Flipping Through The Atlas

| San Jose, CA, USA | Language & Words, Top

(I am Filipino, but people often mistake me for Chinese due to my pale skin. Another Filipino co-worker comes in while I am working with a customer. We exchange greetings in Tagalog, a Filipino language with some Spanish influences.)

Customer: “Say that again. That thing you said to that other guy.”

Me: “Kumusta?”

Customer: “‘Cómo está’. That’s Spanish! What does a Chinese dude need to know Spanish for?”

Me: “Actually, I–”

Customer: “Say something else in Spanish!”

Me: “Sir, I don’t speak Spanish very well.”

Customer: “Come on! Say something!”

Me: “Vamanos?”

Customer: “Wow! Hey, do you speak Chinese?”

Me: “Sorry, no.”

Customer: “Come on now! You must know some Chinese!”

Me: “Uh… I don’t know… ‘Ni hao’?”

Customer: “Now say something in Japanese!”

Me: “Sir?”

Customer: “Japanese!”

Me: “Arigato?”

Customer: “Now do Russian!”

Me: “Vodka?”