How Asian is your mum?

My mum has a lot of interesting habits. I don’t know if this is just an Asian thing or if all mum’s do this. This is a tribute to her and all the Asian mum’s out there.

They flick at apples and tap at watermelons when they are in supermarkets to make sure they get the crispiest, most watery fruit.


Asian mum’s love to hoard. There are things from when I was a baby that is still in our basement in Shanghai. We still have our ninja turtle/mickey mouse plastic bowls in our cupboards (they have been around for 20 years). Whenever my sister and I go back though, we still use them. We also still have all the books about nature, our body, animals etc in the basement. I really want to keep them for my kids…

Which brings me to my next point: My mum always keeps the bottles of shampoo, shower caps, laundry bags and slippers from hotels. I have a basket full of hotel slippers at home for guests to wear when they come over. She also hates seeing food wasted and always packs away leftovers at restaurants for the next day’s lunch/dinner. These habits are rubbing off on me.

They do claim to be useful sometimes...
They do claim to be useful sometimes…

They love to buy you clothes- no matter how old you are. Up until before I left for Switzerland, my mum was still buying me clothes. And I loved it! She knew my style back then and always got me the perfect jacket or tops. Nowadays she just gives me warm wooly socks for the winter, which is very much needed.

My mum would always kick me out of my room whenever our relatives or family friends came to visit. I get stuck sleeping with my then-very-mean sister in her bunk bed (top bunk) and hating it because if I moved a muscle, I would get yelled at.


They want to look young- forever. My dad gave up dying his hair black ages ago. But my mum? She still does it once a month. I don’t know how they do it, but I realize that Asian mum’s age so well! My mum does not look a day over 50- I don’t know how many times, to this day, people say we look like sisters.

My beautiful mother and I
My beautiful mother and I

They always want to save on water/electricity. So the dishwasher is never used and your clothes are always drying on a rack.

They are always late. Never early, and only sometimes on-time. But if we say we are going to leave the house at 6:30pm for dinner, we always leave at 6:45pm or 7pm! We are always the last (or close to last) to arrive at a gathering or a party. Seriously.. What do they do in their rooms? Maybe that’s why my mum always look so presentable at parties while I look like a hobo.


They always drink room temperature or hot water at home or in restaurants. Ice water is bad for your system! And it’s true.

My mum always wants me to inform them of my arrival at a destination by text or phone call. And also give her my friend’s details if I’m staying with a friend (imagine that awkward conversation.. “uh so I need to give your number to my mum just in case something happens…”). Or give her the address, phone number and room number of the hotel I’m are staying at.

Last but not least, they will always ask you to wear more clothes when you leave the house during winter. Seriously. Trust me on that. And they’re usually right.



3 thoughts on “How Asian is your mum?

  1. I’m not sure if your mums habits have anything to do with her being Asian. She sounds a lot like my mum who was not Asian. I think that’s all just quirky mum stuff that we say is weird and then we end up doing it ourselves when we turn 50. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to tell me why ice water is bad for me. I love ice water!

    1. Hmm..! That’s true.. I have a feeling we will end up doing that when we are 50..
      Ice water is bad for you because it shocks the system. Your body is used to being at 38 degrees, and so drinking ice water is like jumping into an ice pond during winter (provided that it’s not frozen). Now of course when you’re in the desert, it’ll be a way to cool you down. But don’t drink ice water during winter or cold nights.

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