Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just Call Me Ms. Yin

I was trying to check in for my upcoming cruise vacation to Cabo on Carnival, but the system couldn't find my booking (the booking was all done through a travel agent). I kept trying Kenniston and Au for my last names, but it kept giving me an error. So I finally tried to use my roommate's last name since we both had the same booking number, and lo and behold, I see that they have my last name down as "Yin".

In Malaysia, our passports don't have a spot for "Family Name", just a spot for your full name. Since we are a multiracial country, and most races have different ways of naming their kids and family names/last names come in many different places in your name depending on your race. My name is laid out in the traditional Chinese way with the family name first (Au Su Yin), with my English name before my last name. So the name on my passport, which follows my birth certificate, is Yvonne Au Su Yin. Even if I didn't have an English first name, my name would still start with my family name.

I guess Carnival is going with literal "last names", not family names, which I personally find a little annoying. I even tried showing them how my name is laid out on my social security card (maybe I should have scanned in my marriage certificate too!). They wouldn't acknowledge my "real" last name. The only piece of documentation I will have on me with the name "Yin" at the end will be my passport. Just call me Ms. Yin. I hope I remember that in an emergency. They're not going to know who the heck Ms. Au is.

No comments: