Vicky Choy, CA

Premium Writer

A native of San Francisco, Vicky is an experienced storyteller with a past life as an executive in the entertainment industry. She worked on TV movies as Vice President of Movies at a company owned by HBO. World traveler, screenwriter, and content marketing professional, Vicky believes everyone has an interesting story to tell.

As a Story Terrace writer, Vicky interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

You Must Be Chinese If…

Someone emailed me a list once called “You must be Chinese if…,” and it was a laundry list of typical Chinese behaviors. As I strolled through my parents’ house, a three-level 1970s monstrosity that’s a symbol of the upper-middle class for Chinese immigrants, I sipped wine from a mug that was clearly a giveaway item and couldn’t help but think how accurate that list was nor could I get it out of my mind. Everywhere I turned, a list item popped up.

“You must be Chinese if…” chanted through my head. I wandered into the living room and looked around. “You have plastic covers on your sofa.” Check. “You have doilies on every available surface.” My eyes flew to the side tables, bookcase, and coffee table. Yep. “The furniture in your house never quite matches each other or anything else.” I took a sip from the mug. “Your dishes don’t match either.”

That night as I ate dinner with my parents, the list kept running through my head. As we ate, my parents watched the Chinese news blaring from a small TV on the kitchen counter. I went to look for hot sauce in one of the kitchen cabinets but couldn’t find it so I started rummaging through all the cabinets. The chant started again. “You must be Chinese if…” I moved aside a Costco-sized bottle of soy sauce. “You buy soy sauce by the gallon.” I opened another cabinet door. “You buy rice in twenty-pound sacks. You have stuff in your kitchen that you’ve never seen outside a science exhibit.” The chanting became faster, speeding through my head like machine gun bullets. “You save grocery bags, tin foil, and tin containers not for recycling but for, who knows….in case there’s a shortage on plastic and tin in the world.”

Okay, that last part wasn’t on the list. I editorialized. I found the hot sauce and went back to the dining table. I looked at my dad. The chant started again.

“You know you’re Chinese if your father is some kind of engineer.”

Then at my mom.

“And your mother is some kind of difficult.”

That last part I editorialized, too.

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