Zhu Song

With a first name meaning bamboo, Zhu Song cannot be more poetically Chinese. Although she has spent more than three quarters of her life in various barbaric lands, she can frequently be found clad in silk sipping tea from fine porcelain. What others think of as decadence is only her birthright after all.

Despite having been educated (like all Chinese) to within an inch of her life, she shows little interest (unlike the Chinese) in following one of the favoured professions, much to the chagrin of her grandmother. However all is not lost - she may yet produce offspring who will.

There are three phrases she dislikes: “Where are you from?”, “Why, you speak perfect English!”, and “You're so lucky to be able to speak Chinese!” Her responses are “How much time do you have?”, “Why yes, I speak it better than you”, and “That's because I am Chinese. Fancy that.” The Chinese expect rusty Mandarin, the English an Asian accent, and the Americans an American one. She routinely confounds them all.