“HOW DO YOU SAY UZBEKISTAN IN CHINESE?” I asked my colleague. “I’m telling my taxi driver from Uzbekistan so I won’t have to explain where I’m from.”
“Wuzi bieke” (烏茲別克), he said.
It was almost an everyday occurrence in Taiwan, people asking me where I was “from,” because I spoke Chinese with a waiguo (外國) or “foreign” accent. Sometimes I said I was from Greenland. Other times, I was half Laotian and half Marshall Islander.