My first encounter of racism was when I was in elementary school. We went on a vacation somewhere in the Tahoe area. The town was in the mountains with a ridiculously small population, somewhere in the teens. We went to a small public kiddie pool for my sister to play in; I joined her. One of the small kids, I guessed he was about half my age, kept staring at me. In fact, most of the people around the pool were staring at my family and I. I had no idea why. I soon found out when the little boy half my age started splashing water violently at me and yelling "GO BACK TO CHINA, CHINAWOMAN"

His mother was looking at me, the little kids around him were looking at me. They had the look, the kind that hinted if I had stayed near them any longer, they would have all been splashing me. They wanted to join in the fun of splashing water at me. I thought to myself... about how much trouble I would get in for splashing this kid back--he was like half my age--I thought of doing other violent things to him. His mother was near, so I didn't dare. Defeated, I got out of the pool, told my father what had happened.

"Did you splash him back?"
"No, why?"
"Next time you should."

My father explained to me that this town wasn't used to having Chinese people, everyone was caucasian. He made a fairly accurate guess about the majority of them being hicks. He never said they were dirty; he didn't sound bitter, he was just stating the facts: racism exists.

A week after vacation, my sister got hand foot and mouth disease. Something different from foot and mouth disease. Don't get them confused. The symptoms are chicken pox-like itchy bumps on the hands and feet, and cankersore-like irritations in the mouth.