I went to the mall yesterday to print photos. (The news here, of course, is the printing of photos: I go to, or at least walk through, the mall a minimum of two times and maximum of, oh, six or seven times a day, including Sundays, and therefore nearly any story of this past year could begin with "I went to the mall yesterday." Lest you think I'm reverting to that brief phase in sixth grade when I thought the mall was a cool place to hang out, let me remind you that not only is the mall within seven minutes, on foot, of my house, it also includes the gym, the internet cafe, the bookstores, the grocery store, and the shortest, and most air-conditioned, path to church.)
This photo-printing booth in the mall has a display of photos they've printed. Most of those on display are high schoolers taking what the SLO and I refer to as "Asian pictures": cutesy poses, usually involving Churchhill's V sign, though with much less gravitas; cutesy stickers to accessorize the picture, mostly hearts, stars, teddy bears, and SpongeBob SquarePants; and cutesy backdrops, including everything from the pineapple under the sea to flowers to stars to beaches to, somewhat incongruously, Piet Mondrian paintings. (By the way, if you haven't seen my face superimposed on a Piet Mondrian painting, you haven't lived.)
In the midst of all that Asianness, one picture, front and center, caught my eye: the portrait my family took back in December, which I printed at this booth a few months back. I always suspected that having a white person around was good for business; now my suspicions are confirmed. Family, if you're reading this, forget all your plans for next year. Let's all stay in Asia and go into advertising!