Jia Li has become an Australian citizen after 4 years of hard work and study, during which time she has built up a client base working for Serena, a nasty hairdresser, who takes advantage of her, paying under the counter with no job security.
Having finally paid her dues, gaining citizenship she thinks she will be able to bring her family to Australia. Instead of giving her a better job, Serena sacks her. On returning home she finds she’s being evicted to make way for an upmarket redevelopment..
Lost and bewildered she turns to her ex-boyfriend Kong for help, a mid-level triad member, but finds herself unable to ask him for help and runs, returning to her apartment to find her former co-worker Daisy on her doorstep.
Daisy a half Chinese half Japanese Harajuku girl communicates with Jia only through monosyllabic responses in Japanese, a sophisticated texting computer and a simple set of gestures and understandings. Daisy invites Jia to stay with her while she gets back on her feet. Jia reluctantly accepts until she finds a new home.
Kong furious for losing Jia again embarks on a quest to get Jia back whether she wants him or not. Conflicted between love and keeping face and the obligation he owes toward her family for their help of his family in coming to Australia.
Moving into Daisy’s up market flat Jia spends the evening talking about their families and dreams.The next day Daisy transforms Jia with a makeover into a hip streetwise young thing. They go to see her former client Jenny Chan a Chinese real-estate agent.
Jenny challenges Jia to take control of her life and gives her the alternative opportunity to open her own salon. She offers her a shop owned by an acquaintance, John Simkins. Jenny convinces Jia to trust in herself and start her own hair salon. Jia and Daisy inspect the shop with John Simkins. They hear how he started his working life and met his wife there. Jia haggles on the price and terms, in the end getting the office for what she can afford.
Meanwhile Kong continues to search for Jia, more and more angrily. He ends up finally Serena’s salon where he beats up Serena for braking their agreement to employ Jia. There he learns that she has sacked Jia contrary to their agreement. For Jia and Daisy the day disappears in a whirlwind shopping spree which provides the equipment for the salon but also wipes out most of Jia’s funds. Kong meets up with some of his triad peers and their girlfriends in a city restaurant. Jenny’s PA May tells him that she saw Jia and can get her address.
Returning to her former place of work to get the client contacts in her diary, Jia reluctantly faces Serena, brushing aside her threats and standing up to her taking her dairy and leaving a furious Serena powerless.
Back at the new salon Daisy is cleaning when Kong arrives. He and Daisy exchange words in an escalating argument that is interrupted by Jia’s arrival. Kong demands that Jia return to him or she will have to pay for protection. Daisy steps in the gap and offers her money. Kong lashes out at Daisy, hitting Jia instead and knocking her to the ground.
Stunned by the blow Jia’s world spins. Finally getting to her feet, she picks up the fallen money and demands Kong to take it and never come back. She makes it clear that his family’s obligation is over. Caught between obligation and honour Kong has lost. He leaves Jia and Daisy the masters of their domain.