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November 5th, 2014:

I have been horribly insulted

This morning at the visa interview window, I was insulted in a new way. This insult hit me like a solid punch to the solar plexus. My feeling of self-worth has been severely compromised. I may never recover from this attack on my self-esteem.

What happened? A woman applied for a visa with her 2-year-old grandson. She was trying to get the kid to engage with me. In China, children are encouraged to use family terms to address people, like “older brother” or “aunt.” It’s considered polite and a way to build relationships. If a kid calls you “Uncle Bill,” that puts you in a familiar relationship, with its accompanying status as an elder relative.

This applicant tried to get her grandson to do that to me. She told her grandson to use a familiar term to address me.

She told the kid to call me “Grandpa.”

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