Harder than Acting

They're the sand embedded in my shoes that wear me out, and yet all I can do is grit my teeth and smile.

They’re the sand embedded in my shoes that wear me out, and yet all I can do is grit my teeth and smile.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – Faking it.

It is easier to act in a play than fake liking ‘them’! To me acting is genuinely living as the character, thinking and reacting as if I was them. When my facial muscles want to contract, my hands shake and my heart beats faster and louder, I find it is actually harder to betray my body, my feelings and put on a happy face in front of ‘them’.

I often wonder, “Why did you have to marry into my circle, so for the group’s sake, I have to keep the relationships in harmony?” Then I remember the time my father was incarcerated in the torturous communist jail, the maltreatment the Communist gave my family and my deadly escape from Vietnam.

Passing through the threshold of the door, I felt relieved that I had held my façade, successfully giving a strong handshake and a warm smile to ‘him’. He migrated here under the sponsorship of his sister.

I smiled gracefully at the introduction of his relative from an Asian communist country, who had studied in an Australian university before and now was in the process of transferring money from his homeland to set up a business so he can stay permanently here under the Business Owner Visa scheme. His relative’s father was so rich, he hosted wedding parties for his son in two cities abroad while also paying airfares for all the wedding guests. Was the fortune of his relative’s family built honestly or did it perhaps came from connections with the totalitarian communist regime? Would he tell me the ‘ugly’ truth?

I managed to beam and complimented the appearance and style of his sister. Having had an especially professional career in her state, she stayed here after finishing her Australian university’s scholarship in the early 90s. Was it correct that her parents were normal workers and she must have been a talented and intelligent woman who won the most coveted grant in her densely populous and highly corrupt nation? How did she make her living in a lowly administrative job now? How can her retired, communist-era-working parents be able to gift their overseas children tens of thousand of Australian dollars?

I nodded at a taciturn, furtive man in his 20s sitting in a corner. He came here from Vietnam for a privately financed, post-graduate study and planned to find a job and stay here permanently afterwards. His sister was able to find a job as a tour guide in a state-owned Vietnamese tourist travel service, because her father was in the communist North Vietnamese Army at the time of Saigon Fall. She met her husband, a Vietnamese-Australian who was a refugee, on a Vietnam tour. After her arrival in Australia, there was a family financial crisis followed with heartbreaking events and emotional upheavals that brought doubt to her attachment to the husband. How high-ranking was his father? Was the house his family occupied after Saigon Fall in the South Vietnam forfeited from a bourgeoisie, or from a former Saigon regime’s officer? How did his mother become rich enough to afford his overseas study just by being a seller in a market?

The party was over, so was all the pretension. I had managed to hold composure in appearing as a friendly member of the group. I quickly shut off my mind from the emotionally draining faces I met there. I hope it will be a long time before I will see them again. I hope my mind will never ever wander to think of them in the future; the inauthentic people and vacant smiles are only a drain on me.

In the social twilight

I do have a secret fright
That people go underground
With their communist background,
With their hugely, filthy wealth,
So to migrate here by stealth.
(Bridging-title-style poem).

Image credit
by JD Hancock.

They're the sand embedded in my shoes that wear me out, and yet all I can do is grit my teeth and smile.

They’re the sand embedded in my shoes that wear me out, and yet all I can do is grit my teeth and smile.

3 thoughts on “Harder than Acting

  1. Reblogged this on The Nurdler and commented:
    Only those with inside knowledge know the truth, and for various reasons choose to remain quiet, I wish they wouldn’t, but what forum do they use to divulge their suspicions and truths?


    • Where and how does Mr Turnbull report any suspicion of wrongdoings in his in-law family?


      SYDNEY • In what is becoming something of a trend for Australian prime ministers, Mr Malcolm Turnbull comes to the job with deep personal ties to China, including a Mandarin-speaking son whose wife is from a prominent Chinese family.

      Aside from former leader Kevin Rudd, who is fluent in Mandarin and worked in Beijing as a diplomat, Mr Turnbull has perhaps the closest links to China of any previous Australian prime minister.

      His son, Alex, who runs a hedge fund, lives in Singapore with his wife and their baby.

      His wife is Hong Kong-born Yvonne Wang, or Wang Yiwen. According to Fairfax Media, her parents were “well-connected in cosmopolitan Shanghai and were known to be on good terms with former president Jiang Zemin”.

      Madam Wang’s father, Mr Wang Chunming, now in his 90s, was an international relations scholar who worked with the China Academy of Social Sciences.

      Prime Minister Turnbull also has close business ties to China. In 1994, he set up a Sino-Western joint mining venture in China and has long advocated closer trade and business links between Canberra and Beijing.

      It is perhaps little surprise that the Chinese media have apparently been referring to Mr Turnbull as “sweet dumpling” or “sugar bomb”, a play on his surname, which sounds like tang bao, the popular Chinese steamed buns.


      Malcolm Turnbull may not speak Chinese like his Labor predecessor Kevin Rudd, but the new Prime Minister has strong connections to Beijing.

      These come mainly via son Alex and his wife Yvonne Wang, who also goes by the Chinese name Wang Yiwen.

      She is the daughter of a former government-linked academic, who worked with the country’s most prestigious think tank, the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

      “He was an expert in international law and trade so he advised the government from time to time,” Alex Turnbull said via phone from Singapore on Tuesday.

      younger Mr Turnbull, who runs his own hedge fund, provided a potted history of his wife’s family to the Australian Financial Review.

      He denied his father-in-law, who is now 92, had any connection to China’s security forces, but confirmed he was a member of the Communist Party.

      Mr Turnbull said such membership was necessary for him to leave China in 1976 to attend Colombia University in New York.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It must be so hard when you see your enemies living so prosperously in the freedom that Australia has given them. But you did well to keep your good manners.


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