I'm often asked: Where are you from? Or they assume I'm Chinese and say ni-hao to me in a dorky accent. If they weren’t malicious in their behaviour, I would smile politely and chirp back: I'm Korean-American-Dutch. Smile again. They would blink in response and say "Oh!" as they quickly digest these nationalities. If they had meant to be racist, I roll my eyes and walk away. I'm pretty good at rolling my eyes now.Okay so you're probably thinking, well, if it's so awkward here, why don't you move East to your roots where you'll look like everyone else? I've visited to S. Korea, Taiwan and HK/China, granted, ages ago. Over there, initially they did see me as being of their nation, until I open my mouth. From then on they saw me as Western. So even to Asians, I'm not Asian! Same goes for the Japanese, Korean and Chinese shops here in Amsterdam. Sigh.
This why I am homeless. I have no land where I fit in 100%, yet I consider both lands, the US and Netherlands to be home. And I'm lucky to live in a place like Amsterdam that is chock full of international folks like me.
As for how this relates to Offworlder… The book is rife with examples of the outsider syndrome. NamJu has to deal with crap from rich folks and even from his father (AhobhJee). Everyone looks down on Renzies for their incurable disease. People look down their noses at A.I.s, even those with near human characteristics (Seth!). My female characters are strong, behaving inappropriately according to those of the old world and other cultures. NamJu’s best buddy, Ril, comes off as a dumb, pretty boy, but he is highly intelligent and the most loyal friend you'd ever want. Last but not least, there is the offworlder who is not even of this planet. So, the characters (sounds so cold to call them characters – they are my friends now) in Offworlder deal with varying issues concerning diversity, and they all overcome them in their own way. Offworlder is about proving that we are more than our labels or what people think we are and that if given the opportunity, we can achieve more than we ever thought we could.
So, while I may be homeless, I always feel right at home in Offworlder. ;-) I hope you do too, dear reader.