THERE WERE MANY things I didn’t understand. I grew up in Melbourne with my Anglo mother and didn’t have much exposure to the Chinese–Malaysian side of my heritage. Then, when I was eight, my mother took me to visit Malaysia for the first time. My first trip overseas was at an age when all the sights and smells of a foreign place are taken in with open-eyed wonder. I developed an addiction to both egg roti and Milo ice with sweet condensed milk that was a world away from what I was allowed at home. We visited the night market at the end of my father’s family village and the lights and colours were like a cinematic carnival, though the language and the smells were foreign.