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September 14, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Wong View


Misunderstandings make the world go round—but only when they happen to other people. Remember that time you mistakenly asked if that lady was pregnant? No? Well, I certainly do. And it’s a memory I shall cherish forever.

Unfortunately, I am not immune to the side effects of misunderstandings. People misunderstand me all the time. For instance, when they find out I am studying English, the conversation goes as follows:

“Oh,” they say, “So you want to be an English teacher! What a …”


Then they make the assumption that I am not a nice person. However, I am a nice person. But just because I may swear and/or interrupt abruptly, does not indicate that I have issues. It may just mean I hate that question. Or that I hate them. (Note: assumptions are like misunderstandings, they only make an ass out of u and me.) The thing is, misunderstandings, like peanut butter and cheese, take a while to be enjoyed. But once you experience them enough, they are the tastiest things ever.

I was a fairly misunderstood child. One time, I decided to cut up all my clothes and sheets. I also coloured one eyebrow with a blue vivid. Awesome right? But alas, it backfired a couple of times.

One memory strikes me in particular: I was five and my babysitter asked me to buy a bottle of coke from the dairy. Firstly, that lady was a bitch, because I was five and she wanted me to go, unattended, to buy her a measly beverage. Secondly, she misunderstood or assumed that I didn’t know what a dairy was and in turn gave a lengthy explanation of some sort, which of course I didn’t listen to.

So what happened? Well, my five-year old mind thought she wanted coke from KFC. I ended up walking probably over ten kilometers to town before some man noticed a small kid hanging around the streets with a bottle of Pepsi (they don’t sell coke at KFC, again, I was five) and told me to turn back. I then turned down the wrong road and ended up walking for another half an hour. Eventually, this nice guy on a motorbike drove me to a friend’s house that I luckily recognised, and when I got back to the babysitter, she made me eat Brussel Sprouts and go to bed early.

Bitch. And all because she misunderstood my intellectual capability to grasp the concept of a dairy.

However, the fun and exciting misunderstandings, as mentioned earlier, are the ones that happen to others (the best ones are the misunderstandings you get to witness). I know someone who is the master of creating them. He is my Yoda. On the outside, he appears stupid and dumb. On the inside, he knows he is dumb, but uses this to create some awesome misunderstandings. As a child he would lob soccer balls over the school fence, hoping to get a response from the public. Those who did fall for this trap would return the balls, only to see them thrown over the fence again, with my friend looking innocent and acting dumb. It was brilliant. The adults would be caught into a vicious cycle until they gave up. I would say things haven’t changed for him.

So, the moral of these tales? There isn’t any. Sorry. But just remember that misunderstandings can make you look great or really wrong. Hey, at least that’s better than looking Wong.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this