Where are you from?
Then, travelling more, I realized that I had this "gift" of being un-categorizable in the ethnic sense, racially ambiguous I think they call it. People usually lean to a mix of Asian, but usually not anywhere near the right one and because I'm quite tanned, that really throws them off. Racial ambiguity is a travel lifesaver that you can't buy. It means you can fit into the crowd in alot of the places you go like Hawaii, Brazil, Costa Rica, even Nepal (to name a few of my successful camouflaging sessions).
Things got more interesting when I came to Italy. The Italians are a little old-school, especially the older ones and rightfully so. They have an extremely hard time processing the idea that someone can be Canadian and not white. In their minds this is impossible. I have had people try to re-word their where are you from to versions of yes, but where were you born, thinking it was some kind of language barrier causing me to answer with Canada each time. The funniest part is when I play along and they finally get to the question of where my grandparents came from and I tell them China, shock and awe ensues. Shock and awe. And these poor Italians are just mind-blown and then 9/10 of them will start convincing me that I'm not Chinese and I must be lying to them. They will then continue on to list the super-stereotypical facial and personality characteristics that makes someone Chinese as if this is evidence that they are right and I am mistaken about my race. To this I normally just nod along and try to interject how China is a big country so obviously appearances change from region to region etc, etc, but to no avail. The conversation usually ends with a very confused Italian.
This racial ambiguity has led to many fun stories that I like to tell in retrospect, one such time was when a cashier (after greeting me in Italian) randomly started asking me how to say different things in Spanish. I played along in a terrible accent, having taken beginner Spanish. I thought this was small-talk until I left and she said HASTA LUEGO!