The Joy Luck Club
"Lena cannot eat ice cream," says my mother.
"So it seems. She’s always on a diet."
"No, she never eat it. She doesn’t like."
"And now Harold smiles and looks at me puzzled, expecting me tot translate what my mother has said.
"It’s true," I say evenly. "I’ve hated ice cream almost all my life."
Harold looks at me, as if I too, were speaking Chinese and he could not understand. (III.1.90)
Rich was smiling. "How long does it take to say, Mom, Dad, I’m getting married?"
"You don’t understand. You don’t understand my mother." Rich shook his head. "Whew! You can say that again. Her English was so bad. You know, when she was talking about that dead guy showing up on Dynasty, I thought she was talking about something that happened in China a long time ago." (III.2.111)
"How do you know this?" she asked eagerly.
"You see it on everything. Made in Taiwan."
"Ai!" she cried loudly. "I’m not from Taiwan!"
And just like that, the fragile connection we were starting to build snapped.
"I was born in China, in Taiyuan," she said. "Taiwan is not China."
"Well, I only thought you said ‘Taiwan’ because it sounds the same," I argued, irritated that she was upset by such an unintentional mistake. (III.2.151)