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14th December 2014

Humans of UoM: Asha

“Don’t make me sound like a bitch: I’ll kill you.” Robert Firth speaks to student Asha about English guys, interrail twats and peeing herself

Asha, 2nd year Geography student, originally from Bermuda.

Who the hell are you? 
My name is Asha. I was born in Bermuda and raised between there and Japan with my Japanese mum and Bermudian dad. For high school I went to Canada for four years, and then I came to Manchester for my degree. I’ve travelled extensively through North America, including Mexico and the Caribbean. I’m nineteen, what else do you want me to say?

On being international:
I would describe myself as international: I don’t call one place home. I’ve always moved around and I like that; I know it’s not for everyone but I get bored of being in one place for too long. I sound like a slut—like moving around boys—no, like moving around countries. I just like the experience of meeting new people, and I know that sounds really cheesy but I truly do like that and I think every single person has a story to tell. For example at work, I’ve met a guy from Botswana, a guy from Australia, a guy from Poland and I think it’s just interesting to hear what they have to say and their different viewpoints on certain things that come up.

On England: 
I definitely, definitely, definitely, definitely, definitely think I have a more open viewpoint [than other people in England]. I think it just has to do with how I’ve grown up and how I don’t have a loyalty to one country. I know that sounds weird to say but I just feel like a lot of English people are really proud of being able to speak English and not open to a lot. If I’d grown up in England or I’d grown up in the same place as them I think I’d have the same viewpoint, but because I’ve grown up in so many different places—I’ve been through living in a country where you can’t speak the language, you know being embarrassed, being scared, like you’re all alone in school for the first time, I’ve been through all that—I’m definitely more kind and gentle when it comes to dealing with people who for example don’t speak English as their first language. You know, I have sympathy towards them: I could never be rude.

On peeing herself:
“One time in Japan when I was in primary school I couldn’t speak Japanese, I could only speak English at this point, and I really had to pee but I didn’t know how to ask. It was in the middle of class and I was sitting at the back of the classroom and there were like 25 kids. I was so scared I didn’t know what to do, and I was holding it in for so long that I just peed on my seat and it dripped down. The kid next to me screamed and started laughing and everyone was laughing at me, like: “Ah! Look at that, she’s peeing!” And I just remember being really embarrassed and scared.

On love:
I have a French boyfriend and I’ve always had an interest in foreign people: the people I’ve been with in the past have usually not been from Bermuda and not from Japan; yeah I just like difference I guess. I definitely know I’m attracted to anyone who’s foreign and if I meet you for the first time and you’re like: “I’m from Italy,” I’m like: “Oh yeah, woo!” It’s very difficult for me not to be like: “Oh, he’s from Italy…” “he’s from Germany, I want to talk to him more.” It’s just interesting. My boyfriend and I have definitely grown up very differently but still, I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it but it’s just interesting. I like it: I like meeting new people. I would never date an English guy. I just think my viewpoint is too different; I just don’t think we can connect on that sort of level, don’t have the same sort of mindset or, I don’t know, it’s just a completely different viewpoint I guess.

On travelling:
A lot of people here when they say they’ve been travelling actually mean they’ve been interrailing in Europe and got drunk at bars. For me that’s not travelling through Europe: that’s just going to capital cities and getting fucked with your friends and that’s not what I feel about travelling. Travelling for me is doing your research before you go. Never ever, ever just show up in a city, because you’ll be so lost and won’t know what to do. Look at what the typical tourist spots are and when you get there, ask local people if they speak any English and say (give them a very short time!), “I’m only here for 24 hours—what do you recommend I see? What’s the best your city has to offer?” That type of thing and they’ll tell you that sometimes it can be good, sometimes it’s not so good, but you know sometimes you’ll see things you didn’t see on TripAdvisor and it’s like: “Oh, that was nice.”

Last Words:
I do have a very strong viewpoint and I have my own opinion on things but what I said about English guys doesn’t mean that they’re all shit: it’s just what I think. Don’t make me sound like a bitch: I’ll kill you.

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