#149 - The Dallas, Texas Accent with Tiger

August 31, 2022

Get a taste of that classic southern accent in this interview with a cool guy named Tiger from Dallas, Texas. You will hear him speak about his favorite music, things he can't live without, and his experience growing up as a Chinese immigrant in the U.S.

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Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] Alright, my friend. So the first question I got for you is, if you had to listen to three albums for the rest of your life, which albums would they be?

Tiger: [00:00:07] Uh...probably Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Jeez, that's a hard question to answer on the spot like that, but definitely Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, that's my favorite album for sure. Uh...probably Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I mean, I call...I'm always in the mood for that. And I don't know, I'm really liking this Portugal the Man album. It's called uh...fuck my life. Yeah, I don't know. But there's this Portugal...it's like, man, it's a long...it's a long name. It's like, "mountain on a cloud", something like that. It's like, the album cover's, like, purple with, like, a dude and so misty. It's pretty cool. I really like all the songs on there. I've listened to that a lot.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:46] And what's it called? The name of the album?

Tiger: [00:00:47] I can look it up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:48] Uh the...the artist I mean.

Tiger: [00:00:49] Portugal. The Man.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:50] Portugal. The Man.

Tiger: [00:00:51] Yeah. They're like a rock band from Alaska.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:52] Oh, okay. Interesting name.

Tiger: [00:00:55] Yeah, they're...They were at Shaky Knees a couple of years ago.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:57] Portugal. The Man. Yeah, just like actually describing the cover, now I want to go check it out or something.

Tiger: [00:01:01] It's a nice song. Yeah. I'm into, like, indie alternative rock kind of stuff, so, they're like right up my alley.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:07] Yeah, do you like Blink, Green Day, that type of stuff, too?

Tiger: [00:01:09] I listened to Green Day back in the day, uh you know, while I was going through my angsty seventh grade, you know, puberty phase. Blink 182 I can never really get into, they're a little bit too much for me, but Green Day for sure. Like, I'll listen to that shit nonstop. Yeah. Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:21] Okay, nice man. Alright. So my next question is, what are three things that you cannot live without?

Tiger: [00:01:25] Three things I cannot live without? Besides, like, the obvious, like, food and water?

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:30] Yeah,exactly.

Tiger: [00:01:33] I don't know...like, but can it be more...like, what are other answers...?

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:36] Let me think of a different way to ask the question. What are...if you could only take three things to a desert island that you were gonna stay on for the next 18 months, what would you take with you?

Tiger: [00:01:48] Oh okay, I'd probably take...I'd probably take an MP3 player with some of my favorite songs. I would take...I mean, I'd take books, but I guess I had to choose one book? Is that...is that part of the...dang! Yeah, that's hard.

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:07] What type of stuff do you like to read? What genre?

Tiger: [00:02:10] I mean, I like to read non-fiction, but it's like you can't reread non-fiction. You know what I mean? Like, like like I read...I read autobiographies, you know, I read non-fiction stuff. Like, I read, you know, like I read this one book recently. It's about...it's about the dude that created the Silk Road. It's called American Linchpin King...American Kingpin. Uh but it's like once you read it, like it's, you know...You know all the things that happen so it's like you're not going to reread it. I guess my favorite fiction book I've read... Honestly, I really liked uh...A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens when I was growing up. I can probably reread that book. I can probably read that one a good bout. And then...what else do I bring on the desert island with me?

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:52] So you got music, books. What's the third thing?

Tiger: [00:02:55] I don't know. I'll probably bring...I'll probably bring like, the first 15 seasons of The Simpsons with me. That was my favorite show growing up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:06] Okay.

Tiger: [00:03:06] I'll watch every single episode of The Simpsons when I was a kid cos like, that came on at like 5:00. My parents got home from work at 5:30, so I always like, I always watch...like yeah. And like, it was like, from like probably fourth grade, to like eighth grade, and like every day after school I just watch The Simpsons when it came on Fox at 5:00. And then yeah, as soon as I heard the garage door open, I just run to my room pretending I was doing homework all the time. But yeah, I'll probably bring those things with me.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:32] Have you ever put any thought into the...the idea that...or the reason that they're so good at predicting so many things on that show?

Tiger: [00:03:39] I mean, it's just there's so many episodes and they just, you know, like they just do so many things. I feel like just by sheer chance, just yeah, it's just random. And also, I mean, there's like throughout history, there's always common themes. Like there's always going to be like the asshole dictator that takes over power, like Trump or whatever.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:54] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tiger: [00:03:55] There's always going to be like common motifs, like corporate greed, you know, cheat on your wife, lust. You know, that just happens...

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:04] That's true.

[00:04:05] ...over time anyway. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:06] Yeah. Alright. So my next question is, if all jobs paid the same and you could do any job starting tomorrow, which job would you do?

Tiger: [00:04:13] I'd probably be like a sports journalist of some sort. I really like sports. The thing is, like growing up, I was always good at math and science and I sucked at English, you know? So it's really ironic that I would say that. But, but like, I've like...as I've grown up, I've gained an appreciation for good writing and good novels and good storytelling. So yeah, I mean, I would want to do something where it's like I'm kind of like expressing my opinion about something and like kind of adding value to yeah...cos I don't know, like I feel like especially in mainstream media, like you don't really hear a lot of like you don't have a lot of Chinese-Americans or Asian Americans in general, like in mainstream media expressing like their experience in life. Like right now it's like, you know, like black people are having their moment, you know, like um...everyone has their turn, right? But it's like, you know, you see a lot of...you see a lot of movies like, with like where they're hiring like more black actors and actresses and whatnot. But yeah, I feel like American...like, like Asians that grew up in America are way different than Asians that grew up in Asia...

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:18] Hundred percent.

Tiger: [00:05:19] You know? And I feel like that subsection of American life is not really represented 100% right now. So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:28] Out of curiosity, what would you say are some of the main differences between Asians born and raised in the US and Asians from their respective countries?

Tiger: [00:05:35] Dude, everything. Like the way we view, the way we view the world, like the way like...we interact with people like, like...Asian like...so like for instance, I'm not like, I'm Chinese-American. I moved here around six years old, but I'm American as like, anyone around here. But like, like, for instance, I can't really make friends with Chinese-Chinese people because first of all, the language barrier, and second of all, like, again, like when you grow up in China in like a communist regime and all that stuff, they just view the world differently. And also the people that are able to make it from China to here after a certain point in time, especially the kids that come here for college, so they're like, you know, 20...18 to 20 years old when they come over here, um...usually those type of kids are only...are super rich. Like they're only like...they're pretty much only allowed to come here cos they can afford it. So obviously I can't relate with that because I grew up kind of poor growing up. And yeah, just, you know, just cultural stuff like, you know, pop culture references, jokes...just like general American, you know, whatever, like they're not going to understand cos again, they grew up in China, so it's like, it's hard to...Anyway, I can't really connect with them and all that stuff, like, I didn't grow up in, I didn't grow up in China like they did.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:41] Right.

Tiger: [00:06:42] So, so yeah. It's just, you know, you naturally hang out with people you have common beliefs and whatever with. For me, it's American kids cos I'm, you know, I grew up...I grew up in Texas and you know, so yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:54] Have you ever had any experience where maybe you got treated differently or even worse by Chinese people from China because you're not like a real Chinese person or things like that?

Tiger: [00:07:04] Oh, kinda. I mean, like...my Chinese is terrible, right? So like, so like they'll make fun of you for, like, not speaking proper Chinese because it's like, you're like, losing your heritage or whatever, which is like a big thing to them. So yeah, I mean, they'll like, make fun of you for it, but it's like, dude, I don't know, I can't. Yeah, you know, I got...I live in America. All my friends are white. Like, I have no one to speak Chinese with except my parents, you know? So it is what it is.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:28] Did they, like, force you to learn it when you were a kid? Did they speak Chinese at home when you were a kid?

Tiger: [00:07:31] They speak...so the thing is, they spoke English to me when I was a kid, because they wanted me to become as American as possible, as quickly as possible, so I can like get along with people in school and like...like I remember, so I remember when I first started kindergarten and even first grade, I barely understood anything my teacher was saying to me. And I basically like, like just get through the day just by, like, following all the other kids around and just like, "Oh, it's lunch time, I guess. Yeah, I guess everyone's going to the lunchroom. I guess we're eating lunch again", you know? It's one...like one of those things. I remember, like, one of my first memories in first grade was like so...in, in our like table that we sat at, there was always like a basket full of books that you can like, just kind of browse and read in your free time. And I remember just like flipping through the pages and just not understand a single fucking word, you know? And I just would just literally look at the pictures and just kind of flip through 'em, and like...and all the other kids, like, you know, they grew up with, you know, in America. They could speak...or read English little bit quicker than I could. So yeah, just stuff like that. Um, you know, it was a little hard growing up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:33] Did the kids, like, pick on you and make fun of you because you couldn't speak the same level of English?

Tiger: [00:08:37] Well, yeah, everyone gets bullied. I mean, I got bullied. I feel like everyone gets bullied growing up. But yeah, you know, it's an easy...it's an easy target, you know, Chinese kid and can't really speak English, small, whatever.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:46] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it. I got it. Alright. So my next question for you is, you mentioned the difference between like Chinese-Americans and Chinese people from China, so how would you describe American people because we really are like a melting pot? So when I say that, what comes to mind?

Tiger: [00:09:00] Nothing in particular, to be honest, cos again, yeah, America is a melting pot. Like, like us, we're staying right here, like this would never happen anywhere else in the world, you know? So yeah, I mean, I don't know. I can't really just...you can't really define an American. It's funny as so, like, so...like so in Chinese culture, food is very important, right? And obviously, Chinese food is a very distinct, you know, cuisine. And, you know, even different regions have different type of foods. So like...and with Americans, we don't have like...an American...

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:28] Exactly.

Tiger: [00:09:28] ...there's no such thing as American food.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:29] Like fast food, it's pretty much...

Tiger: [00:09:31] I guess burgers, but it's like...but even burgers weren't even invented in America. But so it's like...like, yeah, I don't think America has a certain identity in a way. It's just, it's just a hodgepodge of everything. And the common thing is everyone just wants to live the best life they can. That's the one thing that's really in common with everyone. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:50] Do you think that's helpful or hurtful to the culture that that idea that you can kind of be free to do whatever you want and be whoever you want, or you feel like it would be more advantageous to take, let's say a Chinese way of viewing the world, which is we need to be a community and we need to assimilate and things of that nature?

Tiger: [00:10:05] That's tough, because like...like there's pros and cons to both like, like Chinese culture....like, yeah, I guess it is better for certain aspects when everyone looks the same and acts the same and like has a common, I guess, whatever binding 'em together.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:21] Set of values?

Tiger: [00:10:22] Yeah. Yeah. Which is, which is how the Communist Party is so effective over there, you know, cos it's like, "Oh well, if you're not locked down for three months cos of COVID, you're not...you're not a real Chinese person. You're not...you're not loyal to the government, you're not loyal to your people." But at the same time, it's like, I like America cos like, you can kind of like take bits and pieces of other people's culture and just kind of take what you...what you value and what you think is right, and just make it your own. Like, for instance, like Chinese people, it's a pretty misogynistic culture for the most part, or at least maybe not this generation, but for a long time it was. So it's like, I don't know, like growing up as a kid, like if you're in China, like, that's just how you treat women and that's how you treat people, right? Cos that's how everyone else did it. But in America, it's like, "Okay, well, Joe,"...the white people...Like they're nice to their kids or like whatever, like, they play baseball. Like they don't have to study their SATs starting from third grade.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:15] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tiger: [00:11:16] So, like, maybe that's a better way to raise a family. I don't know. So, so you can like kind of take bits and pieces of other people you meet and kind of like, just, you know, like try to make the best out of it. That's how I see it.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:26] Okay. Nice, man. Give me your name again.

Tiger: [00:11:28] I'm Tiger.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:29] Tiger. Okay. Tiger, thank you, man. We appreciate your time.

[END OF EPISODE]

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Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] Alright, my friend. So the first question I got for you is, if you had to listen to three albums for the rest of your life, which albums would they be?

Tiger: [00:00:07] Uh...probably Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Jeez, that's a hard question to answer on the spot like that, but definitely Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, that's my favorite album for sure. Uh...probably Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I mean, I call...I'm always in the mood for that. And I don't know, I'm really liking this Portugal the Man album. It's called uh...fuck my life. Yeah, I don't know. But there's this Portugal...it's like, man, it's a long...it's a long name. It's like, "mountain on a cloud", something like that. It's like, the album cover's, like, purple with, like, a dude and so misty. It's pretty cool. I really like all the songs on there. I've listened to that a lot.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:46] And what's it called? The name of the album?

Tiger: [00:00:47] I can look it up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:48] Uh the...the artist I mean.

Tiger: [00:00:49] Portugal. The Man.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:50] Portugal. The Man.

Tiger: [00:00:51] Yeah. They're like a rock band from Alaska.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:52] Oh, okay. Interesting name.

Tiger: [00:00:55] Yeah, they're...They were at Shaky Knees a couple of years ago.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:57] Portugal. The Man. Yeah, just like actually describing the cover, now I want to go check it out or something.

Tiger: [00:01:01] It's a nice song. Yeah. I'm into, like, indie alternative rock kind of stuff, so, they're like right up my alley.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:07] Yeah, do you like Blink, Green Day, that type of stuff, too?

Tiger: [00:01:09] I listened to Green Day back in the day, uh you know, while I was going through my angsty seventh grade, you know, puberty phase. Blink 182 I can never really get into, they're a little bit too much for me, but Green Day for sure. Like, I'll listen to that shit nonstop. Yeah. Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:21] Okay, nice man. Alright. So my next question is, what are three things that you cannot live without?

Tiger: [00:01:25] Three things I cannot live without? Besides, like, the obvious, like, food and water?

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:30] Yeah,exactly.

Tiger: [00:01:33] I don't know...like, but can it be more...like, what are other answers...?

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:36] Let me think of a different way to ask the question. What are...if you could only take three things to a desert island that you were gonna stay on for the next 18 months, what would you take with you?

Tiger: [00:01:48] Oh okay, I'd probably take...I'd probably take an MP3 player with some of my favorite songs. I would take...I mean, I'd take books, but I guess I had to choose one book? Is that...is that part of the...dang! Yeah, that's hard.

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:07] What type of stuff do you like to read? What genre?

Tiger: [00:02:10] I mean, I like to read non-fiction, but it's like you can't reread non-fiction. You know what I mean? Like, like like I read...I read autobiographies, you know, I read non-fiction stuff. Like, I read, you know, like I read this one book recently. It's about...it's about the dude that created the Silk Road. It's called American Linchpin King...American Kingpin. Uh but it's like once you read it, like it's, you know...You know all the things that happen so it's like you're not going to reread it. I guess my favorite fiction book I've read... Honestly, I really liked uh...A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens when I was growing up. I can probably reread that book. I can probably read that one a good bout. And then...what else do I bring on the desert island with me?

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:52] So you got music, books. What's the third thing?

Tiger: [00:02:55] I don't know. I'll probably bring...I'll probably bring like, the first 15 seasons of The Simpsons with me. That was my favorite show growing up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:06] Okay.

Tiger: [00:03:06] I'll watch every single episode of The Simpsons when I was a kid cos like, that came on at like 5:00. My parents got home from work at 5:30, so I always like, I always watch...like yeah. And like, it was like, from like probably fourth grade, to like eighth grade, and like every day after school I just watch The Simpsons when it came on Fox at 5:00. And then yeah, as soon as I heard the garage door open, I just run to my room pretending I was doing homework all the time. But yeah, I'll probably bring those things with me.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:32] Have you ever put any thought into the...the idea that...or the reason that they're so good at predicting so many things on that show?

Tiger: [00:03:39] I mean, it's just there's so many episodes and they just, you know, like they just do so many things. I feel like just by sheer chance, just yeah, it's just random. And also, I mean, there's like throughout history, there's always common themes. Like there's always going to be like the asshole dictator that takes over power, like Trump or whatever.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:54] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tiger: [00:03:55] There's always going to be like common motifs, like corporate greed, you know, cheat on your wife, lust. You know, that just happens...

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:04] That's true.

[00:04:05] ...over time anyway. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:06] Yeah. Alright. So my next question is, if all jobs paid the same and you could do any job starting tomorrow, which job would you do?

Tiger: [00:04:13] I'd probably be like a sports journalist of some sort. I really like sports. The thing is, like growing up, I was always good at math and science and I sucked at English, you know? So it's really ironic that I would say that. But, but like, I've like...as I've grown up, I've gained an appreciation for good writing and good novels and good storytelling. So yeah, I mean, I would want to do something where it's like I'm kind of like expressing my opinion about something and like kind of adding value to yeah...cos I don't know, like I feel like especially in mainstream media, like you don't really hear a lot of like you don't have a lot of Chinese-Americans or Asian Americans in general, like in mainstream media expressing like their experience in life. Like right now it's like, you know, like black people are having their moment, you know, like um...everyone has their turn, right? But it's like, you know, you see a lot of...you see a lot of movies like, with like where they're hiring like more black actors and actresses and whatnot. But yeah, I feel like American...like, like Asians that grew up in America are way different than Asians that grew up in Asia...

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:18] Hundred percent.

Tiger: [00:05:19] You know? And I feel like that subsection of American life is not really represented 100% right now. So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:28] Out of curiosity, what would you say are some of the main differences between Asians born and raised in the US and Asians from their respective countries?

Tiger: [00:05:35] Dude, everything. Like the way we view, the way we view the world, like the way like...we interact with people like, like...Asian like...so like for instance, I'm not like, I'm Chinese-American. I moved here around six years old, but I'm American as like, anyone around here. But like, like, for instance, I can't really make friends with Chinese-Chinese people because first of all, the language barrier, and second of all, like, again, like when you grow up in China in like a communist regime and all that stuff, they just view the world differently. And also the people that are able to make it from China to here after a certain point in time, especially the kids that come here for college, so they're like, you know, 20...18 to 20 years old when they come over here, um...usually those type of kids are only...are super rich. Like they're only like...they're pretty much only allowed to come here cos they can afford it. So obviously I can't relate with that because I grew up kind of poor growing up. And yeah, just, you know, just cultural stuff like, you know, pop culture references, jokes...just like general American, you know, whatever, like they're not going to understand cos again, they grew up in China, so it's like, it's hard to...Anyway, I can't really connect with them and all that stuff, like, I didn't grow up in, I didn't grow up in China like they did.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:41] Right.

Tiger: [00:06:42] So, so yeah. It's just, you know, you naturally hang out with people you have common beliefs and whatever with. For me, it's American kids cos I'm, you know, I grew up...I grew up in Texas and you know, so yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:54] Have you ever had any experience where maybe you got treated differently or even worse by Chinese people from China because you're not like a real Chinese person or things like that?

Tiger: [00:07:04] Oh, kinda. I mean, like...my Chinese is terrible, right? So like, so like they'll make fun of you for, like, not speaking proper Chinese because it's like, you're like, losing your heritage or whatever, which is like a big thing to them. So yeah, I mean, they'll like, make fun of you for it, but it's like, dude, I don't know, I can't. Yeah, you know, I got...I live in America. All my friends are white. Like, I have no one to speak Chinese with except my parents, you know? So it is what it is.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:28] Did they, like, force you to learn it when you were a kid? Did they speak Chinese at home when you were a kid?

Tiger: [00:07:31] They speak...so the thing is, they spoke English to me when I was a kid, because they wanted me to become as American as possible, as quickly as possible, so I can like get along with people in school and like...like I remember, so I remember when I first started kindergarten and even first grade, I barely understood anything my teacher was saying to me. And I basically like, like just get through the day just by, like, following all the other kids around and just like, "Oh, it's lunch time, I guess. Yeah, I guess everyone's going to the lunchroom. I guess we're eating lunch again", you know? It's one...like one of those things. I remember, like, one of my first memories in first grade was like so...in, in our like table that we sat at, there was always like a basket full of books that you can like, just kind of browse and read in your free time. And I remember just like flipping through the pages and just not understand a single fucking word, you know? And I just would just literally look at the pictures and just kind of flip through 'em, and like...and all the other kids, like, you know, they grew up with, you know, in America. They could speak...or read English little bit quicker than I could. So yeah, just stuff like that. Um, you know, it was a little hard growing up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:33] Did the kids, like, pick on you and make fun of you because you couldn't speak the same level of English?

Tiger: [00:08:37] Well, yeah, everyone gets bullied. I mean, I got bullied. I feel like everyone gets bullied growing up. But yeah, you know, it's an easy...it's an easy target, you know, Chinese kid and can't really speak English, small, whatever.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:46] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it. I got it. Alright. So my next question for you is, you mentioned the difference between like Chinese-Americans and Chinese people from China, so how would you describe American people because we really are like a melting pot? So when I say that, what comes to mind?

Tiger: [00:09:00] Nothing in particular, to be honest, cos again, yeah, America is a melting pot. Like, like us, we're staying right here, like this would never happen anywhere else in the world, you know? So yeah, I mean, I don't know. I can't really just...you can't really define an American. It's funny as so, like, so...like so in Chinese culture, food is very important, right? And obviously, Chinese food is a very distinct, you know, cuisine. And, you know, even different regions have different type of foods. So like...and with Americans, we don't have like...an American...

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:28] Exactly.

Tiger: [00:09:28] ...there's no such thing as American food.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:29] Like fast food, it's pretty much...

Tiger: [00:09:31] I guess burgers, but it's like...but even burgers weren't even invented in America. But so it's like...like, yeah, I don't think America has a certain identity in a way. It's just, it's just a hodgepodge of everything. And the common thing is everyone just wants to live the best life they can. That's the one thing that's really in common with everyone. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:50] Do you think that's helpful or hurtful to the culture that that idea that you can kind of be free to do whatever you want and be whoever you want, or you feel like it would be more advantageous to take, let's say a Chinese way of viewing the world, which is we need to be a community and we need to assimilate and things of that nature?

Tiger: [00:10:05] That's tough, because like...like there's pros and cons to both like, like Chinese culture....like, yeah, I guess it is better for certain aspects when everyone looks the same and acts the same and like has a common, I guess, whatever binding 'em together.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:21] Set of values?

Tiger: [00:10:22] Yeah. Yeah. Which is, which is how the Communist Party is so effective over there, you know, cos it's like, "Oh well, if you're not locked down for three months cos of COVID, you're not...you're not a real Chinese person. You're not...you're not loyal to the government, you're not loyal to your people." But at the same time, it's like, I like America cos like, you can kind of like take bits and pieces of other people's culture and just kind of take what you...what you value and what you think is right, and just make it your own. Like, for instance, like Chinese people, it's a pretty misogynistic culture for the most part, or at least maybe not this generation, but for a long time it was. So it's like, I don't know, like growing up as a kid, like if you're in China, like, that's just how you treat women and that's how you treat people, right? Cos that's how everyone else did it. But in America, it's like, "Okay, well, Joe,"...the white people...Like they're nice to their kids or like whatever, like, they play baseball. Like they don't have to study their SATs starting from third grade.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:15] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tiger: [00:11:16] So, like, maybe that's a better way to raise a family. I don't know. So, so you can like kind of take bits and pieces of other people you meet and kind of like, just, you know, like try to make the best out of it. That's how I see it.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:26] Okay. Nice, man. Give me your name again.

Tiger: [00:11:28] I'm Tiger.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:29] Tiger. Okay. Tiger, thank you, man. We appreciate your time.

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • What did you think of Tiger's accent? How would you describe it?
  • What are 3 albums you could listen to for the rest of your life?
  • If you could immigrate to any country, which would it be and why?
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
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Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] Alright, my friend. So the first question I got for you is, if you had to listen to three albums for the rest of your life, which albums would they be?

Tiger: [00:00:07] Uh...probably Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Jeez, that's a hard question to answer on the spot like that, but definitely Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, that's my favorite album for sure. Uh...probably Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I mean, I call...I'm always in the mood for that. And I don't know, I'm really liking this Portugal the Man album. It's called uh...fuck my life. Yeah, I don't know. But there's this Portugal...it's like, man, it's a long...it's a long name. It's like, "mountain on a cloud", something like that. It's like, the album cover's, like, purple with, like, a dude and so misty. It's pretty cool. I really like all the songs on there. I've listened to that a lot.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:46] And what's it called? The name of the album?

Tiger: [00:00:47] I can look it up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:48] Uh the...the artist I mean.

Tiger: [00:00:49] Portugal. The Man.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:50] Portugal. The Man.

Tiger: [00:00:51] Yeah. They're like a rock band from Alaska.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:52] Oh, okay. Interesting name.

Tiger: [00:00:55] Yeah, they're...They were at Shaky Knees a couple of years ago.

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:57] Portugal. The Man. Yeah, just like actually describing the cover, now I want to go check it out or something.

Tiger: [00:01:01] It's a nice song. Yeah. I'm into, like, indie alternative rock kind of stuff, so, they're like right up my alley.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:07] Yeah, do you like Blink, Green Day, that type of stuff, too?

Tiger: [00:01:09] I listened to Green Day back in the day, uh you know, while I was going through my angsty seventh grade, you know, puberty phase. Blink 182 I can never really get into, they're a little bit too much for me, but Green Day for sure. Like, I'll listen to that shit nonstop. Yeah. Yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:21] Okay, nice man. Alright. So my next question is, what are three things that you cannot live without?

Tiger: [00:01:25] Three things I cannot live without? Besides, like, the obvious, like, food and water?

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:30] Yeah,exactly.

Tiger: [00:01:33] I don't know...like, but can it be more...like, what are other answers...?

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:36] Let me think of a different way to ask the question. What are...if you could only take three things to a desert island that you were gonna stay on for the next 18 months, what would you take with you?

Tiger: [00:01:48] Oh okay, I'd probably take...I'd probably take an MP3 player with some of my favorite songs. I would take...I mean, I'd take books, but I guess I had to choose one book? Is that...is that part of the...dang! Yeah, that's hard.

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:07] What type of stuff do you like to read? What genre?

Tiger: [00:02:10] I mean, I like to read non-fiction, but it's like you can't reread non-fiction. You know what I mean? Like, like like I read...I read autobiographies, you know, I read non-fiction stuff. Like, I read, you know, like I read this one book recently. It's about...it's about the dude that created the Silk Road. It's called American Linchpin King...American Kingpin. Uh but it's like once you read it, like it's, you know...You know all the things that happen so it's like you're not going to reread it. I guess my favorite fiction book I've read... Honestly, I really liked uh...A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens when I was growing up. I can probably reread that book. I can probably read that one a good bout. And then...what else do I bring on the desert island with me?

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:52] So you got music, books. What's the third thing?

Tiger: [00:02:55] I don't know. I'll probably bring...I'll probably bring like, the first 15 seasons of The Simpsons with me. That was my favorite show growing up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:06] Okay.

Tiger: [00:03:06] I'll watch every single episode of The Simpsons when I was a kid cos like, that came on at like 5:00. My parents got home from work at 5:30, so I always like, I always watch...like yeah. And like, it was like, from like probably fourth grade, to like eighth grade, and like every day after school I just watch The Simpsons when it came on Fox at 5:00. And then yeah, as soon as I heard the garage door open, I just run to my room pretending I was doing homework all the time. But yeah, I'll probably bring those things with me.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:32] Have you ever put any thought into the...the idea that...or the reason that they're so good at predicting so many things on that show?

Tiger: [00:03:39] I mean, it's just there's so many episodes and they just, you know, like they just do so many things. I feel like just by sheer chance, just yeah, it's just random. And also, I mean, there's like throughout history, there's always common themes. Like there's always going to be like the asshole dictator that takes over power, like Trump or whatever.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:54] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tiger: [00:03:55] There's always going to be like common motifs, like corporate greed, you know, cheat on your wife, lust. You know, that just happens...

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:04] That's true.

[00:04:05] ...over time anyway. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:06] Yeah. Alright. So my next question is, if all jobs paid the same and you could do any job starting tomorrow, which job would you do?

Tiger: [00:04:13] I'd probably be like a sports journalist of some sort. I really like sports. The thing is, like growing up, I was always good at math and science and I sucked at English, you know? So it's really ironic that I would say that. But, but like, I've like...as I've grown up, I've gained an appreciation for good writing and good novels and good storytelling. So yeah, I mean, I would want to do something where it's like I'm kind of like expressing my opinion about something and like kind of adding value to yeah...cos I don't know, like I feel like especially in mainstream media, like you don't really hear a lot of like you don't have a lot of Chinese-Americans or Asian Americans in general, like in mainstream media expressing like their experience in life. Like right now it's like, you know, like black people are having their moment, you know, like um...everyone has their turn, right? But it's like, you know, you see a lot of...you see a lot of movies like, with like where they're hiring like more black actors and actresses and whatnot. But yeah, I feel like American...like, like Asians that grew up in America are way different than Asians that grew up in Asia...

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:18] Hundred percent.

Tiger: [00:05:19] You know? And I feel like that subsection of American life is not really represented 100% right now. So, yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:28] Out of curiosity, what would you say are some of the main differences between Asians born and raised in the US and Asians from their respective countries?

Tiger: [00:05:35] Dude, everything. Like the way we view, the way we view the world, like the way like...we interact with people like, like...Asian like...so like for instance, I'm not like, I'm Chinese-American. I moved here around six years old, but I'm American as like, anyone around here. But like, like, for instance, I can't really make friends with Chinese-Chinese people because first of all, the language barrier, and second of all, like, again, like when you grow up in China in like a communist regime and all that stuff, they just view the world differently. And also the people that are able to make it from China to here after a certain point in time, especially the kids that come here for college, so they're like, you know, 20...18 to 20 years old when they come over here, um...usually those type of kids are only...are super rich. Like they're only like...they're pretty much only allowed to come here cos they can afford it. So obviously I can't relate with that because I grew up kind of poor growing up. And yeah, just, you know, just cultural stuff like, you know, pop culture references, jokes...just like general American, you know, whatever, like they're not going to understand cos again, they grew up in China, so it's like, it's hard to...Anyway, I can't really connect with them and all that stuff, like, I didn't grow up in, I didn't grow up in China like they did.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:41] Right.

Tiger: [00:06:42] So, so yeah. It's just, you know, you naturally hang out with people you have common beliefs and whatever with. For me, it's American kids cos I'm, you know, I grew up...I grew up in Texas and you know, so yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:54] Have you ever had any experience where maybe you got treated differently or even worse by Chinese people from China because you're not like a real Chinese person or things like that?

Tiger: [00:07:04] Oh, kinda. I mean, like...my Chinese is terrible, right? So like, so like they'll make fun of you for, like, not speaking proper Chinese because it's like, you're like, losing your heritage or whatever, which is like a big thing to them. So yeah, I mean, they'll like, make fun of you for it, but it's like, dude, I don't know, I can't. Yeah, you know, I got...I live in America. All my friends are white. Like, I have no one to speak Chinese with except my parents, you know? So it is what it is.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:28] Did they, like, force you to learn it when you were a kid? Did they speak Chinese at home when you were a kid?

Tiger: [00:07:31] They speak...so the thing is, they spoke English to me when I was a kid, because they wanted me to become as American as possible, as quickly as possible, so I can like get along with people in school and like...like I remember, so I remember when I first started kindergarten and even first grade, I barely understood anything my teacher was saying to me. And I basically like, like just get through the day just by, like, following all the other kids around and just like, "Oh, it's lunch time, I guess. Yeah, I guess everyone's going to the lunchroom. I guess we're eating lunch again", you know? It's one...like one of those things. I remember, like, one of my first memories in first grade was like so...in, in our like table that we sat at, there was always like a basket full of books that you can like, just kind of browse and read in your free time. And I remember just like flipping through the pages and just not understand a single fucking word, you know? And I just would just literally look at the pictures and just kind of flip through 'em, and like...and all the other kids, like, you know, they grew up with, you know, in America. They could speak...or read English little bit quicker than I could. So yeah, just stuff like that. Um, you know, it was a little hard growing up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:33] Did the kids, like, pick on you and make fun of you because you couldn't speak the same level of English?

Tiger: [00:08:37] Well, yeah, everyone gets bullied. I mean, I got bullied. I feel like everyone gets bullied growing up. But yeah, you know, it's an easy...it's an easy target, you know, Chinese kid and can't really speak English, small, whatever.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:46] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it. I got it. Alright. So my next question for you is, you mentioned the difference between like Chinese-Americans and Chinese people from China, so how would you describe American people because we really are like a melting pot? So when I say that, what comes to mind?

Tiger: [00:09:00] Nothing in particular, to be honest, cos again, yeah, America is a melting pot. Like, like us, we're staying right here, like this would never happen anywhere else in the world, you know? So yeah, I mean, I don't know. I can't really just...you can't really define an American. It's funny as so, like, so...like so in Chinese culture, food is very important, right? And obviously, Chinese food is a very distinct, you know, cuisine. And, you know, even different regions have different type of foods. So like...and with Americans, we don't have like...an American...

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:28] Exactly.

Tiger: [00:09:28] ...there's no such thing as American food.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:29] Like fast food, it's pretty much...

Tiger: [00:09:31] I guess burgers, but it's like...but even burgers weren't even invented in America. But so it's like...like, yeah, I don't think America has a certain identity in a way. It's just, it's just a hodgepodge of everything. And the common thing is everyone just wants to live the best life they can. That's the one thing that's really in common with everyone. So yeah.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:50] Do you think that's helpful or hurtful to the culture that that idea that you can kind of be free to do whatever you want and be whoever you want, or you feel like it would be more advantageous to take, let's say a Chinese way of viewing the world, which is we need to be a community and we need to assimilate and things of that nature?

Tiger: [00:10:05] That's tough, because like...like there's pros and cons to both like, like Chinese culture....like, yeah, I guess it is better for certain aspects when everyone looks the same and acts the same and like has a common, I guess, whatever binding 'em together.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:21] Set of values?

Tiger: [00:10:22] Yeah. Yeah. Which is, which is how the Communist Party is so effective over there, you know, cos it's like, "Oh well, if you're not locked down for three months cos of COVID, you're not...you're not a real Chinese person. You're not...you're not loyal to the government, you're not loyal to your people." But at the same time, it's like, I like America cos like, you can kind of like take bits and pieces of other people's culture and just kind of take what you...what you value and what you think is right, and just make it your own. Like, for instance, like Chinese people, it's a pretty misogynistic culture for the most part, or at least maybe not this generation, but for a long time it was. So it's like, I don't know, like growing up as a kid, like if you're in China, like, that's just how you treat women and that's how you treat people, right? Cos that's how everyone else did it. But in America, it's like, "Okay, well, Joe,"...the white people...Like they're nice to their kids or like whatever, like, they play baseball. Like they don't have to study their SATs starting from third grade.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:15] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tiger: [00:11:16] So, like, maybe that's a better way to raise a family. I don't know. So, so you can like kind of take bits and pieces of other people you meet and kind of like, just, you know, like try to make the best out of it. That's how I see it.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:26] Okay. Nice, man. Give me your name again.

Tiger: [00:11:28] I'm Tiger.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:29] Tiger. Okay. Tiger, thank you, man. We appreciate your time.

[END OF EPISODE]

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