customs tax would be several thousand rupees. I protested saying that they were a gift, not merchandise.


Then he looked up at me, took my passport, saw it was American and took a closer look at me. 


"But you look Indian. Surely one of your parents Indian?"


"Yes, my mother" (I wasn't lying. She is part Indian but feather, not dot) 

(aka Sitting Bull, not Gandhi)


"Then you are not having to pay customs unless the goods are over $10,000" and with that, he waved me on through. 


It's been convenient being taken for a local when I travel. If I protest that I'm not, locals become even more insistent I am from their country. Rather, they think that I am trying to pass as an American. 


When I was in Cairo, I always got "Oh, maybe you were raised in America but your blood is Egyptian. Of course you are one of us. Why are you trying to hide it"


What can I do?


What eye-opening experiences have you had from being Multinese?


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2 Responses Mar 21, 2009

Never figured it out. I am nearly certain that it was in reguards to not showing respect to the elder woman. She was not just a cleaning lady. She had something to do with the temple or Watt as they call it.<br />
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There was another time when my wife answered the door for Halloween. My wife is from the Philippines right?<br />
Well every kid who was at the door that year thought she was trying to portray Pocahontas. My wife’s first reaction was WHAT!?<br />
I was too busy laughing like hell. I still kid her. We have plenty of Native Americans here in Arizona. Even the Natives think she may be Indian. <br />
Then the Mexicans think she is Mexican. <br />
The Chinese, think she might be one of them, but mixed.<br />
Then there are the Thais, Indonesians, and so on. <br />
<br />
It is her mixed ancestry. It can open some doors, but it can also cause her trouble as shown before at the temple.

Haha . . . Interesting.<br />
<br />
Something happened like that for my wife who is Filipina. We went to Thailand and because of her mixture, they thought she was one of them.<br />
<br />
We entered a temple, where a old woman was sweeping. The woman got up and gave my wife the stare down of her life. She apparently did not do something culturally sound, like show the woman some form of respect. Whoa . . . my wife tried to explain that she was not Thai and she did not know the language. (Actually to be honest, she is a US Citizen too, but born in the Philippines with mixed Asian parents) The old lady gave her a few more seconds of her look and then turned away and ignored her like she was not there. <br />
We chose this time to leave. ^__^<br />
<br />
Loved your story, especially the Feather and not Dot Part. Great!